Chronotope Project’s seventh album “Ovum” had a long gestation period with seeds slowly starting to grow at the beginning of 2013. The process of (re)shaping, revising and refocusing the outcome turned out satisfactory, as the composer succeeded in balancing many personal and impersonal elements, bringing his emotional and intellectual life into perspective with more universal themes.
Its music (most of the seven tracks were actually tightened up from much longer stems to give them a clearer sense of shape and direction) actually evolved further after Jeffrey Ericson Allen submitted a track for “Ultima Thule” 25th anniversary release. It became the bones for opener “Olduvai Dreams”, a pastoral reflection on our early ancestors with ethnic-flavored music featuring raw and primitive elements set in a soft and translucent electronic texture. Cyclical and unhurried, the title piece following next allows itself to pause and linger and soak in an active awareness of feeling in the body, lessons the composer learned from the Continuum Movement protocols of the late Emilie Conrad. Water plays a very important role in this Robert Rich-kindred composition where the long, sinuous lines of the Haken Continuum Fingerboard are like the tracings of the heart in an elusive medium, water colors on water.
The soft soaring “Mariposa”, which is connected firmly with the concept of birth, transformation and the opening of the heart, once more airs certain Rich-characteristics as does “Emanation”. Lush cosmic aural scenery makes up “Primordial”, then taking a gentle turn on “Epiphany” (where the central theme serves as a metaphor for insight) with subtle sequenced patterns, swirling pads and an emotive solo voice. The slightly Indonesia-esque “Starry Messenger” (originally a twenty-five minute tone poem eventually boiled down to about a third that size to give it a clearer sense of shape and direction) concludes the album in a soothing, dreamy and very laid-back fashion.
Reflecting on the whole recording after several spins I’d say the narrative thread running through “Ovum’s” slow motion, pastel-colored sonic landscape (addressing introspection, fulfillment and balance as it unfolds) leads to a kind of full circle experience.
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