Saturday, December 18, 2010


In my haste to plummet through days,  it recently dawned on me that we are quickly exiting 2010,  a year that marks,  amongst other things,  the 400th anniversary of the death of painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio.  His was a life troubled by 16th century social,  sexual,  religious,  and artistic standards,  with an artistic temperament and temper to match his discomforts.  The soundtrack that accompanies the late Derek Jarman's film (2005) is aptly subtitled "Sound Sketches for Michele of the Shadows",  and that's exactly what these pieces of music are.  There is a atmospheric randomness to both movie and soundtrack,  so neither may be mistaken for narratives of any sort,  but that is exactly the point of these ambiguous bits of flamenco guitar,  rain,  choir,  cicadas,  bowed psaltry,  chains,  swallows,  electronic sound,  etc.  Simon Fisher Turner has assembled an impressive group of musicians who delicately flirt with field recordings that map both physical and emotional locations.  The film and soundtrack seem like meditations on love, loss,  and the creative act,  a series of forms slowly emerging from a chiaroscuro that hides more than it reveals.  Then.... darkness.

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