According to the Moon

Saturday, 27 May 2023 - 5:30pm to 7:00pm
Intro: Is There A Hotline? “Line 5” 
According To The Moon, the remarkable new collaboration between Montréal vocalist Sarah Albu and veteran Canadian composer and instrument inventor Gayle Young. The disc chronicles the latter's unique catalogue of vocal compositions. It's Young's second release with Irish imprint Farpoint Recordings, following her acclaimed As Trees Grow, which featured her piano music performed by Xenia Pestova Bennett & Ed Bennett.
The works that comprise the album span over 40 years, including music commissioned by Albu herself. Unsurprisingly, this makes for a very diverse collection of works, however, there are distinct unifying features that help to establish a trajectory throughout them. Chief among them is Young's idiosyncratic approach to text. According to the liner notes, “Albu was intrigued by the use of texts as elements of notation, suggesting an instrumental approach to the voice.” In earlier pieces, such as the titular 1978 work, this is evident in how the composer uses vowels as acoustic filters applied to frequency content of the vocal tone. Yet even with later pieces that employ more involved texts such as The State of Corn (1998) or Sweet Summer Salad (2013) Young emphasises the texture and musicality of phonemes over building narratives. On the disc's haunted 14-minute finale, Ancient Ocean Floor, the most recent of the compositions, Albu's voice intones descriptions of a river valley walk, leading the listener through a broad, rich sound palette. Accompanying her is Young's microtonal string instrument the Amaranth woven through a recording of a waterfall filtered acoustically through tuned resonators.
Superior State by Leitmotiv Limbo (Adelaide, 2023)
Superior State is the second Leitmotiv Limbo album released by Port Adelaide’s De la Catessen Records, after the 2022 CD Spiritual Disturbance. This time, Leitmotiv Limbo’s isolationist studies have been bumped to vinyl, which feels like the perfect format for these twelve miniatures. The project of Adelaide artist Elijah Värttö, Leitmotiv Limbo has, over the past few decades, tracked a history of quietly insistent experimentation, embracing several technologies – invented instruments; analogue filters; drum synth – to sketch desolate, cavernous structures, sometimes performed in reverberant spaces, such as church halls, which gifts the recordings a ritualistic air.