BWDD – January 24, 2021

Tonight on Blue Water Drift Dive, we will be continuing our series focusing on live ambient and electronic music. With live sets performed by artists like Robert Rich, Cypress Rosewood / Tony Gerber, and The Ministry of Inside Things, we will certainly have a lovely time. There will also be an unreleased historical live set performed by yours truly. Hope to see you there.

The show happens tonight at 10p/9p/8p/7p ET/CT/MT/PT (2a UTC), immediately following the end of Tony Gerber’s fantastic Ambient Sundays program, and will last at least 2 hours. As with all programs, the emphasis is on community, so of course there is a live chat.

If you tune in, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

BWDD – December 27, 2020

Finally. Tonight is the very last Blue Water Drift Dive from this “interesting” year of 2020 and I could not be happier. To celebrate, we will take a look back at my favorite releases from this year.

In the first hour, we will hear lovely selections from Forrest Fang, Quantum Eraser Trio, C. Paradisi, Grum-pe, and Robert Rich, covering a very broad swath of ambient territory. And in the second hour we will hear from Eyes Cast Down and Bill Baxter. There will also be a brief live set by me to open things up.

The show happens tonight at 10p/9p/8p/7p ET/CT/MT/PT (2a UTC), immediately following the end of Tony Gerber’s fantastic Ambient Sundays program, and will last at least 2 hours. As with all programs, the emphasis is on community, so of course there is a live chat.

If you tune in, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello!

BWDD – November 22, 2020

It’s variety night on Blue Water Drift Dive! Actually, it’s not, but it might seem that way. Stylistically, we will be covering quite a bit of ground tonight, but there is some method to the moshpit. For me, tonight is about telling a story.

It’s about an upcoming holiday, a special day of the year with a complex background, simultaneously revered as a symbol of peace and gratitude while also viewed by some as the celebration of a genocide. Both are true, in my view, and that is the story I hope to tell tonight. It begins in darkness and violence and despair, navigating a path through a silent wasteland, then finding new life and new growth, ultimately bringing us to a very quiet personal place, away from all the trouble of the past. For me, this is the true meaning of the holiday: giving thanks individually. Nothing more, simple personal gratitude, in this place and in this moment.

Will tonight’s music successfully tell that story? I hope so. And I hope you’ll join us for the program. We’ll be playing music by a panoply of artists, including Thom Brennan, Numina, Robert Carty, Shane Morris, Bill Baxter, Cluster Balm, Meho, c.paradisi, Bing Satellites, North Hive, Robert Rich, and Steve Roach and Byron Metcalf. To name just a few. Hope you tune in!

There will also be an unusual live set tonight, where I focus on live generative music. To me, this is an interesting concept I’ve been playing with lately, to answer the question: what kind of live music can I make with only a mixer and a couple of knobs to play with? Will the experiment work? Find out tonight!

The show happens tonight at 10p/9p/8p/7p ET/CT/MT/PT (2a UTC), immediately following the end of Tony Gerber’s fantastic Ambient Sundays program, and will last at least 2 hours. As with all programs, the emphasis is on community, so of course there is a live chat.

If you tune in, I hope you’ll stop by and say hello …

Robert Rich – Filaments

a0377898230_10I often make it a habit at bed time to drift off to some good ambient music.  I love giving this kind of music the sort of deep listen that can only happen when there are zero sensory distractions, just as much as I love the experience of ‘falling into the music’ as I glide off to dreamland.  If you haven’t tried this yourself, I heartily encourage it.  Just take care to ensure you aren’t listening at too high a volume.

Anyway, last night I was looking for something different to drift off to and decided to listen to some Robert Rich and semi-randomly picked Filaments, his extraordinary 2015 release.

Needless to say, I did not get much sleep, because the music transfixed me.  I’m a long-time fan of Robert’s music and have heard pieces from Filaments many times, but never before have I listened end-to-end, nor have I ever before listened to this level of depth.

Folks, all I can say is that Robert Rich clearly qualifies as a genius.  There are layers of structure in this music that can only be heard when you thoroughly immerse yourself in it.  The bass lines that build slowly over minutes so you notice they repeat only when you focus on them.  The astonishing vocal quality of Robert’s steel guitar play.  And those scales!  The mature and remarkably deft analog sequences that never seem to repeat and always sound fresh and new, familiar and yet exotic.  I could go on and on.

Put simply, Filaments is a master work.  If you haven’t heard it, you need to …

Playlist – December 22, 2017

ob12 cleanIt’s always wonderful to celebrate the return of an old friend, and tonight was my opportunity to do that for my beloved Oberheim OB-12.  We had a great time listening to music inspired by the color blue, and chit chatting about hiking in Japan, the evils of internet service providers, Debussy doing Satie, revolving organ bars, and the mysterious Christmas Asparagus.  Don’t ask – you had to be in the chat room at the time to understand that reference.

The night was cold and wet but the music was warm and inviting.  Hope to see you next week!


Mystahr – Forrae – Blue Water Records (2005)
Oceans Of Blue


Vidna Obmana – Twilight of Perception – Projekt (1995)
Over Blue Mountains


Lucette Bourdin – Golden Sun – Earth Mantra (2009)
Blue and Glowing Days


Robert Rich and Ian Boddy – React – DiN (2008)
Blue Moon


Conni St. Pierre – Beneath The Waves (Legends of Lost Cities) – Self-Released (1998)
Ocean Beautiful, Ocean Blue


Spheruleus – The Disguised Familiar – Earth Mantra (2009)
Blue Moon


Sylvie Walder and Phillip Wilkerson – Transience – Earth Mantra (2008)
Blue Grass


Fellirium – Sapphire – Self Released (2008)
Blue Background


Fellirium – Nightfall – Self Released (2011)
Blue Flowers


Scott Lawlor – Neptune – Earth Mantra (2014)
The Mystical Blue World


Quosp – Blue EP – Metanoia (2007)


Numina – The Haunting Silence – Self Released (2001)
Blue Shift


Tone Ghost Ether – Condor Sail Curve – Earth Mantra (2008)
Blue Smoke Screen


Janne Hanhisuanto – Water Stories – Earth Mantra (2010)
Deep Blue


Tony Gerber – Colour My Dream – Earth Mantra (2009)
Dream Blue


Arcticology – Looking for Satellites – Earth Mantra (2008)
Blue and Green


Emerald Adrift – The Blue Flower – Earth Mantra (2009)
Resisting the Current


SineRider – Like a Ray of Light – BFW Recordings (2010)
Blue and Orange Around White Objects


IXOHOXI – Ambient Tone Poems II – Self Released (2003)
Incandescent Blue Morpho


Thom Brennan – Vibrant Water – Raingarden (2001)
Blue Depths


Richard Lainhart – The Deep Blue of Twilight – Self Released (2009)
The Deep Blue of Twilight


Playlist – November 10, 2017

rrmor5Twas so cool to be able to do a deep dive on the music of one of my very favorite musicians:  Robert Rich.

We had a great time this evening taking a trip backwards through time with Robert’s music, spanning 35 (!) years of music, as well as chit chatting and goofing off in the chat room.  Every show is fun, but tonight was something special.

This playlist represents some of the best music I’ve heard from Robert over the decades.  However, it represents only a small fraction of the greatness there is to be heard in his catalog.  He has released so many albums, with such exceptional quality, that the only way to really hear him is to spend many days on end with a large number of his albums.  Alas, we have only three hours in my program, so I selected a sample that represents some of my favorite tracks.  Please visit Robert’s web site, and if you’re so inclined, show some love and pick up an album or three.

I hope to see you next week!


Filaments – Spotted Peccary (2015)


Ylang – Soundscape (2010)
First Rain


Music From Atlas Dei – Soundscape (2007)
Glint in Her Eyes
Night Spinning Inward
Terra Meta


Electric Ladder – Soundscape (2006)
Sky Tunnel


Seven Veils – Hearts of Space (1998)


Numena + Geometry – Hearts of Space (1997)
Primes, Part 1
Primes, Part 2
Interlocking Circles


Gaudí – Hearts of Space (1991)


Sunyata – Soundscape (1982)
Dervish Dreamtime

The Music of Robert Rich

imageartist_robertrich_1One of my very favorite artists in any genre is Robert Rich.  Not only is he one of the superlative ambient composers and performers of all time; he is also one of the creators and definers of the very genre I love so much.  Only a master of a genre actually influences the genre itself, and Robert Rich is one of those masters.

On my Blue Water Drift Dive program this week, I’ll be doing a deep dive into Robert’s music, exploring the extremely diverse landscape of sounds that he has created, from light ambient to analog electronica to dark tone poems to abstract ambience and back again.  We have a lot of ground to cover …

Also, I’ll be performing a live ambient train wreck that represents Robert’s influence upon me.  I won’t measure up to Robert, but I’ll do my very best.

I hope to see you there!  The show starts Friday November 10th at 7 PM Pacific Standard Time / 10 PM Eastern Standard Time (which is 3 AM UTC on November 11th).  If you tune in, be sure to stop by the chat room and say hello … we’d all love to see you.

Listen at

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Robert Rich Live on KFJC in 2014

I’m sure every other Robert Rich fan in the universe already knows about this video, and I’m just now catching up, but I stumbled across this today: a beautiful video of a wonderful live performance Robert did on a California FM radio station a few years back.

As a fellow ambient artist who tries to play live sometimes, it was cool to watch “how he does it” and to discover that he truly does have just two arms and two legs like the rest of us, and yet somehow creates such grand sound designs while performing live, such gorgeous music made with a relatively straightforward equipment setup.  As if there was any doubt, this is conclusive proof that it truly is the artist, not the equipment.

My favorite moment?  The very start of the performance when he checks his phone while the drone commences.  Like I’ve never done that … 🙂

Anyone who is a fan of ambient music, especially those who love Robert Rich’s music as I do, should give this video a thorough watch and listen.  It’s a testament to his singular talent, as one of the grand masters of ambient music.