Forrest Fang: The Oort Cloud Meditations (CD & Name-Your-Price Digital)


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Product Description

Limited edition of 300. CD in 4-panel Digipak.

1 Planetary Hum
2 Diaphanes
3 The Lighthouse
4 Distant Signals
5 Solus

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Information in English here. Click to order CD.

The Oort Cloud is a vast spherical hull of ice proposed to reside on the outer rim of our solar system. Nothing in this cloud has yet been seen, though it may contain icy objects including comets once close to the sun. This imagined place is the inspiration for ambient musician Forrest Fang’s The Oort Cloud Meditations.

While many of Fang’s releases are a hybrid of electronic and acoustic instruments, his latest remains predominantly a free-floating, transparent and gently unfolding electronic space. Using synthesizers to a greater extent than on previous albums, Fang organically transforms their tones into undulating harmonic gestures through ambient treatments and processing. The five far-reaching movements proceed at a relaxed pace; drifting atmospheres ebb and expand gradually, encouraging the mind to wander untethered.

“I created this album over an intense three months,” says Fang. “It started with a simple experiment that continued to evolve and spilled over into new pieces as the results grew more interesting and more sonically complex. I created electronic sounds that revolved around each other semi-randomly with room for harmonies to develop organically from these interactions. I used melodies sparingly, subtly introducing alternate tunings at times to reflect different moods.”

The album opens with “Planetary Hum,” a gently rolling series of tones intended to ground the listener for the auditory meditations to follow. The work’s open-ended textures are at times reminiscent of Brian Eno’s generative soundscapes but more dynamic in nature.

The extended “Diaphanes” follows, thematically drawing on the translucence of ice and revealing a surprisingly warm sonic environment. Like the opener, the overall mood is elongated and expansive. Across eighteen otherworldly minutes, the electronic textures glow and flicker suggesting arcs of the sun’s refracted light.

A darker, more mysterious blend of hues appears on “The Lighthouse.” Fragmentary themes quietly appear and recede in the veiled fog like random memories briefly emerging from the subconscious. Long, expanding echoes trail the melodic fragments leaving a large spatial void that ultimately swallows up these ephemeral reverberations. Even so, the fragments cover a considerable distance before finally fading away.

The faint trail from “The Lighthouse” leads us to the calming spaces of “Distant Signals.” Resonating frequencies resembling the sustain and decay of bronze temple bells and gongs drift across the acoustic field in tunings suggesting ancient origins. An unearthly choral sound bed gradually emerges, bringing the listener into an imaginary floating realm of undefined dimension.

Our visit to the Oort Cloud concludes with a return from distant celestial skies to internal spaces in the final piece, “Solus.” A cluster of thick harmonious tones form their own vibrating cloud; it momentarily hangs in the air before receding into silence.

Forrest Fang CD Sale : The Lost Seasons of Amorphia $9.99 CD Forever Cascades $9.99 CD ◉ The Book of Wanderers $9.99 CD ◉  Ancient Machines $9.99 CD ◉  The Fata Morgana Dream $9.99 CD ◉  Scenes from a Ghost Train $9.99 CD ◉  The Sleepwalker's Ocean $14.99 2CD ◉ Animism 7.99 CD ◉  Sans Serif: Unbound 7.99 CD ◉  Phantoms $9.99 CD ◉ Gongland $9.99 CD ◉ The Wolf At The Ruins/Migration $17.99 2CD

Projekt release: September 22 2023

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  1. reviews editor

    A review from Exposé

    Dutch astronomer Jan Oort proposed that at the outer edges of the solar system, beyond Neptune and the Transneptunian planets, well beyond the Kuiper Belt, that there existed two regions of frozen celestial objects, the nearer disc shaped region almost aligned with the solar ecliptic plane, and an outer spherical region that defines the cosmographic boundary of the solar system. Although neither of these have ever been seen or proven to exist, it is believed to be the source of comets — short-period comets from the nearer Oort disc, and long period comets falling in from the outer spherical Oort Cloud. This provided the inspiration for Forrest Fang’s latest release, The Oort Cloud Meditations; whether it exists as such or not is immaterial, the concept provides a strong basis for the music at hand. Most of Fang’s music to date has been a rich hybrid of electronic and acoustic instrumentation, synthesizers of all types mixing freely with exotic instruments from around the world in a heady stew of amazing sounds. The five tracks here stick mainly to an electronic recipe — synthesizers and samples feeding tone and textural changes at a glacial pace, much like the cold, dark worlds that are supposed to exist in the Oort Cloud, sometimes a mix of pure ambient free-floating sounds hovering at the edges of darkness, cycling across the rough fabric of space in its farthest reaches, along with shimmering harmonies that evolve as each piece unfolds. Titles like “Diaphenes,” “Planetary Hum,” and “Distant Signals” go far to convey the feeling of floating through cold empty space, like an ever-expanding dreamscape so far from the light of the sun that one might never find the way back. With each piece ranging from around ten to eighteen minutes, there is plenty of time for a listener to immerse themselves into the worlds of Fang’s meditations, perhaps falling even deeper into interstellar space. “The Lighthouse” is of particular interest as it seems to use some heavily processed (beyond recognition) overlapping violin sounds as its source, with some faint shadowy percussive elements out on its far fringes. And then again, it could just be my imagination playing tricks on me, like the faint voices I think I hear buried in the mysterious synth textures on the closing track “Solus.” The Oort Cloud Meditations is another masterful soundtrack from Forrest Fang.

  2. reviews editor

    A review from Stars End
    Calling forth yet another reality in need of testing Forrest Fang has realized The Oort Cloud Meditations (69’29”). Any compositional motion in this music comes, not from the notes on the staff, but by subtle shifts in timbre – leaving listeners to go everywhere the richness of sound may take them. Off on a wander charting our inner realm we encounter an incomparable sense of possibility. Seeking newness and otherness Fang’s five meditative exercises in fragility will be found captivating and challenging in equal measure. With no specific or known point in the rhythm – like a continual and electric sensation – one must listen to each entire piece to realize that, even as they change the totality of these electronic arrangements are constant. With all the suggestions of scale removed we are lifted into free, infinite space. The atmosphere of expectancy enlarges, distending under pressure from within, then rests amidst ethereal resonances beneath a tenuous stability. The placid mood breathes and lightens, while the ringing and humming of Fang’s coalescing drones interact with themselves. In this liminal aural realm the mind must give meaning to the music – making connections that cannot be traced in the lab. The Oort Cloud Meditations is a pure experience. Throughout the moody flow of flaring, fading textures and interplanetary ambiance, notes and tones progress in slow motion flight along quietly curving contours – such a subliminal, minimal response to the unknown wants of the cosmos.
    – Chuck van Zyl

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