I had the idea of the title of the album first and wanted to explore something that had many shades and layers – with some slow movements and some drones but also some dynamics and unexpected changes. I wanted some pleasant harmonics but also edginess, sounds shifting in a way that could be dream like but not soporific, like shadows coming out of the mists into more solid form before drifting off again….
The music started with me wanting to use the electric guitar on its own to create something and the first track, originally called Slow Spin, came from this. At this point I did not have a coherent theme for titles or musical direction. The gourds at the end of the piece inspired the second track’s sounds and it’s title, ‘River of Souls’, as well as the change of title of the first piece to ‘Slow Passing’. Out of this the other tracks unfolded…..
‘Distant Paths’ is more rhythmical than much of my work previously. The end is rhythmically discordant, yet it has all the same elements as earlier parts and in the same places, friends have found their bodies searching for the rhythm they have been moving to but unable to find it and not knowing why. I’m not sure how I managed that but I felt it really fitted in with the exploration of dynamics and changes in a different way – like something heard in a dream and was unable to quite remember…..I also liked the chance nature of the result, something I do use in my music.
Overall Veils, Shadows is about other realms and perceptions – the River of Souls is not necessarily about their journey once passed over, but the journey of souls in whatever realm they are travelling – including the one we call the living. Similarly ‘Distant Paths’ can be the far off places we travel within our minds or the rare places of deep forest left in the UK where the only human noise is the sound of our footsteps.
Veils, Shadows was the first Seren Ffordd album released on the Hypnos Secret Sounds label
"Seren Ffordd prefers contemplation over cinema—Veils, Shadows makes palpable all manners of sentient drift permeating the foggy bottom of humid Irish moors. Druggy horns howl out beyond sunburnt horizons, while guitar drones vainly signal to the unsuspecting populace what lies beneath. Ffordd’s sharp enough to vary his incessant drones so as to dash cliché to the sodden earth; working with potent hues of glass, gourds, even frame drums (plus sundry ubiquitous electronic processing techniques) reveals calamitous happenings deep within the record’s eerie spectrum that’s leagues ahead of numerous other bedroom drone interns."
--Darren Bergstein, Signal To Noise magazine
On Veils, Shadows, Seren Ffordd’s instrument list includes things you might expect like voice and electric guitar, and things you might not, like gourds and antelope horn. The end result has an authentic organic sound, similar and yet distinct from artists like Klaus Wiese and Mathias Grassow. “Slow Passing” has a circular feel to the swirling sounds, drones that breathe in and exhale slowly. Toward the end of the opening track, new sounds form the seeds of what will become “River Of Souls.” Seren Fford makes great picture music, and I can envision myself deep in a rain forest. Trying to describe the exact sounds and instrumentation is difficult for these atmospheric mood pieces, but I can state unequivocally that they succeed on many levels, from the way they sound to the effect they have on the listener. “Distant Paths” adds a tribal touch to the organic ambience. Percussion is crisp yet light, a very effective enhancement. The title track is darker and more dissonant in the early going. It smoothes out after a while with gentle washes of sound and steadily humming drones, coming to a long slow fade at the end. Recommended
--Phil Derby, electroambientspace.
Hope you enjoy the music.