So, I hadn't seen old Chris in nearly 20 years.
Long-story-short; We had been in a band together in the early 1990's called CREEPY STICK in Seattle. I moved off to Austin by 1994, eventually ending up in MINISTRY (and a slew of other bands). He moved around for a while, ended up playing for BECK...but then moved back to Seattle to form a band called PRESIDENTS OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Then they got really huge. I lost track of him...
Fast forward to 2015; I've moved back to Seattle and started a bluegrassy experimental ecclectic band called TEST APES with Danny Barnes from the BAD LIVERS (testapes.bandcamp.com
) and Chris makes music for kids with his CASPAR BABYPANTS thing. (www.babypantsmusic.com
) Who would have thought we'd be doing what we're doing now... but we're doing it. HA!
He and I had been emailing back and forth about getting together for a drink or something just to catch up. Then one day I saw a post about some of Chris's ambient music. I had no idea he was even doing ambient music... which peaked my curiosity since I have also been making lots of ambient music in a project called FRIED SMILING!
So, I listened to some of it and thought it was really good. I soon realized that he had been doing it kinda regularly. I sent him a note about liking it and he responded that instead of getting together for drinks, how about getting together to record something ambient? Sounded great to me! Presented here is the result.
He numbers titles by year, month, day and sequential creations of that day. While FRIED SMILING is ambient music intended for movies or video in roughly 3 to 8 minute pieces, (some of which go to not-so-relaxing-places) Chris's stuff is kind of useful in that they consisently just set a nice mood without being too much or distracting, like if you wanted to concentrate on something but also wanted to have SOME kind of music or sounds in the background rather than silence. All of his pieces are about 17 minutes long. While this is a collaboration between he and I (which is why its here), its also really part of his bigger work and conception. I encourage you to check it out.
The collection itself is at: chrisballew.org/music
On this I played pocket trumpet, clarinet and alto sax; he played synth and engineered.
It was a great time talking about different modes of working, different types of music and just catching up on the last 20 years.
More to come? Prolly.
Ballew / Brody
Aurora Elephant, ASCAP / Your Favorite Cheese, BMI