Category: Ambient Music News

News and information not directly related to our own releases, or the music we sell in our store, but nonetheless of interest to the average Hypnos listener.

Oöphoi (Gianluigi Gasparetti) Has Passed Away

I regret to report, for those of you who have not already seen the news on Facebook, the Hypnos Forum, or the listserv, that Gianluigi Gasparetti, best known as Oöphoi, founder of the magazine Deep Listenings, and also founder of the Umbra & Penumbra labels, has passed away at age 55.

You will find many people sharing memories and photos HERE, on the Hypnos Forum.

Some of my very earliest memories as an ambient musician and label owner involve Gigi, as his friends called him. I first knew him as a magazine publisher and writer, and was delighted to find this Italian-language magazine devoted to ambient music had given rave reviews to the first few CDs released by Hypnos.

Gigi transitioned from ambient music fan to practitioner, and while the majority of those who attempt this move never create music that amounts to much, he became as Oöphoi truly one of the most noteworthy artists in the scene from the late 90s onward.

We communicated on many subjects over the years, and I had the pleasure of releasing four CDs of his music, with others in various stages of planning or potential discussion. The four already released include the following:

Oöphoi – Athlit

Athlit was the first Hypnos first release by Oöphoi, and ended up being his only solo work we released. There were many discussions of doing other solo releases, but sometimes Gigi was impatient. It often seemed that if two labels were interested in releasing some of his work, he went with whichever label wanted to release it soonest.

Paul Vnuk Jr. & Oöphoi – Distance to Zero

Distance to Zero was an album we considered somewhat overlooked. It found a modest listenership, but not the acclaim it deserved. Perhaps time will look more favorably upon it, and it will rise in the estimation of the ambient music scene in general.

Nebulæ – The Path of White Clouds

The Path of White Clouds was a reissue of an out-of-print album by Nebula, a sort of ambient music “supergroup.” Due to some concerns about the several other recording artists releasing work under the name Nebula, the decision was made to alter the name slightly to Nebulæ for the reissue. Group member Klaus Wiese passed away during the time we were preparing this reissue.

Seren Ffordd & Oöphoi – The Martian Chronicles

Another Oöphoi collaboration, this time with Seren Ffordd, an ambient artist from Wales whose work Gigi had introduced to the world on his Umbra & Penumbra labels. He also encouraged me to release some Seren Ffordd work on Hypnos, which has led to the strong ongoing relationship between us. Seren Ffordd & Oöphoi had such a successful collaboration, they completed a second CD worth of material around the same time. We originally discussed the idea of making the release a double CD, but the two discs were of such different sonic quality from one another, we settled on releasing them as related but separate albums.

We are currently working on The Dreaming Waters, the second album by Seren Ffordd & Oöphoi, which will come out on Hypnos in 2013. Fans of Oöphoi’s music are fortunate to have such a large body of work available, with perhaps a few more items like this one still to be released.

I personally (that is, Hypnos founder Mike Griffin) had worked intermittently on a collaborative project with Gigi. We created about two CDs worth of music, some of it very fine, but somehow we were both so busy with other things that we never quite got around to finishing it. Perhaps I’ll find a way to edit and finalize those tracks some day, and release them in tribute to Gigi. He was so friendly, and in touch with so many recording artists around the world, that I have no doubt other collaborative projects exist in semi-finished states. I hope we will hear more of these in the future.

Though we’ve lost our friend, he has left us many soundworlds to explore.

Numina’s Deception of Reality Featured on StillStream

News from (and about) Numina:

“The Deception of Reality” is the featured album at StillStream for the month of February 2013!

StillStream has this to say about the latest album:

“A hauntingly deep journey, The Deception of Reality is highly recommended. Numina conjures up huge harmonic spaces that reverberate and breathe so naturally that the five tracks sound as if they composed themselves from some stratosphere in another dimension. Heavy use of pads and silky synths executed with great finesse glide alongside light melodic encounters that make this album one to spin over and over again.”

Our thanks to StillStream for supporting this great ambient artist!

Shipping Charge Increases on Hypnos Store

We haven’t changed rates in the last decade or so, but due to significant rate hikes from US Postal Service, our rates (see below) go up today, Jan 27, 2013 on the Hypnos Online Store

US shipping $4.00 per order (any quantity)
Canadian shipping $6.00 per order (any quantity)
Europe/UK shipping: 1-3 CDs $10.00 per order, 4+ CDs $18.00 per order
Japan/Australia/NZ shipping: 1-3 CDs $11.00 per order, 4+ CDs $19 per order

We regret imposing these increases on our customers, and realize that some of you, especially those overseas, will by necessity order less often. We can only state again that these higher rates represent only a small part of the rate increases passed along to us by USPS, and in many cases it will cost us double or even triple these amounts to actually send your packages, especially for larger orders.

Star’s End and Space Music Feature

Check out this feature about Chuck van Zyl, Star’s End radio, and the Gatherings concert series in Philadelphia:

Art: Star’s End and Space Music

My experiences at the Gatherings (in the audience to see Vidna Obmana, and on stage with Dave Fulton and Jeff Pearce) were highlights of my ambient music life. Philadelphia is a special place for this kind of thing, and Chuck is the biggest reason.