Album title: Songs of Love and Loss
artist : emmanuel witzthum
album : songs of love and loss
date : 03.03.18
map point : eilean 56
color : white / grey
season : winter
duration : 38.24 mn
edition : limited to 160 copies
resonates with intensity of feeling and indescribable beauty. The album begins with compelling portraits of vivid autumnal melancholy and pensive wintry stillness gradually allowing light to seep into the final two movements as spring blossoms with hope and summer is bathed in a warm glow of peaceful acceptance if not serenity. In so capably leveraging season as metaphor and translating this into music, Witzthum takes the listener on a poetic, poignant and picturesque journey that cannot be soon forgotten.
Across its four compositions, ‘Songs…’ is an album that continues to invite the listener into its own narrative. The opener, “Eyes shut, Leaves. Lift in winds across. Autumn skies”, slowly draws the listener in. Quiet at first, the music is like waking up to find yourself alone in a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean wondering how you got there. As a listener, you are both at the mercy of its ebb and flow, each wave rising – but also there is something intrinsically hypnotic about those same motions. It is mournful, cinematic, and not to mention, emotionally exhausting. If this were the score to a film, this would serve as the film’s final moments where the protagonist has lost it all and we the viewer have lost it all right along with him/her. For most artists, this opening composition would serve as an entire album’s worth of emotional ups and downs, but ‘Songs…’ is just getting started. And Witzthum can pull it off because he controls the movement of his narrative masterfully.
Sonically and poetically, the title ‘Songs of Love and Loss’ seems almost backwards: the more fitting title if one were to follow the emotional narrative of the album in the most literal trajectory would have been to call it ‘Songs of Loss and Love’. But that literal trajectory would ignore the more ambitious aspects of Witzthum’s deeper intent: to capture the cyclical nature of our emotional lives when played out against a backdrop of 4 seasons, each benchmarking the forward trajectory of our lives and the quiet evolutions that can occur from one autumn to the next. And upon repeat listens, that opening piece and Witzthum’s ability to really drag his listener become more awe-inspiring. Witzthums deeply humanistic voice recalls the ability of Krzyztof Kieslowski’s in that he is able to be both deeply personal and grandly cinematic. “Songs of Love and Loss” is a sunning listen and a great achievement for Witzthum as an artist. It should be on everyone’s “do-not-miss” list for 2018.
Some more reviews as well:
|ut, Leaves. Lift In Winds Across. Autumn Skies|
The Color of Sounds
A new of mine with c as e+i album on the wonderful "Eilean" label in France.
Album preview on the Eilean soundcloud page:
E And I – Putting Off Stars
Developed from a poem by E.E. Cummings called "Sonnet9" from Tulips 1922. The score was generated by transcribing the poem into musical notes using a Hermes Baby typewriter, the letters on the keyboard being replaced with musical notes and the poem being retyped into music.
Limited edition of 100 hand-numbered copies attached to a tri-fold, letter pressed insert with Cotton Goods stamped card and all together packaged in hand-printed black envelope.