Oophoi: An Aerial View
Glacial Movements

Oophoi (real name Gianluigi Gasparetti) uses theremin and synths as sonic tools to build the sixty-five minute dronescape An Aerial View. In aurally suggesting endless, silent expanses, he opts for lightness and delicacy, imagining himself “in flight over this Sleeping Earth, a solitary winged-being surrounded by winds, air, water, and ice.” The result is a crystalline and tranquil work tailor-made to induce becalmed relaxation (its occasional rhythmic exhalations can't help but suggest breathing). Though it's not an entirely cliché-free work—ambient whooshes and splashing waves do surface—, An Aerial View is pretty and, furthermore, often affecting in its predominantly melancholy spirit. When halfway through Gasparetti turns the lights down and reduces the sound to willowy, organ-like synth tones only, the effect is gloriously peaceful—as if one is floating in deep space, with everything slowing incrementally towards perfect stillness. Incidentally, he not only resists exploiting the theremin's warble potential but integrates the instrument so thoroughly into the whole the uninformed listener would guess all sounds are synth-generated. An Aerial View is the first in the label's proposed Wurm series (the term comes from a river in the Alps where the world's most recent glaciation was first identified) whereby the artist attempts to capture the “abyssal silence” of the Ice Age in sound and on that count it succeeds very well indeed.

May 2008