Independent Clauses | n. —unusual words about underappreciated music

Listen: Sonic Soundscapes’ “Flat Figure Eight”

December 16, 2015

Some people can’t listen to music while they work, especially if it has words. It’s hard for me to work if I’m not listening to music, but I do still prefer slow-moving instrumental pieces while getting my job done.

Sonic Soundscapes’ “Flat Figure Eight” is just the sort of thing that fits me (and that I’ve been into lately): it’s ostensibly a drone created with an electric guitar E-bow, but it’s quite dynamic over its near-six-minute length. The tune is full, folding what could be harsh sounds–like the underlying metallic tone that provides tension–into a warm, round, comforting sound. The tune develops melodically by sending the heavily-manipulated pedal steel guitar line briefly into a minor key before joyously returning to the major, then wandering back and forth between them. The glacial movement of the melodic line against the thrumming backdrop creates a unique mood that makes me want more from Sonic Soundscapes. If you’re into instrumental, ambient music, Sonic Soundscapes should catch your ear.

Stephen Carradini and Lisa Whealy write reviews of instrumental, folk, and singer/songwriter music. We write about those trying to make the next step in their careers and established artists.

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