Well, not quite. More downloaded into my
itunes. But somehow it doesn’t sound quite so romantic. Anyway I have been
slightly obsessed with these three albums…
Thanks to Verity Sharp - the delectably knowledgeable
presenter of BBC Radio 3’s very excellent Late Junction - I was introduce to Thomas Feiner ...
– who coincidentally is a
graphic designer - one time vocalist with Swedish collective Anywhen.Back in 2001 they released The Opiates, their third and final
album. Few copies were made available and so it disappeared without trace. Until
now. David Sylvian (yes, that one) unearthed and rereleased it with additional reworking
with vocalist Feiner. What we have is a wonderfully brooding collection of
songs. Melancholic at their extremes with rich vocals from Feiner, who at time
sounds like a fusion of Scott Walker, Tom Waits and Nick Cave. But what did it
for me was the sensual string arrangements provide by the Warsaw Radio Symphony
Orchestra, achieving at times an epic cinematic landscape. It is a truly
remarkable work. Check it out for yourself re the link to Thomas above, in particular listen to the
sublime Betty Caine.
I have long been a fan of Craig Armstrong,
and indeed the arrangements on The
Opiates above are akin to Armstrong’s own work, which is probably why I
liked it so much. But Memory Takes My
Hand is Armstrong’s most mature yet and is his début classical work. Recorded
with the BBC Symphony Orchestra it was premiered last year on Radio Three. It included
Immer, a violin concerto that
Armstrong wrote for Coli Gould. A stunningly sensitive piece that resonates
with the work of Arvo
Pärt and Henryk Górecki. Lay in a Alexander position, close your eyes and
slip away into another world.
My third favorite is the beautifully
enigmatic duo Susanna Karolina Wallumrød...
And Morten Qvenild. They formed Susanna & The Magical Orchestra back
in 2002. This highly original indie group have two albums Melody Mountain and List of
Lights and Bouys. If you are a fan of Björk or Sigur
Rós then I think you’ll like this little duo. They play
around with range of interesting and unconventional instruments and sounds.
There is a terrific cover of Joy Division’s Love
Will Tear Us Apart. But check out the track Stay, truly magical.
So far I haven't mention music on this blog, this is for the simple reason that I would tend go on about it a little too much, because, well frankly, it is vital to my everyday life. Back in the summer I was invited on to Resonance 104.4FM Radio's programme, Graphic Design on the Radio presented by Adrian Shaughnessy. So if you are interested go here and you will get a feel for the kind of stuff I like - and a little about me and my life.