Dronescape 4 is the fourth in a series of albums, containing new, digitally created, compositions by Oscar van Dillen. The works on this album were composed October 2020.
Similar to the other Dronescape releases, this album too can be considered to be an Electronic symphony, the 4th by Oscar van Dillen. Even though not its official overall title, this work was conceived as a Requiem for a Planet. The attentive audience can hardly have missed our world has some serious problems to solve?
There are three parts, with a total duration of 1 hour 18 minutes 41 seconds:
- Deliquescence (duration 29 minutes 5 seconds)
- Cauterization (duration 12 minutes 30 seconds)
- Contrition (duration 37 minutes 6 seconds)
More clear than in the earlier Dronescape albums, melody here is used almost from the beginning. It is a floating and hesitating melody, coming in short hovering phrases of a few tones, alternated with long colored silences, ever beginning, never truly ending. All sounds are placed in a microtonal field, which recalls but does not use equal tempered tuning in a strict sense. A similar yet more developed melody, but in a much lower register, features in the third part of this work. The later melody in the third part developed into the direction of more simplicity, as opposed to the classical approach of developing complexity, ultimately based on the by now global ideology of progress.
Classical in a sense, but also opposite, because, as mentioned before, here it is simplicity that evolves gradually, opposing the traditional philosophical interpretation of progress. Melody, which is present here as it is in the first part, has moved to such a low register that its sound evokes imaginary animal sounds, entering a terra incognita: here be dragons?
The concluding final drone, a frozen sound, practically lasting forever on the composer’s digital production system, is given form and a finite duration, yet it still encompasses all heard sounds in one, at the same time, and outside of time, void of further development. This is the closest one may come to actually listening inside a composer’s inner hearing perhaps?
The source of the sounds one hears on this album is the very recently developed chaotic oscillator synthesizer Generate by Newfangled Audio, a very complex instrument, at times difficult to control precisely, at other times, in many simultaneous complex instances, threatening to overload the computer, and behaving unpredictably. Some of the unexpected side effects of the complex sound synthesis have been preserved in the end result. A small palette of carefully self-built just manageable sounds (patches) has been used in all three compositions. The complex sound sometimes resembles “real instruments” such as cello, trombone and (contra)bassoon, or bass clarinet, but this is an illusion, as can be heard when it moves through various registers: these are all purely synthetic sounds.
See OIJ Records for more information and links to online streaming platforms.