|The Fata Morgana Dream|
2019 Projekt PRO356 (CD)
Over the course of seventeen solo albums and three-plus decades, Bay Area ambient/electronic musician Forrest Fang has cultivated his surrealist blend of electronically-transformed ethnic instruments and minimalist aural environments. Fang's pieces reflect his uniquely personal universe of influences, mysterious objects and undefined phenomena. Gently layered drones combine with slow-moving piano themes, violin, as well as subtle Eastern string, wind, and percussive elements.
A 'Fata Morgana' is a special form of mirage that makes objects appear to float in air. On Fang's latest Projekt album, THE FATA MORGANA DREAM, his sonic world suspends time with accents and undertones that seemingly emerge from the subconscious.
"For this album," Fang reflects, "I created a series of atmospheric pieces that are connected by a nocturnal and free-floating spirit that allows different instruments, treatments and effects to interact in a malleable space. The overall mood comes from somewhere between sleep and wakefulness where the familiar might reappear in an unfamiliar way because of the dreamlike state."
The album begins with "The Mouth of the Ocean", a layered and subtly-textured piece with strings and echoing electronic tones marking the commencement of a colorful journey. A visit to the dense tropical landscape of "Matted Leaves" follows, leading the listener to a "Night Procession" of gamelan-flavored polyrhythms that are accompanied by looping violins. Two contemplative keyboard-based pieces follow -- "Her Fading Image" and "Lullaby for a Twin Moon" -- that are complemented by Fang's electronic clouds suspended in the realm of thought. The next piece, "Remembrance Point", is a highlight of the album with its echoing piano riding just above a bed of electronic strings. The album makes a gradual and gentle return with its final two pieces. "Dream of the Last Fisherman" features Fang's Balinese and Burmese gongs and a Japanese Palm Harp, while "To the End and Back" features his violin, a sea of overlapping synthesizer drones and a small, resonating sound sculpture (built by visionary designer Harry Bertoia) that Fang strokes with his fingers.