Wood & Wire aims to present experimentation in Australian music, across all genres, and this month we have the privilege to introduce you to The Pomegranate Cycle by Textile Audio – a rare opportunity to witness experimentation in opera and classical forms.
Textile Audio – The Pomegranate Cycle
The Pomegranate Cycle is the debut album from Textile Audio – a solo project by composer, mezzo soprano and sound engineer Eve Klein. It is a space for wild, romantic experiments in ambient electronica and post-classical forms.
The Pomegranate Cycle is woven from song, sound textures and fragmented orchestration – a fragile, ebbing work, part sonic and part myth. The Pomegranate Cycle uses poetry and abstract language to convey a felt sense of narrative. It traces opera and the ghosts of women whose lives have been touched by violence. Elements of the Persephone story are strewn through symphonic timbres and ruptured with grain and glitch. A girl collecting flowers is stolen, transfigured, a mother seeks her lost child, and wreaks vengeance.
This is a new kind of opera. It deals with the genre’s inability to reconcile its institutions and outmoded vision of romance with contemporary audiences. It rejects the gendered violence of opera, perpetuated in the tropes of dying sopranos. The Pomegranate Cycle embodies a new kind operatic heroine, who lives, reflects and heals. She is the spark for a women’s centered opera, a highly configurable and living tradition where the singer is the composer and producer simultaneously.
The Pomegranate Cycle is a living work. It premiered on stage at the 2010 Brisbane Festival as a work for laptop, mezzo soprano and dancer and is now being reconfigured as a work for mezzo soprano, conductor and networked midi orchestra by Sydney’s Opera Prometheus.
This work demands deep listening. At once vast in scope yet intimate in execution, the album contains sixteen songs in three acts. It ranges from the girlish and pop-like Of Hymn, through the violent sonics of Ripping, to the subtle glitchings of Her Song. It is tied together by spoken story, theme and soundscape to form a complete work.
“It’s pretty rare to find something so refreshingly unlike anything you have ever heard … The overall effect of [the] music is to immerse the listener in an operatic fever dream … Even if you aren’t all that familiar with opera, ‘The Pomegranate Cycle’ makes for an expansive listening experience – the perfect antidote to an ear that’s been aching from the tiresome repetition of modern pop.”
The Vainglories – Solace
Exploring feelings of loneliness and onlyness,Solace is a collection of pieces to surround the listener in, to feel at once immersed and distant. Dark undercurrents shadow deceptively pretty melodies, while shifting rhythms foster a sense of unease that belies the calmness of textured pads.
The Vainglories is the solo project of Gillian Lever, and is responsible for producing the soundtrack to her introspective moods. Melancholic melody intertwines with textured strangeness to create lullabies for the nightmare-prone. The Vainglories has played live in UK and Australian venues, and has written music for film and live theatre. Based in Melbourne, The Vainglories constantly struggles with the grammatical difficulties arising from being a solo artist with a name more suited to a band.
K Wilson – Alignments
‘Alignments’ is the second release from K Wilson, following on from ‘Otherworld’ (Twice Removed Records) in March, 2012.
“This K Wilson fellow makes gorgeous music … The template is a familiar one – a single repeated “riff” and some burgeoning ambience – but there’s a strange rhythmic ascent that renders the whole operation quite dramatic, quite eerie.”
K Wilson is a musician from Western Australia currently interested in using ambient electric guitar, found sounds & minimal textures to create sound worlds.
Wood & Wire is a digital record label, promoting experimentation in Australian music across all genres. Wood & Wire is a project from New Weird Australia, an initiative designed to promote and support new eclectic and experimental Australian music.
All material released by Wood & Wire is made available for free with a Creative Commons licence (Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivates).
Artist Submissions – email [email protected] with background information and download links (no streaming links pls).
Curated by Stuart Buchanan.
Design by Heath Killen.
Contact [email protected].