Nico Muhly is a busy young modern-classical composer and performer isn’t he? Here he is now, rocking up on Nonesuch in a new collaboration with songwriter Teitur. With song lyrics derived from obscure youtube videos and the music scored for a baroque ensemble, Confessions probably qualifies as a unique record I should think?
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Nico Muhly is an acclaimed composer from the U.S. of A. Teitur is a singer-songwriter from the exotic location of the Faroe Islands. The two of them bonded through a shared fascination with “boring, meaningless home videos” which they then culled following long trawls on YouTube. They had started to see meanings in these documents; confessional motives and expressions. The two looked at the comments -- often banal, sometimes hilarious, usually bizarre -- and placed them in a new context, as song lyrics backed by strings. Obviously, a collection of pluckable acoustic sound making things, harpsichords and the sweep of soaring and swooping violins were the perfect tools with which to set this brave new music.
They reveal (interesting) glimpses into the minutiae of ordinary lives. On ‘I Smoke’, the words: “I always start to smoke -- in the Summer, when I’m happy -- But then I keep on smoking -- because I’m lonely, and sad… I think it’s time to quit.” Touching, *and* sensible. OK cool. The music is very good, richly detailed: keyboard arpeggios, fluttering dulcimers, a flourish of lute. It may grate after four or five songs. But there is variety, at least lyrically. All manner of riches are to be found in the comments on the web! Like the story of the person who wants their cat to come home. He is stuck in the tree, up 40 or 50 feet! Oh no! He’s been gone for days and “it is cold with snow flurries.” Cue flutes and sad strings. “...I have tried opening tuna… the tree people aren’t answering… I can’t believe he’s up there, it’s the scariest thing ever.” High drama, and the highlight of my day. How does this story resolve itself? Listen to find out more.
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