Petrina — Roses of the Day
(Tǔk Music TUK005, 2015, CD)
by Jon Davis, Published 2015-11-27
After the outstanding avant-pop of Petrina in 2013, Debora Petrina takes her music in a different direction for Roses of the Day, or rather shows us a different aspect of her music. This set is basically just her and a piano, and while you could bring up the memory of other female singers with piano, Petrina has her own style to set her apart from anyone else, mainly a deep understanding of modern classical and avant-garde music, along with a fondness for prepared piano. The other big difference from her previous release is the fact that this album consists of her versions of other artists’ songs arranged in unusual ways. Often the pieces are so transformed that it’s only the familiar lyrics that alert a listener to the fact that they’ve heard this song before. One of the highlights is Japan’s “Ghosts,” a moody electronic piece in its original form, here presented with cascading chromatic lines on the piano that suit the melancholy words. The jazz standard “Angel Eyes” gets a beautiful but slightly unsettling reading, solemn chords contrasting with the sweet singing. Pieces made famous by Talking Heads, Eurythmics, The Doors, Nick Drake, and Italian singer-songwriter Piero Ciampi get similarly varied treatments, distinct from each other and from the originals. The title track deserves special mention. It is Petrina’s arrangement of John Cage’s “Experiences No. 2” with lyrics by poet e.e. cummings. She’s set the lovely melody with prepared piano providing bell-like tones and clicking sounds. Roses of the Day is not an album of flashy, impressive music, but a work of stunning beauty and great originality – which seems like an odd thing to say about a covers collection, but is nonetheless true.
Harold Budd RIP – Harold Budd, one of pre-eminent American composers of avant-garde and minimalism, has died of complications from the coronavirus. Budd came to prominence in the 70s, championed by Brian Eno on his Obscure Records label, with music that blended academic minimalism with electric jazz and electronic music. Much of Budd's best known work was done in collaboration with other artists, including Eno, Daniel Lanois, Robin Guthrie, Andy Partridge, John Foxx, Jah Wobble, and many others. » Read more
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more