The Sidereal Cycle 3

by Altus



I felt a fair bit of pressure working on this, as it’s the spiritual successor to the Winter Embrace series, and certainly didn’t want to disappoint. However I feel I’ve managed to pull the essence of the series, and refine it into something smoother.

It goes nowhere in a hurry–letting you sink in, and drift away. The minor shifts throughout are subtle, and finally ebbs away without bringing attention to itself. This is, by far, some of the most ‘ambient’ work I’ve ever produced (ambient in the Eno sense of the word).

It may sound strange, but this is something I find very difficult to do. I always feel a need to “add more” instead of simply let the music hold still, and I feel I’ve finally managed it.

Words from Brad Ross-Macleod at Free Floating:

I have to say that I think there is something about winter that brings out the best in Mike’s compositional and performance abilities.

I encourage you to listen to each of the releases in his "Winter Embrace" Series as well as his "Black Trees Among Amber Skies". I think these are some of his best works, certainly some of my favorites.

This release ranks among his best and I think is probably his greatest long-form work. It is probably, as he mentioned to me, his most ‘ambient’ work in that it is more minimal than some of his orchestrally inspired pieces. I think it’s true. There is such a beautiful and delicate simplicity that he captures here.

It is a gorgeous wintery landscape that he has captured in sound for all of us to enjoy.

Composed October to December 2012

Also available for free here:


released December 21, 2012

Photo: Mike Carss




Altus Ottawa, Ontario

Ambient music with cinematic overtones

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