Exposé print issues (1993-2011)
Rebecca Pidgeon — Parts of Speech Pieces of Sound
(Hot Milk Records no#, 2022, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 2022-11-23
With Parts of Speech Pieces of Sound, singer, multi-instrumentalist, and actress Rebecca Pidgeon presents her tenth full length album, an explorative endeavor co-produced by Fernando Perdomo (bass, guitar, keyboards) with other supporting musicians. Having only heard Pidgeon’s first solo album The Raven (1994), and nothing of the eight albums in between, nor the three Ruby Blue albums before that (a pop-folk-jazz band that she fronted in Scotland in the late 80s), one has to say that her songcraft has come a long way between those two points in time. The new album is informed by her lifelong studies of yoga and the teachings of world-renowned yogic scholar Sri Prashant Iyengar; thus in her songs we hear an abundance of Indian instrumentation (tablas, sitar, sarod, tanpura, etc.) as well as the introspective momentum that two years of covid lockdown can provide. Songs like the Mellotron-drenched “Svayambhu” and the dark, mostly spoken piece “Savasana” supported by harmonium and strings are solid evidence of her soul travels. As for her vocals, the influences of Kate Bush and the likes of Enya should provide a general comparison, while the beautiful vocal acrobatics on tracks like “The Ladder” will certainly warm the listener’s heart. The album opens with “Now Begins,” a piece that more or less sets the stage for all that follows, introducing her voice as well as her songwriting skills and arrangement ideas. With “The Blue Lagoon,” the song builds up around a hypnotic mantra and almost fantasy lyrics that might follow a listener around for days. “Silent Sound” is effectively the title track, with a beautiful melodic vocal figure that swirls around with a violin in counterpoint. At five and a half minutes, “Clouds Are Clearing” is the album’s longest track, a slower-paced progression with positively gorgeous and captivating arrangement that closes the album nicely on a warm note. Overall, Parts of Speech Pieces of Sound delivers an enchanting and mystical collection of songs that should please any adventurous listener.
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