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Lindsay Cooper & Charles Gray — Pia Mater
(Resurgence RES124CD, 1997, CD)

by Jeff Melton, Published 2001-07-01

Pia Mater Cover art

Lindsay Cooper has been well known for her obtuse compositions (including the acclaimed The Gold Diggers and Oh Moscow projects) as well as her groundbreaking work with Henry Cow. Charles Gray is lesser known for his production and artist management among many other roles he's assumed. Musically he's been an acquaintance of Cooper's for some time and has worked with artists as diverse as Harold Budd and Talvin Singh. Pia Mater refers to the purported location of the soul within the human body and thus the theme for these two ambient pieces, which cover a swelling sound terrain. Cooper provides bassoon and saxophone, offering a somber melodic tone and many tranquil moments of serenity. Her role is one of passive soloist with only slight delicate interjections. Imagine a mood of temporal displacement intermittently interrupted by flourishes of beauty and ethereal moment. Gray provides all keyboard foundation. Track two (also untitled) is a bit more rhythmically interesting to start off. Gray's backing becomes more wash as the piece closes making it more of a backdrop than foreground setting or totally sleepy drone. Overall, I'd say this work approaches the pastoral settings of Jade Warrior's most sedate album, At Peace, or the soothing vibe of David Sylvian's Approaching Silence. Hopefully this will not be Lindsay's last release since being stricken with MS in 1998. A support group has been setup for any donations to further assist the artist.


Filed under: New releases, Issue 22, 1997 releases

Related artist(s): Lindsay Cooper

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