Whereas many ambient albums are concerned with creating mood and forging a subtle sonic backdrop to life and the world in some way or another, Meditations on Present Time sees Bayne use the ambience of life as a background to his contemplative instrumental pieces. Taking field recordings captured in a range of locations, the tracks reflect very different types of space. From the bustling human traffic of ‘The French Quarter’ to the trickling breeze of ‘Chapel Rock, Lake Superior’.

The interaction between the composed music and the natural, free-flowing sounds of the surroundings captured on location is interesting and constantly moving. The fact Bayne builds layers of piano and presents compositions that are sometimes complimentary, sometimes contrasting, and serve to highlight different aspects of the sounds from those widely varied outdoor spaces only heightens the experience, inviting the listener to consider the relationships between ‘natural’ and ‘made’, ‘background’ and ‘foreground’, ‘random’ and ‘contained’.

It’s rare for a work that’s so thought-provoking and theoretically-orientated to be so eminently listenable, and it’s this that makes Meditations on Present Time such an achievement.

—Christopher Nosnibor, Whisperin and Hollerin

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