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ishq - virtual series. A little bit of freeflow thoughts

ishq ambient review

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#1
YuriNondual

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When ishq started releasing a lot of albums, that didn't sound as musical as his previous more new age work, I was a little bit upset, I was waiting for ishq music more like Orchid, Sama or And awake to trip to. But as time passed and I listened to it more I got into it a bit more, and recenlty with a release of last 2 virtual albums (Strange nebula and Moonship) I finally got it. So I wrote a little bit of thoughts to exmplain his virtual series to other people who are attached to his early ishq releases.
 

Matt Hillier is Cornwall based electronic music artist, he makes music for 20 years, he is best known for his new age ambient releases like Orchid or Sama but today we are not going to talk about them.

Music of Matt Hillier has many similarities with other art forms and particularly with paintings. When you first visit an art gallery, usually you like bold and familiar paintings. Maybe it’s a sunny landscape or a portrait of a beautiful person. It’s simple, it’s familiar. But as you dive deeper into a world of art and it’s history you start to appreciate finer details. Maybe this painting is unusually abstract for it’s period of time, or maybe it gives you a feeling of being home, or being alone or being content. So a painting can act as a storage, a flash drive or a time crystal of sorts, containing a whole spectrum of emotions and memories that you never had. These small details and intricacies come hand in hand with refined taste to art. But it’s not just art actually, even take a simple beverage like tea for example. First you like big and bold taste of black tea with milk and sugar perhaps? But if you keep exploring different teas and tastes and how it makes you feel you can easily discover whole universe here. Different states of mind that different types of tea can bring you to.

Now if we come back to music of Matt Hillier. As you dig deeper into his discography you are quick to discover some releases that are not musical as such, they are a sound collages or sonic paintings made of various sound forms, each form can send you to a different location. From underwater wonder to deep space exploration and beyond. Experience life from a perspective of a plant or an insect, or completely unimaginable, yet to be discovered lifeform. It is all here available to you if you allow it, with your headphones on.



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#2
Salamantis

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There are other reasons, reasons that are not as artistic and much sadder, having to do with how long it takes to produce different kinds of albums.  Below is an email exchange I had with Jacqueline Kersley, Matt Hillier's significant other and most enduring musical partner.  I don't feel bad sharing it because it was prompted by the Upcoming Releases page of this site, and has to do with public issues of artist economic survival in a world where most online people download artist releases for free rather than pay for them.

 

Hi, Jacqueline; Joe Dees here again.  I hope I'm not bothering you too much with this letter.  I just have a quertion or two to ask you, if you don't mind.
 

I frequent this site to see what's in the pipeline:

 
 
There are several releases listed ase upcoming for you and Matt.  Besides Indigo Egg - Aten, which I have coming (with a digital dl, you said...;~), they are: 
cleardot.gif
 
Ishvara - Magik Square Of The Moon (I've been hearing rumors of this one for quite some time now)
 
and 4 by Ishq:  Abstracts 1, Light and Space, Meadows, and Vignettes.
 
Further down it mentions 3 unnamed albums by Omni Vu Deity.
 
My question is: which of these are, or could be, actually coming down the pike from you two, and which ones do you not see happening?  And do you have any firm or tentative timeline for any of them?
 
Just (very) Curious
Joe Dees
 
 
Hi Joe
 
           many thanks for the email and interest .To be honest its quite difficult whats planned next or will be released
as we are both stepping away from some aspects of music releasing and into some new avenues and label ideas but
those are not fully formulated yet.
 
Magik square of the moon is still a planned release but we decided to hibernate Virtual for some years possibly and when we have a better situation here to work longer on releases .
 
Omni vue deity releases are part of the remaing Virtual releases but as mentioned those have been stored for release maybe in a few years when we will complete the Virtual world series of albums and bring Virtual to an end.
 
The focus here is on now new music , styles , labels and some very different forms of music but largely electronic.
 
 
Ishq Abstracts 1, Light and Space , Vignettes are releases planned for a new label called i7x which will appear sooner than later and shifts Ishq into contemporary minimalism as well as semi classic minimalism and even electronic minimal works +ambient but quite different from much heard to date from Ishq.
 
Meadow is a very long planned album by Ishq started in 2000 a week after Orchid was released, its a double album and of material that harks from that period and again we sat on it until we can fund the time needed to spend 6 months just on that one release as its very much in the old Ishq style .Thats the next main full Ishq album but probably a few years off , maybe less.
 
There is a lot planned but we kind of had to shift focus a bit here and also start work outside music as streaming and downloads just killed our ability to sell enough works to fund longer periods of writing and the more intense and deeper albums like the 3 main Ishq releases which took months and years to make so things shifted , thats also why we hibernated Virtual in part as those albums can take months to make and its impossible to sell enough music to pay for our living costs and recording time now as so few people want to buy music .
 
We are streaming 80,000 tracks a month on Spotify now and earning £70 from that but we are selling 90% less than we were in cd form and download since 2014 at the same time ! so we saw massive increase in listeners and a massive death of our income and ability to fund making music , time is money in a sense and its become unsustainable for many artists now sadly.
 
 
So we basically retired from all digital music upload except bandcamp private accounts in the future and direct downloads and were looking at an Ishq app for streamers eventually that we run so it will lead to positive things and some nice physical musical artworks and vinyl also but when we can fund it. 
 
 
Hope  that helps , sorry if thats a bit deep at the end but thats where we are basically  , expect lots of music best wishes
 
jacqueline

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#3
YuriNondual

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There are other reasons, reasons that are not as artistic and much sadder, having to do with how long it takes to produce different kinds of albums.  Below is an email exchange I had with Jacqueline Kersley, Matt Hillier's significant other and most enduring musical partner.  I don't feel bad sharing it because it was prompted by the Upcoming Releases page of this site, and has to do with public issues of artist economic survival in a world where most online people download artist releases for free rather than pay for them.

 

Hi, Jacqueline; Joe Dees here again.  I hope I'm not bothering you too much with this letter.  I just have a quertion or two to ask you, if you don't mind.
 

I frequent this site to see what's in the pipeline:

 
 
There are several releases listed ase upcoming for you and Matt.  Besides Indigo Egg - Aten, which I have coming (with a digital dl, you said...;~), they are: 
cleardot.gif
 
Ishvara - Magik Square Of The Moon (I've been hearing rumors of this one for quite some time now)
 
and 4 by Ishq:  Abstracts 1, Light and Space, Meadows, and Vignettes.
 
Further down it mentions 3 unnamed albums by Omni Vu Deity.
 
My question is: which of these are, or could be, actually coming down the pike from you two, and which ones do you not see happening?  And do you have any firm or tentative timeline for any of them?
 
Just (very) Curious
Joe Dees
 
 
Hi Joe
 
           many thanks for the email and interest .To be honest its quite difficult whats planned next or will be released
as we are both stepping away from some aspects of music releasing and into some new avenues and label ideas but
those are not fully formulated yet.
 
Magik square of the moon is still a planned release but we decided to hibernate Virtual for some years possibly and when we have a better situation here to work longer on releases .
 
Omni vue deity releases are part of the remaing Virtual releases but as mentioned those have been stored for release maybe in a few years when we will complete the Virtual world series of albums and bring Virtual to an end.
 
The focus here is on now new music , styles , labels and some very different forms of music but largely electronic.
 
 
Ishq Abstracts 1, Light and Space , Vignettes are releases planned for a new label called i7x which will appear sooner than later and shifts Ishq into contemporary minimalism as well as semi classic minimalism and even electronic minimal works +ambient but quite different from much heard to date from Ishq.
 
Meadow is a very long planned album by Ishq started in 2000 a week after Orchid was released, its a double album and of material that harks from that period and again we sat on it until we can fund the time needed to spend 6 months just on that one release as its very much in the old Ishq style .Thats the next main full Ishq album but probably a few years off , maybe less.
 
There is a lot planned but we kind of had to shift focus a bit here and also start work outside music as streaming and downloads just killed our ability to sell enough works to fund longer periods of writing and the more intense and deeper albums like the 3 main Ishq releases which took months and years to make so things shifted , thats also why we hibernated Virtual in part as those albums can take months to make and its impossible to sell enough music to pay for our living costs and recording time now as so few people want to buy music .
 
We are streaming 80,000 tracks a month on Spotify now and earning £70 from that but we are selling 90% less than we were in cd form and download since 2014 at the same time ! so we saw massive increase in listeners and a massive death of our income and ability to fund making music , time is money in a sense and its become unsustainable for many artists now sadly.
 
 
So we basically retired from all digital music upload except bandcamp private accounts in the future and direct downloads and were looking at an Ishq app for streamers eventually that we run so it will lead to positive things and some nice physical musical artworks and vinyl also but when we can fund it. 
 
 
Hope  that helps , sorry if thats a bit deep at the end but thats where we are basically  , expect lots of music best wishes
 
jacqueline

 


Well no doubt main ishq releases are amazing, but I learned to appreciate all the albums in between and this was my main message here. I realised that they need to be approached more like a paintings than musical albums



#4
timeisart

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Thanks for this Yuri, I needed some motivation to check out Matt's latest releases since I miss the beautiful melodic style of the main releases. although this method of treating them like paintings requires patience that I don't always have, I'll still give it a go sometime, starting with Strange Nebula since you posted that here. Seems like these releases would work especially well in combination with art installations or a movie of some kind, but they seem to be more challenging/less accessible in a pure musical aspect.

and thanks for posting that email here Salamantis, I manage the Upcoming Releases page so I was also wondering what the status of those releases was, especially Meadow because that one seems like it will be in the style that I love.
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#5
YuriNondual

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"Visual art is a big part of what I do...I see ambient music as a landscape painting and everything I do has a visual world. I write visual music which paints an image of what Terence Mckenna called 'the invisible landscape', the inner worlds and planes. So I guess I always wanted to be a landscape painter, painting in the invisible world."






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