Ogden project Oceanids takes on many musical forms

Tuesday , November 11, 2014 - 12:00 AM

By Raychel Johnson

Two years ago, local acoustic musician Adonis Jordan was looking for a way to give his solo guitar performances more energy.

It was at that time that electronic music entered his universe by surprise, and the Oceanids Collective project was born.

“It was kind of tough for me, just performing all by myself with the guitar only, in Ogden,” said Jordan, over a cup of coffee.

“I think a lot of people have run into that. Some people are great at it. But for me, I wanted something a little more engaging, something with more energy.”

Electronic music happened for Jordan almost overnight. He said he still doesn’t know how it happened, but he became enthralled with producing audio files and buying equipment. He didn’t stay solo for much longer after that though. About a year ago, he invited his friend Nick Sanchez to play guitar.

Jordan then decided to make his new music project a collective, so he could revolve musicians and gather creative input if he needed to.

“I conceived it as the idea of a collective, so we could have a lot of different formats, and involve a lot of different members,” Jordan said. Vocalist Mindy Anderson, Sanchez and drummer Matt Froling are current members of the project.

“Right now, we’ve been in all different places and haven’t been getting together that much, but that’s kind of the idea of this format. I can keep making music and bring it back to the guys, and we collaborate and go from there.”

Oceanids takes on an abstract electronic form on the “Cocoon and the Mantra” EP, which was digitally and physically released in September. The same band takes on a completely different embodiment live, having more of a psychedelic rock vibe. This, Jordan stated, is by design.

“They’re both just two sides of the same coin,” Jordan said of the live show and the recordings now available only online. “You’re going to recognize it, but it’s going to be a lot different...I’m also writing music with the strict intention of playing it live, so it’s more of an interwoven process now.”

From the beginning to where Oceanids is now, Jordan said the project has been completely D.I.Y. He started by teaching himself how to work the electronic equipment, in addition to the programs he uses to create the “vehicle of imagination” that is Oceanids.

Through this process, Jordan said he’s seen his work flow improve, and he is able to create the sounds he’s looking for more easily. He added that 98 percent of the music on the “Cocoon and the Mantra” EP was done solo, by him.

“I’ve had a few times when Nick was able to help me with production by doing guitar and things like that,” he said, adding that in essence, Oceanids began as a solo project that has expanded to include the creative conscious of those he’s chosen to engage.

“It’s really close to me but that’s why I want it to involve other people, because I think that it’s more powerful if you bring other people into the equation, and also it gives me some separation from the music so I can get a better project in the end. It’s easy to get too close.”

Oceanids is hard to catch live, though, and has only appeared a few times in its two-year infancy. Jordan said he prefers to play fewer live shows and make each one bigger and better than the previous. He is planning a show in the spring.

“I think in the future I want to take it outside of Utah, I want to really have this be the home base,” he said. “Try and establish some new connections other places to play shows.”

When it comes to songwriting for the live show, Anderson comes up with her own lyrics. Not wanting to interrupt that process, Jordan said he lets Anderson sing what she’s created. When the members can’t get together, Jordan creates skeletons of the song and will send track files to the members to work on.

“One of the cool parts of getting together with all different artist who have different experience levels is you get different opinions on how the song should start, how it should end. The different sections and it’s always really surprising to me how it ends up,” he said, adding that together the band has written five instrumental rock songs, and eventually plans on recording those as well.

While those songs remain unrecorded, the bulk of music that resides in the confines of Jordan’s computer is electronic. He said he wants to explore the differences between organic and digital music.

“What is the difference between organic and digital music? Is it really just the tones, or your intention? What makes something that has soul or meaning, and what makes it important,” he asked. “I wanted to make something that was digital, seemingly synthetic, that was meaningful to me.”

While he explores that side of his music, he continues to upload new tracks to Oceanid’s Soundcloud page, where anyone can listen for free.

“We’re just in a transitional phase going into new avenues,” Jordan said. “So if people want to see it, they’ll keep their eyes open.”

Contact reporter Raychel Johnson at 801-625-4279 or rajohnson@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter @raychelNEWS.

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