Top 20 Ambient Albums Chart

Exciting News! Our 2023 album, Heartdance, has reached the #5 spot on the Top 20 Ambient Albums chart on textura.org! We are incredibly grateful for the love and support from each and every one of you. This journey has been truly amazing, and we are thrilled to share this important milestone with all of you. While we usually refer to ourselves as classical musicians, the Heartdance album will take you on a captivating exploration of sonic landscapes and ambient vibes. Thank you for making all of this possible! Listen to Heartdance here.

Read what Textura has to say:

Folias Duo members Carmen Maret (flute) and Andrew Bergeron (guitar) call Grand Rapids, Michigan home, yet the married couple often seem more like itinerant troubadours when so much of their time revolves around exploring new places and sharing their music with listeners. Their latest, Heartdance, celebrates two decades as life partners and musical collaborators; it’s also arguably the strongest Folias Duo album statement to date. That shouldn’t be interpreted to mean their earlier releases (five on Blue Griffin and the last two on Folias Music) are in any way deficient but more a way of stressing that the new one finds the duo in exceptionally fine form. The nine chamber music pieces exude vitality as if the two couldn’t wait to get their latest material onto tape.

On a related note, Carmen wrote about her own 2023 pick after she heard the new Steve Lehman big band album:

The 2023 jazz release, Ex Machina by Steve Lehman & Orchestre National de Jazz, immediately caught my attention. A friend who knows my interest in Spectralism, especially the music of Kaija Saariaho, lent me the CD. While I teach Saariaho in a history seminar, I have also been contemplating the connections between technology, A.I., and creativity. This record serves as a compelling example of how machines can be used to create captivating, genuine, and novel experiences for both musicians in the studio and listeners.

Last year, I attended a live performance in Kalamazoo, MI by Maria Schneider’s orchestra, featuring her album Data Lords. The title track perfectly captures the essence of the Google and Spotify era. Indeed, Schneider suggested to the audience at the concert that by the time we realize A.I. has taken over, it will be too late. With this thought weighing on my mind, Steve Lehman’s virtuosic composition and playing skills mixed with improvisation and computer music in dialogue on this record give me hope. There is a productive artistic path here (with IRCAM behind it) that has a lane amidst the dominance of big data companies and escapes machine-induced creative destruction.

Listening to the entire album is an intense journey. It reminds me of two other favorite artists of mine since my teens: Aphex Twin and Frank Zappa. On the electronic side, it has an Aphex Twin-like quality with its stunning and extravagantly coordinated contrapuntal energy. On the live side, it has a Frank Zappa-like vision for a band enhanced with vibraphone, marimba, glockenspiel, and percussion.

If you appreciate the sounds of adventurous musicians and machines performing together in a concert-like setting, this is the album for you.

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