The Covid situation in Australia has deteriorated in recent months after the conservative NSW government allowed it to spread (after a lax approach to quarantine – privatising the service). For the last 9 weeks or so I have been stuck in another state, away from home, and wondering when I could get back across the border again. Well yesterday I finally acquired a travel permit to cross the border between NSW and Victoria and 10 hours later (by car) I am now back at home. So I am catching up on things this afternoon (with two computer monitors – yeah) and there will be no formal blog post. But there is some music. Back tomorrow.
Music – for travelling
Sometimes you need to really concentrate on a new album and play it several times to appreciate the nuances and subtlety of the performance by the artist(s) and the mastering by the producer.
So a long road trip, when no-one else is in the vehicle and volume can be adjusted to suit the single taste (loud in this case), is a pretty good platform for accomplishing that aim.
It was released last year (July 31, 2020) and was “inspired by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”.
This article (June 25, 2020) – Max Richter Announces New Album ‘Voices’ – provides some background about how the readings were organised and sourced.
The album has a voiced section (with various readings) and then the voiceless version of the music.
Here is the full album, which uses what Max Richter refers to as a “negative orchestra” (“nearly all basses and cellos”).
At some stages in the album you think you hear a deep rumbling – one of the deepest sound the human ear can hear I suspect – and it is a very stark background to the negative orchestra.
The whole album is 56 minutes then repeats in voiceless mode.
My favourite track is Mercy with the solo violin played by – Mari Samuelson.
Mercy begins at 48:51 and then at the end of the second version of the album.
A breathtaking way to spend 10 hours driving a car I can tell you.
Here is a short video from Max Richter explaining the motivation of the album and its meaning.
He always has a very sound and progressive intent behind his music.
He commented on the album:
I like the idea of a piece of music as a place to think, and it is clear we all have some thinking to do at the moment. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is something that offers us a way forward. Although it isn’t a perfect document, the declaration does represent an inspiring vision for the possibility of better and kinder world.
He goes further in this NPR interview (August 2, 2020) – Composer Max Richter On ‘Voices,’ A New Album That Envisions A Better World.
Here is a review of the album from British Gramophone – Richter Voices.
That is enough for today!
(c) Copyright 2021 William Mitchell. All Rights Reserved.