Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Okkyung Lee - Noisy Love Songs

(Tzadik, 2011)

I'm just discovering the brilliant, brilliant composer and cellist, Okkyung Lee, which is always a terrific and terrifying experience: reaffirming that there are endless numbers of incredible musicians, musicians who you (read: I--but probably you too) would love if you only knew they existed, and each with lush, exciting back-catalogs: infinite music.  There's simply not enough time...  But, at the end of the day, at least I can say that I did finally find Noisy Love Songs.  An easy comparison here--she being a cellist--is with fellow cellist, neo-classical composer, experimentalist (and FG fave) Aaron Martin.  However, while Martin has perfected sad-gorgeous melodies and sparse-but-effective sound samples, electronic flourishes, Lee's work takes on a more animalistic, almost feral quality.  There's a move into more contemporary, improvised territory with Lee (perhaps they're not so comparable after all).  The album's beautiful by nature of the cello, but that doesn't stop Lee from pushing the boundaries of her instrument and the musical territory we've come to expect from it (the cello).  Noisy Love Songs  is certainly verging well into avant garde territory, but Lee manages experimentalism that doesn't all-together abandon what is obviously a high level of classical/compositional training.  The album skips back and forth between "love songs" content, simply, to stretch and heighten one's back fur to those bent on obliterating everything into a primal, beastly huff.  It's a very dynamic record and, I must say, Lee has me totally smitten.  I imagine in the coming months I'll be digging up a lot of Okkyung Lee to feature on the blog.  Brilliant, brilliant work.

Okkyung Lee - Roundabout

1 comment:

k-shan said...

beautiful and haunting