My first-ever serious attempt at HD time-lapse photography (shot this week) has turned into my newest music video, a teaser featuring an excerpt from my recent live ambient piano performance on Stillstream, "Into The Maelström, Vol. IV -The Return of The Professor". Watch in fullscreen HD (720 or 1080) for best effect…enjoy! :D


The full release will be available on my Bandcamp page this summer, at: http://ambientguitarist.bandcamp.com


Now available: “Into The Maelström, Vol. 3: The Surge”…

Now available on Bandcamp: “Into The Maelström, Vol. 3: The Surge. LIVE: January 13, 2013”, a 50+ minute live-in-the-studio dark ambient improv soundscape performed on solo 8-string guitar on Stillstream. Enjoy! :)


ITM3: The Surge - cover artwork

Ambient? Atmospheric? Or just “pretty instrumental music”…?

A question of definition: without getting into the typical pointless “what is and isn’t ambient music” pissing match (AKA "The Petulent ‘But Eno Says It’s Gotta Be Ignorable!!’ Whine") - where can one draw a line between ambient/atmospheric music, and “pretty or not-so-pretty instrumental music”…? Where does one end and the other begin?

To me at least, it seems like a lot of people are starting to easily blur the lines between “ambient/atmospheric music” and what would normally be simply called “instrumental music” under any other circumstance. Not saying that I personally think it’s right or wrong - just observing what appears to be shifting perceptions and parameters.

As an example of the former: Michelle Cross & Joe Frawley’s outstanding  ”Dolls Come To Life” album - while lacking so-called “standard” ambient staples like drones, and featuring melodic actually-sung vocals along with defined structures, tempo and cadence (albeit often rubato), it is indeed richly textured/soundscaped, darkly moody and undeniably very very atmospheric. In my book I’d call that ambient/atmospheric music, and featured it on my show on Stillstream. The sustaining high number of listeners during the entire album play seemed to indicate that they agreed with my opinion.

As an example of the latter: I’ve often heard either beautifully played acoustic guitar, piano or perhaps Chapman Stick instrumental solos with the ol’ hint o’ reverb…or, spikey, dry, heavily sequenced electronica…or, even full-blown metal instrumental tracks with a few whispy synth pads tossed in there…placed squarely into the “ambient music” category.

I’ve heard examples of when that definition might certainly be correct, and others when I’d say IMHO it might not be. Good-sounding and well executed? Sure. Moody? Perhaps. Atmospheric? Sometimes, but not always. Ambient? That appears to be up for grabs now.

The counter-argument I’ll often hear is: “Well, the music still depicts a mood…ergo, it’s atmospheric, and if it’s atmospheric, that means it’s  ambient!”

My counter-counter-argument would then be: well, since ALL music typically depicts some kind of mood - regardless of whether it’s one you enjoy hearing or not (yes, even predictable cash-grab pop music you might totally hate and groan about can still depict a mood) - then therefore shouldn’t ALL music by this logic be considered “ambient”…?

My favorite counter-counter-counter-argument to date has been along the lines of: "yeah, but - it’s got a lot of reverb so it’s REALLY ambient!" 

D’oh! ;)

Again, I’m not going to call one right and one wrong - one person’s ambient soundscape is another person’s "Awww, that’s justa buncha SOUNDS, mannnnn!"….just like any other style of music. Or visual art. Or literature. 

I just find it somewhat interesting how increasingly all-inclusive ambient music seems to be becoming in the eyes/ears of some people.

As always, Your Mileage May Vary.™ :)



My live solo long-form ambient improv set on 8-string guitar from last week’s show on Stillstream, January 13th, 2013.

This is just processed/looped 8-string guitar played live in real-time with no synths, MIDI pickups etc used.

As with all such live improvised performances, it is fraught with hazard and contains the occasional kind of “warts and all” artifacts that is sometimes the nature of the beast. :)


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Stillstream’s Featured Artist for January!

Whoa! Yours truly is Stillstream’s Featured Artist for January! :D



Har live on Nightscaping…on Hearts of Space!

Yowza!!! Just got the word: Hearts of Space on NPR will be including my live release “INTO THE MAELSTROM VOL.1: THE TOWER BY NIGHT” (performed live on Nightscaping) on their newest program PGM 993 : “CATHARSIS” - ”an ambient noir journey for Halloween”…!



Live ambient guitar sets from July on Stillstream.com tonight (9/2)…

Tonight on Nightscaping on Stillstream.com, you can hear 2 of my live solo ambient 8-string guitar sets performed on July 28th in West Chester, PA. The show starts at 5:30PM Eastern at http://www.stillstream.com/


NEW RELEASE: “Shadow District” by Har & Altus!

"Shadow District" by Har & Altus - ALBUM COVERSo Now It Can Be Told: for a while now you might’ve heard me making oblique references to a "Secret Project X" - I’m thrilled, proud and incredibly excited to announce the release of “Shadow District" on the Earth Mantra netlabel, a collaborative album by the outstanding Canadian ambient artist Altus and myself that has been over a year in the making. 

Those of you familiar with the ambient music world are I’m sure already very well-versed in Altus’ incredible works and styl

e, and I’m truly honored to have worked together with him to create this dark, brooding world we call the “Shadow District”. My deepest thanks as well to Darrell Burgan of Earth Mantra for distributing this release!

"Shadow District" is a Creative Commons release, and available for free download at the following link. We hope you enjoy!
"…an album that we think is destined to be a classic of the genre, surely one of the top ambient releases of 2012. And nothing less than music for the ages."
— Darrell Burgan, curator of the Earth Mantra Netlabel.

Plus, here’s a promo video as well! :)


Live ambient guitar set on Stillstream tonight…

Tonight on Nightscaping Radio on Stillstream.com (6/17) - I’ll be kicking things off with a live looping solo ambient guitar improv performance (on the plain ol’ Strat this time). Starts as always at 5:30PM Eastern.



Har LIVE: Into The Maelström (Part III), May 20, 2012

Performed live on 8-string guitar, on the weekly show Nightscaping on Stillstream.com, May 20th, 2012.

This is just processed/looped 8-string guitar played live in real-time with no synths, MIDI pickups etc used.
One or two overage/clipping, so….the kind of “warts and all” thing that sometimes comes with live performances. :)

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