MEI-FANG LIAU aka FLOATING SPECTRUM – Song For Ewe

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a Taiwan born, Berlin based, experimental ambient composer and electronica artist whose work is as intricate as a watchmaker, as pastoral as a shepherd, and as mystical as a shaman. With Mei-Fang Liau operating under the wispy nom de plume Floating Spectrum the debut album “A Point Between” is out in September and it’s been carefully crafted from commercial synths, household found sounds and synthesisers built by Liau herself.

Floating Spectrum is such an apt moniker, given the flotation tank weightlessness of first taster “The Early Green Outburst”. With my TV producer hat on this is pure slow season style doc score music, perfect to soundtrack the timelapse budding of exotic flowers or a frog on a lily pad’s tongue extending in super slo-mo to halt the busy progress of an insect in flight, and the “song for ewe” Liau has chosen is pure pine forest zen. We are pleased to welcome to these pages, the inestimable calm of Floating Spectrum!

Envelop your earbuds with “The Early Green Outburst” below…

https://floatingspectrum.bandcamp.com/track/the-early-green-outburst


“A Point Between” was originally inspired by a dance performance for which Mei-Fang Liau created audio works exploring recurring cycles of nature – how life emerges, flourishes and eventually decays, and metaphorically, how human emotions are associated with these ever-changing phases. The performance yielded two pieces that would eventually become the roots of the debut Floating Spectrum album.

At the pulsing heart of the album, is Liau’s self-made, fractal-inspired software synthesizer called “Polyphylla”, which simulates the way in which nature creates very complex and organic forms just by repeating slight variations of a simple form.

Part scientific project, part soundscape, the kit allowed Liau to produce evolving sonic textures with complicated dynamics and therefore a depth that belies simple computer music.

I love how “Polyphylla” looks like a laboratory term and yet sounds like something from the DIY store, which essentially is what it is, high-tech and yet home-built. Not content with building the atoms of the project to develop the seismic aftershocks, Liau also rustled up a “generative sound system”, hybrid kit where sensitively fluctuating analogue signals, delicate data analysis and human intuition work symbiotically to turn visual data into sound. If it reads a bit dry, it certainly sounds extremely mellifluous.

With an ear for natural beauty made by artificial means, I was keen to discover what recorded sounds Liau had enjoyed lately and selected for your analysis, so without further ado, this is Floating Spectrum’s “song for ewe”…

Mr. Henri Rousseau’s Dream by Midori Takada

“I have this friend who is passionate about music. He often discovers unique tunes, old and new. Two years ago I asked him if he had heard anything special lately and he told me about this beautiful song released in 1983 by Midori Takada.

Upon listening I was teleported to this dreamy forest with birds that sing beautiful melodies from multiple dimensions.

I really like how she crafted this fascinating landscape with so much spatial depth and those special flute melodies mimicking singing birds. I read somewhere that she used soft drink bottles to produce those flute-like sounds. Who would have guessed?”

THANKS VERY MUCH TO MEI-FANG LIAU AND TO JAMES VELLA AT TEMPORARY RESIDENCE LIMITED / PHANTOM LIMB.

You can pre-order “A Point Between” by Floating Spectrum right here…

https://floatingspectrum.bandcamp.com/track/the-early-green-outburst

Author: Nick Hutchings

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