The OO-Ray

The OO-Ray is the alias of Ted Laderas, an improvisatory and experimental cellist from Portland, OR. A systems biologist by day, he extends his experimental attitude to exploring the outer possibilities of the cello, often distorting, looping, or pitchshifting his instrument beyond recognizability into waves of reverberation and extended drones. Inspired by the
gauzy textures of My Bloody Valentine, he calls his style “shoegazer cello” or “chamber drone”. His music explores the realms of electroacoustic, shoegazer, and ambient. Utilizing the versatility of the cello and his electronics, he has long-standing collaborations with Marcus Fischer (12k), Le Berger, Stephen Vitiello (12k), and Robert Donne (Anjou, Labradford, Kranky), having collaborated on albums, short pieces, and soundtracks.

Tiny Fugues

I’ve worked on the material for Tiny Fugues for over three years, composing and improvising with the cello and electronic instruments. This album is about searching and finding the unexpected in the everyday. Finding hope and positivity in the midst of despair and depression. Finding the grand and symphonic in simple melodies. Through this search, and our resulting curiosity and compassion for everything around us, I believe we can find hope and meaning in very dark times. This album is based around custom-built software (the fuguelooper) that converts my ambient limprovisations into more rhythmic material, allowing me to change my sounds across octaves and speeds, stretching and compressing my material into unexpected directions. The software works as a lens to highlight unexpected details of my performances and encourages me to react and improvise in new ways. The fuguelooper has been important in my latest improvisations and performances, and it gives
these new pieces a dynamically shifting and unpredictable backing. By searching for the extraordinary in what we once thought mundane, we can find connections and meaning. Our art can change our surroundings. Our curiosity and compassion will sustain us. I hope that this album inspires you to do that.

Release date: July 2018



Reviews & Live Updates

  1. Beach Sloth

    The OO-Ray brings folk and glitch together as one with the spirited magical journey of “Tiny Fugues”. A tenderness radiates from the entirety of these pieces, as they explore melodic gestures with the greatest of ease. Incredible heart helps to inform the entirety of these pieces while they blend the acoustic with the imagined. By going for such a wide array of approaches the whole album has a living, breathing, sense of adventure that neatly ties everything together in a most perfectly, soothing sort of fashion. At times deeply nostalgic and at others incredibly futuristic, the OO-Ray never neatly settles into a single style.

    A reverence of sorts opens the album with the blissful beauty of “Liminal”. From there things move onto the aptly named folksy “Stuttertest” which feels equal parts Oval as it does country, yet always seems right on the cusp of coming into a full bloom of noise. Thoughtful atmospheres dominate on the majestic “Fiftytwo”. Virtually akin to a carousel melody “Hoh” nicely spreads out into the sky. Heavenly hues radiate from “Reveal” which at times is lent a sort of thoughtful symmetry. Wonderful little crackles work wonders on the pitch-perfect drone of “Largesse”. This drone continues on the dramatic sweeps of “Adaption”. Easily the highlight of the album comes from the thought-provoking splendor of “The Drowned World”. On “Afterimage” the whole piece concludes on a reflective note.

    With “Tiny Fugues” the OO-Ray lets the whole of the work simply stun with a fantastic array of colors constantly passing through.

  2. Noise Not Music

    According to Ted Laderas, who records and performs under the alias The OO-Ray, Tiny Fugues is about “searching and finding the unexpected in the everyday.” While I’m not sure if I’d call this scintillating and celestial music “everyday,” Laderas certainly succeeds in finding, and reveling in, the unexpected. With the help of new software called the fuguelooper that transforms his cello and electronic improvisations into newly rhythmic material in real time, Laderas approaches new realms and possibilities within his sound both actively and passively. These chromatic, ambient pieces loop, cascade, and coalesce, forming beautiful clouds of dreamy sound. Much of the majesty of Tiny Fugues originates in its transparent construction; the listener hears every step of the sonic journey, from the reverent bowing of the cello strings to the effects laden electronics and their gaudy, fuzzy counterparts swirling above and around them. It’s truly expressive and emotional music, conveying so much in a wordless, abstract way; and while I’m not sure it lends itself to being as conceptually complex as Laderas states, Tiny Fugues is certainly an inciter of “curiosity and compassion.”

  3. Music Won't Save You

    Per Ted Laderas, la ricerca sulle potenzialità sperimentali del suo violoncello passa soprattutto da una progressiva estensione dei limiti dello strumento, attraverso effetti e filtraggi elettronici. È questo il concetto sotteso al nuovo lavoro dell’artista di Portland, che segue un’attività ormai decennale sotto l’alias The OO-Ray, manifestatasi tanto in forma solista quanto in una serie di ambiziose collaborazioni.

    Seguendo tale canovaccio creativo, in “Tiny Fugues” Laderas presenta quattordici tracce frutto della manipolazione dei suoni del violoncello attraverso un software da lui stesso creato, che ne cogliesse vibrazioni e frequenze spontanee, espandendone le timbriche sotto forma di riverberi e loop, ma anche di componenti ritmiche e armoniche.

    Ne è risultato un percorso d’ascolto vario e dinamico, nel quale il carattere dello strumento viene trasfigurato dal punto di vista esteriore, mantenendone tuttavia quelle componenti di solennità cameristica naturalmente aperte all’interazione, ivi compresa quella con l’elettronica, che le proietta verso una immaginifica dimensione elettro-acustica.

  4. Chain D.L.K.

    The OO-Ray is the alias of Ted Laderas, an improvisatory and experimental cellist, whose playing style is self defined as “chamber drone”. This really means that his music is based on the electronic treatment of the instrument so the melody, rooted in a traditional instrument, is transformed in a sort of texture which evolves in a much more clear way than canonical drone. He also use a custom-built software which creates a rhythmic layer vaguely reminiscent of glitch music.

    The framework of "Liminal" introduces the listener into a sound field based on dilated tones, or long loops, and ephemeral resonances while "Stuttertest" returns to the destructured lines of glitch and "Fiftytwo" use pseudo romantic notes of piano. An interlude for reverse tape, "Hoh", is followed by "Reveal", a static and ethereal track, and "Semifinal" where a sort of catchy melody emerges and is closed by "Worden" which sounds as the second part of "Hoh". "Largesse" seems to dilate chamber music and "Downwards" folk music. "Circular" with its use of strings borders modern classical territories while "First Frost" returns to more canonical ambient territories and "Adaptation" evolves in a static way. The crystal clear melodies of "The Drowned World" and the resonances of "Afterimage" close this release with a sort of glitch classical.

    The lack of a path which ties the track togheter, instead of creating confusion, generates a pleasant sense of variety which escapes boredom. Nothing ground-breaking but a good musique d'ameublement. Recommended for fans of ambient and modern classical.