4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A World Of Small Enchantments,
This review is from: Navigare (Audio CD)
Our generous hosts have already provided a lucid account
of Simon Scott's pedigree to which I am unable to add any
further material likely to help us to listen to, or understand,
his new work 'Navigare'.
I may well be taken to task on this one having recently written
a somewhat unfavorable review of William Fowler Collins'
recent album 'Perdition Hill Radio'. Readers might well ask me :
"How could you dislike one SO much (Collins) yet find much
to admire in the other (Scott)?"
Both collections are fiercely dedicated to stripped-down
inventions where each composer's imagination draws
us into landscapes and atmospheres intended to create
some form of emotional resonance in the listener.
(I assume this to be the case, otherwise why bother?)
'Perdition Hill Radio' is a relentlessly bleak vision.
I cannot imagine the circumstances under which
I might choose to listen to it again!
Mr Scott's work on the other hand seems to have found
a way of seeping into some of the deeper recesses of my
consciousness. It is hard to say why exactly.
Nothing very much happens in these ten constructions but
what does happen happens in the nicest possible way.
Broad washes of electronically generated sound hover
before our eyes and between our ears. They would
make a fine accompaniment to viewing Mark Rothko's
Seagram murals, whose bands of darkly vibrating colour
seem to float in space somewhere between where we
stand and an uncertain horizon. The edge of the void.
Although there is little to choose between one composition
and another the cumulative effect is curiously affecting.
Opening track 'Introduction Of Cambridge' rises slowly
out its closely packed sonic layers. Gradually the structure
begins to take shape with a half-heard rhythmic pulse and
an almost choral presence emerging from the simple but
highly effective building-blocks of harmonic material.
Just when we feel we have grasped the form of the piece
it falls away into nothing leaving us perched on the
edge of an uncertain precipice.
Hang on in there and the album really does begin to work
its way under your skin with crafty and satisfying ingenuity.
By the time we have reached final track 'The Night and The Artificial Light'
we are aware that we have been on a journey of sorts. The destination
remains unclear but looking back over our shoulder at what has gone
before we are left with the feeling that, despite its ambiguity, the
journey was worth taking and that Mr Scott has been a reliable guide.
I will certainly be listening to 'Navigare' more than once.