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Anna von Hausswolff - All Thoughts Fly CD (album) cover


Anna von Hausswolff


Crossover Prog

3.82 | 43 ratings

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5 stars Instrumental songs performed on church organ that were inspired by a megalithic sculpture park in Bomarzo, Italia, called, "Sacro Bosco," "Parco dei Mostri" or the Gardens of Bomarzo. They were commissioned in the 16th Century by the Italian patron of the arts, Pier Francesco (styled "Vicino") Orsini to commemorate the death of his beloved wife.

1. "Theatre of Nature" (6:00) opens like a conversation between several elementals. As the pattern becomes evident other less ordered, more chaotic sounds and themes are added, until the original rhythm begins to feel overwhelmed by the polyphony and polyrhythmics of all that is going on. It's brilliant! At the same time, when one steps back, one can see and feel the overlying cohesiveness and wholeness of the cacophony. A wonderful interpretation of the macrocosm of Nature. (9.25/10)

2. "Dolore di Orsini" (4:04) contrarily peaceful and soothing while also being deeply disturbing, even horrific. It's simple but very powerful. Anna channeling her inner Art Zoyd. (9/10)

3. "Sacro Bosco" (6:23) pulsing bass pedal play and wind-sweeping noise give it an industrial sound--something that would be fitting for the 1927 Fritz Lang silent movie, Metropolis. Seemingly-incidental notes and flourishes in the treble end eventually turn into full chords, even sustained, in the fifth and sixth minutes. The finish in the final minute is stark and powerful with only the pulsing bass pedal notes before the prolonged sound of decay carries us to the end. (9.5/10)

4. "Persefone" (7:08) breathy Andean-flute-like chords open this sounding quite appropriate for the Queen of the Underworld. Underlying church-processional-like chords join in, slowly adding to the melody, thickening the palette. The occasional addition of single notes effect major and surprising shifts in mood as the slow-building chords change and morph quite unexpectedly, quite spectacularly. This is one of my favorite renderings I've ever heard of the spirit of this Olympian goddess after whom my daughter was named. Anna has managed to capture both the strife and sadness of this captive and yet fill it with the optimism and youthful exuberance that the Goddess of the Spring (and Rebirth) would naturally possess. (14.25/15)

5. "Entering" (2:10) I expect Anna is trying here to capture the flood of diverse emotions that wash over a person entering Count Orsini's garden of grieving. Nice. (4.5/5)

6. "All Thoughts Fly" (12:23) Anna using a minimalist approach á la Steve Reich & Phillip Glass in order to express the impression of the words on the upper lip of the huge Orcus statue in the Sacro Bosco gardens. It just doesn't work with the organ; I feel more muddled than flighty. Fail. Rated up for its effective use as pleasing, inoffensive background music. (19.5/25)

7. "Outside the Gate (for Bruna)" (5:23) gorgeous, emotional. For me, this music symbolizes the craziness that one is confronted with (especially in Y2K20) by the world outside of the Park of Monsters. My favorite song on the album. (10/10)

Total Time 43:31

I found myself thinking a lot of the 1997 ART ZOYD Häxan soundtrack album while listening to this album. The beauty Anna expresses while conveying such tension throughout is truly astonishing.

Despite the failed experiment into the world of minimalism of the title song (and album's only epic), I consider this a masterpiece of human creativity--delivered to us by a master of artistic self-expression.

BrufordFreak | 5/5 |


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