I think often about how if paintings and sculpture decorate space, then music decorates time. We exist for only so long, so it is important to me to stimulate my senses as often as possible with as much variety and excitement I can. To quote the late, great Anthony Bourdain, ‘Your body is not a temple. It’s an amusement park. Enjoy the ride.’  Of course, not every music experience is meant to be some whimsical carnival sounds, though those are certainly a viable option. Many compositions and songs decorate time in more abstract ways than hand feeding the listener some classic archetypical emotion.

This is where ambient music comes in, for me. It is easy to throw on soundscapes and ambient tunes to lightly decorate the time around menial tasks. Like how often podcasts meander and drift off topic, ambient music can fulfill the role of background noise. However, I encourage you to consider ambient music as something deeper than that. This is music that can soundtrack thoughts, the kind of score for your mind’s film as you process deeper questions of life, the universe and everything. Enter Benjamin Finger, an experimental ambient composer from Oslo, Norway who gives us a new music video and song premiere from his upcoming album Beyond. Check out the video for “Return” below!

Benjamin Finger studied film and photography in Oslo, directing several short films while gaining a deeper interest in composition. Now, he is an acclaimed artist with many releases under his belt, Finger is gearing up to release Beyond on Roman Numeral Records. Drones, cello, and vocals make up this contemplative and gripping album. The synth work feels grand and invasive to one’s consciousness. On “Return” soundwaves resonate like glass bowls singing out through a canyon of skyscrapers in an abandoned city. There is a sadness and lament throughout the track, but the music beckons you to continue the journey through the physical world, seeking that elusive reunition with a lost soul. Finger says:

The video pretty much deals with the concept of loss or missing someone. Not in the ordinary sense, but in the sense that when someone gets sick and loses their physical and mental health. Personally I’ve watched my girlfriend for over 20 years suffer from long-covid for the last two years. It has been a really challenging period for both of us, not in the least for her of course. So the video and music is a way of trying to capture how I’ve felt during that time. You might call it a visual love letter, it’s very much dedicated to her.’

That sentiment is something I have learned to look for in art of any kind. There is an ease to appealing to big emotions (happiness, sadness, anger, etc.), but finding the right tones in any medium that convey the in-between feelings, the more-common-but-less-often described experiences takes a level of thoughtfulness and dedication that is harder to execute well, like trying to hit a double bullseye on a moving dart board. Benjamin Finger has landed that shot exceptionally.

“Return” is just a sample of how affecting and poignant the rest of Beyond is. Be sure to look for it on May 3, 2024 on Roman Numeral Records. Follow Benjamin on Instagram, Facebook, and on X/Twitter. Everything Is Noise previously premiered a track by Benjamin Finger and James Plotkin that you can check out here.

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