Conception’ was a beginning. ‘Reflection’ is looking forward and looking back at the same time. This is music from old friends and new acquaintances, which is just as it should be…

I was just rereading the release notes for the first release, the Conception compilation. I referred to that collection as a mission statement, declaring musically what I intended Free Floating Music to be. As I look back now, I can say that I feel that I accomplished what I had set out to do.

In the past five years, Free Floating has released  Reflection_sm
• 7 compilations representing 53 artists, and
• 29 albums representing 19 different artists
which, as of September 1, 2016, have been downloaded over 66,000 times, and played nearly 203,000 times. While I have not data to compare that to other artists or labels, I am personally gratified that this music has reached so many people.

But more important than statistics are the individuals who have been touched by the music. I’ve heard from teachers of special needs children who use the music in classes. I’ve heard from a father who uses the music to put his 5-year old son to sleep. I’ve heard from another person who said that the music greatly helps them deal with anxiety and depression.

This is the power of music. And it has been my goal to help connect listeners and lovers of this kind of music with some of the deeply talented artists who create it. And I wanted it to be free, to foster generous creativity and grateful listening. And I have been deeply blessed that artists whom I respect have trusted me to be a conduit to their music.

A reflection on the accomplishments of Free Floating would be incomplete if I weren’t to mention the Quiet Friends tribute compilation. To me, it was the pinnacle of the label’s mission and values. The album was a way to express gratitude from artists and myself to a musical inspiration and icon of ambient music, Steve Roach. And it was an honor to work with Steve personally, bringing him into the process as more than simply an honoree or listener. I am proud that I was able to create something that meant so much to him and the artists involved.

And now it is time for me to move on in my own musical journey. I am beginning to grow in my personal studies of jazz, as a listener and player. To me it is just another avenue of music, one full of expression and emotional resonance.

My goal is that the music of Free Floating will continue to endure into the future. (I am pleased that this compilation contains tracks from artists who have not appeared on the label before, which takes the music as much into the future as the past). The plan will be to make the music available free via The Internet Archive, and perhaps still through Bandcamp.

Finally, I thank those—artists, listeners, all—for being part of this project that has meant so much to me. Even more than the music, I will treasure the people whom I have connected with because of Free Floating. I am richer for you all.

This collection is the final gift of music from Free Floating. I hope that in it you find a hallowed place to think and to be.

Brad Ross-MacLeod
September 2016