Shadow / Landscape With Argonauts - With Words By Edgar Allan Poe and Heiner Müller
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Heiner Goebbels doesn't shy away from the unusual conception. In SHADOW/Landscape with Argonauts he uses two texts, one by Edgar Allan Poe, the other by his frequent collaborator, the German playwright Heiner Muller. The former is sung, quite beautifully, by Sussan Deihim and backed by a band including Canadian avant guitarist Rene Lussier and noise drummer Charles Hayward. The Muller text, a surreal combination of quasi-Homeric myth and contemporary political screed, is giving multiple readings by passers-by on the street in Boston. These readings are often rather humorous, as the pedestrians grapple with difficult pronunciations, bizarre imagery and offensive content. When one gentleman comes across the line "My grandfather was an idiot in Boeotia", he doesn't get far enough to mangle the last word, but instead says, "No, I can't say that. I love my grandfather!" The stumbling readings, overlaid by passing car engines and sirens, are interwoven with the more strictly musical content, generally separate but sometimes overlapping. It's an interesting idea and succeeds to a point, but one might have wished for a more thorough (and hence chaotic) integration of the two worlds. As is, it's worth a listen for fans of experimental spoken word-music projects.
Born: 1951 in England
Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s
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