#103 | Interview | Flowers for Bodysnatchers (Transfixing Neoclassical Dark Ambient)

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Flowers for Bodysnatchers is the neoclassical dark ambient endeavor helmed by Duncan Ritchie. Established over six years ago, this project sprouted up as a tonal change of pace from his even longer lasting industrial-tinged dark ambient project, The Rosenshoul. Toward the end of 2015, Duncan’s debut on the Cryo Chamber label as Flowers for Bodysnatchers was marked by the release of his opus, Aokigahara. And now, a little over three years later, Duncan unfurls his fourth solo effort on the label titled Alive With Scars.

In the months leading up to Alive With Scars’ release, Duncan published a quartet of tracks deemed as a prologue to the full album. Its concept was veiled as a protagonist or character who is slowly withering inside of their own diseased body as their central nervous destroys itself. And while, on the surface, you could observe this concept as somewhat standard fair relative to Cryo Chamber’s weighty catalog, it wasn’t until the few weeks leading up to the album’s release that the protagonist was revealed to be Duncan.

Duncan has been enduring his life for at least a decade with Multiple Sclerosis, or MS for short. He succinctly summarizes MS as an autoimmune disease whereby a body’s immune system attacks itself. Essentially, it razes healthy tissue called myelin, which is a crucial in insulating the nerves in your spinal cord, brain, and optic nerves. And as the disease persists in your body, it leaves internal scars on these body parts. Hence the album’s title.

In this conversation, Duncan and I spend a good bit of time discussing MS and when he began noticing something was off in his day-to-day. However, Duncan renders the ceaseless disease in a positive light and articulates how it has ultimately served as a touchstone of influence for all of his compositions, old and new. Though with this morsel of personal insight into Duncan’s life, one cannot help but notice how it casts his prior work, such as Aokigahara and Love Like Blood, in even bleaker shadows. Thank you so much for listening.

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You can acquire a digital or physical copy (CD) of Alive With Scars via the Cryo Chamber Bandcamp page. There, you can also peruse his other solo albums Aokigahara, Love Like Blood, and Asylum Beyond.

If you’d like to check out the Prologue to Alive With Scars, you can do so via Duncan’s personal Flowers for Bodysnatchers Bandcamp page. Also be sure to check out his other project, The Rosenshoul, as well as his new space ambient project, Anihila.

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