This is the first vidnaObmana album I bought and already, I’m very intrigued by his work. On The River of Appearance, the foundation of Dirk Serries’ music is his slowly building, subtle sound loops. Rather than making his music boring and repetitive, like sound loops could easily become, the loops are very soothing and serene, like watching the clouds change shape or watching colors fade on a painting. Soft, looped sounds roll and pulsate throughout each composition, while fragments of melodies occasionally occur, consisting of sparse piano lines or guitar phrases. This is very effective in drawing me away to a calmer place, similar to that not-awake-yet-not-asleep feeling you get.
Some of the songs project a romantic mood, but in that longing, forlorn way that Projekt is famous for. And don’t be scared off by the Projekt name that appears on the album. This is not gothic, goth-ambient, darkwave, or any other dark music cliché. VidnaObmana’s music is beautiful and melancholy, but not overly so. Rather, it creates a serene mood, perfect for contemplation, reflection, and/or meditation. While none of these songs could be considered dark, they are all exquisitely made and this shows in the effect they have on me.
Occasionally, ethnic percussion appears to propel the song along. But Serries uses it in small amounts (a tasteful approach), relying on the sound loops and celestial atmospheres to create the mood. The music is spacey and not too empty, but just enough to make you appreciate the sounds. Each song is so well-composed that they just seem to flow into each other, but yet can stand on their own merit.
This is some of the most relaxing music I own, and by far one of the best ambient albums I own. The songs aren’t too terribly long, the longest being slightly over 10 minutes. While sometimes I wished the songs were longer, I think this adds more diversity to the album. It left me wanting more, which is the mark of an artist. It would be very easy for this music to become boring and banal, but Serries injects a personal and spiritual aspect to his music. Sometimes, the music truly sounds divine.
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I've also written for Christ and Pop Culture, ScreenAnarchy, Filmwell, and Christian Research Journal. I pay the bills by creating beautiful user interfaces and websites for Firespring and Red Bicycle.