The wonderful thing about ambient music is that it’s a pure distillation of an aesthetic (not A E S T H E T I C, at least not just that). Instead of making music that reminds you of glimmering airports or lazy Thursday afternoons or an earthy old chapel, ambient music sounds like those things; it’s the essence of those things translated into music. The cover art and song titles purify that aesthetic even further, giving you that feeling in your stomach that you get when you feel your creative self awaken.
It’s for this reason that I don’t like naming ambient subgenres. When you call something like this album “space ambient”, it sucks away the wonder and excitement of an aesthetic: it turns it into a cheap new age CD with a title like The Cosmic Dance or Jupiter’s Song. It’s not completely inaccurate, but it reduces something absolutely beautiful into planetarium background music.
Not that there’s anything wrong with planetarium background music; it’s simply not what Ars Lucis is, at least not to me. It sounds like a church between the worlds, a liminal space of stained glass and orderly pews. It sounds like walking into the delivery room as you’re being born. It sounds like the menu music for some futuristic operating system. It sounds like walking into some blank place that hasn’t been created yet, feeling like a speck of dust on a white canvas.
And yes, it sort of sounds like space. But it sounds like so much more than that.