(Photo by Roxolana Krywonos and Sae Heum Han)


On October 25th, sound designer/composer Valeria Zaklinskaya, aka Velf, released her new album titled in a sense via Orange Milk Records. The album is “Inspired by fever dreams, in a sense explores the human nature of emotions and narrates a journey of rediscovery.” It is made up of five tracks that showcase Velf’s artistry with sound composition. She creates a fantastical world for the listener in just under thirty minutes using “brushworks of ambient synth patches and meticulous sound design mimicking creatures…”.

We caught up with Velf and asked her what three albums have influenced her and her music. Below are her picks.

The album is available here: https://orangemilkrecords.bandcamp.com/album/in-a-sense

DaughterNot To Disappear

Daughter is a timeless band for me, their music is undoubtedly honest, organic, and inspiring. When Not to Disappear came out, I listened to it repeatedly and almost instantly it became one of my favorite albums. The best part of any Daughter record is the lyrics and vocals. Elena Tonra does an amazing job connecting with her listeners and giving them an emotional delivery of what she is singing about. I referenced this album many times while I was writing ‘in a sense’ because of the textures they produced and the blend of Tonra’s vocals with the instrumentation behind her is a perfect balance. Their transitions are seamless and some moments are extremely powerful. This is a great album for reconnecting with music and to remind myself why I love writing/composing in the first place. Daughter is one of the first bands I discovered that pushed me to start following my own musical endeavors.

Nicolas JaarNymphs

Nymphs holds a very special place in my heart. I’m not sure why I fell in love with this album so much…but I did and it is one that I always listen to and reference for mixing and sound design. The most impressive thing to me is the spatialization that Nicolas Jaar achieves. The production is undeniably good and though the sound palette used is minimalistic, it sucks the listener in no matter what. I think Nymphs confuses me a little because there’s no one category to fit it into. It covers a lot of musical territory but does so effortlessly and that’s what keeps it interesting. The percussion is another thing I look out for in this record. It is constantly evolving and Jaar uses a mixture of conventional and unconventional sounds and patterns for his grooves, which is something I try to do with my music as well.

Francis DhomontLes Derives Du Signe

Francis Dhomont is one of many sound geniuses on this Earth. In college I took an electro-acoustics class where my professor introduced us to Dhomont as well as other acousmatic composers. I remember being very intrigued by his work especially since it is all composed of natural and found sounds. The fact that he made all his compositions with tape and made them sound so good was mind blowing to me. Especially since a lot of his work came out between the 1970s and 2000s. The Les Derives Du Signe album stands out to me because each sound used is somehow connected and paints an entire scene as you’re listening that is constantly progressing. It’s almost like watching a movie with a black screen. You don’t need anything to look at when you’re listening to Dhomont, you can just imagine what he is trying to portray. What I find most inspiring is that his work never overcrowds itself. There is rarely more than a few sounds playing at a singular time and they are slightly adjusted over time to create a sense of change. His work is very reactive and life-like, almost as if you’re observing an organism in the wilderness.

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