Ambient guitar

As you might have figured out from browsing my website, ambient music has a bit of a special place in my heart. I’m intrigued by it. I listen to it while programming or when other forms of deep thought are required, but its creation is a great avenue for technology and music to mix (see Brian Eno’s work, for example).

So since I started assembling a collection of pedals in 2019, you can regularly find me trying to make some improvised ambient music with my guitar. It’s great for those moments when I need a bit of respite from anxiety, or just when I feel like making a nice soundscape. I usually record it in case something nice pops into existence or I want to save an idea.

Since then I’ve created many recordings. I’ve set up a playlist of some of the nicer things I’ve created. They’re all 1-ish minutes excerpts of 20-40 minutes recordings (for your listening convenience, and because sometimes I’m not very good). I hope to regularly add new excerpts to this playlist:

Background

I’ve been playing guitar since about my 18th year on this planet, but I’ve only been playing ambient music with my guitar in the last few years. This was mostly because I’ve been playing through a computer1, and I always felt it annoying to tweak settings with a mouse (especially if you don’t have foot pedals to loop or turn pedals on or off2). Overall, having to play through a computer was getting me down a bit. I wanted to have real buttons and knobs for once.

So since 2019, I’ve been steadily assembling a pedalboard, starting with the ambient basics; delay, reverb, and a looper (in my case, also the delay pedal). It definitely brought back some of the love I had for playing music, because it makes its process way more casual for me.

pedalboard feb 2021
My pedalboard in the beginning of 2021. The photo was taken on my desk, because nobody likes looking at a cheap carpet in a rented house 😎

I keep an up-to-date list of what’s on my pedalboard (and around it) on my equipboard profile.

  1. For a couple of reasons I never really felt like I had the money or opportunity to buy amplifiers and guitar pedals; I could never really settle on an amp manufacturer, I never played with anyone else, I have a fear of being loud, I’ve moved a lot in the last decade, and I was without my guitar for a year or so. In the meantime, amp and effects modelling software (Guitar Rig in my case) served me well.
  2. I actually had Guitar Rig’s official controller hardware with nice foot switches, but it didn’t last many OS updates. Guitar Rig itself also became more unreliable with every OS update. They went a few years without any support or major updates.