Weekly Sale: Vidna Obmana

Hello all,

We’ve got some temporary price reductions this week on Vidna Obmana’s AN OPERA FOR FOUR FUSION WORKS, so it’s a great time to complete your collection if you don’t yet have them all, or to get them all if you haven’t yet had the chance! The low prices are good through April 14th or while supplies last.

vidnaObmana – An Opera for Four Fusions Works (Act 1, Echoes of Steel)–Regularly $7.99. right now just $4.99
act 1

AN OPERA FOR FOUR FUSION WORKS is a unique project by Vidna Obmana and Hypnos — a four-CD album, released one CD at a time. The first disc will be released next month in a case (similar to the one used for Robert Rich’s Humidity) that will have space for all four discs, though slots 2, 3 and 4 will be empty. The listener can then purchase the later installments as they are released gradually over the next year or two, and insert them into the case. The second, third and fourth discs will not be sold in their own cases, and will be shipped in a plastic sleeve only! This will allow us to release the project gradually, and will facilitate convenient storage for the completed four-disc set. Of course it will mean that you need to purchase the first disc in order to have a proper case for the other discs. Only when all four discs have been released, we will make available the whole set of four discs, pre-packaged together.
In each of the four chapters or “Acts,” Belgian ambient/experimental artist Vidna Obmana will rework or “recycle” the sound sources of a different musician or group. The four acts will be linked in a thematic sense, but will use completely different and distinct sound sources as raw material for Vidna Obmana’s manipulation.

“Act One” of the Opera (a conceptual title only — you won’t find operatic vocals here) is “Echoes of Steel” featuring guitar recordings by Dreams In Exile. The result is an austere, yet beautiful collaging of textures at once recognizably guitar-like, and at the same time abstract and strange.

Vidna Obmana continues the bold artistic exploration he began on Hypnos with LANDSCAPE IN OBSCURITY, continued with the diptych THE SURREAL SANCTUARY and THE CONTEMPORARY NOCTURNE, and most recently the two-disc SOUNDTRACK FOR THE AQUARIUM.

REVIEW:
“The first of a 4-CD set to be released individually over the course of the next year or so, this inaugural volume sees renowned Belgian ambient/world artist VIDNA OBMANA manipulating and recycling guitar sounds from the American group DREAMS IN EXILE. The resultant album is a lovely and nearly ambient selection of tracks that do retain a guitar feel, yet flow like ambient music–drifty, pastoral, and dreamlike. ‘Echoes Of Steel’ is a symphonic tapestry of metallic strings and gently wafting melodic shifts, perfectly suited for a quiet evening of peaceful relaxation. Later tracks like ‘III’ include wispy and harmonic vocals, creating a soothing and warm ebb. The final track, simply titled ‘I’, is just about as gorgeous as music gets–a great piece of ‘pure’ music to touch the soul. Can’t say enough, but this release is superlative in every way, evocative and imaginative, a beautiful landscape without equal.” –Godsend E-zine


 vidnaObmana – An Opera for Four Fusions Works (Act 2, Phrasing the Air) –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
act 2

Act II of VidnaObmana’s series AN OPERA FOR FOUR FUSION WORKS is now ready! Remember, Act I was released in a four-CD case, and acts II through IV are sold in a simple paper sleeve (with booklet) to be inserted into the Act I case.

REVIEWS:
“Eargerly expected and now available is the 2nd chapter in VidnaObmana’s ambitious Opera for Four Fusion Works.

Act II : Phrasing the Air centers around the soprano saxophone, brilliantly played by American natural Bill Fox. What follows is a beautiful fusion of honest sax harmonies, multi-layers of recyclings and a collection of haunting themes. An album which differs immensely from Act I but simultaneously utilizes the same approach. A very unique recording which isn’t that experimental than most of vidna’s recycling works are but one that focuses more onto the aspect of harmony and atmosphere. A very unique recording and now available. Remember that it comes only in a simple sleeve holding the CD and booklet to insert yourself into the 4CD box-set supplied with Act I : Echoes of Steel. Separately available now but if you don’t have Act I : Echoes of Steel yet, you can now order them together in the 4CD box-set as well.

Dive deep into VidnaObmana’s world of recycling.”
— Michael Foster / Ambientvisions

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“This release from 2003 offers 62 minutes of quasi-classical ambience. Accompanying Vidna Obmana’s electronics, guitars, bowed strings and infinite recycling on this recording is Bill Fox on soprano saxophone.

Taking the concept of “drone” to new levels, this music has an eternally expansive sound. The tonalities and textures flow like unbridled liquid; unfettered by gravity or inertia, they seek to fill space with their pensive disposition. The air transforms into a roiling essence, ethereal yet substantial in its shadowy presence. It’s as if thought has spilled out of the mind to take on vaporous form.

Ebow guitars and bowed strings generate the impression of an orchestral mien, distant and ghostly in its definition. Emulating a buzzsaw whose growl has been elongated until it loses its aggressive outcry and adopts a more passive euphony, these treated strings become a fundamental element that unifies man and atmosphere.

Predominant amid these soundscapes is Fox’s saxophone. Treated to become a seamless horizon of sound, the horn’s call forms impressive cloudbanks of moaning resonance. This sonic overcast blocks all light and silence, shrouding the landscape with serene moods that evoke an eternal dusk. Pulsing notes are contorted and folded back onto themselves, creating a pastiche of eerie quality.

This music offers a dense ambience that embodies dark demeanor with celestial optimism. It achieves this state with classical instruments swimming in a pool of electronic treatments. The electronics are actually secondary to the traditional instruments, used to transform rather than immerse.

Enthralling and pleasantly imperious.” –Reviewed by Matt Howarth, Sonic Curiosity

vidnaObmana – An Opera for Four Fusions Works (Act 3, Reflection on Scale) –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
act 3

Act III of VidnaObmana’s series AN OPERA FOR FOUR FUSION WORKS is now ready! Remember, Act I was released in a four-CD case, and acts II through IV are sold in a simple paper sleeve (with booklet) to be inserted into the Act I case.

Each of the four acts of this project utilize different source recordings by a different artist. This time the featured artist is Kenneth Kirschner, performing on piano. The treatments and processing by vidnaObmana this time are quite daring and experimental, edging at times into the realm of “glitch” or subtle noise experimenation. Overall, though, the feel is of gentle piano sonics, with a smooth and hypnotizing atmosphere rarely disturbed by well-placed bits of digital distortion.

Belgian ambient experimentalist Vidna Obmana is working at the height of his powers here, as he nears the end of his 4-part “Opera” cycle.

The usual disclaimer applies… this music is not in any real sense “opera” music, and the term is used only to suggest the varied, multi-part quality of this ongoing release.

REVIEW:
“The fact that Dirk Serries, for twenty or so years, the man behind Vidna Obmana, started a new ‘band’ (again of just himself), did lead to the conclusion that Vidna Obmana was dead, or on hold at least. But it’s not. Or perhaps it is, and is Hypnos just a bit late, releasing this album. It’s the third act in a series of four. The first one was by Vidna Obmana himself, and on the second he transformed the saxophone sounds (see Vital Weekly 420). For the third act Vidna Obmana treats the piano sounds, played by Kenneth Kirschner, who is perhaps best known for similar collaborations with Taylor Deupree. The piano playing of Kirschner is quiet, just a few notes every once in a while, and the recordings he makes are usually finely treated with small clicks and hiss. This is excellent music for Vidna Obmana to expand his ambient tapestries on. Vidna Obmana adds guitar and synthesizers, after which he locks the music into his chamber of sound effects, looping all the sounds, making small shifting changes while certain elements keep returning ad infinitum. The piano sounds by Kirschner remain audible throughout this work, it doesn’t seem that they are treated to such an extent. In the warm ambient bath created by Vidna Obmana they find a good home. Soberly orchestrated, the dedication to Morton Feldman is no surprise (although perhaps many more notes are played here than on average Feldman composition). Vidna Obmana doesn’t necessarily add something new to ambient, but his music still belongs to the best the genre has to offer.”


 vidnaObmana – An Opera for Four Fusions Works (Act 4, The Bowing Harmony) –Regularly $7.99, right now just $4.99
act 4

The fourth and final installment in vidnaObmana’s ambitious “Opera For Four Fusion Works” project. Each “act” of this project involves vidnaObmana’s reworking and recycling audio sources from different collaborators.

Act I used guitar pieces from Dreams in Exile, Act II used Bill Fox’s saxophone recordings, Act III worked from the foundation of Kenneth Kirschner’s piano works, and this last installment utilizes the voice of Steven Wilson ( No-Man, Porcupine Tree, and the artist behind Bass Communion). Even those who are thinking “I don’t like voice with my ambient music” will really love this. It’s one of the most unusual and yet relevant recordings ever released by Hypnos, in which a very recognizable sound, the human voice, is progressively transformed from the familiar, into stranger and more “ambient” atmospheres. It’s captivating & beautiful.

The usual disclaimer applies… this music is not in any real sense “opera” music, and the term is used only to suggest the varied, multi-part quality of this ongoing release.

REVIEW:
“ACT FOUR is an eerie layering of haunting vocals with appropriately dark textures on synth, electric guitar, and “infinite recycling.” It is perfectly creepy, and intensely so, which is undoubtedly the desired effect.” -Phil Derby, Electroambient Space


vidnaObmana – An Opera for Four Fusion Works (Acts 1-4, 4CDs)–Regularly $21.99, right now just $16.99
opera 1-4


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