‘Celestial Geometries’ transports you to the far reaches of space and leaves you stranded there alone.
Gianluigi Gasparetti (Oophoi) and Enrico Cosimi (Tau Ceti) present ‘Celestial Geometries’ an album of large, droning ambience released on Arya records back in 2001.
Track one, Arsia Echoes begins with a wall of noise that slowly fades into the audio mix. It sounds like you are sheltering from arctic winds in a futuristic polar base somewhere, or trapped in a enormous wind tunnel. After a little while you begin to hear some higher tones. These shrill, wailing noises seep out of this cavernous environment that the duo have created and battle with the intensifying rushing noises that blast both ears. The sense of space and depth in this opening track is epic and unforgiving, setting the scene for what is to come.
Cydonia Plains continues immediately from where the first track ended. The rushing noises have subsided quite a lot by this point and we are greeted by new sounds. The overall atmosphere is much calmer and higher pitched, twisting synth sounds stutter into view and echo away in a cold and alien fashion. Around half way through this track small popping noises fizz quietly, then trail away with a wet reverberation, as if they were sourced from field recordings of somebody eating soft fruit. All the time in the background of the mix something looms in and out of shadow, ever so slightly out of view.
Valles Marineris triggers a bold, brass like pad that slowly sweeps from left to right demanding your attention. It sounds wonderful and fills the initially harsh, baron soundscape with a grand, moaning presence. You’ll be able to picture yourself exploring empty alien worlds, enormous caves and the deepest ocean floors. There is a feeling of power and grandeur behind this composition, it is the most standout offering so far.
Chryse Planitia Dumps you into a still void. Something nibbles at your ears throughout, a slippery, crackling noise suggests that you might not be alone in Gasparetti and Cosimi’s astral world. The duo add whispering noises, like a mother trying to calm a waking child, then some strings bleed into focus, signalling that we are being moved into another area of space. This is a patient, subtle record, that drip feeds you just enough nourishment to survive.
Isidis introduces some choir like vocals that are only just audible whilst cold, sustained pads dominate. There’s a distorted, rasping sound playing quietly throughout the track, like breath inside an astronaut’s helmet. Just before the half way point, the duo add synthetic strings that undulate around the mix like steep rolling hills. A frosty Wind blasts through these hills and then calms everything down just a little, enabling us to pick out more subtle additions to the composition. There is less sense of noise now. It’s a clear sound, more focussed on a cleaner and traditional style of synthesis.
Candor Chasm is one of the most memorable tracks on the album. Minimalistic in detail, an alien voice calls from the deep. A cry from an entity of enormous proportions rings from a swirling black hole. A slightly haunting and beautiful track, Gasparetti and Cosimi have sculpted a moment of calm from a world of unrelenting, unforgiving brutality.
Tholus, the final track sees the duo reintroduce vocal sounds in the form of a grand choir. Their hums and sustained vowels fill up all available space with power and majesty. There is a holy, religious edge to this sound, as if you have stumbled across a higher power, or the creator of what has been experienced prior to this. These magnificent voices swell gloriously through the mix. Then once again, the cry of an impossibly large beast rings through space, chilling you to the bone.
‘Celestial Geometries’ is a record that requires patience to be enjoyed. It is a minimalistic listening experience that can send you on a journey deep into the farthest galaxy if you allow it too. It is a lesson in self control and composure from Gasparetti and Cosimi. They craft vast and beautiful soundscapes from harsh sounding noise, and deep sustained tones that seem uneventful at first, but evolve into highly detailed, living compositions.
For those who put the time in this will be a highly rewarding listen to revisit on many occasions.
Written by – Andrew Everington 27/03/2017