The Oo-ray project of musician Ted Laderas is an ongoing exploration of the intrinsic properties of the amplified and electronically processed cello. He has been regularly posting freely downloadable recordings, at both his 15people.net site and, more recently, at his soundcloud.com/ooray space, that display the digitally enhanced cello in a variety of settings and combinations. The result often seems at once epic and modest, sweeping and introspective. Those are not contradictory impulses. The modesty results from the solo activity — in the end, for all the layers of looped playing, for all the reverberance enacted by technological assistance, it is one person on his distinctly singular instrument (of the standard quartet line-up, the cello is the one most generally relegated to a collaborative or supportive role).
Take the recent “Cnia – TOTW 12-21-09,” which opens with familiar, gentle sawing before unfolding into a hall-of-mirrors of (presumably improvised) multi-part arrangement and billowing echoes:
Click the down-arrow to download. Visit the track directly at soundcloud.com/ooray. (Full disclosure: I wrote liner notes for Laderas’s album One Bow to Infinity.)