Foam and Sand (Ambient Project of Robot Koch) Announces Partnership with Monroe Institute; Releases “Circle 37”
February 17, 2023 BY Jason Currell
“a restorative, quiet revelation” – Loud and Quiet
Following the announcement of the March 17th release date on Nettwerk for Los Angeles-based music artist & composer Robot Koch‘s ambient project Foam and Sand, today he announces his partnership with the Monroe Institute, the educational and research organization with the purpose of the global awakening of human consciousness.
Going further in exploring the benefits of expanded states of awareness, Foam and Sand and Monroe Institute are partnering to co-create an immersive sound experience. “Circle 37” is the first single to be released with Monroe Sound Science signals for a powerful expansive listening experience. Listeners easily shift to a relaxed state of expanded awareness through a combination of Monroe’s entrainment signals, vocals by Pricilla Ahn and the ethereal melodies of Foam & Sand.
“In my work, I intend to go beyond just releasing music for its own sake but instead want to open a wider perspective on things like metaphysics, the bridge between science and spirituality, and how music as a carrier medium communicates things beyond words,” Koch describes. “So working with the Monroe Institute is a real pleasure as their longstanding research in the field of consciousness and sound, non-locality of consciousness, the impact of consciousness on the physical environment, and on the entropy in the universe are all subjects I’m super interested in. I feel like this is only the beginning of our collaboration so I’m excited to see how it unfolds from here.”
As Foam and Sand, Robot Koch has charted a thrilling new path in what has already been an accomplished career in the ever-changing world of electronic music. His second full-length and first for Nettwerk is a masterwork in ambient textures and sounds, bursting with emotive swells and lush sonics at every turn. It takes someone with precise touch and keen intuition to make ambient music that moves you, and Koch has indeed accomplished that goal and more with this record, cementing the project as an exciting new prospect in the world of ambient overall.
Foam and Sand was properly borne out of the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic after Koch could not tour behind his most recent release as Robot Koch, the symphonic The Next Billion Years. Je basically hit the ground running once Foam and Sand was established as a proper project; he’s put forth multiple releases on his Bandcamp page over the last several years, as his continued embrace of tape loops as a sonic bedrock has led him down a path of pure simplicity. His Nettwerk debut finds him plumbing new depths of gorgeousness, as his interest in the “beautiful imperfections” of loops collides with his twin-headed fascinations in the intersections between science and spirituality, as well as music and consciousness.
The result is truly transformative music, reminiscent of legendary ambient composer Harold Budd’s own reveries and the quiet ecstasy of early Sigur Ros. It doesn’t take a long time to make music as Form and Sand,” he explains. “It just comes together more quickly because of the nature of the music itself. I try not to overproduce and let the process emerge more organically.”
Foam and Sand’s music might sound solitary, but Koch brought in several key collaborators throughout that add their own unique touches to this special music. Berlin-based vibraphonist and Leaving Records affiliate J. Foerster lends his patient sticks to the intrigue of “Circle 31.” Priscilla Ahn’s vocals hover above opener “Circle 28” like mist gracing the piano-dotted plains, while “Circle 29” features German techno duo Two Lanes offering a new, more minimalistic spin on their own approach to electronic music.
And the art of magnification by reduction is what defines Foam and Sand, as well as Koch’s overall musical vision at the moment. “Music’s very autobiographical, and this music definitely reflects where I am at in my life,” he states. “The simplification of my process speaks to how I’m not very attached to material things at the moment—even my studio in Los Angeles is stripped down compared to what I used to have in Berlin. My philosophy is that less is more.” By that measurement, he’s offered a bounty to listeners this time around, with so much beauty that you’ll have trouble pulling yourself away from its endlessness.
Koch has done official remixes for the likes of Max Richter, Rammstein, Christian Löffler, and Adriatique and collaborated with conductor and Grammy Award Nominee Kristjan Järvi, along with the Nordic Pulse Orchestra. He has performed at renowned festivals such as Coachella, Mutek, Sonar, Boiler Room, Melt, and Splash, supporting acts such as Moderat and Madlib, and received the German Music Composers Award for the category of ‘Best Composer in Electronic Music’ for his work and several awards for “best immersive experience” for his acclaimed Full Dome show titled Sphere. B.
Additionally, he has received support from major Youtube channels like Mr. Suicide Sheep and Ambient, as well as radio plays from BBC Radio 1’s John Peel, Friction and B. Traits, Worldwide FM, KCRW, and KEXP. As well he has scored for TV and film and had his music placed on several TV shows which, include the acclaimed ABC Network show How to Get Away with Murder and NBC’s The Blacklist and Dark on Netflix, to name a few.
More on the Monroe Institute:
Founded in the 1970s by Robert A. Monroe, their mission is helping people create more meaningful and joyful lives through the guided exploration of expanded consciousness.
Using their specially designed audio-guided technology, program participants learn valuable tools to explore, navigate and use non-physical aspects of their own higher consciousness. Their experiential programs are offered on our main campus in Faber, Virginia USA as well as 12 additional countries and online. They also have a meditation app, Expand with guided meditations supported by our audio technology Monroe Sound Science and a recently launched podcast Expanding on Consciousness which can be found on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, or other popular podcast apps.
Over the years, they have continued Bob’s work, mapping over a dozen additional Focus Levels and creating specific sound mixes to help people experience and explore deeper levels of expanded awareness. With feedback from thousands of participants in their residential programs, these layered mixes are continually refined to be as engaging and effective as possible.