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cloud chamber

track: 21

instrument(s) used: glassworks "cloud chamber bowls"

recorded: 20141206

duration: 2:09

type: ambient

The first in our "glassworks" series, a beautiful debut entry featuring a rare, remarkable instrument known as the "cloud chamber bowls" - an instrument I actually played, aged 15, on a school trip to san diego state university music department, to see (and play) a collection of rare instruments belonging to eccentric and ***way*** ahead of his time composer, Harry Partch.

these massive inverted bowls were very fragile by the time I saw them, in person, in the year 1973, but we were allowed to play them, or rather, we had the honour to be allowed to play them - which I did - cautiously.

Imagine my surprise to load up "glassworks" onto my PC for the first time, and to hear that exact same sound again, some 41 years later, sampled from the same Partch instrument! astonishing - to say the least - and a real testament to native instruments, the samples used within glassworks are across the board, some of the most beautiful I've ever, ever heard - just gorgeous sounding - and all based on real glass instruments.

for my first work with the cloud chamber bowls, I felt very blessed and that the stars were all lined up for me, a bit dense and atonal to begin, perhaps, the piece soon turned more melodic, more ambient, but is always full of surprises. this is a wonderful instrument which must now be incredibly rare, if indeed any still exist out there in the physical world, but I am grateful indeed that native instruments were able to acquire a working set to sample from - and sample they did.

this is a hugely usable instrument, with a lot of range and character, and I was absolutely blown away when I first heard the samples, it was exactly what I remembered from that school trip such an incredibly long time ago now.

harry partch was someone I studied in school, and knew a little about since my early teens, he invented instruments that played in different scales, including a microtonal organ (which was simply a hammond organ that had been modified to have microtone increments) which I also got to play - that was a remarkable experience.

I learned that it's not easy to make music using a micro tonal scale, there are no "chords" that are simple to execute, and you would have had to invent whole new musics for instruments like these - and that is exactly what Harry Partch did - he wrote music to be played by small orchestras, using all of his own invented instruments - music which sounds like no music you have ever heard - the man was a genius - and is now immortalised in the form of the beautiful cloud chamber bowl instrument samples used in this track - courtesy of Mr. Harry Partch, I give you "cloud chamber".




from music for pcs: komplete samples - an eternal album, track released December 6, 2014
dave stafford - komplete - kontakt 5 - glassworks

instruments used:

cloud chamber bowls (based on the original Harry Partch glass instruments)


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dave stafford Stirling, UK

ambient loop guitarist dave stafford performed on stage with robert fripp and the orchestra of crafty guitarists in early 2009, and again with robert fripp and the symphony of crafty guitarists in 2015, and has worked with ambient music and looping for over twenty years. stafford has a rich back catalogue of ambient and loop music, +rock, prog or acoustic crafty guitar music: www.pureambient.com ... more

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