Amongst Myselves

Biography


Amongst Myselves' inroads to electronic/atmospheric music began when he first heard the works of early electronic groups like Tangerine Dream eg. "Atem" and "Alpha Centauri".

During the 90's he became more aware of neu-Ambient with the likes of Future Sound of London, Steve Roach, Robert Rich and Aphex Twin, not to mention a new interest in the Eno's (Brian and Roger). So, with the help of advances in computer-based synths he took a great interest in the ambient.

Amongst Myselves released the new-age styled album "The Sun In The Bottle" in 1999. This was followed by the more ambient like "Still Life" in 2001 with "Ultima Thule" radio choosing to use the track “Ship of Dreams” as their theme music.

A journey influenced by fifteenth century religious persecution, astrophysics, the desolation of a sleeping city at 5am and the classic Martin Denny piece “Quiet Village” were the inspirations for Amongst Myselves' third album “Sacred Black”. 2007 saw Amongst Myselves living in England, the result was “Auburn Silhouette”. "To me this album is about light and the sky. I like the chaos that rules these natural elements and that humanity has no rule over them. The weather inspires me in all its forms as the weather controls people's moods. I like to think that all the tracks on the album are like different weather patterns." said Roberts.

His music has appeared on the AquaFM "ambient@hyperreal" compilations and Australian Radio program, Ultima Thule's "Chasing the Dawn: Ultima Thule Ambient - Volume 01" alongside Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Tim Story and Numina. Other appearances include EuCuE Concert Series XXVII of electro-accoustic concerts and Roger Mills' project “Idea of South”, a sound installation at the Loop Gallery in Newcastle.

In the southern summer of 2010 Amongst Myselves released “Fragments”. A very ambient remix of his previous three albums, “Still Life”, “Sacred Black” and “Auburn Silhouette”. As Chuck Van Zyl puts it “The results range from sustaining lines of sound and minimal electronic modulations to rich arrangements of considerable complexity." Fragments went on to be nominated for “Best Electronic” and “Best Ambient” album for 2010 in the annual Zone Music awards.

The following album, “Ambient, Landscape and Space”, was a culmination of 4 years of work in both visual and audio areas which resulted in an hour long musical and visual feast containing remixed and new performances of new and old tracks alongside time-lapse and 3d visuals created by Roberts and artist, musician and friend Bernard Haseloff.

Steve took these visual ideas live for the CD launch of local band Monkey Puzzle Tree with a 30 minute live set of visuals and music which contained several early version tracks off the 2014 release, The Past Is Another Country.

After spending the last two albums looking backwards into the past, "The Past Is Another Country", is an apt title for his next dark and inward looking release. A new direction in composition which leaves more melodic pieces behind and explores more experimental landscapes. To be released on the 14th of October 2014 this album will be his seventh release with Roberts looking forward to many more in the future.

August 2014

Amongst Myselves' inroads to electronic/atmospheric music began when he first heard the works of early electronic groups like Tangerine Dream eg. "Atem" and "Alpha Centauri". During this period he was also exposed to Schulze, Synergy, Gandalf, Peak and the more commercial groups including Kraftwerk, New Order and Vangelis. Australian radio programs like "Dream Time" and "Scratching the Surface" were two of the few outlets where he could hear such work. This line-up of influences started Amongst Myselves twiddling knobs on his own synthesisers. So with the help of a couple of old cassette decks, a couple of synthesisers and lots of enthusiasm Amongst Myselves started composing.

Amongst Myselves starting writing and performing under the guise of Southern Garden, with his New Year's Shows being a great hit. He also released six cassettes of material, his most praised being the post-apocalyptic "The Last Day".

During the 90's he became more aware of neu-Ambient with the likes of Future Sound of London, Steve Roach, Robert Rich and Aphex Twin, not to mention a new interest in the Eno's (Brian and Roger). So, with the help of advances in computer-based synths he took a great interest in the ambient.

Amongst Myselves released "The Sun In The Bottle" in 1999. The style of this album was definitely new age in its basis with a hint of electro-acoustics, as heard on tracks "Before Now" and "The Last Woman on Lysithea". "The Sun in the Bottle" had extensive airplay in Europe and the USA.

During 1999 he started work on "Still Life", feeling at ease with the ambient/space/drone direction his work was taking. There are still reflections of new age coming through but as reviewer Hans Stoeve of PowerSpot FM mentions in his review of "Still Life", "....he has resisted the urge to compose dramatic music".

Meanwhile, at the end of 2000 AquaFM released "ambient@hyperreal.com 01" on which appeared an unreleased piece by Amongst Myselves titled "5am Melbourne 1996". This piece would also be released on "Sacred Black".

The success of "Still Life" led Australian radio program "Ultima Thule" to contract Amongst Myselves to create their new opening theme based on the "Still Life" track "Ship of Dreams". During 2002 the two cd compilation "ambient@hyperreal.com 02" was released containing the title track from "Still Life", "Ra's Playground".

After the success of "Still Life" Amongst Myselves realized that he was headed in the right direction; a direction which is constantly challenging, trying to break away from the normal. So with this in mind he set to work on what would later be titled "Sacred Black", a journey influenced by fifteenth century religious persecution, astrophysics, the desolation of a sleeping city at 5am and the classic Martin Denny piece 'Quiet Village'.

Released in 2003, "Sacred Black" is a continuation of a journey starting with "Still Life"; a story expressing diverse emotions - meditation, tension, subtlety, torment and persecution, imagination and celebration.

In 2005 Roberts started doing Sound Design on short films and found it to be a great source of inspiration for his work as Amongst Myselves. Roberts said "I caught up with some old friends from Art School who wanted me back on the team, as it were.". The role he took on was not unlike his work with Amongst Myselves. It involved recording and realizing sound environments. "It was great to be under someone else's direction for a change." said Roberts. Roberts has continued composing for film to this day with 10 films now under his belt and sees this as another outlet for his work.

Australian ambient radio program, Ultima Thule, released its first compilation of ambient artists from around the world, "Chasing the Dawn: Ultima Thule Ambient - Volume 01" in the middle of 2006. The CD contains tracks from such greats as Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Tim Story and Numina as well as Amongst Myselves. "I feel so honored to have been asked by George Cruikshank, producer of Ultima Thule, to be alongside all these great influences." said Roberts. Ultima Thule can be heard across Australia on 2MBS, 5MBS, ArtSound FM and via the Community Radio Network.

"Auburn Silhouette" was released in 2007. "To me this album is about light and the sky. I like the chaos that rules these natural elements and that humanity has no rule over them. The weather is another inspirational element within Auburn Silhouette. The weather controls people's moods. I like to think that all the tracks on the album are like different weather patterns." said Roberts.

During the making of Auburn Silhouette, Amongst Myselves spent a year in a small studio near London, England. "It was a great opportunity to be able to pull up roots and move there. I recorded "Munstead Heath" while staying near a small village in the Surrey countryside - very picturesque though I'm not sure that's what is expressed in that track" said Roberts. This also gave him direct access to the UK arts scene which resulted in commissions to create sound for two art-dance pieces for artist Laura Challiss.

Amongst Myselves has started to combine his own film work with his musical pieces. "Auburn Silhouette" was released with a DVD featuring 3 short films created to accompany tracks from the album. "I've found that the film work I have been doing helps inspire the sound. I suppose it comes back to that sound track idea I've always had in my mind for Amongst Myselves. It allows me to be more literal in the track meaning where necessary" said Roberts.

During this period Roberts has been released tracks for compilations most notably the track “He Who Bathes in the Black Sun” for the Dark Duck Download Project in the USA. Broadening his area of exposure he submitted the electro-accoustic piece “Humbert-de-Romans” to EuCuE Concert Series XXVII of electro-accoustic concerts at Concordia University, Montreal, Canada, supplied field recordings for sound artist, Roger Mills' project “Idea of South”, a sound installation at the Loop Gallery in Newcastle. Finally, a track has been included on Spanish radio station Ultimae Frontier's “Lost Frontier.org sampler no. 11”.

In the southern summer of 2010 Amongst Myselves released “Fragments”. A very ambient remix of his previous three albums, “Still Life”, “Sacred Black” and “Auburn Silhouette”. As Chuck Van Zyl puts it “The results range from sustaining lines of sound and minimal electronic modulations to rich arrangements of considerable complexity. While proudly synthetic, Fragments (as all music by Amongst Myselves) offsets any hint of its machine origins with a consonant warmth corresponding with a more reflective human mood.” Fragments went on to be nominated for “Best Electronic” and “Best Ambient” album for 2010 in the annual Zone Music awards.

Before and during the creation of “Fragments”, Amongst Myselves was also working on a 'concert in your living room' performance to be videoed for DVD. Well it's finished now. It has come in the form of a DVD and CD with the title “Ambient, Landscape and Space” which is how Amongst Myselves describes his styles of music and thus hints at the variation of the tracks. “Ambient, Landscape and Space” will be offically released in March 2012.

The visual pieces were created by Amongst Myselves' principal member, Steve Roberts and visual artist Bernard Haseloff. With his experience in time-lapse cinematography, Steve Roberts has created several of the tracks using his custom made computer controlled hardware and DSLR cameras. Timelapse footage goes hand in hand with his form of ambient music and adds to the serenity when appropriate, while Bernard's use of his unsettling oil paintings brings an added depth to Amongst Myselves' darker moments. Roberts also continues his fascination with polyhedra and rudimentary 3D graphics as seen in the clip "Tales".

The music is performed by Steve Roberts with Bernard Haseloff on guitar synth and Garry Roberts on electronic percussion. This release contains remixes of tracks from previous Amongst Myselves releases as well as 3 unreleased tracks showing other sides of Amongst Myselves' music.

After spending the last two albums looking backwards into the past, "The Past Is Another Country", is an apt title for his next dark and inward looking release. It takes a new direction in composition which leaves more melodic pieces behind and explores more experimental landscapes. "I've gone for a more drone type approach but using some natural sounds / field recordings to do the drones for me in some cases. The result is quite dark in mood but there is a good amount of lighter contrasting pieces as well", said Roberts.

To be released on the 14th of October 2014 this album will be his seventh release with Roberts looking forward to many more in the future.

August 2014





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