by bindlestiff

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here is a reproduction of the original 2001 CD liner notes:

ambient concerts are rare events, so an occasion such as this is made all the more special for the successful relationship that occurred between musicians and audience that night. packed into the modest sonic arts gallery in san diego, california on the evening of november 11, 1994 was one such audience, set to witness a rare live performance by the members of bindlestiff.

how ambient music is created "live", using long delays and loops (now commonplace) must have seemed like a strange, arcane science back in 1994. the fact that bindlestiff also interspersed and layered-in live acoustic guitar duets in the new standard tuning for guitar must have also added to the mystery and surprise of how two musicians could create this dense, intense, ambient music.

this is the entire concert, as it happened on that november evening. sit back and close your eyes...

all songs composed and performed in real time by bryan helm / dave stafford

special thanks to jonathan glasier

digitally remastered from the original master tape june 9/10, 2001

the phonographic copyright in these performances / compositions is operated by pureambient records on behalf of the artist, with whom it resides. pureambient,com accepts no reason for artists to give away such copyright interests in their work by virtue of a "common practice" which is out of tune with the times, was always questionable, and is now indefensible. copyright 1999 (the world) bryan helm / dave stafford.

taken from the CD back cover:

recorded live to tape at the sonic arts gallery on november 11, 1994.
this is an entire ambient concert captured as it occurred.

2013 notes:

I can't really add an enormous amount to the above except to note that the album was originally titled "live at the sonic" but later pressings were renamed to "live" to fit better with all of the other bindlestiff album titles - all of which are now a single word.

one of a handful of live shows that were actually recorded, this complete concert is a typical bindlestiff set, and I am very pleased to say that we were on our best behaviour this particular evening, and most everything went pretty well - too much reverb on my acoustic guitar during "just like fog" was unavoidable, I couldn't adjust it once I started playing - so you get a super ambient version of that.

also present in the set are a couple of rarities, songs that are not present on any other bindlestiff record, that were live tracks only, and in particular, I am very pleased that this concert happens to include "all for knot", which is a hybrid ambient / crafty song, containing an entire acoustic crafty duet in the middle of the song, but beginning and ending as a normal ambient track - this track in particular means a lot to me, and I enjoy this show immensely because of it's inclusion.

"the night sky" and "descent" also are "live only" tracks, and "just like fog" was the single remaining piece of "dozey lumps" acoustic crafty guitar repertoire that we continued to include in bindlestiff concerts for the first couple of years, before it was eventually dropped from the set - so this early live show really contains a lot of fairly rare and unusual tracks, along with several very good tracks selected from our then-existing catalogue of CDs.

it's fitting that we end the set with our theme song, "without difference" - a song that underwent a lot of changes over the years, and the version from "live" is a good example of the earlier form of the song, which would undergo further transformations until it was recorded for the "quiet" album in 1995, a full year after this performance.

this is bindlestiff live, with no MIDI, no sync of any kind, two loopers looping without the aid of sync technology, but having to use their hearts, ears and hands to make sure that their loops worked together - and most of the time, blessedly, they did.

I would also note that unfortunately, there was no microphone on the audience that night, so the concert is sadly sans audience, but given that the material is ambient, that may actually be a good thing - I don't know.

this was our live set - as it was in november, 1994.

dave stafford, pureambient HQ, november 2013


released November 11, 1994

recorded live on november 11, 1994 at the sonic arts gallery, san diego, california

transcribed directly from the original two track master

originally released 1994 on cassette only, catalogue SSC3417

remastered / re-released 2001 on compact disc catalogue SSCD3417

all songs copyright 1994 (the world) copyright control 2013 (the world)

all songs composed / performed by bryan helm / dave stafford

bryan helm: synthesizer, drum machine, loops, occasional crafty acoustic guitar

dave stafford: energy bow guitar, electric guitar, synthesizer, loops, occasional crafty acoustic guitar

all tracks recorded, produced, engineered and mixed (where applicable) by dave stafford for pureambient records

additional production / mixing (where applicable) / advice: bryan helm

a pureambient production 1994 -



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bindlestiff Stirling, UK

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Track Name: the night sky - live
Track Name: the wall of ninths - live
Track Name: descent - live
Track Name: all for knot - live
Track Name: pacific gravity - live
Track Name: just like fog - live
Track Name: a chink in the armor
Track Name: without difference