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Michael D. Tidwell: I instantly fell in love with ambient


Tell us a little about your musical upbringing. Were you always interested in music?

 

It’s quite interesting because my pursuit with music started from my love of percussion, drum set, and performing with competitive drumlines. Funny enough, considering that most of what I make now is beatless music. If you listen closely within the details of my compositions, you can slightly feel a pulse and tempo even though there are no distinct drum patterns to be recognized.

 

I was greatly interested in music, especially now more than ever because I have learned a lot more about collaboration and working with other like-minded artists, though my styles have changed over the years ranging from chill electronica and lounge music to now producing what’s to be known as cinematic ambient music.

 

Briefly tell us what has been your music background and history up to this point?

 

I have been involved in the music industry for over 15 years, ranging from musical composition, production, private lessons, music administration, website, artwork, and video design. I began my artist career with my breakout electronica EP entitled Best Served Chilled which I released in the summer of 2015 on World Relaxation Day. In 2022, my inception with ambient music began with the release of my Serenity Soundscapes EP that features renowned singers like Megi Angelova, Celica Soldream, Lara Ausensi, and Nelly Monk.

 

From there, I have designed a multitude of projects that spread from all around the world far and wide with many different artists, composers, singers, record labels, and engineers. Also having the honor and pleasure of being featured in magazines, playlists, and blogs that span to the love of Ambient and Meditative selections. Last but not least, having my music featured on ambient music’s favorite radio program "Rivulets & Reveries" over 13 times.


Who are your musical influences? (any genre).

 

My musical influences range from a wide variety of artists from Hans Zimmer, Thomas Newman, James Horner, and most importantly Ivan Torrent, who sparked the interest of developing my craft for cinematic music and working with singers. Lauge was the artist who got me inspired and drawn into ambient music.

 

What led you to pursue ambient music as a genre?

 

It actually began in the early stages of 2020, when the virus Covid 19 was breaking out and fortunately enough I ended up losing my job which turned into a blessing in disguise. During this, I took full advantage of going for long walks, enduring meditation sessions, and gathering much-needed prayer time. This happened to lead me into a more somber and intrapersonal direction with my playlist selections and musical creations. I randomly came across Lauge in a playlist called Compositional Ambient and I instantly fell in love with all things ambient.

 

What genres of electronic music have you, (or will you) be working in? (ambient, dark ambient, etc.)

 

At the moment, I am very geared towards the liking of anything cinematic and immersive. Whether that has to do with space ambient, dark ambient, or even creating evil dystopian atmospheres with intense sound design. I am all about it!

 

In the future, I plan on bringing back my old soul with chill electronica and lounge music, while also stepping into the field of impactful trailer music and haunted horror atmospheres for major motion picture films. Furthermore, I would like to participate in the musical creations of Cirque De Soleil and many other crowd-pleasing performances.


You seem to do a lot of collaborations with other artists, tell me how those come about? And if you could collaborate with anyone, who would it be?

 

A lot of my engagements take place through social media. Mainly through Instagram by the arrangement of direct messages which takes place after I have engaged with the artist that I tend to vibe with. If I see that they are pretty receptive in liking my content and material, I will usually send them a message and then synch up for a collaborative opportunity. Usually if they are pretty friendly with engaging in my content, you can bet that they are likely to collaborate.

 

My number one choice would have to be Ivan Torrent who happens to be a very big artist that I engage a lot of ideas from. Especially when it comes to the collaborations that stem from working with singers. Of course, on an ambient standpoint, I would love to work with Lauge, Matt Tondut, We Dream of Eden, Antarctic Wastelands, Good Weather for An Airstrike, Retland, Antent, Øneheart, Atrium Carceri, and God Body Disconnect.

 

What is your “go-to” studio gear? What hardware, synths, VSTs, effects can you not live without?

 

My go-to’s would have to be my Cubase Recording Software and my Yamaha Music Production Synthesizer.

 

What do you listen to when you aren’t composing?

 

Right now, I am into Lo-Fi Jazz, Study Music, and Alternative Rock which tends to release my circulating mind that races with my constant creation of ambient music. Just something to help turn my brain off for a second.


What are your five “desert island albums”?

 


You are a very prolific artist, what upcoming releases and plans can you share with us for 2024?

 

There are many collaborations lined up with artists and singers in the ambient space including singles and EP projects while also contributing to many compilation albums from record labels all around the globe. Last but not least, is my debut album which has been kept a pretty tight-knit secret only to those that know about it.


Interviewer – Derek Carter (KapTep)

Photos from Michael's archive

Edited by Dionis Afonichev (Dionisaf)


More cinematic ambient music in our Spotify playlist


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