I am so happy to announce that Swallow Hill and myself have teamed up for a show benefiting The Kasisi Children’s Home in Zambia, Africa.
I will be playing songs, telling stories, and joined by some of Colorado’s most intriguing performers.
I’m so honored to be joined by:
Kenny Passarelli – Producer and bassist for Joe Walsh, Elton John, Hall & Oats, Steven Stills
Eddie Turner – Leader of Eddie Turner & The Trouble Twins, guitarist for Ron Miles, Otis Taylor
Clark Hagan – Grammy Award Winning Engineer – Chet Atkins, Tommy Emmanuel, Alison Krauss
Rachel James – Leader of Rachel & The Kings, Hand selected by Don Was as the Winner of 2011 Ford Gimme The Gig National Contest
SATURDAY, APR. 6 @ 8:00 PM
71 East Yale Avenue, Denver, CO
$10 or $12 day of show
A portion of the proceeds will be going to the Kasisi Children’s Home in Lusaka, Zambia
Words and Music by Dave Preston
Release the light, the spark, the flame
The thoughts dissolve, diffuse onto the games
Glow and shine, reveal it all
My choice to separate
Combine, attach, atoms attracted
Burning infrared waves through the hour glass
Throw me in the world, the field, the home
My dawn to relate
Release the heat, the wood, the oil
Ignite the flames, release life into the soil
Keep it warm, give it heart
Give it time to be
Thaw me out, bite the cold
Throw my frost bitten blood through the that heart of gold
Award me eyes to show me how
You burn so controlled
Release the cry, the smoke, the voice
The stillness in the air surround my choice
Connect me to, talk me through
What I’m covering
Shade it in between the lines
Residue is building up where I reside
Spread it out, rid it all
Leave it all behind
Liberate the forces last desire
Pile of ash, solid remains of fire
Free the ghost and clear it out
Ease it from your mind
Release the fog, the heat, the light
Realize the eyes who’ve seen this sight
What it was and all it is
The Catalyst survives
Flame expressing love – The Catalyst survives
For the past year (okay maybe more like 2), I, along with some buddies have been working on music. Lots of it. It seems like the importance of music needed some attention and personally I had felt a great desire to take another look at the “musical page”. The intent of the listener was the first priority, as was the type of energy we desired to put out in the world.
Before I knew it, I saw myself thinking things like, “Sound existing in a void outside of space and time.” and “I wonder what the subconscious thinks about music.” All of this I should add, was without any aid – all of the ideas, thoughts, philosophies, and songs stemmed from the meaningful conversations the group of us were having…in Denver over coffee and tea.
I wrote and wrote and wrote. I thought and thought and thought. I imagined a world and in this world, music was balanced within the air. The power of intent poured into each inhale and exhale. I wrote songs based on healing, based on inspiration, based on traveling through one’s life finding new horizons openly. I wrote about becoming.
My ambient music always had these things in mind. The soundtrack as one moves through these different places of existence. The goal was to make the listener as immersed as possible, within the space of healing, inspiration, and becoming. It was at this point that I needed something new.
Giving someone a new sense…
I had now began to listen to music with new ears. I heard people working through their lives, their ups and downs, their beliefs in themselves on the multiple levels. I understood that in order to create an atmosphere for the listener to be fully immersed in healing, inspiration, and becoming, that I would have to do all those things. I would have to attempt to travel through them. “Method Recording”.
The recording of “Be” took place over the course of 3 weeks…in the daytime. In the evening and night hours, I was out playing at various clubs around Denver, mainly as a session guitarist, bassist, hand percussionist, and the occasional background vocalist. While the sessions were filled with a sense of musical experimentation, I was still searching.
That feeling of always searching musically can really drive someone or make them go insane. I think I did a lot of both. I was craving something new – a new way to live this language. Completely intrigued by the idea of finding the importance of one single note again and the way it interacts harmonically with others, I started recording “Be”, although it wasn’t named yet. The name “BE” along with every track name, came from how the pieces made me feel.
Be Creative and BeIng were recorded at the same time – the same moment. They always felt like brothers. The concept for these tracks was to take the idea of creation, the act of being creation and turning it into a spiraling, chaotic, yet controlled piece – with so much haste to reveal the creation that unraveled itself into this world. BeIng is that very unraveling – the curtain call for Be Creative. Images of a human discovering the body they reside in kept running through my mind while composing and hearing it.
Be Joy is a circular piece – a mantra. The two sections always constantly becoming one another. Composing this, I knew it was right to go to the opposite section when my craving for it could not wait any longer.
Be True formed first among the other pieces and personally, it sounds like it. It’s an infant, playful, peaceful, and full of joy. Yet, some noises may give you a hint at another thought. While the melody if easy to listen to, the rolling and sweeping sonics that appear in the background hint at a different understanding of truth all together.
Be Alive is passion. Full of peaks and valleys. A sonic land scape. By far the hardest piece to manifest for the series of pieces. I only recorded parts for this track when completely in the mindset of intense passion. Those beautiful vocals are front man from Glowing House, Steve Varney.
Be Different and Be Something are minimalistic. These two are miles apart from Be Alive on the sonic landscape, yet polar opposites on one another. Be Different sings to the earth while Be Something chants to the ocean. Ying and Yang but folding into each other.
Be Hope, the cousin of Be Alive. Brimming with life, but with a twist. This is the manifestation of Hope – where none exists.
Instruments and Recording by Dave Preston
Vocals on Be Alive – Steve Varney
Vocals on Be Hope – Michael Amidei and Hannah Gore
Artwork layout and design – Michael Amidei and Dave Preston
To purchase “BE”, click on the album cover and you will be directed to CDBaby
“BE” was released by Dave Preston in 2008
Copyright Dave Preston
Solo acoustic guitar with lyrics and melody to the last track of Soundtrack For Motion.
Please enjoy and share…
Video By Dustin Cotter
Music By Dave Preston & Mingo
My friend Dustin put the musical collaboration “Spinning Away From The Earth” off of Soundtrack For Motion to a series of videos and pictures of mankind’s discoveries and adventures into space. I have a deep fascination with Astronomy and hearing the textures of synth that Mingo created with these visuals is really a pleasure to watch. Please enjoy and share…
The Rocky Mountians from Joel Stangle on Vimeo. Colorado and Montana. Beautiful places.
Music by Dave Preston.
Video by Joel Stangle
Currently on tour with Matt Morris’ Trio (Matt on Bass and Vocals, Jon Powers on Drums and yours truly on Guitar), supporting Milow’s Canadian tour. After countless hours of driving, loading gear, side-splitting humor, and enriching conversations we all get to play to crowds in the Quebec Province and let me tell you…each crowd has been such a pleasure to play for. Simply amazing!
After playing to the amazing Trois Rivieres crowd, a show where both Matt & Jon played expectionally well, Jon and myself after walking back to the green room, logged on to the “World Wide Inter-Web” via my laptop to check email and look up hilarious YouTube videos. As I logged onto the Zone Music Reporter.com to check the Top 100 Chart for Aug, I tried to be patient as I strolled down the page in great anticipation to view this month’s chart.
I’m proud to say ladies and gentlemen, “Soundtrack For Motion” debuts at #64 on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100!
It’s a great day to make music with “musical brothers” for amazing crowds in forgien countries, especially artists like Matt Morris and Jon Powers. But to have my baby reach it’s goal and beyond is truly an accomplished feeling. I thank so many of you that helped make this happen
All My Best,
Recommended Moment Making Music:
What I absolutely love about being able to travel and play/share and sometimes teach music, is that I get the chance to meet people. What I believe to be the real side of people simply comes out, or is presented more, or even revealed when they really “get” what your saying musically. It’s like all barriers of social class cease and a common, unspoken language brings two people, who would have never met or thought the other existed, come together and can appreciate that moment as it happened and as it was heard.
Often times, as the musician, I feel wonderful to speak with fans after the show. But I never fully feel like I can take credit for the music that happens on stage and the moments it creates. Sure, musicians spend countless hours (and dollars) perfecting their sound for the chance to perform it in front of a crowd, but it feels that in that time of constant practice, frustration, and experimentation, that the language of music keeps becoming easier to express. Their have been many shows where I simply can’t remember what was played. I can not remember the highlights or the moments that struggled or lagged. I was completely involved and in the moment. A music translator of it as it was happening. Therefore, I feel as if I can not completely take credit for what was a “magical performance”. Especially when the audience, in all their care and wonderment, was the key force in making the moment exist, decided to take the time to be present for the chance to be swept away.
However, this is just a quick blog entry on the classic “performer and audience escape in music” moments. Through traveling, I have also been very honored and humbled by the power of music and had witnessed it save people. Not save as if a cliff hanging was present, but save as in a moment. And in that moment that particular person really needed to simply sing along to a tune.
I have mentioned the word “Moment” a lot in this post. I always think about it and meditate when I start giving myself to an ambient album or any album for that matter. To me the idea of musicality and moment making go hand in hand.
So happy/excited to join the Magnatune family of artists. Such a great concept and business model that actually benefits artists as well as listeners. Plus they are the nicest people!!
At the end of the photo shoot. The acoustics in the studio were unreal – we had the amp blasting and took turns playing and shooting pictures. Thanks Jordan! One of the best photo shoots I’ve ever been on.
The real beauty of a Dave Preston CD is in the way that polished, calm, ambient guitar inventions wrap effortlessly around a folk-rock sensibility that quite often shines through the shimmer. The borderline between his two styles is so narrow, singer/songwriter Matt Morris, with whom Preston has toured, took the tune “Be-Joy” from Preston’s first CD and re-crafted it into a beautiful ballad called “Just Before the Morning.”
The same is likely to happen with one or more tracks from Preston’s latest, Soundtrack for Motion. Melodic pieces like “The Blood in Your Veins” and the heartbreaking “Feeling That God Has Left You” (with ethereal violin work by Sam Gathman) seem ready-made to have lyrics just slotted into them–but they also succeed quite nicely on their own, lacking for nothing. Preston can also hang a whispery guitar drone in the air, as he does with “Flashing Emergency Lights,” a nice bit of build/sustain/fade and “I’m Sorry,” a textured wash like intense but musical static. There’s also a fairly experimental track, “Spinning Away from the Earth,” featuring fellow Denverite Mingo, whose work I also quite like. This one sometime seems like it’s the outsider in the group, falling just shy of fitting in, but after a few listens I grew to like it more.
A pair of highlight tracks drive home the fact that Preston is, first and foremost, a top-notch guitarist. (He has played with, among others, Charlie Sexton, Tab Benoit, Justin Timberlake and Paula Cole.) “A Giant Leap of Faith” is the “big” track on Soundtrack…, with Preston building the thing in increasing layers, a wordless prayer-wail vocal coursing over it. In structure it reminds me of “Be-Alive,” my favorite track from his first disc. And then there’s “Sweet Sound of Escape,” a high-energy piece where Preston flails away at his axe (or axes) while showing what sounds like a bit of influence from U2′s Edge. This one leaves me breathless.
I said in my review of his first disc, Be, that I was waiting to hear more from Dave Preston. InSoundtrack for Motion he has created a work that was very well worth the wait. It is a Hypnagogue Highly Recommended CD.
Available from CD Baby.
Dave Preston “Sountrack for Motion” —- Review By Phil Derby
10 songs, 53.01 mins
Dave Preston’s Be struck a chord with me for its originality, a unique melding of ambient and new age, and he continues to cross musical boundaries with ease on Soundtrack for Motion. The mood is often on the melancholy side, with a shoegaze vibe on selections like “Flashing Emergency Lights” and “The Blood in Your Veins”, the latter including vocals toward the end that weave seamlessly into the music. Vocals are more predominant on “A Giant Leap of Faith”, a mournful sort of wail that continues from its atmospheric beginning through to a livelier rhythmic yet still moody latter half. Some tracks have a bit more edge to them, but all retain a dreamy quality, particularly on the ethereal floaters “I Am Sorry” and “Spinning Away From The Earth.” “Your Reflection In The Water” is more like relaxed instrumental rock, with a cool leisurely bass line. Preston’s guitar playing is restrained yet assured throughout, and really shines on “Sweet Sound of Escape,” vaguely reminiscent of a laid back Manuel Göttsching. Soundtrack for Motion is another solid offering by Preston.
Soundtrack For Motion charts #46 on the Zone Reporter New Age Chart
Thanks to everyone who helped make this possible…Let’s keep climbing the charts!
ALTERNATIVE MUSIC PRESS – Review by Ben Kettlewell (July 2010)
Soundtrack For Motion
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Label: Iedima Records
Dave Preston’s ambient debut album, “BE” carried charting success and continues to grow. Now, the highly anticipated sophmore release from Dave Preston, “Soundtrack For Motion” features ambient music giant MINGO with various other cast and characters.
The second ambient release from Denver-based guitarist Dave Preston, “Soundtrack For Motion” is a meditation of motion and movement in all it’s forms, both physical or metaphysical. Preston mines the terrain where
ambient, experimental and minimalism converge.
Dave produces tones that rarely betray their origin on the electric guitar as they are processed, delayed, distorted and looped to create complex harmonies and timbres.
The marvels of modern technology sustain the sound of a picked string, or transform a strummed chord into a softshimmering wave that rises and falls out of nowhere. As he did in his ambient debut “Be“, Preston intricately weaves uncommon intensity and passion into the sonic landscape and manages to accomplish something rare: ambient music that is capable of a wide range of feelings.
From the transcendent “Blind Lovers Hand In Hand“, the near sacred rage of “The Blood In Your Veins“, and the wailing of “A Giant Leap Of Faith” to the “Blade Runner” atmospherics of “Spinning Away From The Earth” (a collaboration with Mingo), “Soundtrack To Motion” shows signifigant growth and maturing of Preston as an ambient artist. I apprecitate the precision of Dave’s playing. The quality and emotiveness of the compositions will definitely give the listener a thirst formore of his work. Dave has produced amasterpiece of guitar atmospherics containing some of the most beautiful, lush, slow-moving textures you will ever encounter, here on Soundtrack For Motion.
1. Skies (feat. Sam Gathman)
2. Blind Lovers Hand In Hand (feat. Glowing House)
3. The Blood In Your Veins
4. Flashing Emergency Lights
5. A Giant Leap of Faith (feat. Amidei)
6. I Am Sorry
7. Spinning Away From the Earth (feat. Mingo)
8. Your Reflection In the Water
9. Sweet Sound of Escape
10. Feeling God Has Left You (feat. Sam Gathman)
Total Length: 53:01
Hypnagogue Podcast features “Sweet Sound Of Escape” in Podcast 32. It’s a great ambient podcast and a huge honor to be apart of.
DAVE PRESTON: Soundtrack for Motion (CD on Iedima Records)
This CD from 2010 features 53 minutes of delicate guitar ambience.
Joining guitarist Preston on this release are: Sam Gathman, and Glowing House (Steve Varney and Jess Parsons).
Airy guitar is utilized to produce atmospheric music of a deeply introspective nature. Instead of going the processed route and exploring eerie unguitar-like sounds, Preston chooses to play his guitar in a very fragile manner, expressing winsome chords that drift and undulate, conveying an extreme sense of relaxation. Strummed chords waft on subtle breezes, generating a serene congeniality. In a few instances, the notes are nimble-fingered but retain a gentle character.
Ah, but ambient purists needn’t fret; there are instances in which the guitar is manipulated to achieve a textural sound, producing fluid soundscapes of tenuous definition and glistening beauty.
Some percussion is featured, lending suitably understated tempos to a few tracks. On one occasion, the beats are treated into slushy impacts of an engaging certification.
Some keyboards are employed in minor roles, and violin endows the last track with a recital attitude.
A few pieces have soft vocals, one of them basically non-lyrical crooning of a chorale nature.
These compositions capture an endearing tranquility and infuse that calm with a rich emotional disposition. The temperament is a mellow one, seeking to mesmerize the listener and incite contemplation to freely occur.
For the past couple of years, I have had the pleasure of seeing this month’s featured artist, Dave Preston, play all over Denver. And while his raw and natural talent has been featured alongside some great artists, including Paula Cole, Trace Bundy, and One Eskimo, it’s his ambient guitar work, from his debut release BE, that has been recognized across the globe. After receiving internationally syndicated radio play, as well as being featured nationally on NPR, the release debuted in September of 2008 on the New Age Reporter Charts at number 91, shooting to number 66 the following month.
That same year, Preston was selected to join the band of an artist that is no stranger to Tragic Kingdom, Matt Morris. Morris and Preston immediately began rehearsing for the promotional tour surrounding the release of Matt’s debut album, When Everything Breaks Open. During their time together, the pair began working on a track that Preston had featured on his first release, titled “BE-JOY”. The duo took what was already great and turned it into a single-worthy pop tune which appeared on Morris’ debut. The track, “Just Before The Morning”, was co-produced by the head of Morris’ label, Justin Timberlake, and was considered for the lead single.
And now, two years later, after appearances on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The Late Show with David Letterman, Lopez Tonight, and playing gigs with both Justin Timberlake and Charlie Sexton, Dave Preston is returning to his ambient sounds on his sophomore release, “Soundtrack For Motion”. The release, which features ambient music giantMingo, is describes as ‘a meditation of motion and movement in all its forms, both physical and metaphysical’. The album, available on iTunes now, features a wide range of emotional depth showcasing the talented guitarist’s growth as an ambient artist.
Tragic Kingdom is happy to add one of the nicest and most creative individuals I’ve met, Dave Preston, to the growing list of featured talents. It is his creative and unique talents that will undoubtedly one day earn him praise for his incredible scores for major motion pictures, worthy of Academy Awards. I will continue to keep following this artist on the rise, ready to help celebrate his continued successes along the way. Check out Dave Preston accompanying Matt Morris at The Walnut Room in Denver on “Just Before The Morning” below.
Interview by Jason Schleweis
Every once in a while, we come across an artist who pushes the boundaries of music so far, it’s nearly impossible to believe it all comes from one person. In Preston’s own words, he fuses music theory with music therapy; in our words, his music ends up being some of the most inspirational and thought provoking ambient work we’ve ever heard.
Typically that would be enough for one person to call it a career. Yet Preston’s ambitious and infectious style of play also gained the attention of Matt Morris, who invited him to become a permanent member of his band back in 2008. Since then it’s been a whirlwind of appearances on late night television including David Letterman and George Lopez, day time sessions with Ellen DeGeneres, and promotional performances with Justin Timberlake.
In other words, if you aren’t familiar with this ground breaking artist yet, you will be in the very near future. Continue reading to learn everything about Preston’s latest album Soundtrack in Motion, his inspirations for creating music, and future plans with Matt Morris.
I know your new ambient album Soundtrack in Motion just released about a week ago. How does it feel to finally have your sophomore album complete and released?
It’s a relief! It’s been about a year and a half in the making. There’s been a lot of maturing that took place between the first album and the second album; not only physically but emotionally. My ears have changed so much, and the capacity to make it soar emotionally, and getting into the music that way and opening it up more. I took a trip to Africa during when Be, the first album, charted. I was in an orphanage and had Internet like twice, and I saw that I charted at 66. And I didn’t even think anything of it; I was just like “OK” (Laughter) and closed the laptop and went back out to the kids. And that really changed things for me. I got back and was working on the album and a lot of it didn’t make sense until later. So, it feels great! I’ve really just been wanting to get this out! (Laughter)
So how has the reception been to the new album?
Great! Not a bad thing…it’s been out about a week. I think with this particular style of music, I personally find it hard to categorize. I have favorite acts in the new age, ambient category but definitely I do find it hard to compare to other people. Overall it’s just a piece that flows very well together. A lot of people are liking it. I’m really glad about that; I hope it can help people at certain times, that’s why I do it.
One thing that is really interesting to me is that for being a Denver songwriter, it appears your ambient work receives more attention and success internationally. What do you think contributes to your success overseas, which is maybe backwards from the “traditional” method of gaining exposure?
You know, I’m not sure! That is pretty wild when you got a lot of sales from Mongolia, Japan, or Europe. I’ve got some ambient friends that are gigantic names in Europe, but they live here and can barerly book a show [in town] for ambient [music]. It’s very interesting, but I have to remind myself that it’s music. I can’t imagine playing an ambient show here in town and drawing a lot of people. And I’m not sure if that’s just because a lot of people don’t know about it, or maybe appreciate it as much. But I do feel like, in the town that I live in, it’s still my thing and I can distribute it internationally and have it do what it’s going to do. And here in town I can go play my own songs and I’ll back people. This style of music is very personal and it’s very personal to me, but when I started backing people and learning what ambient music does in songs, I can approach songs so many different ways.
I’ve seen a few different reviews on your ambient work and it’s been said that your music could be set to “Academy Award” winning movies because it is so powerful, diverse and introspective. How does so much incredible music come from just one person? How do you come up with new music?
You just kind of try to keep your mind open. Sometimes it takes a while to understand why you do things. I’ve been very fortunte to have been able to play music as long as I have, and just understand it the way I have. I really just look forward to everything more to come with it. People are very supportive, but it’s just making music the only way I know how.
Typically it’s hard enough for people to tour and support one album or project at a time; but you have two (ambient and Matt Morris). How do you keep up?!
I don’t! (Laughter) The stuff with Matt [Morris] is incredible and the best thing I’ve ever heard. I mean that. Matt is a very, very skilled, smart musician. And the people he attracts in the music business world and in the music world are kind of the same cloth. It is a balancing act, but that’s just how I play music. I just try to approach it for the song and live in the song. It all stems from the songwriting part, but then I became a session guy, and understanding your voice as a session guy…I absolutely love playing with Matt, but the ambient stuff is my own nice little side thing that I get to promote and keep track of and hold close to me. When people actually understand the ambient music, it feels like you’re actually touching their soul. So yeah, I don’t know how I juggle both of them to get back to your question. (Laughter)
What’s the key to keeping the two projects unique and seperate from each other? Or don’t you try, and you just let them flow into each other?
Oh absolutely I do [let them flow into each other]. I do on purpose. Everybody I play with, you just approach the song the way you hear it and try to make an adjustment on what’s supposed to be best. On Matt’s [Morris] music, he had on his record…and I’m very proud to have played on it with the names you have and the guitarists, including Charlie Sexton, who’s just a guitar god…the way that he plays guitar is very easy for me to understand. So when I first heard Matt’s record and all of the mid-range instruments and keyboard sounds that are easy to make on a guitar, it did make a lot of sense. So I knew that it wasn’t going to be a big challenge to recreate a lot of the [ambient work into When Everything Breaks Open]. It just fits!
Since joining up with Matt Morris, you guys have went on to huge successes. You’ve played about every morning and late night show in the country and been travelling all over. What’s been going through your head for the last year or so?
Lot’s of practice! (Laughter) I was really lucky to have Soundtrack in Motion to keep putting myself into. A lot of thinking about Matt’s [Morris] songs in as many ways as I can. It does have a lot of an improv feel, but we know the songs inside and out and we could probably play them backwards. Matt could probably sing them backwards (Laughter). So over the past year it’s been weird trying to juggle everything, playing with other local acts. But I’m very lucky to have had Soundtrack in Motion to put a lot of creativity into.
Knowing that Justin Timberlake was the co-producer on “Just Before the Morning,” what’s it like to have someone of his stature in the music business step forward and have faith in you guys and really support what you’re doing?
Justin, after meeting him, it was pretty obvious that he was a guy who is on top of the moment culturally. He’s very in-tune with what’s going on with trends, and he’s a trend setter for sure. And having someone like that say that your music is fantastic and willing to put his name behind it and push for it, is just a huge compliment. It makes you really feel like you’re doing something right, or better yet, not that you’re doing something right, but what you’re feeling was legitimate. What you recorded was legitimate. Almost meant to be I guess you could say. Justin is a great guy and added a lot of wonderful ideas to that song, so it became a wonderful collaboration with everyone involved.
How do you think your commercial success with Matt Morris has affected you as an artist? Obviously it can open a lot of new doors and opportunities? How have you been able to draw on that?
As far as the business goes, it’s opened my eyes to how much the artist is in control of a lot of things. I think now more than ever that’s really important to know. How good, quality music will always be in demand, no matter what the state of the business world is. Because it’s kind of up in the air; it shifts and can go in any direction. But having that sense of good music… and letting people interested in your music know that you’ll always deliver a good product…I don’t think product is even the right word to say…but maybe you’ll always have the right things to say for them lyrically.
It’s actually very interesting that you said you’re now aware of how much the artist is in control of. I’ve talked to a lot of bands that don’t feel that way; who feel that the industry has gotten a hold of them and made them do things creatively that they don’t want to do.
Absolutely, I’ve been really fortunate to be a part of guys like Justin Timberlake, Matt Morris, and Charlie Sexton who are very creative minds. It’s great because when I play with Matt, there’s no limits put on any creativity. I feel like a lot of my ideas aren’t taken for granted, but that they’re waiting for them to come out. So am I! (Laughter) But I’m very lucky to not be told what to play. And I feel like that with ambient music too. I can sit down and write an ambient tune and record an ambient album and say “whatever it is, it’s going to be.” And it feels great when other people appreciate that. I do feel bad for artists and bands that do have that cap put on them though.
What’s next for you? Either as an ambient artist or with Matt Morris? Any big new appearances, tours, etc. coming up?
Well with Matt, Interscope is going to repackage his album [When Everything Breaks Open] and release it in July. It’s going to be a wonderful thing, we’re all really looking forward to it. We’re going to be hitting the road with Ingrid Michaelson in June to do some tours and different shows starting up in New York, and I think going down to Bonnaroo. [Matt] has a very exciting year ahead of him, and anywhere he goes the band is sure to follow! (Laughter) With my ambient stuff, it’s been out for about a week and it’s just been blowing up and I’m getting ready to do a nice little radio promo. And I’m hoping to chart again, and ride that wave as long as it’ll go! It just feels good to have [Soundtrack in Motion] out and let other people hear it and grow around the songs.
Colorado Music Buzz
“Be” by Dave Preston
Review by The Swami
Dave Preston, an accomplished guitarist and multi-instrumentalist, took a different direction with his latest effort, Be. The Ambient/Electronica concept album, with song titles such as “Be-Creative”, “Be-Alive” and “Be-ing” all share the rudiment philosophy of keeping a common key and building off it with unique soundscapes and ethereal backdrops. There are evident Depeche Mode minus Dave Gahan reverberations ala Songs of Faith and Devotion present throughout. With its romantic and boundless sound journey, the quality recording does put you in a semi deep thought pattern that in some ways is better listened to alone. Preston commented “It was relieving to have no anatomy. The freedom to swell textures and place sounds anywhere within harmonious space gave me the liberation needed to design the moods I did.” Hope Preston continues to explore and push the limits further.
CD review from Hypnagogue
Many thanks to Hypnagogue. Here is his take on “Be”:
From the first guttural threat that coils up out of Dave Preston’s guitar on “Be Creative,” the opening track of his debut CD, Be, you know you’re in for a good ride. An undeniable beat on well-slammed drums rises up alongside the layered chords, the track takes wing and Preston’s got you hooked. Be is an excellent rookie effort from an engaging guitarist who knows how to pull his instrument back toward an ambient drift and then jam it forward to a rock-driven wail, and he balances both nicely. “Be Creative” leads into the hushed air of “Be Ing,” where voices meld with an electronic warble that comes and goes, bordering—particularly later in the track—on being detracting. (There are spots on the disk where it feels like Preston’s trying to wedge a bit of twiddle in the wrong spot just for the sake of being more electronic than guitar-ic, but it never entirely pushes past the line.) “Be Joy” opens with a splay of harsh and somewhat misplaced chords before settling into an almost pastoral vibe. (These ears hear a mandolin—they could easily be mistaken.) It’s a gentle, rhythmic passage, the essence of “nice.” “Be True” enters on slow-handed glissandos as something a little more rough tries to bubble up beneath. This is a track I admit I don’t entirely get. The interference that Preston throws in mars rather than enhances the track. It’s like a slash wound across something that could have been augmented more subtly, as he did in “Be Ing.” I am thorougly addicted to the next track, “Be Alive,” which builds up, layer by easy, intriguing layer, to a sort of early-Oldfield-like density of sound. (Yes, I reference Oldfield entirely too much, but I’m a fan and that’s what I hear…) A lonely guitar, a distant voice, high plucked notes, a beat that echoes the one on “Be Creative”…it’s interesting to aurally watch Preston pick and place his elements. Midstream he pares the track back to the beat and the voice, prepares the listener up with a bit of electronic accent and, in an absolutely gorgeous moment, drops everything, every full layer he’s built, perfectly constructed, perfectly complemented and in full force, back into the mix and it consistently sends a shiver up my spine. This is the highlight of the disk and it should be getting (and is!) play on ambient/electronic radio shows everywhere. “Be Different” is a soft and simple bit of folksy guitar work that’s a pleasant distraction from the more electronic intentions on the disk. The mind’s eye can easily picture Dave out on the porch on a starry night, just playing quietly to the universe. “Be Something” rides on a hypnotic tide of sine wave chords nudging their way to shore over something of a white-noise rumble. A simple but effective track that pulls you in for a deeper listen. The disk closes with “Be Hope,” a dramatic, soaring track where Preston’s elegant playing backs wordless, prayer-like vocals. Preston is already getting a fair amount of notice in the genre community for Be, and it’s well deserved. It’s a thoughtful, well-constructed work that effectively straddles styles without seeming forced. It’s a disk I go back to often, and I eagerly await more work from Dave Preston. Be made me a fan.
“BE” in rotation on Echoes
A dream come true!! I learned recently that “Be-Hope” and “Be-Alive” from my first ever ambient album “BE” is in rotation on one of the largest ambient radio stations in the world.
My thanks goes out to everybody who mde this come true.
CD Review from Phil Derby / ES
Dave Preston Be
8 tracks, 46.28 mins
Ambient with an edge; that?s what I?d call this CD by Dave Preston, simply called Be. Although Preston himself calls the music ambient, it defies easy categorization. Strange haunting tones emanate from his guitar and other sources. Be Creative starts the disc with an atmospheric touch, but then drums come pounding in. The contrast between the ethereal textures and the heavy beats reminds me of early Cocteau Twins, though definitely with its own twist on things. It is much more powerful and visceral than most ambient. Be Ing is quieter but still with a hint of restlessness as things are intentionally left just a bit rough around the edges, the guitars allowing slight distortion or static to enter into the mix. I particularly like how this one continues floating about for a minute after it seems to have faded away. Be Joy is somewhere between the assertiveness of the first and the moody anxious calm of the second. The musical phrasing here is deceptively simple but appealing. Be True strips down to the bare essentials, a sparse piece that radiates warmth, as does Be Alive, aided by beautiful wordless female vocals. After a very soft beginning this ends up being one of the most accessible tunes with an almost pop sensibility as a steady, easygoing beat carries it along. Be Different, despite the name, is probably the most conventional new age guitar piece on the album, though I suppose on an album of edgy ambience that IS different. Both male and female vocals on Be Hope form a dream-like mood to bring things to a close.