Music: The OO-Ray – Duet for Mellotron and Strings

According to his website, Ted Laderas, the musician known as The OO-Ray, spends his days working as a “scientist of biologic systems.” I hesitate to even guess what that could involve, but I can only imagine is meticulous, serious work that is perfect for a certain kind of organized mind.

That kind of thinking befits someone who makes music this intricate and exact. This particular track was recorded live as part of The Big Busk, a street performers’ festival that went on last month in downtown Portland. Here’s what Laderas had to say about the track when I pressed him for more details via e-mail:

It’s an improvised piece that starts with a single Mellotron loop and builds from there, adding layers of cello as I see fit with my live looper. It took a lot of practice sessions to find what works with the loop and what doesn’t, and each performance of it turns out differently. I think performing should have a large element of risk to it, which is why I try to keep everything loose and undefined up to the moment of performance. That way, I can pull the piece together in a way that makes sense for where I am performing. 

The exactness is there in as he is able to keep track of varying numbers of loops, intertwining them together with ease and precision. But I like to hear that he uses his art to allow himself to jump without a net in ways that I’m sure his day job doesn’t allow. It will be exciting to hear how this plays out in full when he releases the whole set from that street side performance via his online label Waveguide Audio, as well as to hear him in collaboration with another artist as his next release will be a 12″ single recorded with Marcus Fischer, out in August on Optic Echo.


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