The Martian Chronicles was released after Oophoi and I had passed music back and forth for over three years while working on the project.
The music that forms the base of the track ‘Unremembered’ was the first piece sent by myself to Oophoi to start the album (which also developed independently into the album MooN by Seren Ffordd).
After a period of working together Oophoi suggested we honour Ray Bradbury and his book ‘The Martian Chronicles’. I had the great pleasure of re-reading the book after many years - finding I still remembered the characters and the strange otherworldly nature of the landscapes beings and complicated timelines.
The track ‘End of a Changeling’ includes every piece of music created by Oophoi for the album – those heard in earlier tracks and those yet to come. The music was mixed to a crescendo at the end, recreating a specific part of the book in sonic form. The tracks also play with the mixed timelines of the novel – each one connected to a chapter, but in reverse order to the book.
Sadly Ray Bradbury passed away shortly after the album was released and will be sorely missed.
Review in Textura:
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.
released 03 October 2011
Music and sounds recorded by Seren Ffordd in the Starweb studio and Oophoi in the Kiva.
Final mix made by Seren Ffordd in the Starweb studio.
Cover art by Seren Ffordd.
Cover layout and final mastering by Mike Griffin of Hypnos.
Album released by Hypnos - www.hypnos.com
Seren Ffordd, (Star Road or Way of Stars), has been recording since 2004. creating mainly soundscapes - which can
be light / dark / noisy / strange by using acoustic sounds, effects & synths. Everything is treated, carved and explored for unusual textures, dissonances, shades – allowing the evolving themes of each track or album to develop. Occasionally 'music' has actually appeared as well....more