After playing drums and singing in the electronic band Amy X Neuburg & Men,
Amy Neuburg established her credentials with
live solo performances around the San Francisco Bay Area.
Her first collection of electronic songs was Residue (2004).
The Secret Language of Subways (MinMax, 2009),
a 13-song cycle for voice, three cellos, looping and electronic percussion,
expanded her art by incorporating chamber instruments.
The cellos are the distinguishing element, nicely complementing the vocals.
The cycle opens with the gentle touching storytelling of One Lie,
but the rest roams a larger spectrum of stles, sometimes inspired by the
(the music-hall in The Gooseneck and Hey,
showtunes in Be Careful), sometimes more avantgarde
(the layered voices of This Loud,
the electroacoustic chamber piece Tongues with a brief apparition of the vocals,
Closing Doors with driving, Michael Nyman-esque cello rhythm, the
virtuoso vocalizing of the witchy Difficult),
sometimes closer to classical music (the operatic Dada Exhibit),
and sometimes borrowing from rock styles
(the industrial Body Parts).
The cycle ends with Shrapnel, a folkish ballad.
Neuburg does not for the apocalyptic drama of
Diamanda Galas and is not interested in the
virtuoso soliloquy of Meredith Monk.
Her art is plainer and more focused on the lyrics.
The song cycle Fill as Desired for vocal ensemble debuted in fall 2009.
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