The cello lends itself to ambient music, what with the instrument’s human scale, its inherent depth of sound, its deep self-reflecting resonance. It’s a fascinating instrument, physically imposing yet often relegated to the background, especially in most writing for string quartets. Ted Laderas is one of several musicians who employ technology in order to expand the cello’s range. Think also of Joan Jeanrenaud, David Darling and Hank Roberts, among others.
They do this not so much to bring the instrument into the foreground, as to make the most of that background space in which it is already so comfortable. Laderas has posted a live recording of what he calls the Oo-Ray, a drone-oriented solo-cello technique he’s developed, which produces vapor trails and prescient flash-forwards (MP3). He credits My Bloody Valentine’s so-called shoegazer mope for his electronicized worldview, but the end result is more space than pop, more stargazer than shoegazer.
More on Laderas at his website, 15people.net, where there’s a whole lot of video snippets and other evidence of the Oo-Ray’s potential — and, for that matter, of the cello’s. Also at myspace.com/ooraygun.