Tag Archive: Ambient Ping

Moving into physical forms

By 2013 we had staged a number of variations on “The Sound is Watching You“, and confident with the technology we had developed for it, we decided that we wanted to tackle a new project with a physical element. Where “The Sound is Watching You” had been a reactive and generative multi-media installation, we thought that it would be a logical progression for us to add a material component that people could trigger by touch, moving our work out of the virtual realm and bringing us into a more physical interactive world.

Our first foray into physical interactivity was called “Pillars of Light“, which was initially staged at SAW Gallery as part of Nuit Blanche Ottawa Gatineau in September 2013. “Pillars of Light” expanded on the interactive elements of “The Sound is Watching You” by presenting a series of illuminated columns within a three dimensional space. When audience members touched the Pillars, lights and music would be triggered, resulting in an immersive environment and a more physical representation of SubZeroArts’ foundational concept of art experiences created by audience members.

Despite having similar themes to our past work, putting this installation together was a particular challenge for us. We had worked out most of the technical aspects in earlier projects, but we now had a physical component that we had to make and neither of us had very much experience in that field. After considerable research and a fair bit of experimenting, we decided to make the Pillars using seven foot lengths of acrylic sheet that we would attach together with industrial strength glue.

Putting the Pillars together was difficult to say the least. The glue was hard to work with, and aligning edges proved to be challenging given the length of the sheets we were using. In addition, we had to reevaluate transport to Ottawa based on the size and fragile nature of the completed Pillars, which threw an extra wrench into our plans.

Regardless of the issues we faced, in staging “Pillars of Light” we learned that while physical art has it’s complications, the rewards are well worth it. Seeing the space transformed by the light shining from the Pillars was a magical experience, and the response from the audience was amazing. Successful moments like those can easily make you forget all the hard work that goes into creating something, filling you with an incredible sense of accomplishment. It’s a pretty awesome feeling.

Later that fall, we brought the Pillars back to Toronto and used them as a backdrop for a Kalte performance at The AMBiENT PiNG. Pulsing and throbbing with light in time with the music we were making, the Pillars seemed to take on an almost organic quality that perfectly complimented what we were doing on stage, proving once again that physical art has it’s complications but the rewards are well worth it…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

A Short Video

With all of our recent discussion of live shows, it occurs to us that some of you may be interested to see some live footage of Kalte. Admittedly we don’t have much video of us performing, but here’s a clip from a show that we did In March 2011. In keeping with the glacial musical themes of our work, we chose to wear parkas for this one. Didn’t we look great?

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!


Once we had played our first two shows as Kalte we started doing more shows around Toronto. As stated previously, both of us have always enjoyed playing out so we’re always up for a gig when the opportunity presents itself (in fact we’re playing at Audio Bleed later this month if you’re interested…).

Over the years Deane has designed a number of posters and flyers to promote our events, so we thought we would take this opportunity to share some of our favorites.

Kalte Live @ Supermarket, June 22kalte-poster-08MAR2011-jpglrg









kalte-poster-29OCT2013Kalte, live July 8 at the Supermarket






In addition to showcasing some of Deane’s awesome work, we’d also like to take this opportunity to thank all of the awesome artists that we’ve had the opportunity to share a stage with over the years. Playing live is great, but playing live with such talented artists is even better!

Did you make it out to any of these shows? Send us an email at info@kaltemusic.com and let us know what you remember about them!

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

Playing Live

kalte_live_18aug09Following the release of “Glaciations” we were ready to do some shows, and given that they had been the inspiration for our working together in the first place, it seemed only natural that our first gig should be at The AMBiENT PiNG. We got in touch with Scott and Jamie about booking something and they offered us a spot as part of their 10th anniversary in August 2009, along with their own project dreamSTATE, and our friend Wally Jericho.

Having mapped out what we were doing with “Glaciations” we were ready to play the new material but we hadn’t been using the mapping technique during the recording of “The Lanthanide Series”, so we had to go back and figure out how to play everything from that album in a live setting. It was an interesting process, and required us to take apart the album and study each of its component parts individually, which gave us a new appreciation for what we were doing and some ideas about how we could develop and even further improve upon our processes, which would benefit the recording of our third release “Fissures” (more about that one later).

Once we had mapped all of the earlier songs out, we had to come up with a set list of what we wanted to play, and while we had no illusions that we had a beloved back-catalog of hits that we needed to roll out for the fans, we did want to make sure that we touched on highlights from both albums that we thought were relevant in terms of who we are as Kalte, and we also wanted to play some stuff that would sound good live, because you always want to sound good live. We opted to start with “Shallow Approach” because it’s the first song from “The Lanthanide Series”, and it seemed like a nice way to build up a set and create a tone for the performance. From there things started to fall into place nicely and pretty soon we had come up with about 40 minutes covering both albums that was properly mapped and ready for live performance.

Of course, mapping and choosing a set list, while still an integral part of the live process, is not the only thing you need to get ready for a gig. You also need to rehearse and practice and make sure that you know what to do. You have to identify any cues and you have to know where there are any sweet spots to stay in and any rough spots to be careful with. And even though our mapping technique allowed us to recreate our music live, we also had to work in space to be spontaneous and improvise as well, because when you’re feeling in the groove you really want to be able to keep groovin’, right?

Ultimately you have to know pretty much everything about your set to get the job done, and that takes a lot of planning out. One decision we made early on was to play a continuous set with no breaks rather than individual songs, as it would create a more consistent mood and it would also save us from any potential disasters as we loaded different songs. Even in those early days we were thinking ahead! We also had to figure out what to wear, and we cannot express how very important wardrobe is when you’re playing live. For the record, at our first show we both went with black jeans, white shirts and black ties. We looked great.

kalte_live_21aug09To make things even more interesting while we prepared for our first show, we were also offered a gig with the Akin Collective for three days after our spot at The AMBiENT PiNG. Neither of us are the kind of person to turn away an opportunity to play a show, so we said “Of course we’ll do it!” and we set about preparing for a second show while we were getting ready for our first. And you might think that would be easy, we could just play the same set and everything would be fine, right? Not quite. We decided that it would be more fun to come up with a completely new and different set for the second show. And it was fun, but it was also a bit of a scramble too. In the end we were able to get everything done in time for both sets, but we did have to make fast decisions about wardrobe for the second show. We opted for hoodies and sneakers, and we looked great at that show too.

You’ll be happy to know that both shows were well received and came off with no technical issues. We played some music, people enjoyed it, and we had fun doing it, which is pretty much the goal for any live show. They were both great experiences that pushed us a little bit further ahead in terms of what we were doing with Kalte, and they inspired us to do more shows in the future.

Which we did…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!

Net Labels

Stasisfield LogoOnce “The Lanthanide Series” was finished, we had to figure out what to do with it. Our initial thought had been that we could release it ourselves, but it seemed more interesting to release it through a net label as we liked the idea of Kalte being part of a group of other like-minded artists. We had already been promoting our individual work for a number of years so we could easily do the same for Kalte, but in keeping with the idea of the AMBiENT PiNG and how they had established a community that inspired our own collaboration, we thought that putting out our first release on a net label would help us connect with even more artists that we could interact with and help us extend our existing community of shared support.

We started reviewing different sites to find a good match for what we were doing with “The Lanthanide Series”, focusing primarily on the idea of musical fit and a community based approach, and we found some really amazing music that was being made. Admittedly we were late coming to the net label party, which rose in popularity hand in hand with the mp3 boom, but in 2008 there was still a very vital culture of labels and artists putting out some truly awesome material. In particular Test Tube, Webbed Hand, and Kikapu were all releasing high quality work that we admired and were inspired by, and we made some really great musical discoveries on each of them.

But the gold standard for net labels in our estimation was Stasisfield. Curated by John Kannenberg, Stasisfield seemed to share a number of ideals with us, not only in terms of sound and community but also from an aesthetic standpoint. The Stasisfield website and releases were presented with a clean design with crisp lines and vivid graphics, and there was a dry sense of humour that ran throughout the site that we really appreciated. We sent a zip file of our tracks to John and we were quite flattered to hear that not only did he enjoy our work, but he was also interested in releasing it on his net label. John also volunteered to make a cover for the album, and when we saw the finished product we were thrilled with what he came up with, not only because it looked awesome but also because it so perfectly captured the sound of what we were doing.

“The Lanthanide Series” was released on Stasisfield on October 1, 2008, and we couldn’t be happier to have been part of such an incredible community of artists. Regrettably, Stasisfield is no longer putting out music and the releases have all been taken down, but we’re proud to be Stasisfield alumni and we’ll always be grateful to John for his early support. We’ve kept in touch with him over the years, and we strongly recommend that you check out his current project, The Museum of Portable Sound, a fascinating curated collection that celebrates the culture of sound, and where we are happy to see that John’s sense of humour is still very evident…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, if you buy a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp you can send us your email at info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send you a free copy of our latest release, “Covalencies“!


pinglogoPrior to working together on Kalte, we had both been playing music around Toronto for a number of years. Circling around the same Goth/Industrial and Electronic scenes in the mid 90s and early 2000s we were both aware of what each other was doing but we hadn’t actually met in person. Deane was performing as Akumu at the time, having already released a number of abstract electronic albums and performed at Montreal’s esteemed Mutek event, and Rik was making melodic ambient as mara’s torment, doing shows and releasing albums. But despite any similarities in our styles, for whatever reason our paths hadn’t ever crossed until a chance meeting outside of Queen Video in early 2001, when our mutual friend Chris Alexander finally introduced us. Immediately recognizing some shared interests, we soon booked an Akumu/mara’s torment show at The AMBiENT PiNG for later in the summer, and that was pretty much the beginning of us working together.

For those of you who aren’t already familiar with The AMBiENT PiNG, we’d like to take this opportunity to tell you about Toronto’s long running ambient showcase, because it really is a pretty amazing event. The PiNG began as a regular weekly concert series in the Kensington Market area of Toronto bringing together performers in a variety of different styles and disciplines that were focused primarily on Ambient, Electronic, Drone, and Abstract genres among others. Hosted by Scott M2 and Jamie Todd of dreamSTATE, the PiNG continues as a regular event to this day and during the length of its history they’ve presented countless local and international artists who have come through Toronto, including Aidan Baker, Zoe Keating, Falling You, Robert Rich, and more.

Just the act of maintaining an event like this for so long is impressive in itself, but even more impressive is the community that Scott and Jamie have nurtured around the PiNG, a group of artists and listeners who have supported each other in a balanced synergy for years now, and has also directly inspired collaboration between artists that’s resulted in some pretty amazing stuff. Aidan Baker’s project ARC began one night at the PiNG when audience member Rich Baker just walked up on stage and sat in on drums. Frequent attendee Heiki Sillaste has been working regularly with dreamSTATE for a few years now. And Kalte is another project that also sprung from the PiNG community. That first show we booked together in 2001 led us to book another Akumu/mara’s torment show in 2002, and a third in 2003, and pretty soon it became an annual event for us to play together at the Ping. And following the success of those shows, we eventually asked ourselves, “Hey, we’re well matched on stage, why don’t we try making some music together too?” And that was the starting point that would eventually become Kalte.

Join us again tomorrow as we discuss the themes that would define our work as Kalte…

For the entire month of October while we celebrate #10yearsofKalte, anybody that buys a copy of “The Lanthanide Series” through Bandcamp can send their email to info@kaltemusic.com and we’ll send them a free copy of our latest release “Covalencies“!

Kalte at National Drone Day 2018

Drone DayWe’re very pleased to share that Kalte will be performing at the Roland Inspiration Centre in Toronto on Saturday May 26th as part of Weird Canada‘s National Drone Day 2018 event.

Our friends dreamSTATE and DJ LP will also be performing, and it promises to be a very Drone-y evening filled with sustained tones and rumbly sounds and long lost radio transmissions. We may also bring popsicles…

Please RSVP to the Facebook event to let us know you’re coming!


We’re happy to inform you that Kalte will be returning to The AMBiENT PiNG for a performance on Tuesday July 8th at the Supermarket in Toronto. We always enjoy playing at the Ping, and we hope that you’ll be able to join us for a set of abstract and abrasive tracks inspired by polar winds and cryogenics.  Visit our Facebook event to let us know that you’ll be coming.


In addition to a set by Kalte, Rik will also be performing a solo set featuring work from his new project RikM. The debut release by RikM, “Clinical Trial”, is forthcoming from Crime League, visit http://www.crimeleague.com to find out more.


kalte-poster-29OCT2013Dearest Kaltenfriends,
Admittedly it’s been some time since last we spoke, but we are happy to let you know that we are coming out of hibernation to perform a show for you on Tuesday October 29th as part of the monthly Ambient Ping event at The Supermarket in Toronto.
Needless to say, the last few months have been very busy for us as we’ve been working on a variety of very interesting scientific experiments in our Antarctic laboratory. Very important research on cryogenics, cold fusion, and even a little alchemy have taken up most of our time, but we’ve also made sure that we took the opportunity to prepare some new music for you, cold, stark and vaguely scary work inspired by chilling winds and unsettling shapes we sometimes see outside the laboratory windows. And of course we’ll also be playing some beloved Kaltenclassics and work from our solo projects Akumu and mara’s torment for those of you who want to hear the hits.
We so rarely have the chance to leave the lab and perform for you, so we hope you’ll be able to join us for what promises to be an appropriately chilling evening…

Rik and Deane


Now that all of the excitement of Hallowe’en is just a memory, we’re getting very excited about our upcoming show with Steven Severin in Toronto next week!

If you’re planning on coming to the show, Rik has a limited number of advance tickets available for sale for $25 (cash only). You can either buy them from him in person at the Ambient Ping at Supermarket in Kensington Market on Tuesday November 6th or you can send us an email at info@kaltemusic.com to make alternate arrangements to meet up.

We hope we’ll see you there!

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