the oprph-onic omputer oscillator
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the oprph-onic omputer oscillator


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"Hamilton Music Notes"

Sequestered away from any potential audience, two
Burlington teachers grew up in the netherworld of
underground electronic exploration, making music far
out of the spotlight. They picked up their first keyboard
and drum machine in the early ’90s, and by mid–decade
had released a CD with collaborator Rob Shearer as
Spirograph Versificometer.
With the departure of Shearer, the brothers Eves, Joel
and Jeff, became Oprph–onic, creating music for the
soundtrack of their lives. Inspired by the likes of
Kraftwerk, Eno, Aphex Twin or even Lanois, their
recently released This Whole Planet explores how their
immediate local sounds resonate with the more
universally abstract—but finding the meaning, or the
music itself, might be an adventure of its own.
“We don’t associate with any musical movement or
community, partly because we are blissfully unaware of
most of them,” confides Joel Eves on their clandestine
existence. “I think artistic, creative music that isn’t
recycled largely died in the late ’90s, and so it’s hard to
feel a part of any musical community. Great new music is
being made somewhere, it’s just hard to find.”
”We do work pretty much in isolation, and we create for
the sake of creating,” adds brother Jeff. “Unfortunately,
this means that our music hasn’t received the exposure it
could. We do have friends who we’ve performed with,
some who still exist under the same names (like
Sianspheric). But we really haven’t gotten out there
While they haven’t performed live since the days when
Fever held live shows, they have been productive—
although their meticulous work has this sophomore CD
released seven years after their debut. (CDs are only
available by contacting
Sonically on par with any contemporaries, The Whole
World doesn’t offer electric anthems or impenetrable
soundscapes, but rather more natural noises and beats
meld to create curious oddities that Oprph–onic hope to
capture more human emotion.
“There seemed something challenging and beautiful
about telling a story or evoking a particular emotion
without depending on lyrics,” explains Joel. “It also
seemed a liberating medium. The ideas in your mind
don’t have to be compromised because of the limitations
of conventional instruments.”
While the pair verge on their 30th birthdays, thoughts of
re–engaging the live stage abound—but whether they’ll
relinquish their self–imposed hermitage is moot, as long
as the Eves brothers can continue creating.
“I’m sure there are many creative underground artists,
but I don’t think that Burlington is fertile ground for this
type of thing,” Jeff ruminates on their local influence.
“Our inspiration comes from emotional/spiritual
experiences that aren’t tied to geography. This isn’t to
say that we aren’t inspired by physical spaces;
Burlington just isn’t the most inspiring space for an artist.
“Whether or not our vocations as school teachers helps
to inform our music is difficult to answer. One thing that
can be said is that teaching young people helps to keep
you connected with youth and vitality. It’s also refreshing
to hear the scepticism of young people when it comes to
the music they’re expected to accept through popular
media. For many of them, emo/punk is the most creative
music they’re exposed to. They deserve to be exposed
to a bigger world.”
”Although we don’t really compare ourselves with
commercial music or compete with it on any level, we
don’t claim to create within a vacuum either,” adds Joel.
“We can be accused of being unconcerned with
marketability or even listenability at times, but we are
influenced by our surroundings, just like any artist. We’re
not determinists though. We believe that randomness is
part of our immediate environment, and a sort of divine
element that influences the creative process.”
“We’re not trying to be inaccessible; we’re just terrible at
marketing ourselves,” laughs Jeff on the pair’s allusive
status over the last decade. “Oprph–onic’s vision has
always been long–term. Ideas for a new project are on
the go, but we’re working on material at the careful,
natural pace it requires. We like to call this the idealistic
approach. We see visions of perfect musical forms
somewhere on the horizon and although we may never
realize them, the delicate search keeps us motivated.
We enjoy the process more than the product. It’s the
learning and the catharsis of creating that we feed off of.
“We hope to eventually make one of the best albums
ever produced of course,” he smiles. “But whether it’s
recognized globally as such, or whether it only ever
reaches the ear of God doesn’t really matter. Our
ambitions are personal.”
- View Magazine


- the spirograph versificometer (self-titled) 1995
- oprph-onic (self-titled album): 1997
- oprph-onic: this whole planet: 2004
- oprph-onic: upcoming release (summer 2009?)



oprph-onic: a short biography

The oprph-onic-omputer-oscillator, (oprph-onic), is a post-electronic/ambient music project. Building upon the structures left behind by the Spirograph Versificometer (1994- 1996), the project’s creators (Jeff and Joel Eves) have used electronic tools to produce organically inspired soundscapes and melody-driven songs. Although their 1997 debut album paid significant tribute to the minimalist origins of electronic music, it can now be regarded as the first step in oprph-onic’s journey. Their new album, “This Whole Planet”(2004), is far more liberal in terms of its musical influences and atmospheric scope. From melodic compositions to loosely structured ambience, to mechanical rhythms, each track on the album reflects a hopefulness and emotional qualities not common to electronic music. The hope in oprph-onic’s music parallels Jeff and Joel’s own aspirations concerning the project’s future. They continue to work on new compositions while looking forward to live venues in the summer.