Stellar Nurseries was the first Seren Ffordd album released by Oophoi on his Umbra label – Which I originally sent to him just to ask for any feedback and advice he might have.
I have always been intrigued and inspired by space – the vast slow distances, the empty spaces and the immense fiery conflagrations.
Stellar Nurseries was born out of the pictures of the nebulas where stars are born, pictures captured by the numerous telescopes around and above the Earth staring into those vast reaches of space.
The album was recorded on a second hand Korg D16 digital studio, a borrowed beginner’s keyboard and 2 microphones. Using the keyboard, vocals, live controlled feedback from the studio speakers and the effects within the D16 I tried to create a 60 minute version of the evolution and creation of our solar system.
The keyboard had no ADSR/envelope function so all the slow drifting notes of the 4th part were created by slowly turning up and down the volume control.
Stellar Nurseries was also released on the Hypnos Secret Sounds label (www.hypnos.com
) in 2010. When I had the chance to look at the music again I considered changing it, possibly adding sounds or dividing it into 4 tracks – but I decided to leave it exactly as it was. If I was to try and record this now I might do it differently, create it differently – but it deserves to remain in it’s original form.
I hope you enjoy the music.
Review at Textura:
Let's start with the earliest of the four, Seren Ffordd's Stellar Nurseries, which is actually a reissue of a 2004 release (the first in a planned series of recordings previously issued on Umbra and Penumbra, Italy-based labels managed by Oophoi) he created using a Korg 016 and a Yamaha PSR 262 keyboard. It's an hour-long, single-movement work that the Wales-based Ffordd splits into four figurative sections: “Out of the Void,” “Storm Movement,” “Spiral Dance,” and “Floating, Dreaming.” By way of context, the artist's notes describe huge, drifting clouds of molecular gases that turn star-like, then gradually increase in heat and movement until ignition occurs, after which lighter and heavier elements are pushed and pulled by gravitational forces until planets form. There's a suspended and drifting quality to the material, with cloud-like washes and tones extending for minutes at a time like massive exhalations taking place thousands of kilometres above the earth or perhaps nebulae coming into focus in slow-motion. Shifts in emphasis alternate between the rumbling lower to ascendent higher tones, and wave-like surges in intensity occur too, lending the material an industrial character in the process. An undercurrent of controlled aggression and pressure dominates the first half, until an abrupt termination strips the material down to a sole, organ-like nucleus around which synthetic tones languorously congregate as the sound mass thickens. In contrast to the first, the mood of the second half is lambent, serene, and melancholy, rather requiem-like in spirit as if in mourning for the death of a star. Ultimately, the programmatic connections between the section titles and the work itself are easily drawn in Ffordd's beautifully sustained meditation.