Make a difference: Support jazz online

Support All About Jazz Your friends at All About Jazz are looking for readers to help back our website upgrade project. Of critical importance, this project will result in a vastly improved design across all devices and will make future All About Jazz projects much easier to implement. Click here to learn more about this project including donation rewards.

162

Robert Carty: The Living

AAJ Staff By

Sign in to view read count
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.


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

Tags

comments powered by Disqus

More Articles

Read Live at Pyatt Hall CD/LP/Track Review Live at Pyatt Hall
by Jack Bowers
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Flying Heart CD/LP/Track Review Flying Heart
by Troy Dostert
Published: January 23, 2018
Read The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow CD/LP/Track Review The 3Dom Factor: Live in Krakow
by John Sharpe
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Solano Canyon CD/LP/Track Review Solano Canyon
by Glenn Astarita
Published: January 23, 2018
Read Lucas CD/LP/Track Review Lucas
by Mike Jurkovic
Published: January 22, 2018
Read In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording CD/LP/Track Review In Paris: The Definitive ORTF Recording
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: January 22, 2018
Read "Arise" CD/LP/Track Review Arise
by Phil Barnes
Published: November 10, 2017
Read "Southern Blood" CD/LP/Track Review Southern Blood
by C. Michael Bailey
Published: September 17, 2017
Read "Signaling" CD/LP/Track Review Signaling
by Troy Dostert
Published: May 11, 2017
Read "Gnosis" CD/LP/Track Review Gnosis
by Mark Sullivan
Published: September 27, 2017
Read "Tenderly featuring Gilad Hekselman" CD/LP/Track Review Tenderly featuring Gilad Hekselman
by Jakob Baekgaard
Published: December 30, 2017
Read "Air and Light and Time and Space" CD/LP/Track Review Air and Light and Time and Space
by John Eyles
Published: June 28, 2017