Title: Meaning Turns to Whispers
Year Of Release: 2016
Label: Aguirre Records – ZORN43
Genre: Modern Classical, Ambient, Experimental
Quality: 320 / FLAC
Total Time: 43:54
Total Size: 106 / 234 Mb
WebSite: Album Preview
1. Lovers; Cascading (Part I) 08:11
2. Lovers; Cascading (Part II) 07:32
3. Wherever Two Circles can be Drawn 05:53
4. Open Passage, Closed Passage, Hidden Passage 07:50
5. Expanding Hope into Caverns 10:58
6. Everything and Tired 03:26
Formed largely of improvisations for piano -- much of Craig’s recorded and live output at this time was entirely at the mercy of improvisation -- ‘Meaning’ is meandering but towards a tipping point. Craig has described the noisy, textural element of his music as a way of dealing with the sentimentality inherent to what he does, and that’s no more obvious than on this record. His piano playing can reflect the most sombre of neo-classical artists, from Dustin O’Hallaran to Lubomyr Melnyk, but it will eventually reach a point of no return, at which point he’ll coat it with feedback from his FM loops, seemingly washing any narrative or poignancy clean before he can start up again. The rare strands of vocals in this record are the most treated of all: they crackle and glitch before escaping into the ether, never to be pieced together into a proper form.
There’s beauty in ‘Meaning Turns to Whispers’, but perhaps my favourite thing about the record is hearing Craig come to terms with that beauty, and often even ruin it. For me, his music is about conflict, decay and memory abstraction, which is why calling it old-fashioned or ancient-sounding feels off: tape loops, botched opera and textural degradation are as modern as a forgotten snapchat message or a shit deleted tweet. “Wherever Two Circles Can Be Drawn” is a solo piano piece done lo-fi, improvised so that its most beautiful notes may be met with ominous rejoinders. “Open Passage” continues where it left off but envelops the composition in scarred, failing feedback, as if to refuse us the pre-established journey we’re expecting. This kind of improvisation is about vulnerability and the scope for human error, and once more, ‘Meaning’ is a record in which Craig posits these things from places we thought perfect: who'd have thought neo-classical could go so wrong, and sound better for it?