Richard Norris  / Music For Healing: Chrome / Group Mind – By Adam Turner

Adam Turner has been running his blog, The Bagging Area, for over ten years now. It`s a cliche I know, but it really has become much more than the sum of its parts. Anyone who has been paying attention will have watched it grow, as Adam`s increasingly impressive prose balances insight and knowledge, with the personal – in the way that, in my opinion, the best writing about music does. 

I asked Adam if he fancied contributing to Ban Ban Ton Ton. He kindly agreed, testing the waters with a few reviews. 

I should also state, that Adam is one of the co-founders of mighty The Flightpath Estate. 

Words by the erudite Adam Turner. 

Richard NorrisMusic For Healing series started back in 2020, as a way to relieve himself of the stressful situation he found himself in at that point – as London street life impacted on his home. Shutting himself in his studio Richard began playing and recording long, ambient pieces, partly as an act of removal from real life, and partly as a way to de-stress. He was inspired by Pauline Oliveros and her Deep Listening music, sounds to salve and to heal. Music as a way to deal with the outside world, and to be used as a form of meditation. This is where Music For Healing was born. – a single twenty minute piece released – usually – on the first day of every month. Events rapidly took over in 2020, as the year suddenly shifted dramatically with COVID and lockdowns, and these long pieces found a welcoming audience as all of us tried to deal with the stresses of that. 2020’s twelve releases were numbered. In 2021 they were named after the months of the year. For 2022 each release will be a colour. January brought Ultramarine, a colour that`s easily seen as an ambient music shade. February’s composition is titled, Chrome, and as if one twenty-minute piece isn’t enough, Richard’s adding a Part 2 every month this year – the second version being a more minimal and stripped back, with some of the elements removed.

Chrome is a beauty. Starting out with wildlife noises, birdsong and calls, and a two-note synth sound, Richard builds slowly, nothing much seeming to happen, but everything changing and growing subtly and gradually. The elements involved – the synth chords (increasingly FXed with reverb), a wobbly organ part, a ringing sound (a bell or a bowl possibly), some stuff that echoes at the edges of our hearing, fizzing, and phased in and out – all ebb and flow, and rise and fall in the mix. A finger picked melody comes in. A rippling keyboard part takes over. The birds chirrup away. The background drone acts as a bedrock but slowly shifts to the centre and then slips away again. Another melody takes over and the wheezy organ pans across the mix. The spacey synth chords continuing their work. As it reaches the fifteen-minute mark it’s become more intense, more absorbing, and very immersive. It’s ideal for slow, late afternoons with not much to do or walking with headphones on/ in. It’s music to go with your life while improving it. Aural balm.

Richard Norris - Chrome

Richard Norris` Chrome, and all of his Music For Healing pieces, can be purchased directly from his Group Mind Bandcamp page. A subscription to Richard`s Inner Mind members club is highly recommended for those with a steady income. 

More fine words from Adam Turner can be found over at The Bagging Area. 

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