Tagged: The Martian Chronicles

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 ambient@hyperreal.org 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.

The Martian Chronicles Reviewed by Textura

Here’s a recent review by Textura of THE MARTIAN CHRONICLES, the latest from Seren Ffordd & Oophoi.

Speaking of extraterrestrial, The Martian Chronicles, the first collaboration between long-time Hypnos contributors Seren Ffordd & Oophoi, takes its name from a story collection by Ray Bradbury (by the way, Seren Ffordd, the alias adopted by Andy Benford is Welsh for Star Road, Way of Stars, or Milky Way, while Italian ambient-drone composer Gianluigi Gasparetti is the man behind Oophoi). The seventy-four-minute set elaborates on its sci-fi connection in seven ethereal moodscapes the duo recorded between 2006 and 2009 using synths, samples, percussion, and field recordings as the primary sources (the album was mixed at Benford’s StarWeb studio, aptly enough). The journey is mysterious, deep, and immersive, especially when the settings flow uninterruptedly from one to the next. The second track, “Dead Cities,” already finds us inhabiting deep space, as suggested by the lulling ebb and flow of the gaseous exhalations that dominate its early goings. A choir seems to faintly intone alongside the instrumental sounds (also during “Canals”), though that could simply be a hallucinatory response to the alien sounds in play. Cavernous rumblings convincingly conjure the vast emptiness of space before “Blue Fire” brings a rather more serene mood to the album. An occasional real-world sound, such as the chirping birds and rain downpour in “Flamebirds Waiting for the Storm,” adds a more concrete dimension to the generally abstract character of the sound design. Regardless of mood, the tracks unfold slowly, a move that in turn heightens their immersive potential, and there’s a grandiosity to the pair’s material, not to mention drama and depth. Though it’s very much in the deep ambient tradition, The Martian Chronicles is also a superb example of the genre and one aficionados would do well to investigate.

–Reviews by Textura
>

Purchase for $12.99 on Hypnos Online Store

Reviews of The Martian Chronicles by Seren Ffordd & Oophoi

Catching up on posting reviews received… going to combine several together! Here are three for The Martian Chronicles by Seren Ffordd and Oophoi, reviews by Hypnagogue, Joseph Pe, and Terrascope UK. Our thanks to all reviewers, both official and informal!

Drone masters Seren Fford and Oöphoi interface with the spirit of Ray Bradbury on the long-form ambient work The Martian Chronicles. This is an impressionistic work, the sounds and drones carving images of the Martian landscape in your mind. And that landscape evolves across time. At the outset, the scene is sparse, windswept red dust issuing over cold ground. A sense of loneliness gnaws through the sound. Late in the first track, “The Long Years,” the feeling is so stripped down it becomes almost unnerving. The duo carry the unease straight into “Dead Cities,” where low funereal drones moan under a quiet, freezing hush. As the piece goes along it slowly grows in vibrancy and light, moving us into a more inviting landscape. It’s the first sense of forward motion, of narrative discovery. We understand that we’re on the cusp of something, and it arrives in “Blue Fire” with some unexpected percussion. We’re taken through a brief passage with tribal overtones, like a look into some lost civilization’s past or the finding of some indigenous culture’s outpost. It’s a great touch, even as slight as it is, after such a long ambient stretch. This is where the tone of the disc begins to shift toward the optimistic and organic. Water is discovered in “Canals,” the sound quietly burbling over warm ambient cloud formations. Again, the tone here is warmer and more welcoming than in earlier tracks. We’ve arrived somehow at a different, hospitable Mars. More signs of life come with “Flamebirds Waiting for the Storm.” The chittering of a thousand electronic Martian avians bounce and dance over a virtually unchanging drone. Thunder begins to roll in the background. The simplicity of the undercurrent tone is amazingly effective, a straight-line constant against the chaos laid over it. The disc closes with the prayer-like chant of “Unremembered,” a quite straightforward ambient piece, meditative and reverent.

Throughout The Martian Chronicles, the layering of sounds is incredible. Even in the most still-wind moments there’s motion and depth and interplay. This is the kind of disc where you pop on the headphones, lay in the dark, and let your mind start building scenery. The sensations that Seren Fford and Oöphoi are able to convey through their sounds are quite visceral and moving. In addition, the movement of the disc, start to finish, is one of the best examples of creating a sonic narrative that I’ve heard in a while. There is an arc here, and it’s fully developed and completely realized. This is a truly masterful piece of work.

–Review by Hypnagogue

“…this new release really surprised me. A masterpiece, it has brought out the best of the two artists–a true synergy here. This work will be a classic (if it’s not one already). Another win for hypnos!”

–Review by Hypnos customer Joseph Pe

The Martian Chronicles by Seren Ffordd and Oöphoi is an album of sparse, atmospheric electronic music inspired by the classic SF novel written by Ray Bradbury. The album takes its inspiration from the Martian aspects of the novel in particular, opening with a fifteen minute cut ‘The Long Years,’ which through a combination of perfectly judged drones, synths and deeply reverberated sounds evokes the coldness and distance of the environment. ‘Dead Cities’ brings in a different set of textures to the mix, based on a drone that sounds like a long, alien breath, breathing in, out, in… haunting and effective. Half way through, the textures change to bring a more technological feel to the sound. ‘Blue Fire,’ the third fifteen-minute cut, continues the theme of slow drift drones overlaid with mysterious effects, this time sounding like reverberated voices, though they’re probably synths. ‘End Of A Changeling’ plays with the structure of the book and the album, which is presented in reverse order; the cut is brief, composed of sections from all the other tracks mixed by Seren Ffordd into a pivot, around which the album turns. ‘Canals’ brings field recordings of water into the mix, while ‘Flamebirds Waiting For The Sun’ features weirdly mutated bird sounds to create a particularly effective and atmospheric track. Album closer ‘Unremembered’ features a synth drone like a heavenly choir, completing the experience in suitable style. For those who’ve read the book, this ambient delight will be an intriguing discovery.”

–TMC review by Stephen Palmer on Terrascope – http://www.terrascope.co.uk/Reviews/Reviews_October_11.htm#SynthRoundup

Purchase for $12.99 on Hypnos Online Store

Martian Chronicles Reviewed by Hypnagogue

The Martian Chronicles by Seren Fford and Oöphoi, reviewed by John Stranahan at Hypnagogue:

Drone masters Seren Fford and Oöphoi interface with the spirit of Ray Bradbury on the long-form ambient work The Martian Chronicles. This is an impressionistic work, the sounds and drones carving images of the Martian landscape in your mind. And that landscape evolves across time. At the outset, the scene is sparse, windswept red dust issuing over cold ground. A sense of loneliness gnaws through the sound. Late in the first track, “The Long Years,” the feeling is so stripped down it becomes almost unnerving. The duo carry the unease straight into “Dead Cities,” where low funereal drones moan under a quiet, freezing hush. As the piece goes along it slowly grows in vibrancy and light, moving us into a more inviting landscape. It’s the first sense of forward motion, of narrative discovery. We understand that we’re on the cusp of something, and it arrives in “Blue Fire” with some unexpected percussion. We’re taken through a brief passage with tribal overtones, like a look into some lost civilization’s past or the finding of some indigenous culture’s outpost. It’s a great touch, even as slight as it is, after such a long ambient stretch. This is where the tone of the disc begins to shift toward the optimistic and organic. Water is discovered in “Canals,” the sound quietly burbling over warm ambient cloud formations. Again, the tone here is warmer and more welcoming than in earlier tracks. We’ve arrived somehow at a different, hospitable Mars. More signs of life come with “Flamebirds Waiting for the Storm.” The chittering of a thousand electronic Martian avians bounce and dance over a virtually unchanging drone. Thunder begins to roll in the background. The simplicity of the undercurrent tone is amazingly effective, a straight-line constant against the chaos laid over it. The disc closes with the prayer-like chant of “Unremembered,” a quite straightforward ambient piece, meditative and reverent.

Throughout The Martian Chronicles, the layering of sounds is incredible. Even in the most still-wind moments there’s motion and depth and interplay. This is the kind of disc where you pop on the headphones, lay in the dark, and let your mind start building scenery. The sensations that Seren Fford and Oöphoi are able to convey through their sounds are quite visceral and moving. In addition, the movement of the disc, start to finish, is one of the best examples of creating a sonic narrative that I’ve heard in a while. There is an arc here, and it’s fully developed and completely realized. This is a truly masterful piece of work.

Many thanks to John Stranahan for this review!

Buy the CD for $12.99, or read more, or hear clips.

August Airplay and “Top 20″ from WDIY Galactic Travels

As mentioned in a recent post, I’m posting (slightly late) some radio playlists received that involve Hypnos airplay. Here we’ve got a series of notifications from WDIY radio… first the August Top 20 list, and below that some weekly playlists involving airplay of Hypnos stuff (which of course resulted in our CDs making the monthly Top 10).

Major thanks to Bill Fox for all the support and promotion!

http://soundscapes.us/gt/playlists/2012/top20-08aug.html

WDIY 88.1 FM “Galactic Travels” Top 20 for August, 2012.
Shows #800 to #804; 2-August-2012 to 30-August-2012
Reported in non-ranked, alphanumeric order.
Compiled by Bill Fox

The Special Focus for August was The Tangent Project.

http://soundscapes.us/gt/playlists/2012/focus.html#aug

ARTIST – ALBUM TITLE – LABEL
========================================================================
AeTopus – Between Empire – 12 Ton
Amongst Myselves – Ambient, Landscape and Space – none
Bruno Sanfilippo – Urbs – Hypnos
Caul – Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night – Hypnos

Craig Padilla – The Heart of the Soul – Spotted Peccary
Daren Keck – Quiet Hillside – Wayfarer
Divine Matrix – Atmospheric Variations – A. D. Music
Erik Wollo – Airborne – Projekt
Glenn Main – Ripples – A. D. Music
Monty Adkins – Four Shibus – Audiobulb
Northern Valentine – fin de siecle – Silbermedia
Oystein Jorgensen – Imagine – Auraltone
Steve Roach – Groove Immersion – Timeroom
Steve Roach and Dirk Serries – Low Volume Music – Projekt
The Tangent Project – Live – The Gatherings 05.17.08
The Tangent Project – Live on Star’s End 02.24.08
The Tangent Project – Live on Star’s End 12.06.09
The Tangent Project – Return – none
The Tangent Project – Surface – none
[‘ramp] – return – doombient

Bill
========================================================================
Host of Galactic Travels, an electronic, ambient, and space music show,
Thursdays at 11:04 pm EDT/GMT-4 on WDIY 88.1 FM in Allentown and
Bethlehem, 93.9 FM in Easton and Phillipsburg, and on 93.7 FM in
Trexlertown and Fogelsville. WDIY also broadcasts in HD Digital Radio
on 88.1 FM.
Galactic Travels web site: http://galactictravels.info
Listen to WDIY at http://wdiy.org/programs/galactic-travels on-line.

This show has a track from Urbs by Bruno Sanfilippo.

http://soundscapes.us/gt/playlists/2012/120823.html

Show #803 August 23, 2012.

WDIY Playlist:

http://wdiy.org/programs/galactic-travels?playlist_date=08-23-2012

RECAP:
On this show, I continued the month-long focus on The Tangent Project.
The Featured CD at Midnight was “Live on Star’s End 12.06.09.”
http://soundscapes.us/gt/ playlists/2012/focus.html#aug

PLAYLIST:

11:04 pm
ARTIST TRACK ALBUM (label)
==================== ==================== ==============================
Kevin Braheny Starflight 1 * Galaxies (Hearts of Space)
Animusic Harmonic Voltage Animusic (Animusic)
Animusic Fiber Bundles Animusic 2 (Animusic)
VA [Fanger and Snap Shot Second Decade (Manikin)
Schonwalser]
Daren Keck Song and Dance Quiet Hillside (Wayfarer)
Monty Adkins Permutations Four Shibus (Audiobulb)
Bruno Sanfilippo The Gray Umbrella Urbs (Hypnos)
Modulator ESP Event Horizon Event Horizon (none)

12:00 am
ARTIST TRACK ALBUM (label)
==================== ==================== ==============================
The Tangent Project Autopilot Live on Star’s End 12.06.09
The Tangent Project Flow Live on Star’s End 12.06.09
The Tangent Project Kyoto Vertigo Live on Star’s End 12.06.09

1:00 am

* = excerpt
VA = Various Artists (compilation)
++ = Advance CDR from Artist
— = Background music under interview

The next one, August 9, includes airplay from Caul’s CD Let the Stars Assume the Whole of Night.

Show #801 August 9, 2012.

WDIY Playlist: http://wdiy.org/programs/galactic-travels?playlist_date=08-09-2012

RECAP:
On this show, I continued the month-long focus on The Tangent Project.
The Featured CD at Midnight was “Live on Star’s End 02.24.08.”

PLAYLIST:

11:04 pm
ARTIST TRACK ALBUM (label)
==================== ==================== ==============================
Kevin Braheny Starflight 1 * Galaxies (Hearts of Space)
Oystein Jorgensen Looking Back in Time Imagine (Auraltone)
Caul Words of praise Let the Stars Assume the Whole
arise, like of Night (Hypnos)

flowers
Erik Wollo Red Earth Airborns (Projekt)
Glenn Main Castles In the Air Ripples (A. D. Music)
Glenn Main Dream Catcher Ripples (A. D. Music)
Jut Takahashi Fairy’s Blues Angel (Lunisolar)
Steve Roach and Closed Low Volume Music (Projekt)
Dirk Serries

12:00 am
ARTIST TRACK ALBUM (label)
==================== ==================== ==============================
The Tangent Project intro space Live on Star’s End 02.24.08
The Tangent Project port0 Live on Star’s End 02.24.08
The Tangent Project soju Live on Star’s End 02.24.08
The Tangent Project 20:30 Live on Star’s End 02.24.08

And lastly, because I’m not sure if I posted this previously or not, the July Top 20, which includes Urbs by Sanfilippo and The Martian Chronicles by Seren Ffordd and Oophoi.

http://billfox.blogspot.com/2012/07/galactic-travels-top-20-report-for-july.html

WDIY 88.1 FM “Galactic Travels” Top 20 for July, 2012.
Shows #796 to #799; 5-July-2012 to 26-July-2012
Reported in non-ranked, alphanumeric order.
Compiled by Bill Fox

The Special Focus for July was Radio Massacre International.

ARTIST – ALBUM TITLE – LABEL
========================================================================
Broekhuis, Keller, and Schonwalder – Red – Manikin
Bruno Sanfilippo – Urbs – Hypnos
Craig Padilla – The Heart of the Soul – Spotted Peccary
Daren Keck – Quiet Hillside – Wayfarer
Dave Luxton – Singularity In Sound – Wayfarer
Forrest Fang – Animism – Projekt
Loren Nerell – Slow Dream – Projekt
Monty Adkins – Four Shibusa – Audiobulb
mystified with Robin Storey – Music for Transit – Roil Noise
Pragate – The WorldAbove Us – none
RMI – Lost in Transit 4; Damo – Northern Echo
RMI – Lost in Transit 2; The National Space Centre 2005 – Northern Echo
RMI – Lost in Transit 3; The National Space Centre 2006 – Northern Echo
RMI – Lost in Transit 4; Damo – Northern Echo
Seren Ffordd + Oophoi – The Martian Chronicles – Hypnos
Shane Morris and Mystified – Epoch – Lotuspike
Steve Dinsdale – The Vast Key – Northern Echo
Steve Roach and Dirk Serries – Low Volume Music – Projeekt
The Tangent Project – Live 2010-2011 – none
Various Artists – Second Decade 2002-2012 – Manikin

Bill
========================================================================
Host of Galactic Travels, an electronic, ambient, and space music show,
Thursdays at 11:04 pm EDT/GMT-4 on WDIY 88.1 FM in Allentown and
Bethlehem, 93.9 FM in Easton and Phillipsburg, and on 93.7 FM in
Trexlertown and Fogelsville. WDIY also broadcasts in HD Digital Radio
on 88.1 FM.
Galactic Travels web site: http://galactictravels.info (temporarily down)
Temporary site: http://wdiy.org/programs/galactic-travels
Listen to WDIY at http://wdiy.org on-line.

Thanks again to Bill Fox of WDIY Radio. It’s hard to overstate the value of continued airplay in spreading the word about independent music like what we release on Hypnos!