What’s Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA Doing With Vangelis? It Involves Dark Matter….

What’s Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA doing with composer and synth pioneer Vangelis

Apparently, GZA (Gary Grice) is canceling tour dates to work with Vangelis, He shared this photo and a brief message via Facebook:

Due to circumstances beyond our control and a narrow window to finish Dark Matter, with a very rare collaborator, I regret to inform my fans that I must cancel these upcoming European dates. I’ll be back next Spring with brand new material.

Dark Matter

GZA is working on Dark Matter, a new album that’s a concept album about a journey through time and space.

According to reports, the album is informed by GZA’s discussions with the likes of Neil deGrasse Tyson and aims to use music as a vector in getting listeners interested in science:

“I don’t think people have ever really been in touch with science,” he said. “They’re drawn to it, but they don’t know why they’re drawn to it.”

“For example, you may be blown away by the structure of something, like a soccer ball or a geodesic dome, with its hexagonal shapes. Or how you can take a strand of hair and can get someone’s whole drug history. They’re different forms of science, but it’s still science.”

He plans to package “Dark Matter” with a short illustrated book that may also include the album’s lyrics and a glossary, “like an epic textbook,” he said.

albedo-0.39While Vangelis may at first seem like an unusual collaborator, the Greek composer’s 1976 re;ease Albedo 0.39 is a concept album about space and astrophysics. It sampled NASA mission recordings, years before it became commonplace.

And the music of Vangelis was featured prominently in the highly influential Carl Sagan PBS series, Cosmos. The soundtrack included music from the composer’s Albedo 0.39, Heaven and Hell, Ignacio, Beauborg, Spiral and other albums.

No release date for Dark Matter has been announced.

24 thoughts on “What’s Wu-Tang Clan’s GZA Doing With Vangelis? It Involves Dark Matter….

    1. Custom MIDI control boxes that he uses to layer multiple synthesizers together on the fly.

      From the Nemo Studios website: “Vangelis utilised MIDI to layer sounds and control the performance with volume foot pedals. MIDI routers were custom-built for Nemo Studios for that purpose, so Vangelis could instantly assign a couple of his synthesisers as two master MIDI keyboards, with each master synthesiser assigned to three MIDI synthesisers.”

      You can read the rest of it here: http://www.nemostudios.co.uk/nemo/tour/recording/recording_br.htm

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      1. They’re for doing soundtracks, I think. He punches in melodic ideas at specific time intervals using those boxes. I sure would like someone with actual knowledge to comment on this, though.

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    2. the way he uses his keyboards along with those boxes is beyond amazing… he is truly one of a kind in terms of being a live synthesizer musician

      the way he can make a huge multi-orchestral sound on the fly is crazy.. and those boxes are a big part of his workflow – but ultimately its just his own mind that keeps it all together… its awesome

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  1. Maybe we could do a Kickstarter to inspire Vangelis to lose some weight before he has a heart attack?

    He’s looking a bit too chunky for comfort for a 72 year old..

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  2. Ha Ha! Only one day since the last teaser, and Synthtopia found a new teaser on Facebook to repost!

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  3. As a scientist, I am “in touch with science” most days of the week. I admit that I am “not in touch” with the work of GZA, though we do play Vangelis regularly in the lab.

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  4. For someone made of matter wouldn’t the vibrations of dark matter be silent? If this production includes any noises I can hear then I think it is a failed project – and I am as dark as they come.

    “JAMES BULLOCK: We are confident that it’s there, that it has mass, and that it tugs on itself and on other things via gravity. That’s about it. While dark matter has a gravitational tug, it doesn’t interact with normal matter—the stuff that makes up you and me—in a very intense way. It doesn’t shine. It’s invisible. It’s transparent. It doesn’t glow when it gets hot. Unfortunately, those are the ways astronomers usually study the universe; we usually follow the light.”

    So lets make an abstracted project about an abstracted science concept, that nobody really understands, to get more people involved in science? That’ll work? Maybe dark matter is just pre-matter without data, so trying to find data and abstract data from that may be a futile process.

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  5. I’ve been a fan for decades. I really like his stuff. I am a big fan of his work on the bug documentary I am concerned about Vangelis’s health.

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  6. Vangelis is definitely one of my synth godfathers. He’s so unlike the rest of the pack that it make sense for him to have built a pipe-organ-shaped orchestra as imagined through synths & samplers. He must have a real head for abstraction to use his own system of heiroglyphs for things, but the results make any argument pretty moot. This reminded me of David Sancious, who plays with Peter Gabriel. He once used a Peavey controller that had mucho pedal ins and outs for controlling a rack of synths. I admire anyone who can tackle such a rig when I have to wrestle a bit just playing 3 sets of hardware keys. 😛 I got to play WITH a very solid pipe organ a few times and as a mere pianist, I felt as if I was trying to sex up an octopus. You have to tip your hat to anyone who can play with all four limbs at once.

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  7. im SUPER excited about this. GZA is one of the great hip hop artists of our time and would be someone who would know the legend of Vangelis and seek to collaborates with him. i’ll be staying tuned for this album. essential listening for those who aren’t familiar with GZA: Wu-Tang’s 36 Chambers and his first solo album Liquid Swords.

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