Since I started facilitating group mindfulness meditation sessions, I found, even more than when I started the Ambient Soundbath Podcast, the need for specially composed works designed for meditation and sleep. I’ve created the meditation and sleep series for just that purpose: Long form work, ever-evolving, consonant works that create relaxed states of mind.
I’ve been ‘woodshedding’ for the last 18 months or so, trying to find that sweet spot between ambient and songwriting that I began in 2004 with Olagra, and I’ve been exploring ever since, never quite able to capture the sound I imagined and heard in my head. Well, I’ve finally got something, a process, a sound that stands up to repeated listens. It’s ambient, it drones, it’s sonically interesting, but these are songs that I’ve crafted, words and singing that integrates my being into the music… it can be listened to or ignored, to hearken back to what Eno said regarding what an ambient music should be.
For a while I was calling it Drone Folk, maybe it is or it isn’t… Either way, I’ve finally hit the mark, captured the lightning in the bottle and merged two sides of my creative self, successfully.
The new recording is called Consciousness of Light. It’s only on Bandcamp right now. I’ll be submitting it to my distributor soon (Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, etc.), but I wanted to give you, in my email community, first crack at this. Consciousness of Light is an EP. I believe that I’ll have a follow-up, full-length done early in 2020, as I have dozens of songs that I’m looking to work into this new process.
I’m super excited about this new recording and I plan to be performing it live as my entire new process is also something that I can recreate for the live audience; that’s really the second exciting dimension of this new direction. To that end, I’ll also be putting up live videos from time to time on my YouTube page – https://www.youtube.com/user/mattborghi
A reminder that everything changes
and keeps on changing and you don’t have
to stay with it,
but you might as well go with it,
ride the wave,
go with the flow,
let it happen.
Make peace the fact that
you’ll be making peace
with change or
resisting it, i.e. fighting it
for a long time to come.
Well, until you don’t,
because you cease to be.
You cannot a fight against change.
This is a meditation.
Everything is a meditation.
How can I grow from this.
How can things be made better from this experience?
I’ve created a playlist on Spotify called The Sound of Ambient Guitar. I’ve come across so many great artists and tracks that I haven’t heard before and I’ll be constantly updating this. Please let me know about any tracks that you think I should include.
I just wanted to take a minute and feature some of my lesser-known songwriting work. There’s the serious songs, which I put in air quotes, that’s the first playlist and then there’s the stuff that I do as Matt Bird, which is silly, jokey, bathroom humorey; fun to do…
The Detroit76’s Premiere is a new recording that I’ve been kind of keeping under wraps for a few months. I worked on it from 2015 – 2018 here and there, changing things, adding things, reworking things… I play guitar, bass, drums, sing, monolog and even do some fake accents as I did narrative readings.
This record touches on the soul, funk, jazz and lounge directions that are the cornerstone of my musical influences, artists like: Curtis Mayfield, Air, Burt Bacharach, Zero7, Isaac Hayes, downtempo, lounge, James Brown, and many others; musically, for me, it’s somewhere between Images and After Otherwise, but at the same time very different than those because I worked on this, literally, measure by measure at some points; definitely different than my creative process for ambient guitar, of which there is still much of throughout this recording. After a lot of deliberation, I finally decided to release all of the tracks instead of parcelling them out and trying to create a couple thematic recordings; I just became too connected to them as a whole. The music is available on Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon and many other online services.
Matt Borghi’s Ambient Guitar for Christmas is a brave achievement that blends classic Christmas melodies, masterfully performed in Borghi’s signature style of ambient guitar, with deep drones and dense sonic textures.
“I’ve always wanted to do an “ambient” Christmas record. When I imagined the recording, it needed to be an ambient recording first, with drones and textures mixed with Christmas melodies.” Matt says.
Ambient Guitar for Christmas consists mostly of shorter, traditional songs such as Jingle Bells, The First Noel and the Ukrainian folk song Shchedryk, made famous as ‘Carol of the Bells‘, but Borghi just couldn’t shake his love for long-form ambient guitar work and included a rendition of Silent Night that floats from note to note capturing the essence of a truly silent night.
Matt says: “With Ambient Guitar for Christmas, I wanted to capture the melancholic nostalgia of Christmas music and blend it with those same qualities that are often prominent in my own music.”
Matt Borghi’s Ambient Guitar for Christmas is streaming on Bandcamp. Streaming on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon is in progress and will be available by Christmas; This page will be updated as the recording is added.
What people are saying about Ambient Guitar for Christmas:
“This music is the perfect soundtrack to sugarplum dreams as you drift off to sleep Christmas Eve. Matt Borghi strikes the right balance between amorphous shifting chords and the familiar melodies of Christmas past.”
– Brad Ross-Macleod
“His 12-minute take on “Silent Night,” might be the most meditative and chilled out version of the holiday classic you’ll ever hear.”
Last time I wrote, the leaves hadn’t changed color much, but that’s all changed in the last week; oranges, reds and yellows are exploding everywhere. It’s a beautiful and majestic time that’s giving me that ‘warm blanket, in front of a crackling fire, cozy feeling’, which gets me looking forward to the warmth of the holidays.
Ambient Guitar for Christmas
I spent most of September preparing for my Leelanau Uncaged performance and when not doing that I was wholly consumed with finishing my Ambient Guitar for Christmas release. I’ve always wanted to do an “ambient” Christmas record, but didn’t want it to be to schmaltzy, or maybe just the right amount of schmaltz. After some experimentation, the direction seemed to of spacey guitar melodies of classic Christmas songs floating above dense sound textures. It works and I’m proud of the finished product. You can get it from Bandcamp here, and it will be showing up on Spotify, iTunes, Amazon, etc, in the weeks to come. I will also be putting together a hard copy CD release; if you’d like one let me know or watch my website for updates.
Thursday, November 29th – 12pm – 89.3 WHFR – On-Air Live Performance, Dearborn, MI
Many thanks to the army of volunteers who helped put on the Leelanau Uncaged performance — It was great! Those folks are professional, well-organized and great hosts. The backdrop for this event couldn’t be more perfect: Autumn on the shore of Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay — Amazing! If you can, get to Northport, it’s a really special place.
I would love the opportunity to bring an ambient guitar performance to your neck of the woods. If you’re interested in setting up a show or can recommend a venue near you, please get in touch.
Matt Borghi will be appearing in Northport, MI at Leelanau Uncaged on the Willowbrook Mill Stage at 9pm. For this event Matt has created an immersive quadrophonic audio and video experience in HD, titled The Hand of God, that will transform the historic mill into an environment bathed in light and sound.
I’ve been experimenting with video for some upcoming live performances, as well as dabbling in the idea of slow tv (ala some of the work that NRK in Norway has done) for use with Smart TVs and other similar devices. I’ll be sharing and working on more of these, but thought I would share this one, as it’s also comprises an unreleased track that I did with drummer/percussionist, Will Jurkiewicz.