Forrest Fang: The Book of Wanderers (CD)

$17.00 $14.00


Limited edition of 300

Product Description

1. An Atom on a Long Chain 09:09
2. Song of the Wanderer 05:54
3. Tale of the Egret 08:05
4. Astir 04:00
5. Atlantis 12:44
6. Elephant Steps 06:24
7. Chasing Stars 05:47
8. From the Hollows 08:28
9.Water Pod 04:22
10. Kepler’s Return 06:20
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Information in English here. Click to order CD.

Avant Music News Pick of the Week, August 30, 2020

The Book of Wanderers, from Projekt ambient musician Forrest Fang, creates an auditory escape, an aspiration towards venturing outwards, imagining better times ahead. Direct and emotional, the collection of electronic tone poems was recorded primarily during the spring and summer 2020 coronavirus lockdown. “While confined to my home in the Bay Area,” says Fang, “I felt the need to create pieces that provided virtual spaces for my mind to wander. These idealized spaces became my inner world during this time.”


The album begins with “An Atom on a Long Chain,” an ambitious and lively piece featuring echoing piano, hypnotic string sounds, and interlocking rhythms derived partly from fractals. The mood shifts with the atmospheric “Song of the Wanderer,” in which a gamelan gong and an electric piano share space with misty synthesized and processed textures. The sustained mood continues with “Tale of the Egret,” which features special guest artist Robert Rich who plays flutes over a relaxed backdrop of treated percussive sounds and a celestial zither.


“Astir,” a quiet interlude for piano and strings, provides a transition to “Atlantis,” an extended soundscape of shimmering strings, piano, Mellotron, and gamelan that perhaps best embodies the album’s theme of utopian worlds. An intriguing Fourth World-style track, “Elephant Steps,” follows, combining its tribal rhythms with hammered strings and sustained choral voices.


A shift into the spatial realm of pure electronic music occurs on the next track, “Chasing Stars.” The expansive sound fields and distant reverberations of this piece evoke the beauty of stargazing. We then return to terra firma on “From the Hollows,” a textural piece Fang had originally intended as a belated birthday tribute to ambient musician Brian Eno.


Another short interlude, “Water Pod,” provides a playful transition into The Book of Wanderers’ final piece, “Kepler’s Return,” in which otherworldly electronic and choral drones converge into a harmonious universe suggested in 17th-Century astronomer Johannes Kepler’s “music of the spheres.”

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Additional information

Weight .3 lbs

Reviews

  1. padmin

    From The Electro Review

    Out now on Bandcamp and with a limited run of 300 very special CDs is Forrest Fang’s The Book Of Wanderers. This ambient and neuvo-avant-garde synopsis of sound and texture once again delivers the goods on a freshly prepared production. Created over Spring and Summer 2020, during the global lock-down, this work instigates wondrous and phenomenal inward journeys that shimmer and sing with their own ethereal splendour. The name-your-price digital release has unlimited plays online so if you want to save up and properly reward the artist, you can still enjoy the music.

    The music begins with chiming tones that echo in looped progressions backed up by swelling strings. An Atom on a Long Chain takes a repeating phrase and adjusts it with graceful angular diversions along the lines of a warm matrix. Then, heavenly piano tones sprinkle down like spring showers, the energy grows and natural awe shines in with torrents of stratospheric momentum. Perhaps a butterfly is flapping its wings somewhere, the juxtaposition of delicacy and sheer force becomes a pivot of mental stimulation.

    Smooth and manicured tones peep from sheltered shadows as the next number rises like a hilltop moon. Pillars of sideways light pinpoint wood and metallic sounds which gently rattle to a humming swirl of magnetism. Like wind moving in between branches and windowpanes, a kinesis of subtle intervention flutters in flowing rivers of charming harmony. Song of the Wanderer helps us take steps beyond the initial sentinel of our mind.

    Tale Of The Egret is next, with open spaces echoing with nature and ambience it unravels like Cleopatra. Strings are plucked and strummed while disparate drums pound in reverberating ranges. Pipe and tempo merges as flute begins to soar above the flurry of complimentary sounds. Upward drifts of impassioned potential blanket the buoyancy in parachutes of melodic exploration. Ethereal and exotic impetus conjures avenues that stretch into historical chapters and fairytale like destinations.

    A melancholy piano opens the new sounds. Harmonising strings apply a delicate layering that dresses the focus with flowing gowns of silken sonics. Billowing melodics traverse the compass in gentle and moving dances through space. The dimensions of sound are addressed with forlorn mime as individual questions bounce from blank expression to insinuated gesture. Astir walks us through sombre marshes where forests are slowly growing to replace them.

    Behold, for Atlantis is brought into temporary being as its sound is produced for us. Slender and seductive tones harmonise with brass and string in a breezy lift from the silence. Piano breaks like the white of a wave and sprinkles modes and harmonies across an entire shore-front of moving sound. Tall mountains rise from slumbering earthworks that push from once submerged geography. Ancient ideas are rekindled in the minds of those who walk in step with the vibration of this enchanted island.

    A slow and progressive tone reaches from the emptiness which becomes entwined with sister sonics as they drift and stretch in unison. A rhythm then casts a shadow like high up canopies sectioning the light. Percussion rises and expands to flow into each accepting dimension of the track, its liquid intensity pouring like clarifying stillness. Elephant Steps carries weight, as jangling symphonic rattles jostle with thumping driftwood bass and whirling choral voices.

    A magical orchestra of multi-tonal depth reveals the new track. Droning background shimmer patches the arpeggio like forefront as complex harmonies disappear in eternal rebirth. Gradual temperance adjusts fractions of the whole which clink upon the wheels of music to gracefully swing the sound apparatus into dynamic postures. This is Chasing Stars, the slow moving and gentle radiance reflects from angular and beautiful surfaces.

    From The Hollows begins with a depth in which to clamber down. In we go as plipping drops and shady echoes reverberate with cavernous allure. Heavy and thick dredges of bass sweep the viscous underlayer as flittering leaves and mineral veins glisten and shuffle with every footstep within. Ambient bells decorate the walls, marking various positions within the stony temple. The cool air clings to dank walls which recall the passing lantern light.

    Tribal bells and conks begins with a cheery motif then strings which chord and waver begin to rise and overpower the initial prettiness. A quality of the ancient invigorates the mix as separate sounds mingle and swish in gently lapping tides. Bells and xylophone sounds continue to jingle along cluttered pathways while gushing sea-breezes add seclusive bubbles to the passing moments of time. Water Pod allows us to float in abstract awareness within aquatic and eventful emotionscapes.

    The music finishes with Kepler’s Return. The iconic space scientist who’s name was adopted by one of our most powerful eyes in the sky is reincarnated once again. This time it’s ambient space music. We can appreciate the ideal behind this philosophy, with cosmic strings and shaking hands we approach escape velocity. Outward into the psychosphere we drift, visiting lines of sight known to only a select few who dared to venture so high. -Rowan B. Colver

  2. padmin

    From Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END September 10th, 2020 –

    “Albums by Forrest Fang are for that rare breed of listener who, upon each outing, wishes to travel someplace new. In this and every way The Book of Wanderers (71’20”) is a great success, as each of its ten tracks takes us somewhere we did not know we wanted to go. Using an impressive range of percussive and stringed sounds, electronic tones and synthesized sighs to evoke the metaphysical dimensions within the player, he plays brisk and brilliant, then slow and steady – conjuring an inclusive space-laced, ethereal doorway into mind and mood. Forrest Fang has appeared on several works by Robert Rich, who returns the favor here by offering beautiful flute soloing throughout Tale of the Egret. Both are skillful musicians who can play for night owls as well as they can for morning larks, and know how to keep a musical story moving. Yet it is the soft harmonic auras and hovering melodies they realize which cling to the ears and whisper in the heart. As primitive states grow more organized we find certain arrangements on The Book of Wanderers rendered with a warm appreciation for their complexity. Further in we find Fang’s futuristic fusion sound combining features of world ethnic instruments with advanced Ambient Music techniques. Its pieces which are defined by subtle gradations of light and shadow are paralleled by compositions of hard line, high finish, and tight precision – works that bring back stardust, then resolve into the quiet grandeur of shores closer to home. Some evoke a feeling of melancholy, while further in muted palettes and a gauzy veil of atmosphere provide a poignant sense of repose. In our world where everything is known the music produced by Forrest Fang remains a mystery. A man of our time, or maybe somewhat ahead of it, he is in close touch with his imagination. This remarkable and evolving contemplation is an enterprise that is for all of us – as we struggle with a vague vision of a unified world.”

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