Robert Rutman

Music to Sleep By

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Applying untraditional instruments -- a bow, a bow chime, a steel cello, and the occasional chant -- to his avant-garde aesthetic, ambient music producer Robert Rutman composed three of these four pieces either in front of or inside of the Tresor complex in Berlin (a fact mentioned in the CD booklet). Judging by the pure, droning sounds of "Wave" and "Lucid Dreaming," these two tracks were created inside while the integrated sound of traffic and urban life leaves you to conclude that "Central Current" was recorded outside of the building. The other track on the album, a blend of droning mechanical ambience and guttural changing titled ">33 Rotations," was originally recorded in Cambridge, MA, on December 28, 1987. Yet even though a decade separates the recording of this track relative to the other three songs on the album, each of the four utilizes a similar palette of sounds, favoring the slow, quiet grindings sounds of Rutman's bow on metal. It's not what you would probably call a beautiful sound, but the sullen nature of the sounds makes them surprisingly lulling, hence the apt title to the album. In sum, not much happens on these four songs, except the consistent droning sound of soft metallic ambience.

Track Listing

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
9:49
2
9:37
3
21:15
4
12:48
blue highlight denotes track pick