Club Roar NAE Photo by Buddy Kite
Nashville Ambient Ensemble 2022-6 by Carissa Stolting (1)
IMAGES: To download, click above. Photo credit to Buddy Kite (top), Carissa Stolting (bottom)


Centripetal Force Records

Nashville Ambient Ensemble

Centripetal Force Records

Centripetal Force is excited to announce the release of Light and Space, the second full length recording from the Nashville Ambient Ensemble. The album is being presented in a 350 copy vinyl pressing which will be made available for preorder on March 24th. There will also be a limited CD run made available for preorder on the same date. Light and Space will be released in stores and on all major digital platforms on April 14th.

The Nashville Ambient Ensemble is led by Michael Hix, an electronic composer and keyboardist whose artistic vision focuses on the spirit of collaboration and the art of improvisation. The group plays a unique form of music that has become loosely defined as ambient country or ambient Americana. Light and Space is the group’s second release, the follow up to 2021’s Cerulean, an album that received a number of accolades from critics, fans and fellow musicians.

In early 2022 Michael Hix had just completed writing the material for the group’s sophomore release when the Frist Art Museum in Nashville, Tennessee reached out and asked the Nashville Ambient Ensemble to record a series of compositions to be featured in the exhibition, Light, Space, Surface: Works from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Inspired by eight artworks from the exhibit, Hix composed eight completely new compositions and immediately headed into the studio to record. Intended as an alternative to a traditional guided tour, museum patrons were able to pair their journey through the exhibit with the ensemble’s sounds, a feature for which the Nashville Ambient Ensemble and the Frist received overwhelmingly positive feedback, so much so that it was decided the songs deserved a traditional release as the group’s new album. The exhibition ran from June to September and was highlighted by a live performance from the Nashville Ambient Ensemble in the main gallery of the museum, directly in front of the stunning Norman Zammitt painting, Untitled, 1984, which adorns the cover of Light and Space.

Light and Space sees the return of Deli Paloma-Sisk (vocals), Jack Silverman (guitar), Kim Rueger (piano), and Luke Schneider (pedal steel), all of whom were part of the Cerulean sessions. This new album also introduces Alicia Enstrom to the fold. Enstrom, a classically trained and well-rehearsed violinist, adds an additional layer to the ensemble’s already rich sound. Her tone and style is quite captivating and is clear from the opening notes of the album’s lead track, “Band in Boston.”

Like the first album, the songs on Light and Space have a basic structure from which the members work, and in keeping with the Nashville “musicians in the round” kind of tradition, each player is provided the opportunity to take the lead and improvise their own musical passages. Unlike previous recordings, some of the foundational synthesizer elements on Light and Space have a distinct digital sheen. Michael Hix says he normally opts for warm, analog synth sounds in his music, but for the Frist Art Museum’s project he purposely chose to create a “clean, digital palette to complement the show’s focus on industrial materials, light, and electricity.” In Light and Space, the group hones in on what worked well on Cerulean, refining their improvisatory form and highlighting musicality.

Nashville Ambient Ensemble is scheduled to play their album release show on April 7th at The Blue Room at Third Man Records in Nashville, TN.

The Nashville Ambient Ensemble is recommended for listeners of William Tyler, SUSS, Cocteau Twins, Fennesz and Ryuichi Sakamoto.