Ambicon: an ambient music gathering

Our friends at Music from the Hearts of Space, the long-running radio and now internet program dedicated to ambient music, are organizing an ambient music conference in Marin County, CA. The Ambicon event takes place from May 3-5, 2013.


  1. Until I read the rest of the title, I had a fleeting moment of fun imagining what “Ambi-” words the con might be about. Ambivalence-Con? Ambidexterity-Con? Ambien-Con? 

  2. Given what I’ve heard of so called Ambient music, the Ambien-Con might not be too far from the truth.  

  3. Ambicon: The world’s first convention with no featured speakers… because everyone there just hangs around in the background.

  4. I’m going to go there and just drift around aimlessly, almost approaching a booth and then bending off in a different, but similar direction.

  5. Sigh.  Worst show on NPR….  They play Hearts of Space and one other show for five or six hours on Sunday night on WBHM and I will continue to refuse to donate until they break that up with more interesting programming…

    1. Aw.  I can see your point… but… HOS on Sunday nights got me through the worst of the worst of my grad school homework.  I would crank the HOS (unfortunately for my roommate) and try to power through really awful studying while trying to be mellow and have ambient feelings.  (For this, I have a huge soft spot for HOS — but I rarely get to admit that ‘in public’!!)

  6. Music from the Hearts of Space was probably my first exposure as a kid to ambient and (occasionally) quite experimental music, to my ears anyway. Much respect for maintaining the vision and… enduring.

  7. Ten bucks says they’ll all just stand around in one spot, nearly motionless. Except that by the end of the evening they’ll have changed places by slowly, almost imperceptibly morphing into one another.

  8. Wow. This sounded like an amazing thing to go to, and I was seriously excited about the prospect . . . until I saw the price. $359.00!

    Do we get free vintage Minimoogs with the admission price, or what?

  9. @ Cowicide. I pissed myself laughing at your Soundcloud genre categories (“goose your rectum”, “gaseous”) but in answer to your question: sure it is. I’d call it ambient rock.

    Broaden “ambient” to “ambient & downtempo” and things get a lot more inclusive. Or think of ambient as a prefix – ambient rock, ambient pop, ambient techno, ethno-ambient. The easiest definition I can think of is that “ambient” is predominatly instrumental and exists in the spaces between established genres of 20th century music. So a lot of it starts as experimental by nature.

    I started writing about this music because no one I was aware of had drawn all these subgenres together before and tried to write about the connections and the history of these sounds in a coherant way. And I’m still trying: see

    Re. Ambicon, I have massive respect for Stephen Hill and what he has acheived over 40 years with both his radio show and Hearts Of Space Records. A true indie music brand. Many of the artists perfoming at that event (Robert Rich, Steve Roach, Michael Stearns) are seriously talented human beings. But as broad as HOS is, it’s still just a corner of the ambient universe.

    Come on. Ambient is not a “con” as one poster here suggested, unless you are talking about dodgy new age sprukers or the relaxation muzak (“Picnic In The Everglades!”) sold in some bookshops. It’s an image problem that lingers, unfortunately.

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