Video Premiere: Chromic Duo performs “Fluorescent Oceans”

The entrancing “Fluorescent Oceans” — the lead single from Chromic Duo’s upcoming EP, Room of Oceans — elicits the serenity of the unperturbed mind. Chromic Duo (Lucy Yao and Dorothy Chan) weave prepared toy pianos into surreal soundscapes and sparse textures that float seemingly outside of time. It is a meditation on loss and perseverance — a foggy sadness with the promise of a silver lining that will resonate with anyone who’s recently hit a rough patch in their life.

Produced by Four/Ten Media, the new video is washed in an encompassing haze of blue, pierced by iridescent shards of light. It is a visual counterpoint to the hypnotic chord progression that underpins the piece, approaching the solemn minimalism of Arvo Pärt. But the duo electrifies that repose with a contemporary voice that blends elements of classical, hyperpop, ambient, and electronics, naming SOPHIE and Ólafur Arnalds as influences.

Room of Oceans features original compositions by Chromic Duo alongside works by Rohan Chander and Nyokabi Kariuki. The EP is “a love letter to the people we wish we could become and still are becoming,” according to Chromic Duo — an ode to “anyone who has felt splintered between two places.” It draws on Yao and Chan’s experiences trying to find their voice within the Asian American diaspora.

Chromic Duo--Photo by Israel Riqueros

Chromic Duo–Photo by Israel Riqueros

Here is how Chromic Duo describe “Fluorescent Oceans”:

“let this be a love letter.
and again, this will always be—
a place to hold you in places i’m not.
let this hold you in the shimmering of memory, translucent and ever shifting.”

Diving into the lush sound world of toy pianos, ambient electronic textures, and prepared piano, Chromic Duo’s debut single, “Fluorescent Oceans,” captures both the uncertainty and hope for us to find joy as a means of survival through grief. An exploration of personal loss and splintering political landscapes in October 2020, Lucy and Dorothy recorded a meditation in battleground state, Pennsylvania, to express personal loss and resilience in a world that is growing into its own.

And to find that behind every closing door, there is still love to be felt.

Room of Oceans is out on May 26 (cmntx records). To pre-order “Fluorescent Oceans,” click HERE.

About Chromic Duo

Chromic Duo blends classical music, toy piano, and electronics into genre-fluid performances and installations. Inspired by the small wonders of the everyday, they compose sound worlds inspired by the multitudes as Third-Culture-Kids discovering their voice within the vast Asian American diaspora. Their work often blurs the lines between film, VR, and AR, but the heart of their work remains constant: to create an intimacy and sense of wonder in their music that unravels the story of self-discovery and passion for connecting the dots between grief and joy, belonging and displacement, and creating community in boundary-pushing performances and web-based experiences.


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