Forrest Fang: Following the Ether Sun
Forrest Fang designs music to keep us thinking even while chilling. It seems as though the setting for his work is always some far off exotic land – where miniature worlds are built out of sound, texture and atmosphere. Alive to the possibilities and power of these realizations, Following the Ether Sun (72’54”) is a homage to the pleasure of making things by hand, and another chapter in the story of Forrest Fang finding his way to the people who understand him. These eight sonic tales do not unspool into the world, as much as they permeate the sound space. Quiet chamber pieces present an enchanting sonic charisma, while in more ethereal sections dense waves of synthesized sounds pervade in expanding vulnerable forms. Within extreme digital processing of certain sound elements the various components of a piece join together, as progressive music, minimalism, ethnic, folk and classical influences play their part in the resulting electronic/acoustic hybrid. Always a vivid global explorer, Fang builds remarkable rhythms with an ensemble of acoustic instruments – in support of rarefied electronic harmonies that pass over the vivid, earthen landscape like frosted clouds above. Following the Ether Sun will cultivate inner thought processes, including daydreaming and imagination. Stretching mainly across the brain’s mid-section; it is a compelling example of how neural networks interact during the creative process, and also while listening dutifully. Though it is a mystery as to how this album achieves its resonant effect, we find that by these mysterious means we are transformed throughout its journey. Forrest Fang remains a unique voice in modern music – which needs intelligent artists to seduce us into the genre. In his chosen sonic realm, a hazy place of echoes and hollows, of unreal tones and ghost instruments, he captures, then transforms all the contradictions into something wondrous. This music invites the listener into a unique space, and requires us to have our own experience, repaying the effort ten fold.