the Bay Area-based duo of folksinger and performance artist Dawn McCarthy and Sleepytime Gorilla Museum's multi-instrumentalist Nils Frykdahl, debuted with the
supernatural fairy-tale lullabies of
Mother Twilight (2001), introducing the vocalist as
a modern heir to the otherworldly folk music of
and the Faub Fables as
heir to the great tradition of trasfigured roots-rock of the Catheads and Donner Party.
The spiraling invocation of Begin,
the surreal skit Sleepwalker,
the vocal threnody Beautiful Blade,
and the wordless atmospheric Train (the album's highlight)
are reminiscent of
Meredith Monk, with the vocals of
McCarthy dominating the proceedings.
Her roots in performance also affect the
theatrical Hela and the unusually propulsive
Less successful are the loose litanies of Traveller Returning
and Mother Twilight, that drag on without achieving true pathos.
After The Transit Rider (2006), a concept on the New York subway and the soundtrack of a multimedia show (2002),
they turned to a quirky Brecht-ian cabaret for
the eclectic and energetic Family Album (2004), with McCarthy flexing
her vocals to match Grace Slick's
Even their choice of covers was odd:
Zygmunita Koniezcyniego's Carousel With Madonnas and Brigitte Fontaine's Eternal.
The four-song EP A Table Forgotten (2008) was devoted to domestic life.
A solemn tone permeated the more ambitious
Light of a Vaster Dark (2010), a four-part concept album about light
and darkness (each part containing multiple songs).
Here the duo availed themselves of
multi-instrumentalist Kirana Peyton,
violinist Meredith Yayanos,
reed player Cornelius Boots and harmonica player Mark Stikman.
stately medieval-sounding flute-driven ode Light of a Vaster Dark,
the quasi-gospel fairy-tale prayer Mary (violins, flutes, harmonium, glockenspiel),
the martial elegy Violet
and the voodoo-like choral chant Sweeping Spell (with found and exotic percussion)
bestowed an air of high-brow art on their project.
On the other hand Housekeeper, with its
threatening pow-wow rhythm, its
neoclassical chamber music with clarinets and strings, and a
violin dance that mimics Stravinsky's "Histoire du Soldat",
as well as the upbeat singalong Parade, introduced by a
blues harmonica, painted
a less folkish version of the Walkabouts.
(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx) |
Se sei interessato a tradurre questo testo, contattami