Randal Collier-Ford (Oregon, USA) has only been in the genre of Dark Ambient music since mid 2012, but has already stacked an extensive library of work ranging from Traditional Drone, to Gothic Dark Ambient, Harsh Noise Walls, and Cinematic Dark Ambient. All of these genres have had their own names, each with it’s own pulse, but here is where the source lays. Where the chaos of the byproduct silently rumbles forth whispers of another realm; a reflection that is not spoken of, only seen and heard. The album Dark Corners was the first installment to this, the encompassing vision of this plain, promptly titled what it is to project. With each new installment comes another story, another glimpse, another whisper of the Void. Where a soul travels freely into treacherous lands, where the ground is more likely to swallow you before your mind could swallow itself. And now, with the release of The Architects, comes the first true roar of this reality, the echo of agelessness. Where the un-tethered souls of vengeful Gods, Creators and Destroyers, run unopposed in their slumber and in their wait, sending dreams to the Beings of their choice. Here is where Chaos is translated.
Interview with Randal Collier-Ford, 2015.
1. Tell us a bit about the history of your project
A: This all started around the time I was in my…most eccentric of periods with music. I was already working full time with The Temple of Algolagnia, Mors Universa, and Grey Light Shade. I had also just wrapped up the demo for my ritual ambient “band”, Black Sun. So, I’d had grown a little too accustom to biting off more than I could chew, and this came about because I wanted to do more. Each one of these names had a theme or genre of some sort attached to it, none of them were meant to cross with one another, or merge. But each had a slice of a personal philosophy of mine, speaking it’s own language, to fill in as a single piece each, to a larger puzzle. But one thing I hadn’t done yet was create a medium where I could express a far more general, though still very personal, theme or idea. Something that was an all encompassing scope of the spirituality, philosophy, and visions that I put into my work. One that could grow unhindered, uncompromising to the standards of the genre and of the listener, allowing me to flex my muscles and prove to myself that the deepest areas I wish to tread with music are in fact within my reach. So, I thought it would only make sense that whatever this would be would only have my name attached to it, it’s not meant to be a “band” sort of thing, or a simple project to diddle with. I knew that aside from making music on a personal level, I wanted what skills and knowledge of production I would gain would carry into a sort of career path. Sound engineering, musical scores, and so on. But I needed that room to mess up, to experiment, and to find where I’d like to go.
2. Your new album The Architects is out on Cryo Chamber this year. Mind expanding on the title of the album ?
A: That would be a bit difficult to elaborate on precisely. The theme around this album is centered in the theories of ancient beings not of our reality/world/existence, and there are many accompanying theories to go with it. I feel like if I’m going to go into this, I would hope to have a bit more hair so I can pull an Ancient Aliens as I write this, haha.
There is a general idea that the human species has had major contact and influence from beings of a far greater stature than ourselves, beings from the heavens, beings from below, beings from beyond. I chose to look at all these things at once without trying to push the idea of “Angels and Demon are all aliens”, but instead look at it from a physical and, more or less, metaphysical vision. Seeing these theories in a more abstract way all at once, their ties to universal symbols and spiritual realities. And how such visions have inspired so many people through out the ages from artists to prophets, I wanted to translate these visions in their most raw form to show how terrifying such visions would be. But this is what makes it so awe inspiring. It would give the listener that sense of “larger than life as we know it”, but it would have to cover many things at once. Same with the title, The Architects would mean an echo from thousands of years ago that has shaped humanity on the physical plain and the mental plain, and this album would strive to do the same.
3. Listening to the album The Architects, one can’t but notice the highly experimental approach to dark ambient. In a genre so often deep into drone territory, your album takes great strides towards purely sound sculpting and sound effect territory. Is this something we can expect more from future albums and what is the thought process behind those decisions.
A: Firstly, yes. But to an extent. My last few albums, I have tried to work on this more experimental side of sound design within the genre, to try and match the two together to build what would set my work apart from others and become that child that I wanted it be. But, what I have shown quite yet is how this is only one step towards a greater transformation in my music. Well…”music”. Many a times I ask myself, am I creating music or the backdrop to a film? Haha. But this definitely something that will always have an intricate part of my work.
I believe wholly in keeping with the traditions of the genre, of what makes it the genre that it is. But expanding upon it. I don’t believe that these should be two separate things that should stay apart or could be forced together, I think that anything can match with anything if done correctly. And my love of Dark Ambient music, Drone sounds, as well as sound design in most forms of electronic music, has always peeked my interests in looking at how each of these things can grow on their own so that what was once separate can now merge together. I’d like to see the genre evolve beyond it’s known limits, I’d like to see the torch passed on from the forefathers of the genre to a new generation of artists who have a fresh batch of ideas, all stimulated from the world we live in today, with all these new forms of music genres, production techniques, inspirations of everyday, personal visions, the list goes on and on. And with all these new artists showcasing their signature style of music, I knew I wanted the same. I’d like to think that with this more industrial form of sound experimentation, I’m given a whole new world to play with alongside the world of Dark Ambient. But I think in time, I’ll be prepared to open up yet another world in my production to merge together even more that is now simply drone music and sound design, in an attempt to perfect what this is becoming .
4. If you were stranded on a deserted Island and you got to bring one book, one movie and one album that you could read/watch/listen to over and over again. Which would they be?
A: Oh, I am terrible at these sort of questions… I’d take a book on the detailed subject of times of plants and fungus I could eat and how to cook them properly to be more or less edible. I’d take the original Old Boy film to watch. And I’d listen to The Greatest Classics of Mozart or Bach.
5. Any last words to live by?
A: No matter how far down or away you may be from a new and grand goal you set for yourself, and no matter what little support or how great of support you gain from others, if you stick with this goals and make it part of your life, your being, and let it become you greatest passion, I can guarantee that you will reach your goal if you never stop finding new ways to grow in your passion every second of every day. Never let yourself falter or halt, never become complacent, and never stop pushing your boundaries to move forward.