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Simon Wickham-Smith - Love & Lamentation
21048-2 CD, $14.00

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Simon Wickham-Smith
Love & Lamentation

Simon Wickham-Smith was born on the south coast of England in February 1968 and graduated from King¹s College, London in 1990 with a degree in English Literature. Whilst at university, he met Richard Youngs and from that meeting developed a friendship which has produced more recordings than he cares to remember. As a solo performer, he has played in Australia, Belgium, Finland, France, Holland, Lithuania, the UK and the US and his work has been released on labels in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. Not satisfied with making music, he has also been a Buddhist monk in the Tibetan tradition, and is also a translator and scholar of Mongolian and Tibetan literature.

The Sandokai ("The Harmony of Difference and Equality") is a prayer written by the eighth century Japanese Zen teacher Sekito Kisen. The basis for this piece was a tape given to Wickham-Smith by a nun of a recital at her monastery. He wanted to create of this sample a prayer without borders, a follow-up to an earlier work, Ave Regina Caelorum (2000, released on Extreme Bukake [VHF65]), in which he used the Latin plainsong of a prayer to the Virgin Mary in much the same way. The organ sample at the end is from a piece by Erik Satie, whose spirituality was equally strange and eclectic. All the samples have been stretched and pitch-shifted beyond (immediate) recognition; to the ears they have melded into something that seems at once both ethereal and solid.

The Kin-kindness of Beforehand grew out of his "Multiple Tongues" project, a series of pieces in which Wickham-Smith exposed the spoken word in many different languages to a series of digital manipulations. The Kin-kindness of Beforehand is divided up into several distinct sections, each of which took on a particular persona during its creation. For the composer, this was the most complex of all the "Multiple Tongues" works, because he wanted to use specific strings of words and the quality of writer Rachel Becker¹s voice somehow to comment on each another.

love&lamentation started life as a setting for voice and electronics of part of the biblical Book of Lamentation, but it quickly became clear that the literal setting of words was not going to convey the melancholic intimacy that needed to be expressed. As a teenager Wickham-Smith had heard Alain Gheerbrant¹s wonderful ethnomusicological recordings of a blind Turkish troubador and had fallen hopelessly in love with his voice and exquisite playing of the saz. About the same time, through his friend Richard Youngs, he had discovered also the ex tempore psalm singing of the Scottish Isle of Lewis. Fifteen years later, he decided that these two could be made somehow to work together to show the love and lamentation which he felt they both held in their deeper recesses, and which he wanted to present in this new piece. The result is a strange melée of feelings, repetitions and textures. From time to time we hear a somewhat bizarre percussion sample, which he had first worked on in 2000. Part 3 opens with an offcut from an unreleased (and now never-to-be-released) piece from 1999 called Deaf Piano. Veysel¹s voice starts the piece and revolves through Part 2 in a kind of hippy trance love-in fashion. The congregation from Lewis sing their melancholy in a sparser and maybe wilder wayŠand die slowly away into the distance at the close.

Review Review

Cat.# :: Composer(s)
21088
:: Yiorgis Sakellariou
21085
:: Tom Hamilton
21084
:: David First
21083
:: Tomomi Adachi / Jaap Blonk / Owen F. Smith / Duane Ingalls
21082
:: Marta Sainz &
If, Bwana
21081 :: Aliona Yurtsevich
21080
:: If, Bwana
21079
:: Ulrich Krieger
21078
:: Triple Point
21077
:: Robin Hayward
21076
:: Ron Nagorcka
21075
:: Secluded Bronte
21074
:: David Rosenboom
21073
:: Peter Batchelor
21072 :: Alvin Lucier
21071 :: Lou Cohen
21070 :: Brian Chase
21069 :: Jerry Hunt
21068 :: If, Bwana
21067 :: Jorge Antunes
21066 :: Enzo Minarelli
21065 :: Tensions At The Vanguard
21064 :: Frances White
21063 :: Noah Creshevsky
21062 :: If,Bwana/Trio Scordatura
21061 :: Nate Wooley
21060 :: Leo Kupper
21059 :: Pauline Oliveros/ Francisco López/Doug Van Nort/Jonas Braasch
21058 :: Philip Corner
21057 :: Alvin Lucier
21056 :: Dimitri Voudouris
21055 :: Birds + Machines
21054 :: Kiva
21053 :: César Bolaños
21052 :: Lionel Marchetti & Olivier Capparos
21051 :: Tom Hamilton/
Bruce Eisenbeil
21050 :: Source Records 1-6
21049 :: Noah Creshevsky/ If,Bwana
21048 :: Simon Wickham-Smith
21047 :: Kenneth Gaburo
21046 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21045 :: Annea Lockwood
21044 :: Felix Werder
21043 :: Dimitri Voudouris
21042 :: Nick Didkovsky
21041 :: Montreal Sound Matter
21040 :: Anla Courtis
21039 :: Crawling with Tarts
21038 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21037 :: Hans Otte
21036 :: DIY Canons
21035 :: Band/Myers
21034 :: Chris Brown
21033 :: Tom Johnson
21032 :: Roger Reynolds
21031 :: Trios - Collaboration
21030 :: Beth Anderson
21029 :: Hamilton, Silverton, Margolis
21028 :: Warren Burt
21027 :: Jorge Antunes
21026 :: David Dunn
21025 :: Roger Reynolds
21024 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21023 :: Pauline Oliveros
21022 :: David Rosenboom
21021 :: Ross Bolleter
21020 :: Kenneth Gaburo
21019 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21018 :: Leo Kupper
21017 :: Robert Rutman
21016 :: Matthew Ostrowski
21015 :: various
21014 :: Rune Linblad
21013 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21012 :: Pauline Oliveros
21011 :: Rune Linblad
21010 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21009 :: Leo Kupper
21008 :: various
21007 :: If, Bwana (Al Margolis)
21006 :: Trigger
21005 :: Big City Orchestra
IB :: If,Bwana
FPM :: Frog Peak Music
CUE :: C.U.E. Records
SOP :: Sound of Pig Cassettes
ANTS :: Ants (Italian Label)
ANIMUL :: Ned Rothenberg
HOMLER :: Anna Homler
OAKSMUS :: oaksmus (German Label)
GD STEREO :: Geoff Dugan
ANOMALOUS :: Anomalous Records
NONSEQUITUR :: Nonsequitur
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