VidnaObmana: The Surreal Sanctuary / The Contemporary Nocturne (2CD)


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Product Description

CD1 “The Surreal Sanctuary”
1. Infinity 5:02
2. Lamentation 6:59
3. The First Coil 8:40
4. The Profound Isolates 9:27
5. Jewel Of The Underground 7:43
6. The Fragmented Dome 17:28
7. Flame 13:59
CD2 “The Contemporary Nocturne”
1. Duel 1:56
2. Chasing The Odyssee 10:31
3. A Platform Of Sorrow 5:58
4. The Gaze In Dissonance 3:22
5. Mute Grief 6:50
6. Revelation 9:51
7. The Path Downwards 19:06
8. Infinity 14:36

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Originally released in 2000 on the Hypnos label. Each album includes guest appearances by Steve Roach, Jim Cole and Joris De Backer.

Remastered, reissues including all new artwork. Released in an 8-panel digipak, strictly limited to 400 copies.

The Surreal Sanctuary and The Contemporary Nocturne, recorded about 20 years ago, are very distinctive albums showcasing vidnaObmana’s wilfulness on how far he wanted to stretch his personal take on ambient and minimalism. Featuring guest appearances by overtone singer Jim Cole, double bass musician Joris De Backer and vidna’s frequent collaborator and comrade Steve Roach, the music is constructed through extensive use of recycling, performances on the fujara and electric guitar. Albums perfect for late evening listening and headphone immersion.

Considered to be two parts of one story, now united and respectfully re-issued by Zoharum in a stunning package (8-panel digipak, strictly limited to 400 copies). With new photography by Martina Verhoeven, the music on these 2 albums has been remastered from the original DAT tapes.

Additional information

Weight .4 lbs


Release Year


  1. padmin

    The Contemporary Nocturne:
    “Having released 24 albums over a career spanning 16 years, Vidna Obmana’s music has survived the descriptions: gently atmospheric, post-industrial, tribal ambient, minimalistic, textural, abrasive, isolationist ambient, Fourth World, post-classical, and even traditional. On his latest recording, The Contemporary Nocturne, Vidna Obmana again challanges the musical genre categorizers of the world.

    The Contemporary Nocturne was conceived of as the completion of the journey begun with The Surreal Sanctuary. The new album continues to explore the secret emotions that inspire Vidna Obmana’s music. The album is paced like a night walk through wilderness terrain. Travellers to these musical hinterlands must take utmost care as to where they place their next step forward.

    We begin in the same strange sonic landscape where left at the conclusion of The Surreal Sanctuary. The listener slowly moves through the uncertainty, led on by odd vignettes which provide an unsettling focus. Powerful overtone flute solos are processed and mutated into a kind of dark fanfare for the underworld. A reverberant voice hangs sweetly in the dense atmosphere like a benevolent spectre. Before we are consumed by the tension, mystery and doubt, layers of complexly harmonic chords arise quietly from afar. The musical shift compares to the relief felt by a steadying hand in the darkness. The mood resolves as the music builds, leading the listener safely to journey’s end.

    As The Contemporary Nocturne tests the technological limits of the gear used to realize the unique timbres found on this album, so it also tests the listener’s ability to reach beyond themselves and the limits of experience. Part soul’s lament, part defining moment, The Contemporary Nocturne will stand much analysis before giving up its secrets to the inquisitive listener.”

    – Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END 28 October 2000

    The Surreal Sanctuary:
    “Throughout his historic career in electronic sound, Vidna Obmana has always created music dealing with the range of mood, being and emotion. From the emptiness and desolation of “Acqua” to the bittersweet meloncholy of “Mellow At Heart”; the strength and sureness of “Forest Arrow” and the contemplative introspection of “Float Through Nights”, Vidna Obmana aptly conveyes his state of existence from the headings between these four points on the compass of feelings.

    On the latest Vidna Obmana CD: The Surreal Sanctuary, he rolls out a remarkable new map, the kind used by adventurous travellers to move across stricken borders, through unusual terrain and down lost highways. Still present are the cerebral qualities of his past recordings, only now they are joined by a strong sense of place and movement in four dimensions.

    The pieces evolve slowly often fading one into the next. The album is smooth, a soundworld of shifting drones and deep timbres. The contemplative pacing of the dark harmonies is not meant to relax or reassure. Quite the opposite.

    The music on this album is meant to evoke a desolate, forboding place. As with any kind of travel to exotic lands, the emotions here stem from the uncertainty of the strange environment. Guiding us through this eerie land is Vidna Obmana. One can imagine him a few paces ahead, leading us through the landscape; with fog so dense we follow the mere sound of his overtone flute.

    In addition to playing several varieties of Fujara, Vidna Obmana also utilizes: sampler, synthesizers, electric guitar, harmonica, feedback and studio processing devices as well as the collaborative efforts of Steve Roach on guitar, bassist Joris De Backer and the overtone singing of Jim Cole. When these sources are combined and shaped by Vidna Obmana, two noticable regions are created out of the seven lengthy tracks.

    Much like the soundtrack work of Howard Shore, Vidna Obmana’s music on The Surreal Sanctuary deals with tension but no release (at least not until volume two). During the overture to any Cronenberg movie, Shore’s music bestows upon us a sense that something singular is about to unfold, a story that will make us uneasy, an experience we need to brace against. It may be best to describe The Surreal Sanctuary in these kinds of terms… an experience you undergo, something descended into, a world that has slipped over us.”

    – Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END

  2. padmin

    “The overtones (in a more metaphoric sense now) are dark, like watching the sky at night: you see a lot of black, with small lights, endless amounts of small lights in fact, but the background remains black. This is what Vidna Obmana represents in his music, a dark sky but with the sense of light present, and the assured knowledge that a new day will break at the end of the night. Good to see this in print again.”
    – Vital Weekly – The Netherlands

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