We already presented Dutch musician Peter Swart on the pages of MLWZ about 10 years ago, when we were discussing one of his earlier albums, "Rofloré" (2010). Today, the artist's latest work, "Oderan", is in front of us. The music is inspired by the science fiction trilogy "Kroniek van Oderan", written by Peter Swart himself. I have not read it (it’s only published in Dutch), but from the information available to me, I know that it is an adventurous story about interstellar travel and a colonial mission to the distant planet Oderan.
The music follows the three books in chronological order in nine atmospheric and instrumental tracks, focusing on relationships, planet exploration, and the crew's personal responses to the challenges. Among them, there is only one song with the vocals of Peter Swart: "The Tears of Tara", which is about the nascent feelings of biologist Tara Hanson to psychologist Martin Black. Each composition is accompanied by a detailed account of the context of the story published in the booklet.
Peter Swart plays all instruments himself (synthesizers and guitars), and musically the album "Oderan" takes the listener into the world of relaxing, melodic, symphonic rock with strong accents placed on electronic music. All this is kept in a calm New Age / Ambient atmosphere. Kitaro, Jean-Michel Jarre (amazing backgrounds and soundscapes painted by keyboards), gentle Camel (delicate parts of acoustic guitars), and even the illustrative Pink Floyd - such associations come to mind while listening to this album. The album sounds like a soundtrack to an imaginary movie, it is full of picturesque themes, musical landscapes and a great sound space. The music itself is kept in a modest tone, and the atmosphere is very calm, almost reflective.
I listened to this album many times late in the evening, lying in bed and reading. Swart's music works perfectly in such conditions. Therefore, in addition to an extremely artistic value ("Oderan" is an album with really beautiful music), we also have a useful aspect here. It is not, however, music to buzz in the background, but wonderfully relaxing, stimulating the imagination, perfect for dreaming and being alone with your thoughts.