162

Robert Carty: The Living

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
Robert Carty: The Living
Robert Carty is a real independent; he works out of Salt Lake City, Utah, far from the trendy centers of experimental music, and does all his own recording, as well as cover artwork and design. He's got more than a dozen albums to his credit, but his music has been hard to find, though it is now in the Backroads catalog and also featured on a California radio program devoted to "new age" music. Internet and the Web have given him more exposure, and it is through the samples on his Website that I first heard his music. It is worth the search: this American independent has produced some fine material in a long catalogue of electronic albums.

In The Living Carty adds nature sounds as a background. I must confess that I am really fond of nature sounds as a background to ambient music, and the jaded will say it's a cliché - but Carty does it tastefully. The Living is a tribute to nature and the natural environment, with five fairly long sections of smooth-flowing ambient tones, just short of melody. He stays with a basic one-to-five-to diminished seventh harmony throughout the entire album, with some modal excursions. This simple harmonic structure derives not from classical music but more from the softer, more contemplative rock experiments of the 60s and 70s. This gives a structural unity to the album though it moves slowly due to being mostly in the same key throughout. Pieces are differentiated from each other more by use of different sound textures than by harmony, key, or rhythm. There isn't much rhythm or percussion to speak of in the album, anyway; this is along the lines of "cool" trance music rather than the "techno" genre.

Yet there is a progression in the pieces, which builds up towards the end as he adds more melodic lines, more accompaniments playing together, and more volume. The last piece, "The Living Universe," is quite intense. In general his choice of electronic sounds in this album are mellifluous and enjoyable, except for one sound which appears in the first and last track, a loud creaking sound which I assume is supposed to be perhaps trees talking or woods swaying. I disliked it; it sounds like a door hinge that needs oiling. The rest of the album, once you have gotten through the creaking door, is a pleasant and even enchanting journey through musical forests.

Personnel

Robert Carty.

Album information

Title: The Living | Year Released: 2000 | Record Label: Deep Sky Music

Post a comment about this album

Tags

Shop Amazon

More

In Space
The Luvmenauts
Afrika Love
Alchemy Sound Project
Sunday At De Ruimte
Marta Warelis / Frank Rosaly / Aaron Lumley /...
Westward Bound!
Harold Land
Tread Lightly
Trøen Arnesen Quartet
MMBC Terma
Michael Bisio / MMBC

Popular

All About Jazz needs your support

Donate
All About Jazz & Jazz Near You were built to promote jazz music: both recorded albums and live events. We rely primarily on venues, festivals and musicians to promote their events through our platform. With club closures, limited reopenings and an uncertain future, we've pivoted our platform to collect, promote and broadcast livestream concerts to support our jazz musician friends. This is a significant but neccesary step that will help musicians and venues now, and in the future. You can help offset the cost of this essential undertaking by making a donation today. In return, we'll deliver an ad-free experience (which includes hiding the sticky footer ad). Thank you!

Get more of a good thing

Our weekly newsletter highlights our top stories and includes your local jazz events calendar.