Second studio album from experimental composer Michael Begg, who scooped the New Music Scotland Award for his 2017 debut album Titan. The artist’s development of customised instruments has informed the creation of his sophomore effort Vanitas and his time in Mexico on an arts council-funded residency.
CD £11.99 OMCD11
CD on Omnempathy. Limited edition of 150 copies, housed in a Japanese Artboard digipak.
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Named after Dutch Baroque artist Evert Collier's 1663 still life oil painting that adorns the front cover, 'Vanitas' is the latest work from Scottish composer/sound artist Michael Begg. From the off, the album is as alluring and mysterious as the assemblage of items in the painting - seemingly some sort of kit for gloriously unwholesome nighttime activities. And this is indeed music to play when the sun has retreated and lunar glow peeks through the gaps in the curtains. I was fairly astonished to read that Mr Begg has no formal musical training - clearly a gifted autodidact with a strong worth ethic, it’s remarkable to ponder how accomplished and visionary his work is without having served time in academia. He’s clearly quite the tinkerer, and for ‘Vanitas’ utilizes an array of self-built acoustic and electronic instruments that result in a gorgeous sound palette which he uses to paint tantalizing shadow realms and infinite night skies.
If you have a penchant for darker strains of classical and ambient music then this comes highly recommended. Released on the artists own Omnempathy label in an edition of 150 copies, housed in a lush Japanese Artboard digipak.
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