My Inspiration: Moonray – Viriditas | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Moonray is an experimental music producer from Hartlepool and has just dropped her debut track, Morning Dew, taken from her upcoming EP, Viriditas (released on 28th May).

This AI alter-ego was born from the opportunity the pandemic offered to connect/reconnect with history, religion, spirituality and philosophy and this first offering is a hauntingly beautiful piece of reverb drenched, ethereal dream pop.

Moonray lets us know what inspired this latest piece of work as well as the upcoming EP…

‘Viriditas’ is an experimental ambient EP which highlights the cycles in life and nature. It explores  inner growth and spirituality. I recorded and produced the EP in January in the midst of a third  lockdown. I was commissioned by Brighter Sound, who are based in Manchester, to create  content for the theme ‘Reconnect’. I decided to take the approach to explore different themes of  reconnecting, connecting and disconnecting within the context to the pandemic. 

I have released this project under ‘Moonray’ which is an AI alter ego. ‘Moonray’ was created in  relation to the track ‘Acedia (2045)’ which highlights that we have uploaded our consciousness  online. Moonray is essentially my virtual alter ego in a form of an avatar, she was created by the  visual artist Megan Watson. 

‘Viriditas’ means growth in relation to this EP. I came across the word when I was studying St  Hildegard Von Bingen, who used the word to refer to spiritual and physical health, often as a  reflection of the Divine Word or as an aspect of the divine nature. 

‘Curlews’ is the first track on the EP. It opens the EP on a more positive note with subtle anxieties  of the world. ‘Curlews’ started off as a track based on nature, specifically about my friend  Madeleine who connected with bird watching during the pandemic. I decided to collect some  found sounds of birds on my walks as a base for the track. As the song developed, I started to  reflect on the environment and how the pandemic was caused by us encroaching wildlife. I was  reading a lot of Richard Powers; his book ‘The Overstory’ is extremely powerful and I picked up  on many important messages, but one in particular that stood out to me was that fact if we kill all  the ancient woodland, trees will recover and we won’t. I started to reflect on the beginning of  lockdown where people were sharing their experiences with nature from all over the world, there  were sightings of dolphins in Venice and the goats in Wales were coming down to the villages.  People were using the term ‘nature is healing’ and this is essentially what the track is all about.  We need to live in harmony with Mother Earth. 

(Curlews are Madeleine’s favourite birds thus the name)  

Acedia (2045) is the second track on the EP and lands in the middle. This track is influenced by  isolation, grief and disconnection, something which many people have experienced the past year.  Acedia is an archaic term which was coined by John Cassian, a monk and theologian. He wrote in  the early 5th century about the ancient greek emotion ‘acedia’ which essentially means apathy,  depression and complacency. This article is a really insightful read. 

Leading on from this, I was researching the 2045 initiative at the time and this inspired the track.  The 2045 Initiative is a research project based on life extension, focusing on combining brain  emulation and robotics to create forms of cyborgs to prolong your life. Whilst studying this  concept, I began to wonder whether we had already achieved an ‘uploaded consciousness’  through the internet and social media. The act of sharing our thoughts instantly, building up  multiple profiles, developing virtual and augmented reality, have been intensified in line with the  pandemic, as our life has moved online out of necessity.  

Morning Dew is the final track on the EP. I wanted to finish the EP on a more positive note to  represent the cycles of life and from every dark place, you will always emerge much stronger and  back into the light. Morning Dew is an introspective track and is about my connection with  spirituality. The last year has given me a lot of time to read and study philosophy, religion and  history, and participate in rituals connecting with nature and the cycles. I have read a lot about the  goddess and connected with my routes and ancestors.This is essentially what Morning Dew is  about. 

‘Viriditas’ will be out on all major streaming platforms on May the 28th through Monomyth Records.

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