The music-making process usually happens with an instrument like a bass, guitar, a piano, Synthesizer etc. That it’s also possible to make music without obvious instruments, shows Matthew Shaw who’s recent releases of two recordings of ambient music titled Totemic Topologies.
Among other things, he has sampled these unusual objects and processed them further wit modular Synthesizers or samplers. Through this process, he has transformed them into unique sounds and instruments. The Synth YouTuber DivKid released this week an interview where he discusses with Matthew about this idea to make music.
It was great to head over to Matthew Shaw’s studio and chat to him about his ‘Totemic Topologies’ series of releases. The music is spacious, distant yet absorbing and as engaging as you want it to be (like most good ambient music). It welcomes multiple listens, passive listening and engaged listening so I just had to make something with Matthew to get into his mindset, creative approach and look at the tools used to execute his ideas.
Each release is made up of samples and foley work captured from items that have blown into the garden … yes literally … airborne detritus. It was sampled through handheld recorders (digital of tape), manipulated in the Teenage Engineering OP-1 and then works through the Ciat Lonbarde Cocoquantus before an accompanying layer from the Plumbutter.
The recordings are available here: