In September 2018 Ran Kirlian released a new EP with 3 tracks entitled “Many Futures issue nº1”. Beyond the naive title, its cover art and layout looked closer to a vintage sci-fi magazine than to the typical Woomh albums. Also it did not followed the catalog number of the series, however it is an Altera Orbe minialbum release, but belonging to a new conceptual series, parallel to the Woomh series.
Many Futures is a series of mini albums that collects Ran Kirlian musical and sonic impressions around years of science fiction literature reading.
As Ran says: “More than just a soundtrack for those stories, these tracks are my personal vision of the future portrayed by the authors on their stories. That’s where the series title comes, as the music contained in this and further volumes flows around the many alternative futures of the humankind.”
For these recordings, Ran approach is to associate these pieces with the stories that have impacted him through the title of the story. As an avid sci-fi reader, this mean a deep source of inspiration for his music creations.
Ran says: “The development of these tracks are often just after finishing a reading, something he does frequently, but some of the tracks has been performed years after, based on the memories and feelings generated by a story. I’ve readed hundreds of stories, but the best is that hundreds more are about to come, and I hope some will inspirate music on me.”
Most of the stories conected to the music of this albums seems to belong to the New Wave movement of the science fiction literature (1960s to 1970s) because this was a movement characterized by a high degree of experimentation, something that fits pretty well with these pieces. However Ran is also an enthusiast on early movements like the golden and silver age. Some of the stories that received a “sonorization” in Many Futures were written by true legends like Brian Aldiss, Robert Silverberg, Arthur C. Clark, Ray Bradbury, Stanislaw Lem and Paul Anderson among others.
The music of Many Futures
The music contained on this series is mostly dark ambient and electronic drone
based soundscapes including, eventually, experimental sounds and old-electronic flavours. Field recordings, acousting sounds and grooves are elements that are deliberately left out of the sound palette of these pieces. Even melodies are rarely present on these tracks, where the structure and composition are kept minimal in order to achieve an unique atmosphere for each story.
The Many Futures artwork
As usual, in addition to the music, Ran also creates the artwork involved. The cover art and layout for these mini-albums is a tribute to the awesome artwork of vintage sci-fi magazines and books. That’s something that he creates with mixed techniques of image edition.
Ran says: “Beyond the stories, I’ve been always fascinated also by the retro cover art of the sci-fi books and magazines, finding it so imaginative and inspirational and making me feel deeply attracted to the content. That’s why I also wanted for these albums a cover that somehow captured the essence of those old illustrations that still make me dream today. I had to work hard to achieve this, using several image editing tools, 3D design and a mixture of techniques including photography and painting. I’m not totally sure if I’m doing a good work with this, but I’m enjoying the development process so much, something that motivates me to keep working on next volumes in a similar way.”
Three volumes have been released until now, but Ran feels confidence and inspired enough to keep working on this series. During the writing of this article, he advanced that at least two more releases would happen before the end of 2019 and some more will come during the next year.
All three mini-albums are available at Ran Kirlian’s Bandcamp in downloadable format only, while a physical release, in collection form, would be possible in the future as Ran Kirlian said.