Slay Me In My Sleep - Grand Salvo
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Mann's quiet, gently played tunes are filled with non-clich d observationist images of the Australian environment: his yarn-spun glimpses of dried-out riverbanks and sunlight reflecting off gum leaves only used as colours on an emotional palette painting the country as an unending stretch of heartbreaking habitat.
Set to expansive and joyous instrumentation, 'Slay Me In My Sleep' is a lavishly decorated and unabashed melodrama. Intricate percussion, harp, recorder and woodwind play to the quick, restless pulse of youth, while in sparer settings cello, gentle guitar and delicate piano reflect the melancholy of old age and longing. 'Slay Me In My Sleep' was largely recorded and co-produced in Berlin by composer NILS FRAHM, who has worked extensively with other singular artists such as PETER BRODERICK and GREG HAINES. Frahm's exquisite piano work appears throughout, alongside vocal contributions by HEATHER WOODS BRODERICK, LAURA JEAN and LULUC'S ZOE RANDALL.
She woke at three with a thumping heart . . . - Grand Salvo
1 The old woman and the boy.
2 She woke at three with a thumping heart: she had dreamed once more of the night they met. (19th of May, 1928, Chateau de Chaalis, Seine-et-Marne)
3 She was also watching on the occasion of his first break in. His face was lit by the moon, and was so familiar she thought he was a ghost. She listened to him moving about the house, and when he fell quiet, she said a name aloud. There was a sudden commotion of running steps, and he was gone. In the room he had left, an album of photographs lay spilled across the floor.
4 She quietly makes her way down the stairs as he rummages away in the room.
5 She stands in the dark for a long time.
6 Two cups sit on the table, the kettle is on and the toast is toasting. As the sky lightens she falls for a third time.
7 He raises her gently into a chair. She tells him how to make a sling for her arm using a tea towel. As he works she marvels at his face.
8 They sit facing each other at the kitchen table. He notices she is missing a finger.
9 "What's that in your pocket?" "A photo" "Of who?" "I dont know"
10 With the photograph lying between them, she tells him her story and they talk for a long time.
11 The boy's story of his faithful family dog.
12 The story of May 20th, 1929.
13 How, three days later, she wandered heartbroken and ruined into a mountain village. Overlooking the village was an Abbey.
14 The lament of the regretful ghost.
15 She asks him to pack her a bag for hospital. In her bedroom he finds a great wardrobe filled with all the beautiful clothes of her youth. He also finds a single suit.
16 He leads her by the arm in the old manner out into the music and the dancing light. She asks him, so he whispers something he thinks he might have said. She closes her eyes tight then, and when she opens them again she is different somehow. The nurse waits smoking against the car at the far end of the garden, and from over the fences the neighbourly sounds of cooking and children swim on the wind.
autumn to death's winter
cole porter on 19.07.2012
paddy mann somehow manages to create this delicate sound - so delicate it at times seems to disappear - with so many instruments and sounds happening inside the song. it feels like a collection of shorter songs all jammed together like a stage musical (in the same way the residents' commercial album was a stage musical...) - the songs bounce off each other and somehow try to tell a bigger story. much like his last storytelling album 'death' there appears to be some greater plan, but unlike death there's no narration to help you through it, so it's only impled through the mountain of words that count as the tracklisting. but unlike 'death', the sound is a lot lighter - autumn to 'death's winter. the lighter touch seems to soften the blow, but it's still a blow. he's trying to tell us something it seems, but it'll take quite a few listens to work out just what. nevermind - the fun is in the trip, not the destination.