Cape Town, South Africa: the extraordinary Robyn Ferguson, formerly known for fronting Gauteng-based extreme metal band Adorned in Ash, continues her solo career with another EP release today. This time – celebrating her fifth release – Robyn reveals a different perspective to her artistry; for The Waking World she has hung up her guitar and performs all of the songs on piano.
The Waking World marks a significant milestone in Robyn’s very productive creative run. It’s her fifth release in only two years, most of which during the times of Covid-19. Whilst Covid-19 has represented an obstacle for many creators, not so for Robyn Ferguson:
“I’ve had a lot of personal journeys and experiences with time; life and death. Up until now I’ve survived and made it through all of my worst days; so why should today or tomorrow be any different? Once I started thinking that way I knew I could overcome anything. Music is my life, I can’t stop. It would be asking me to stop breathing.” ~ Robyn Ferguson
The Waking World: expression beyond music
In her solo work, Robyn veers away somewhat from the pigeon-hole of “extreme metal” which her previous bands occupied; expanding her horizons into a more progressive style whilst maintaining guitars as the central instrument. That is until now, with The Waking World being entirely piano-driven ambient music.
“My music flows naturally from my heart, and I’ve built deep meaning and overlaying symbolism into the songs and the visuals. All of my released solo work so far forms part of a much larger story; The Alizarin Chronicles, which is both an emotional and sci-fi interpretation of the story that is my life and visions thereof. My music is meant to be listened to as independent chunks but also more importantly as a whole- from the first EP ,Alizarin, through to The Waking World. When experienced as a body of work with individual “chapters” you will hear the shared call and response of some melodic lines and phrases throughout, connecting all the albums.” ~ Robyn Ferguson
What’s more, we know Robyn as not only a musician, but as a painter and graphic artist too. We inquired more about the relationship between her music and visual works:
“My visuals represent the fantasy world and character journey through The Alizarin Chronicles.” ~ Robyn Ferguson
What are The Alizarin Chronicles?
As Robyn explains, her art is more than just the music; it is the combination of music, visual art, and an expression of a sci-fi styled universe.
“The Waking World is the fifth ‘book/chapter’ in my current series of works forming part of a global title; The Alizarin Chronicles. It’s raw emotions painted on with a piano.” ~ Robyn Ferguson
So whilst her music remains primarily instrumental, there is a written work to accompany it. Here is an excerpt from “The Alizarin Chronicles”:
When the skies blacked and the planet crumbled, the ancients took to the stars. All the bloodlines chose their paths and so carved their fates throughout time. To survive the raining down pour, the colonies divided and known only by their flags – Raven, Oceanborn, Timebender and Pack- each spread to worlds parallel apart. Falling forward at the edge of life brought a tear in the void bringing a new wave of fire.
Thousands formed to brace for the ascension while others fled into doom and self destruction. Parts of the colonies survived, though tens of thousands had fallen and been divided, expunged from the records of history. Their ashes are said to be scattered in space to remain as traveling souls for eternity. Some now harbingers, the voices known only as the echoes of what is past, what is and what is to come, are still left to speak visions to the blind and songs to the deaf throughout the lands.
The strongest of those flags surviving the fall saw the weak weeded out from beneath the hardened rock upon which fortresses had been built. But when the dust settled after the stars had fallen some semblance of hope was regrouped and so through the cracks comes another leaf. Now no doubt, but doubt not, for the mind does do bends. As sure as they once destroyed your world, the day has come to new awake. This is The Waking World as the Chronicles have been written.
Robyn Ferguson: online festivals
We’ve noticed that Robyn enjoys a strong presence at online festivals – and not only from our own WinterFest’20 hosted by metal4africa – but all over the world! Follow her website for more details on where to catch her next.
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