Norway, Underwater World, Ambient Soundscapes

AshRamus says:

My music videos are all filmed through my windows

I don’t do cuttings, I don’t do mixings

I was kicked out from the orchestra a couple of times

All my songs are made of two or sometimes three tracks

In this interview for ‘The Electronic Corner’, we dive deep into the fascinating world of ambient music with our special guest, AshRamus.

Sir Joe: Your artist name sounds very esotheric to me, and fits perfectly with the kind of music you play. I thought it was made up, but actually it comes from Ash Ramus, which in Lithuanian means “I’m calm”.
Besides the name, have you brought something else in your music from your country of origin?

AshRamus: You know, it’s very difficult to say. I was in music school from the age of 7. I used to play clarinet, trumpet, a little bit of piano and the harmonium.
I played for many years in an orchestra, doing concerts and a lot of funeral processions. In the old days it was common practice, with the orchestra being in front and playing for the last journey of a person.
Nowadays, though, nobody does it anymore. These are the music memories I have of Lithuania.
SJ: How about Norway, since you now live in that country?
Geir Jensen, my favorite ambient musician who mostly records under the artist names ‘Biophere’, claimed in an interview that growing in Tromsø had indeed an impact on his composition ideas.
Is it the same for you?

AshRamus: Yes, indeed! I have a two floor house, and sometime ago I had moved the studio in the first floor.
However, you see only trees from there, while from the windows upstairs you see the mountains, with the snow on them and around.
If you watch my music videos, they are all filmed through my windows, so I don’t need to go out somewhere to get a visual inspiration.
The same goes with music. Because of lack of inspiration on the first floor, I moved the studio back to the 2nd floor.
Nature in fact plays a very important role in my music. When I see clouds over the mountains, for example, I get inspired and I start playing.
That’s how my music is born. I don’t do cuttings, I don’t do mixings, I play three, five, sometimes 10 hours, then I just keep small parts that I like.

SJ: I have a question about that later, actually, but now I would like to ask you this: Your life seems to be running in cycles of 10 years.
You studied and played music for 10 years, as you already mentioned, then you were in the military sector for 10 years, then in the constrution business, then you were a diver, also for 10 years and now you are a musician again.
I’m not so sure about military and construction, but in my mind diving and ambient music are a great match, so I was wondering if your activity as a diver had an influence in the kind of music you propose.

AshRamus: First, I want to tell you that I used to travel a lot in India, in the Himalayas, spending up to six months alone, just walking through the various mountains.
When you do something like that, you get into a state of being one with nature, a sort of meditative state.
With diving, it’s the same, you know. You need to practice a lot and exercise, to be a good diver, but in order to meditate with diving you just dive, you become one with the water and there you go, you are already meditating.
Underwater, you are in another world, in another space and you don’t need to practice a lot to get in the meditative state, you just need to dive.
SJ: That is so true!
Now, an ambient song, by its nature, relies more on creating a flow than on fixed parameters like verse, chorus, verse, chorus and so on.
For me it would be difficult to decide when a song is finished, because of the risk of letting it go endlessly.
How do you face this challenge? I’m asking also because some of your tracks last more than 10 minutes…

AshRamus: As I said before, when I play, I do it for many hours and sometimes I feel that what I saved is too short, so I keep a bit more material.
All people then have a different perception of music, so for some a track may sound too short and for others too long.
It’s like when you play a computer game that you like a lot: in that case time goes fast, then, you sit in the room alone without any computer or anything, and time goes slow. The same happens with music.

SJ: Indeed.
Next question: Sound design is very important in ambient music because it’s essential to create an atmosphere, even more than with other genre of music.
Do you have any favorite techniques or tools when it comes to sound design for your songs?

AshRamus: I use mostly a sequencer and a midi controller, to make music.
So, for example, I may play some simple notes on it, and then the signal goes to my analog polyphonic synthesizer.
I also have another sound machine, an old Korg which has lots of effects, drums and some orchestral sounds. So, I create a simple melody in a small synth, play it as a loop and play along with my polyphonic synthesizer, non-stop.

SJ: I understand, but do you use preset sounds, or you do you create your own sounds starting from a preset, for example?

AshRamus: Usually I start from a preset in my analog synthesizer, and then I modify its oscillators, I use filters and so on.
Starting from a preset saves a lot of time, because you don’t have to worry about things like aftertouch, for example, which usually is part of the preset.

SJ: Which of your machines is your favorite and why?

AshRamus: I think it’s the Deepmind 12, the polyphonic synthesizer with 12 voices. This is the instrument I started with, before I bought all the others.
The songs ‘Pure Thoughts’, and ‘Waves’, for example, were created using this instrument … one instrument and two hands! (laughs)

SJ: So if you were to move on a desert island, that’s the machine you would bring with you.

AshRamus: Yes, I would just take that with me and I’m ready to go. I don’t need all the other stuff.

SJ: Do you play live, or are you planning to play live?

AshRamus: It would be very difficult for me to play live, because every time I start to play in my studio something new comes out and it would be very difficult for me to replicate it on stage.
You also have to consider that when I was playing in the orchestra, for me it was too boring to always play the part assigned to me with the cornet or trumpet, so sometimes I was improvizing to make the music more beautiful.
That’s why I was kicked out from the orchestra a couple of times: you are not allowed to improvize, you must follow the notes.

SJ: Based on what you told us so far, we could say that your recordings in studio are live sessions anyway, aren’t they?

AshRamus: Absolutely! All my songs are made of two or sometimes three tracks, no more, and I don’t do any mixing after the recording, so what you hear in my productions is the result of a totally live performance.

(Now I invite you to watch the following video, starting at 15:14, where we discover how an AshRamus song is created.)

We say thanks to AshRamus for revealing how his ambient music is created.

Don’t forget to visit AshRamus SoundCloud page

You are also welcome to check the other interviews for The Electronic Corner 


  1. Chris Mitchell


  2. Bart

    Great interview! Very in depth look behind the scenes on how some of these trippy ambient sounds are produced

  3. Kris Townsent

    Great Interview with an outstanding artist. I can’t believe the pieces of AshRamus hasn’t any mastering because they are extremely well produced,very well in the low end and very well balanced all around! Great!

    • Sergio Bersanetti

      I totally agree! I think that having only 2 or 3 tracks recorded helps, but it means that he has done a great sound preparation job before starting to record. I can’t find any other explanation.

  4. Tim Davies

    Great interview! Thanks for sharing!

  5. Connor Dean

    I absolutely love the idea of not mixing after recording. I wish I was bold enough to release my music as such. I have a certifiably disordered need for perfection, and I waste days and weeks and years on mixing. But ironically, I actually value raw authenticity above almost everything, I guess just not when I’m personally trying to show something to the world, I suppose. I commend AshRemus for being able to create and let it be.

    • Sergio Bersanetti

      I’m with you, but I think it also depends on what kind of music you make, when you only have two or three tracks like he has, you can afford to avoid mixing and mastering, but in other cases you risk to have a wall of undefined sounds, if you don’t apply a bit of editing after the recording stage 😉

  6. William Lovitt

    Really interesting interview and great to get to know AshRamus better. He’s perfected a very special process for crafting his original music and it was super informative to go behind the scenes with him. – William Lovitt


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