Tim Hecker Helped Popularize Ambient Music. Hes (Sort Of) Sorry.


Tim Hecker Helped Popularize Ambient Music. Hes (Sort Of) Sorry.

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Tim Hecker Helped Popularize Ambient Music. Hes (Sort Of) Sorry.
Tim Hecker Helped Popularize Ambient Music. Hes (Sort Of) Sorry.

There's also an underlying sadness: When Hacker was 12, his mother died. He suppressed excesses until he became a father, recently underwent intensive therapy, turned 40. But he admits the loss "is related to the melancholy of youth."

This multivalency follows Hacker. He will spend his college summer in the wilderness of British Columbia, planting up to 4,000 trees a day in pristine forests. (Each plant attached to the waist belt takes five seconds to sink into the ground.) A grizzly bear walks past a farmer's camp at night. Danger, beauty and intrigue mingle, a fertile landscape for the hacker's imagination.

Later, frustrated by demands that the band remember what they had played the previous day, Hacker began experimenting with drum machines and samples. He doesn't need anyone anymore. "The first impulse was this pure joy," says Hecker, reminiscent of huge computer towers, huge monitors and pirated copies. “Digital audio is a stream of information that can be shaped like molten metal. The computer has this utopian promise."

Hacker first dabbled in techno under the alias Jetone, then switched to ambient music, now a streaming product, as he was less confident about innovation or fitting into a scene. His voice and emotions quickly deepen, showing a constant and often loud tug-of-war between fear and enlightenment. It reflects "the rainbow of human possibilities: great joy, great sorrow".

To achieve this balance, Hacker has long relied on repetitive and intensive work processes. When he finds a motif he likes, perhaps a catchy beat or a catchy melody, he constantly improvises and leaves the 200 or so pieces on a lamp stand as cardboard strips. He cut out the parts that didn't fit, edited the soundset until all levels played together.

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"These different moments have different feelings and everyone has their own ecosystem," he said. “I used 24 bloody, dirty, cluttered lines, put the adjacent pieces back on everything. I just don't want any emotions. The best thing for me is what I want to play around with ."

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