What would you say if I told you that one of the year’s best ambient/drone albums was made from field recordings of bats? That’s the story being Ultrasonic, the 8th album to be released under the Field Works name. Stuart Hyatt, the man behind the project, recorded the sounds made by bats in Indiana. From there, the recordings were used by a group of prodigiously talented musicians — including Kelly Moran, Noveller, Eluvium, and Christina Vantzou — to create a series of stunning ambient soundscapes. I talked with Hyatt via email about the project’s genesis and the permutations that this album underwent en route to its completion.
We listened to a lot of music this year. The new music we enjoyed the most ran the gamut from blissed-out ambient work to cathartic examples of hip-hop and hardcore. Also in there were some notable collaborations, expansive artistic statements, and next-level work from artists in their prime — a sonically disparate mixtape that never fails to energize.
Christina Vantzou‘s solo work ventures into stunning, complex ambient passages. Her latest album, No. 4, is perhaps her most musically varied work yet, summoning up an array of haunting emotions while instilling a sense of bliss through the density and melodic qualities heard throughout. In advance of her show in Brooklyn on April 7th as part of the Ambient Church series, I talked with her about the making of the album and some of the literary influences on her music.