Simon Slator debuts on Webbed Hand with an expansive long-form ambient work based on one of his earlier compositions.
About the Artist
“Unofficially, I’ve been making music for almost twenty years. Officially, it’s only been ten – and for seven of those, I was on hiatus. I started making music back in the days of Module Trackers – small pieces of software that played pitch-shifted samples from a grid that resembled a piano roll. With these amateur and antiquated tools, I tried making music comparable to the styles of Tangerine Dream, Mike Oldfield and Jean Michel Jarre.
After getting to grips with a proper digital workstation, and having the use of virtual synthesizers for the first time, I was exposed to the works of Steve Roach and Brian Eno; and I loved how effective their simple and layered pieces were. It inspired me to start creating my own and, over the next couple of years, I created four ambient ‘soundscapes’: 6am, Antarctica, Four Patterns (recently re-released by Free Floating Music) and Skylight. All of them were distributed for free via my website and, later on, Jamendo.
Life took over and I spent several years on hiatus while I raised a family. I started making music again in the summer of 2013, and released my fifth and most recent work, “The Lake” in March 2014.
About “Piano in the Rain”
When it comes to the rain, us Brits are experts. We get buckets of the stuff, even during the summer. We don’t mind it so much as it gives us something to complain about when making idle smalltalk.
The origins of the piece began sometime around 2005. In the aftermath of a hard drive crash, only two pieces of music had survived, having been backed up beforehand. These two tracks became the basis of the now-deleted Rain EP released in the summer of 2006. One of those tracks was a New Age piece called “Piano in the Rain”.
Fast-forward almost ten years, and I’m introduced to a tool called “Paulstretch” – which can stretch a sound to several times its length without changing pitch. I’d seen a demonstration on YouTube, where a No Doubt hit was turned into something that resembled a lengthy, Sigur Rós-style piece. I was impressed and curious, so I tried running “Piano in the Rain” through the software, stretching it to 7x its original length.
What was already a calm and hypnotic piece became something completely new – much warmer and mesmerising. The original sounded like you were there in the middle of the downpout, but this new version was like being cocooned and protected from the torrent outside. I could close my eyes and listen happily.
Originally composed, produced and performed by Simon Slator, sometime in 2005
Extended version remixed and remastered by Simon Slator using PreSonus Studio One, Paulstretch and iZotope Oxygen 5 – April 2014“ — Simon Slator
01 Piano in the Rain [00:48:28]