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Archive for the ‘Tania Hershman’ Category

SOUNDTRACK: ELFIN SADDLE-Wurld (2010).

Yesterday I mentioned the Wurld DVD.  Today I wanted to talk about the music.

There are three songs that come on the audio extras portion of he DVD: “Wurld Soundtrack (abridged),” “A River of Horses” and “A Tree in Dark Water/A Sinking Celebration.”  The “Wurld Soundtrack” is indeed the music from the film.  The abridged version is about 15 minutes long, while the movie is about 23.  I’m not sure what got cut or why it needed to get cut, but it’s a good reference to the movie–dark, a little creepy with moments of beautiful melody.

“A River of Horses” is dominated by a xylophone melody and a cool piano riff.  It has a loping quality that I really like.  It’s instrumental (and serves as one of the main themes of the DVD).  “A Tree in Dark Water” is a slower dirge-like piece which features Honda’s “Da Da Dee Da” vocals.  It more or less morphs into “A Sinking Celebration” which has a sound not unlike a carnival, but a very slow, almost sad carnival.  Both of these songs work as backing music for other aspects of the DVD–I’m not sure if they were songs first that they decided to use for the DVD or vice versa.

For the full Elfin Saddle experience, though, it’s worth watching the live show that comes on the DVD.  The show is a 7 song set that they performed before the opening of the Wurld exhibit in Montreal.  So yes, this show was performed Live at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art.  Nearly all of the songs come from their debut album Ringing for the Begin Again.

The band plays a kind of droney world music. And it has a very homemade feel–cobbled together, but brilliantly.  There’s an accordion, a bowed saw and a bunch of other percussive items–things that look like found metal.  There are two singers, Jordan McKenzie does most of the singing and he sings in a deep voice and sometimes in a higher voice that has a middle eastern feel.  Emi Honda is Japanese and that’s evident in her intonations, whether she is singing backing or lead vocals.  The band is also utterly multi-instrumental. McKenzie sings, plays accordion and xylophone at the same time (must be seen to be believed) while Honda switches from saw to ukulele to drums all in one song.  She also later bows cymbals for a very eerie sound.  Although they make most of the noise themselves, they are accompanied by a cellist and a double bass (which acts as a percussive time keeper).  Once they add a tuba, the song sounds much more klezmerish (although there are elements of klezmer throughout).

In the background of the show, on the projection screen, is the spinning wurld from their art exhibit.  The whole show is mesmerizing.  Songs include: “The Bringer,” “Sakura,” ” Muskeg Parade,” “Wind Songs,” “Garden,” ” The Procession,” ” The Ocean.”

[READ: October 15, 2012] Five Dials #25B

The issue continues the theme of the short story and Frank O’Connor.  It features a hugely long story by Nathan Englander and a couple more unusual short stories as well.  I enjoyed Part 2 of the Cork Issue more than Part I.

CRAIG TAYLOR-A Letter from the Editor: On Englander and Lists
In addition to introducing us to Nathan Englander and wondering if we’ve all read his award-winning book What We Talk About When We Talk About Anne Frank, Taylor talks about lists.  The staff was pooled for their opinions with the intent to make it seem like the staff was an individual with specific tastes in Books, Music, Movies, Food, etc. (more…)

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