Today, Duran Duran’s Nick Rhodes and British artist and singer/violinist Wendy Bevan will release the third instalment of their four-part ASTRONOMIA project ‘ASTRONOMIA III: heaven and hell in the serpent’s tail’ via Tape Modern, available here. Ahead of the release, the pair have shared the album’s opening track and visual,
Over the course of 2020, the duo collaborated on a monumental series of 52 cinematic instrumentals inspired by the Universe. These works are presented across four 13-track, individually named albums, as the Astronomia project. The first release ‘The Fall of Saturn’ was on the Spring Equinox (March 20), the second; “The Rise Of Lyra’ on the Summer Solstice (June 21) and this third release falls on the Autumn Equinox (September 22). The final instalment will be released on the Winter Solstice (December 21).
Rhodes and Bevan first started working together in 2018, instantly conceiving an exquisite and very visual musical language. As artists, separated by the oceans, Wendy in Los Angeles and Nick in London, these works were made as a direct response to the sadness and turbulence of the past year, as revealed to Variety.
About the project the pair said;
“As we have all been living somewhat blinkered lives over the past year, Wendy and I found ourselves searching for a way forward, and were magnetically drawn towards the idea of creating something widescreen, to broaden our perspective in that moment. The universe became an infinite source of inspiration, taking us on a journey through this sadness to a future filled with awe and hope, exploring the endless beauty of the unknown.
Merging the drama and moods of classical music with the textures and atmospheres of analogue synthesizers created the rich palette of sounds that we used to make the Astronomia albums. Each track is like a sonic painting, where different styles, colors and composition form singular pieces that belong in the same exhibition.
The Fall of Saturn is a musical allegory for these times. A moment to reflect upon our fragility, the way we treat each other and our planet. A symphony of hope and dreams for our future.”
“Inspired by the lustre of stars, we had the perfect setting to create a musical language. All fifty two pieces we wrote for the Astronomia project have become a memoir locked into a time capsule; musical notation to be released into the mysterious abyss.
Nick and I were on a quest to pursue the ineffable, and Astronomia became a landscape for the cinematic vision we share. We found ourselves making an ethereal soundtrack to accompany the process of change we were all experiencing on a global level during that time.
Created by layering violins, synths, vocals and orchestral arrangements, each track unlocks another door in the world of Astronomia, instantly transporting you to another dimension.”
With a shared love of film, photography and style, Bevan and Rhodes plan to accompany each track on the Astronomia volumes with a carefully curated visual, available via their Instagram @astronomiavolumes. A new clip will be released every week for one year, commencing March 20th.
Wendy Bevan is a British vocalist, violinist, songwriter, performer and photographer. Nick Rhodes is a founder member and keyboard player of the British rock band, Duran Duran.
ASTRONOMIA III: ‘HEAVEN AND HELL IN THE SERPENT’S TAIL’’
1. Meteor Shower
2. Pillars of Creation
4. Deep Sky Objects
5. Interstellar Space
6. Obscured by the Molecular Cloud
7. Above the 10th Magnitude
9. X-Ray Flare
10. The Devil’s Staircase
12. Galactic Halo
13.The Serpent’s Tail
Art Direction and design: Rory McCartney
Album Photography: Heather Palecek
Press photo: Radka Leitmeritz