Exciting rumblings in the Time Released Sound world: their latest release comes from none other than Jessica Curry, a unique neo-classical voice who gave the post-apocalyptic pastures of Everybody's Gone to the Rapture their shine. Since working on the music and actual development of that game, she has been writing for imaginary film, offering these overtures and descriptions for things that aren't in front of her. The themes and settings that Fields Were the Essence of Song conjure are in collaboration with the listener and their response to the work. The tunes on here meld melodic songwriting, piano excursions and an overarching poetry reading. As always, lovely over the top packaging from the folks at TRS.

Limited CD £29.99 TRS068

Limited edition mini CD on Time Released Sound. Edition of 80 copies housed in a vintage 3.5” film can with 4 round hi-res prints of Jessica’s walking locale, copies of her original score for the piece, twigs gathered on her walks etc.

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Fields Were the Essence of the Song by Jessica Curry
1 review. Write a review for us »
9/10 Robin 25 January 2017

Soundtracks to imaginary films: have we reached capacity? I think we’ll give Jessica Curry a pass, since she originally made her fake score ‘Fields Were the Essence of Sound’ back in 2009, before making one (or indeed doing anything) was cool. Besides, this twenty-five minute suite essentially is its own film, using directive spoken word poetry, field recordings of human movement and driving neo-classical melodies to etch scenes and stage framings into the back of your skull.

Curry is of course the hero behind both the co-creation and musical composition of ‘Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture’, a pastoral post-apocalyptic video game that kinda played out the Archers after the world had ended. Her music for that score was a soaring opera with particularly stirring set-pieces; whether this came before or after that work is unknown to me, but this in a way feels like a blueprint for it, collating a similar mix of the song-written and scored into one.

Often in Curry’s work it sounds as if she is putting music into a particular place -- the chirping birds and slammed car doors that drone through this piece set-up a scene for the thrummed piano chords, desperate string swells, traditional-sounding songs and gently spoken poems. It puts them down a country road and lets the journey sweep them towards us.

In the piece’s description, Curry expressed a desire for this record to constantly change in its experience for the listener, and so it does: the imagery is constantly shifting with its collage of sounds. It's in the repetition of motifs, though, that Curry best plays on our imagination. As samples of birds chirping come back into place, or as a song from five minutes ago returns to our ears, we start building the album again from our memory, piecing together the things it's given us view of.


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