Hammock - Sleepover Series, Volume 2 (Preview)
Ambient music can be hard to wrap your brain around. It’s intended to create a calm and sit in the background - an environment of sound more than a presentation of melody. Hammock’s Sleepover Series seems to hit the mark in achieving this goal but it never seems to retreat far enough back that you lose track of it.
Particularly interesting is the story behind the creation (see below) - which adds another layer of appreciation for the soundscape. The full album will be released September 23rd but you can listen to “Original Light” now.
I have suffered from insomnia and ongoing depression for many years and have tried a number of different experiments and treatments to find some relief. I’ve always lived with a deep-seated restlessness and as a result I think I’ve been searching for a sense of inner peace and stillness all my life. Last year my wife and I rented a house in Big Sur, CA. While sitting on top of a mountain, reading some poems and drinking my coffee I experienced something that left an indelible mark on my life. When we got back to Nashville I immediately felt the need to start work on Volume 2 of our Sleepover Series. Shortly after we began recording I started to experience a great amount of pain in my mid and lower neck. It seems my years of slumping over a guitar had finally caught up to me. I ended up having neck surgery in January of 2014. The time leading up to surgery and the recovery afterwards were painful and confusing. I still felt a deep need for rest and a longing to continue work on Volume 2 but the doctor would not allow it. As I began to heal, Andrew and I slowly started working again and the aesthetic of Volume 2 began to emerge. We did our best to just “follow the sound” and stay out of the way, attempting to leave space and texture as opposed to specific and linear melodic phrases. About four months after the surgery I decided to go to Big Sur for a private silent retreat. The first night of the retreat was awful and I felt like there was a hornet’s nest inside my head along with a full-blown circus freak show. But over the course of the retreat my mind slowed down and my body became more relaxed. When I got back we began finishing up our work on Volume 2. The long form piece on disc 2 titled, “The Lonely Now” is a result of this last minute work. Inspired by the silence I experienced in Big Sur, I think it’s the centerpiece of Volume 2 and expresses the true intent of the music. This work would probably not exist if it not for the ongoing search for peace and stillness. So if this collection helps ease the mind or assist in lulling one to sleep then all the searching has not been in vain. -Marc