The OO-Ray is the alias of Ted Laderas, an improvisatory and experimental cellist from Portland, OR. A scientist of biologic systems by day, he extends his experimental attitude to exploring the outer possibilities of the cello, often distorting, looping, or pitchshifting his instrument beyond recognizability into waves of reverberation and extended drones. Inspired by the gauzy textures of My Bloody Valentine, he call his style “shoegazer cello” or “chamber drone”. His music explores the realms of electroacoustic, shoegazer, and ambient.
“As mediated by Laderas’ bank of technology, the lone cello takes on a kind of serene majesty – sustained, rich, formidable.” – Marc Weidenbaum, disquiet.com
“Astoria is a stunning set of electro-acoustic cello improvisations from self-described “ambient shoegazer cellist” Ted Laderas aka The OO-Ray. Combining cello performance and sound processing techniques (looping, pitchshifting, and reverberation) and citing David Darling, Brahms, and My Bloody Valentine as inspirations, Laderas builds his multi-tiered sound into towering and oft-majestic chamber meditations. …. There is much to admire about this recording: first and foremost, the range of sound Laderas draws from the cello, with its upper and lower registers and percussive potential amply exploited, and with pizzicatto playing heard alongside the bowing (strikingly heard in “Bubbaly,” for example); and, secondly, the circumspection shown in having the twelve settings last only three- to four-minutes on average. Each piece appears just long enough to establish its own sound-world but then, having done so, exits.” – Hypnagogue
“In contrast to general associations I seem to have about cello centered album ambient albums, Astoria does not only features those dark drone tracks I expected. Tiny fragments of melodies form loops, which intertwine to denser texture and dissolve into ethereal clouds of sound. Ted Laderas, the artist behind the OO-Ray, manages to to shape the sound of his instruments into a large variety of forms. From the tinkling, pointilistic textures of Marzo to the metallically mourning drones of Gwageus and the soothing deep waves of Sleep – Astoria is a majestetically moving giant. Just like a glacier, it slowly, but also unmerciful, buries you underneath it.” – Resonant Strata
“The looping, pitch shifting, and reverberation in the soundscaping give the album an unusual edge and lift it above the oceanic body of introspective solo cello work that can be found if one goes looking for it. ‘Astoria’ in particular has a welcoming and familiar tone, although it is come and gone too soon at less than two minutes. In saying that, however, it is a strength for Laderas to not outstay his welcome and this is a plus for the album as a whole – by not beating you over the head with indulgent fifteen minute pieces, the album is an illustrative snapshot or document of an artist in progression, and these sketches are interesting and intriguing for this fact alone alone.” – Fluid Radio
“There is a continually rich harmonic structure which shifts and eddies, giving an enormous sense of movement. And once you forget the idea of the lone cello artificially altered, it becomes much easier to simply give in to the emotional pull of the sound, rather than trying to rationalise the source material. And it is this surrender that allows the music its greatest impact. And it is truly beautiful.” – Adrian Elmer, Cyclic Defrost
Downtown Pajama (from Magnifications)