the [ spheric lounge concept ]
• there are no dominating beats in [ live ambient music ] - subtile percussion textures are welcome - sound is everything
• no open soundcheck - [ already the first note is music ] - clear atmosphere
• don´t expect technical support while the session is going on - appear on time
• mistakes are welcome - when you´re experimenting and learning by playing, mistakes are necessarily part of the process
• everyone should feel responsible to minimize their own noise level which is added to the main mix
the spheric lounge is an open [ live ambient music ] project. in principle it applies that everyone may live it up and play what he / she wants, as long as it does not disturb the others. ambient is a strongly sound-oriented music - melody, rhythm and harmony appear secondarily as sound events without being durably dominant - sound remains the main object. soloists often take their time to get used to it. to play[ live ambient ] means above all that while improvising a majority of your attention is with listening (instead of controllling your fingers f.e.). often it is crucial, which frequency ranges (e.g. bass) are still vacant, if it concerns creating suitable sounds. as it is the case with cooking, the dosage of spice added decides whether it fits the taste of the meal or not. a shrill, sharp impulse in the reverberation chamber can be marvelous as a rare, rhythmic accent - while used too frequently or continuously it can have a destructive effect. it is a lot easier to destroy a current song with expressive sounds than constructively adding to it. it is quite difficult to go into the guiding role and establishing some leading theme that defines the character of the piece. who improvises electronic ambient in a team, acts rather sporadically. anyone who wants to stand in the foreground continuously, takes the room for development from the others. listening to details and selective contributes are the Alpha and Omega. in addition, it is important to create reliability. once a musical foundation is established, one should pull through as long as necessary, in order not to leave the others standing in the empty. it is also important to realise, how much attention is drawn to your contribute. it frequently happens, that someone turns his own signal so loud that the person can hear it clearly - not aware, that the contributed signal draws to much of the general attention, at the same time pushing others off the scene. the art is to hear yourself in the context of the others and permanently adapting the volume relationship. according to experience, good music develops only if all fellow players hear themselves clearly and simultaneously in the context of the others and all together begin to react sensitively and agilely to the impulses and modulations of the others to generate a collective vibration. first we were only able to stabilize this complex process (flow) in private sessions, and often tended to overloading within the more chaotic public sessions. in the meantime the team got into practice and the contrast between public and private sessions became clearly smaller.
please no sound-check:
"the first note is already music". it's unusual, but at the spheric lounge session there are no sound-checks with turned-on amplifiers. everyone can test their own signals via headphones as long as they want. but if everyone tested aloud, all participants would loose their nerves before the very beginning of the session. this specially applies while the session is going on ! that's reason enough to bring a personal mixing device (dj-mixer and headphones). to improvise in a relaxed way it is necessary to have a calm atmosphere. also soloist with acoustic instruments and microphones have to find their way into the established mix step by step. if you want to hear yourself clearly, you have to be able to pre-listen your own signal on your own headphones.
mistakes are allowed:
naturally one is to be considerate of the other, but anyone who wants to learn has to be able to make mistakes, and this is an intended, firm component of the spheric lounge. That's why tolerance is one of the most important social principles when mistakes and errors occur. anyway it's better to take back instead of confronting. a relaxed overall feeling is a lot more important on the long term than momentarily high quality.
pre-listening with dj-mixer:
since the beginning of spheric lounge it is an important goal, to learn to control the chaos emerging from free improvisation. each participant of the session should be able to control the sound, volume, harmony and bpm of their own instrument, in order not to disturb the others. that's why most of us use a small dj-mixer with headphones for pre-listening your own signal before adding it to the overall-mix. since there is no-one controlling the main mix, everyone is responsible for their own volume peak, and this is the most critical and vulnerable point of the project - the self-responsible audio gain control. a person who has few experience with electronic live-jams should begin gently fading into the main mix and rather contribute spheric than dominating sounds. a person who feels secure enough to establish an outstanding sound, should permanently overview to what extent the others are influenced or even limited by his contribute.