Matthew Leigh Embleton

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Photo by Mike Embleton

Ambient Music

Latest News:

05/01/2015 - Ambient Music For Rainy English Autumn Afternoons (Millennium Records)

06/10/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Music For Spaces 2 (Audio Fabrique)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

French Baroque Lute textures and samples by Susan King

"Another beautiful and dreamlike album from the sonic mastery of Matthew Leigh Embleton. This album hypnotizes, floats, seduces and massages the senses in a gentle harmonic journey that heals the troubled spirit and inspires the senses. Matthew has consistently composed and produced the most beautiful and inspiring music, with both with his own compositions and as producer with for example The Psychedelic Manifesto's sublimely beautiful Garden of Dreams album, his work is faultless in its execution, and Matthew is in every sense a true 'Zen master of the sonic art form'. For me one of the great qualities of Matthew’s work, is that one is always able to entirely loose oneself in his music, and be carried away and seduced by the sonic magic and beautiful soft gentle emotions that he conjures up, in his always perfect alchemy of sound. He is of course creating the most perfect soundtrack music, and it can surely not be too long before we see Matthew Leigh Embleton emerging from his comfortable self-induced 'hermitage' and becoming one of the major film soundtrack composers."

Chris Garland, (Audio Fabrique)

15/07/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Resonance FM 104.4 London, presented by Stephanie Feeney

Discussing modern Lute music and the Lute in Electronic and Ambient Music.

20/06/2014 - 'Spanish Voyage' (from 'Shades Of History') featured on 'Twilight Histories', Episode: 'Aztec Steel'.

Jordan Harbour's blog Twilight Histories features 'Spanish Voyage' in the Episode Aztec Steel.

"Aztec Steel takes place in a violent world fuelled by gold and hatred. When the Chinese discovered the Americas, they also discovered an advanced civilization–the Aztecs. A lucrative trade began, but this wasn’t to last. With the Chinese came crippling old world diseases that devastated the Aztecs. The Chinese were forced to colonize their lands, and the surviving Aztecs hated them for it.

Into the violent world have entered the Europeans. Your Spanish trading ship is quickly overrun and now you must survive, thousands of miles and an ocean away from home."

"I'd like to thank Matthew Embleton for his musical contribution to this episode. I heard Matthew's music on the podcast 'Ancient Rome Refocused', and contacted him to see if he had anything we could use, Matthew blew my mind by actually composing a piece of music specifically for this show. I've posted a link to Matthew's truly inspired music on the website at"

Jordan Harbour, Twilight Histories

18/05/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Music For Spaces (Audio Fabrique)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

Matthew plays a 7c Renaissance Lute in F made by Luke Emmet of Orlando Lutes, Bass Guitar, and electronics.

"Music For Spaces is another beautiful inspired ambient sonic masterpiece from Matthew Leigh Embleton. Limpid drops of sonic poetry undulating waves of liquid sound, float in a beautiful enraptured harmony of the senses. Free Your Mind. lay back and lose yourself in this intensely moving beautiful soundtrack for the mind & body. Soft soothing gentle waves of sound dissolve the negative energy of external life and internal conflict. Your Imagination and senses are set free, as you roam through sensual journeys of the mind. Film music for the mind, a soundtrack for the senses. Perfect, beautiful healing and uplifting."

Chris Garland, (Audio Fabrique)

18/05/2014 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Shades of History (Audio Fabrique)

Cover artwork by Mike Embleton

Matthew plays a 7c Renaissance Lute in F made by Luke Emmet of Orlando Lutes and electronics.

"Matthew Leigh Embleton's 'Shades Of History' is a beautiful infinite soundtrack through the enveloping tissues of time and space. A soundtrack for the senses. Romantic visions abound. Close your eyes and you are you are in rennaisance Spain looking out to sea from as yet another galleon sails out to the new world, pennants flying and sails softly billowing in the quickening breeze. Or you are transported to a perfect balmy beautiful Tuscany or Florence, you sip your grapa,and gaze languidly out over the rolling sun kissed hills , shimmering rooftops and vineyards. This is an intensely beautiful album, an irresistible soundtrack for the mind and journey through the senses."

Chris Garland, (Audio Fabrique)

27/05/2013 - 'Hymn To Mithras' (from 'Shades Of History') featured on 'Ancient Rome Refocused'

Rob Cain's blog Ancient Rome Refocused features 'Hymn To Mithras' in Episode 12, Season 2, Venus (the statue of the goddess) takes a journey across time.

Matthew Leigh Embleton plays a 10 string kinnor lyre, and Minnie Rogers provides haunting backing vocals for this ambient evocation of Ancient Rome.

21/01/2013 - Matthew Leigh Embleton - Resonance FM 104.4 London, presented by Stephanie Feeney

Discussing modern Lute music and the Lute in Electronic and Ambient Music.

Track 01 - Journey in D Minor (Published by The Lute Society, played by Susan King, Stuart Walsh, and David Van Ooijen)

Track 02 - Becki Bardot (aka Rebecca Croan) - Summer of Love (Snakestyle's Ibiza Sunrise Mix, Alex Tronic Records)

Track 03 - Joan Ambrosio Dalza - Tastar De Corde #3

Track 04 - Snakestyle & Sweetleaf - Out Of Bounds (Alex Tronic Records)

Track 05 - Snakestyle - Late Night Improvisation (Alex Tronic Records)

29/06/2012 - Bach - BWV999 Prelude In C Minor, Ambient Remix, David Van Ooijen, Archlute, Matthew Leigh Embleton, Ambient electronics.

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What is Ambient?

The origins of Ambient music can be traced back to the early 20th century, notably the two art movements Futurism and Dadaism that encouraged experimentation with various musical and non-musical forms, while rejecting more traditional styles of expression. This included experimental and 'anti-music' musicians such as Francesco Balilla Pratella, Kurt Schwitters, Erwin Schulhoff.

These experiments were influential for the early 20th Century composer Erik Satie who created what he called Musique D'Ameublement (Furniture Music) to create a background atmosphere for an event or activity, rather than serving as the focus of attention.

Brian Eno is generally credited with coining the term 'Ambient music' in the mid-1970s to refer to music that can be either 'actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener', and on the 'cusp between melody and texture'. He described his experiments in sound as 'treatments' rather than as traditional performances. He used the word 'Ambient' to describe music that creates an atmosphere that puts the listener into a different state of mind, from the Latin term 'ambire', 'to surround'.

"Ambient music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting".

"Ambient music is intended to induce calm and a space to think."

With the increasingly availability of synthesisers, experimentation in timbral characteristics of sound became more possible. A whole genre of Electronic music also emerged with the synthesiser playing a dominant role. This was pioneered by artists from 'The Berlin School' such as Tangerine Dream, Kraftwerk, Cluster, Klaus Schulze, Ashra, Popol Vuh and others. This music was characterised by long compositions, synthesiser sequenced ostinatos or 'loops', improvised lead melodies, changing and evolving structure and timbre of sounds.

Other significant artists such as Mike Oldfield, Jean Michel Jarre, and Vangelis have all added to or directly influenced the evolution of Ambient and electronic music in their own way, and also works by groups such as Pink Floyd and Yes who experimented with technology and incorporated it into their music.

During the 1980s several albums that are now considered Ambient classics were produced, notably Brian Eno's 'Apollo' and 'Ambient 4' and collaborations with Harold Budd 'The Plateau of Mirror' and 'The Pearl', David Sylvian's 'Gone To Earth', and his collaborations with Holger Czukay 'Plight & Premonition' and 'Flux and Mutability'.

By the early 1990s the next generation of electronic musicians used this Ambient influence in their electronic music, such as Aphex Twin, Biosphere, Boards Of Canada, Future Sound Of London, Global Communication, Higher Intelligence Agency, KLF, and The Orb. This was an alternative to much harder and faster dance music scenes at the time such as 'Rave', 'Hardcore', 'Drum & Bass'. This more Ambient electronic music was in fact incorporated into the scene as 'Chillout', often being played in a dedicated 'Chillout room' at a rave event where people could relax and calm down after dancing or experiencing intense drug induced experiences.

Today the term Ambient is perhaps not as universally recognised, used, or understood as it once was, but the influences and principles of exploration and experimentation, and contemplative and meditative states of mind still live on in music, art, and film, and continue to provide calm and space to think, a sane antidote to the stresses of modern life.

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