Sample of Montone Symphonies:
Monotone Symphonies is a new release by artist and composer Mark Rownd, from a body of minimalist works recently rediscovered from a recording project two decades ago in Los Angeles,
Monotone Symphonies, which on the surface may appear a curious title for a single work, is in fact a presentation of multiple compositions, however, not sequentially arranged through time as separate tracks or pieces, but rather overlaid atop one another forming a new single whole.
The nearly hour long piece is entitled as an homage to Yves Klein's avant-garde composition Monotone Symphony, which premiered in Paris in 1960. Klein's abstract paintings of that period had become completely monochromatic, with the intent of inhabiting the entire space of a room with the ambience of a single color on canvas. Monotone Symphony extended Klein's experimentation with color, light, and space into the sonic realm.
Ambient music as a genre is largely credited to have begun in the 1970s, however, Klein's early work, a single note performed by orchestral instruments for a period of 20 minutes, was originally written by Klein in 1949. Rownd's Monotone Symphonies was recorded in the 1990's and the combination of multiple minimalist pieces intertwine organically, unfolding over time and space.
In more recent times, ambient music has received new life as a genre with its practical application as music for healing and meditation, and is being marketed as a benefit for periods of relaxation or enhanced concentration and focus. Descriptive words such as theta, or binaural are now often associated with ambient music created for specific purposes. However, the beginnings of ambient as a genre had its roots deep within origins of art and the avante-garde.