Grey Aura is a conceptual band from Utrecht, The Netherlands. The studio line-up consists of Ruben Wijlacker and Tjebbe Broek. During concerts, the band is joined by Thomas Knopper on percussion and S. (Laster, Nusquama) on bass.
Our aim is to create immersive music. We incorporate various art forms, including painting, graphic design, literature, field recording, performance art and audio theatre.
Our debut album, ‘Waerachtighe beschryvinghe van drie seylagien, ter wereld noyt soo vreemt ghehoort’, was released by Blood Music in 2016. It is a nearly one-and-a-half-hour long album that deals with Willem Barentsz’ third and final voyage to find a north-eastern passage to Asia in 1596.Although the album is firmly rooted in mid-nineties black metal, it is an exercise in subtle experimentation; ‘Waerachtighe beschryvinghe…’ contains elements of audio theatre and neoclassical composition. The album was created with a strong sense of historical accuracy and its foreword was written by German Polar researcher Nikolas Sellheim. ‘Waerachtighe beschryvinghe…’ was added to the permanent collection of the Dutch National Library in The Hague in 2016.
We are now working on our (as of yet untitled) sophomore album. Conceptually, the album is based on ‘De protodood in zwarte haren’, a novel written by Ruben Wijlacker. The album deals with fictional early 20th century painter Pieter van der Laan, who becomes obsessed with suprematism; a Russian art movement, based on abstract, geometric forms. As the painter is gradually drawn into the world of abstraction, he begins to question the limits to the physical spaces around him; and ultimately life itself.
Due to the rather large scope of the project, we decided to record demo versions of segments of the album, prior to recording and releasing it. These demo versions allow us to experiment with arrangements, composition, voice actors and mixing techniques. The first demo, ‘1: Gelige, traumatische zielsverrukking’, was released in 2017 by The Throat. The second demo, ‘2: De bezwijkende deugd’, was released in 2019 by Tartarus Records.