A Ballad for Looking into Time

A Ballad for Looking into Time

"Set at a campfire in the forest, a transient troupe of musicians break into an original Irish folk ballad. Soon it becomes clear that this is no ordinary ballad..."

Inspired by Lovecraft, Irish mythology and the horror of the incomprehensible, we get in touch with Nimf about her latest, alchemical track A Ballad for Looking into Time.

Could you tell us a bit about the Irish folk song that’s being sung in A Ballad for Looking into Time? What significance does it have for you/the character that’s singing it?

The folk song was written for this with the intention of lifting the veil of time within the story. I wanted the lute to begin as a natural sounding instrument that slowly distorted and morphed as the listener is taken to another place. I’ve always been a fan of Irish music and speak the language, so it was intriguing to pursue the deep sense of mystery that Irish folklore and mythology has.

What can you reveal about the story that’s unfolding as we listen to A Ballad for Looking into Time? Who are the characters we’re sitting beside? Are they even human?

The story can be considered in the context of Macbeth’s prophecy that he receives from the witches, in that moment, Macbeth is transported to a place beyond time where there is no free will, and therefore no self. A place, seen in the likes of Machen, that is beyond comprehension and perception. I was interested in articulating this sense of threatening dehumanisation and loss of self. The musicians are performing a hypnotic song that can supposedly transport a person to this place.

I was inspired by authors such as Arthur Machen, H.P Lovecraft, and Thomas Ligotti to tell a horror story. The ideal live performance of this track would take place in its natural setting, a campfire in the forest, where the setting participates in the performance.

The purpose of this project is the attempt to produce a truly uncanny piece of music.
This is an exciting first installation for your new project, The Oneiricological Sirenoscape. What inspired the project, and what concepts, ideas or emotions will it explore?

The purpose of this project is the attempt to produce a truly uncanny piece of music. As an electronic musician, I’ve found that it’s very difficult to make electronic music sound and feel strange, as it is already an alien sonic experience where the listener already expects the sounds to be strange. Beginning with a natural context that evolves into the supernatural was very helpful in achieving this. The Oneiricological Sirenoscape will be an anthology that will be little horror stories.

You’ve said that this is your first exploration into storytelling. Has storytelling through music been an ambition of yours for a while?

Storytelling has always been an ambition of mine, however I previously only used traditional methods such as lyrics to tell a story, whereas now I’m using every aspect of the soundscape, evoking a clear sense of place through ambience and ambient music techniques where the song only exists in a specific setting conveying a sense of time through transitions between worlds.

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The Faery Sea
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A Ballad for Looking into Time
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