Mothertongue
 
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Mothertongue

20 May 2008 | Format: MP3

£7.99 (VAT included if applicable)
Song Title
Time
Popularity  
30
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5:49
30
2
4:18
30
3
3:53
30
4
4:43
30
5
5:56
30
6
5:33
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7
3:18
30
8
4:30
30
9
6:24
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10
4:47

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Product details

  • Original Release Date: 20 May 2008
  • Label: Bedroom Community
  • Copyright: (c) 2008 Bedroom Community
  • Total Length: 49:11
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B003L07RSY
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 77,847 in MP3 Albums (See Top 100 in MP3 Albums)

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A. S. C. Richards on 26 July 2008
Format: Audio CD
Mothertongue is the second album from the young, New York-based composer Nico Muhly, who operates somewhere in the ever-shifting terrain between classical music and pop. His professional life outside of composing is split between working for Philip Glass as an editor, conductor and pianist; and collaborating with the likes of Antony Hegarty, Björk and Will Oldham. That description makes him sound like a hipster, which is possibly true, but his interests are far more wide-ranging than it implies: he is deeply invested in the classical canon, particularly sacred music, and he also brings a literary sensibility to bear in his work, having studied English Literature at Columbia University.

The three pieces that make up this release are all vocal-based, and they draw on an intriguingly varied group of texts. `Mothertongue' itself employs strings of decontextualised data (numbers, addresses, mnemonics etc), while `Wonders' and `The Only Tune' are decidedly modern treatments of traditional material: a set of seventeenth-century folk songs and the ballad `Two Sisters', respectively. Muhly makes a point of emphasising the historical dimension of the latter texts by having the singers adopt appropriately stylised deliveries, and also by accompanying them with instruments that embody strong connotations of time and place: a harpsichord and a steel-string acoustic guitar. None the less, he happily deconstructs and reformulates the constituent phrases, subjecting them to the iterative and cumulative procedures beloved of American minimalist composers, so that they are ultimately made to resemble the fragmented exclamations of the title track.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mr. D. N. Reece on 17 Aug 2008
Format: Audio CD
Last year, Nico Muhly released one of my favourite albums of the year. While Speaks Volumes was good, it was still the sign of a promising young composer finding his feet and listening to Mothertongue, Muhly demonstrates that he has so much to offer.

This is an album of storytelling, which isn't that strange in itself, music has always been used to spin a good yarn and Muhly surely recognising this, has in some ways returned to the old-fashioned, man in a pub with a fiddle singing about some girl who has drowned in a lake as the story goes on `The Only Tune.' The title piece is a four movement work, with elements of Stockhausen's Stimmung as voices overflow, overlap, create rhythm and texture, shouting out numbers that stand as a testament to the modern of age of urban living, but Muhly is not so much interested in pure intonation as Stockhausen was, but simply the beauty of the human voice. The other obvious references are to 60s minimalist composers like Glass and Riley as Muhly consistently creates new musical patterns from overlapping melodies of voice, harpsichord, electronics etc.

And then there is the story about the girl who drowned in a lake, because she was cruelly pushed by her jealous sister and here Muhly really demonstrates his musical prowess in his ability to tell a highly poetic and ultimately tragic story, opening with a barrage of drones, horns and harpsichord as fellow Bedroom Community musician Sam Amidon begins to sing. Beauty in bleakness has rarely sounded so good, drifting from noise to simple guitar melodies to organs to noise and held wonderfully together by the diversity of Amidon's voice, as he shifts from a sprightly retelling to a darker, sombre version as the piece progresses.
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By stephen on 7 Sep 2013
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
interesting modern compostion - I got it for the last track and its my favourite on there - but nuff respck for the rest . Not going to be good if you're looking for mainstream
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 5 reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Marrying the old and the new 13 Aug 2008
By Noel A. Hodda - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
At first listen this sounds like something a precocious youngster might come up with: "Let me at those instruments! Give me that Studio time! I'll show you!", and maybe that is the case. Mr. Muhly is young and no doubt somewhat precocious but there is something else at work here - a voice that carries its influences openly and securely. There is nothing here that other modern composers haven't been playing with for years but it is the confident individual voice on show that impresses. At times these works sound as if they are a marriage of old compositions and new; of old voices exploded into the contemporary world. This feeling is heightened in the final suite 'The Only Tune' when Sam Amidon's deconstructed and angular singing of 'The Two Sisters' and 'The Old Mill Pond' is accompanied by an arrangement that pushes several worlds and ages together to make a thoroughly engaging modern piece. When played as a whole the three suites that make up the album, 'Mothertongue','Wonders' and 'The Only Tune', carry the listener from an absolutely contemporary place to the past and vice versa, as if the music is collapsing on itself, with the old and the new passing each other in two directions until it resolves in a modern pastoral setting. A rich journey indeed and very satisfying.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
it may take getting used to 6 May 2009
By RALPH P. GRAY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This will be a short, general review based on 2 CD's. Muhly is new for me. I find some of his works intriguing; others less so. Some are sprightly - make me feel bouncy & cheerful; others seem too minimalist for my taste & annoy me a little. But then he suddenly changes course & I am "with him" again.

Overall: I think he is very worth while following & seeing how he develops. His is unquestionably a bright mind & spirit.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Fantastic album 4 Jan 2014
By Austin Feller - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The first time I listened to this album, the thought that popped into my mind is "This is what genius sounds like." Mothertongue: I. Archive, and Mothertongue: III. Hress are two of the best pieces of music that I have ever heard. They grab onto your mind and enthrall you while sounding like absolutely nothing you have ever heard before except perhaps the ambient noise that has surrounded you for your whole life. I don't listen to it everyday. I don't listen to it every month, even, but whenever I start to feel like I am getting tired of hearing noises, that either music has lost its magic or that the mundane world has lost its music, this is the album I come back to. I listen to it once or twice to reset my ears and remember just what it is that I have forgotten to listen for in all the noise that everywhere else seems to have simply become ruckus din.
6 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Wherein I remedy the lack of reviews 11 Aug 2008
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Audio CD
I'm not much of a reviewer, lacking both insights and the ability to express them eloquently. I hope others will review this marvellous album. In the meantime, search google for reviews, and listen to the samples!
7 of 34 people found the following review helpful
The dumbest thing you will ever hear 29 Dec 2010
By brainiac - Published on Amazon.com
As you frantically press 'next track' on your media player, hoping you weren't scammed and praying that not all of the tracks consist of some moron saying "nnn-TEEK! nn-TAKK! nnn-TOOK! guh-BOP guh-BEEP!" while discordant music dribbles along in the background, you'll be torn between admitting this is garbage and trying to save face by writing something pretentious about it being avant-garde and inventive. Choose the former option. Don't propagate the lie by suckering some other poor person in. Because this is junk. There are thousands of unsigned bands in the US alone who actually have talent and make music. Give any of them your attention instead. Or better yet buy an instrument - preferably one you do not know how to play - and record yourself hitting or coming near occasional notes while a two-year-old coos nonsense over it and thus create your own Nico-Muhly-esque scam.
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