MAILE COLBERT – Come Kingdom Come

Two Acorns

Maile Colbert: composer, conductor; Ian Colbert: poetry; Tellemake: electronics; Rui Costa: electronics; Gabriella Crowe, voice; Jessica Constable: voice; Olivia Block: visual material (in the live setting)

A “romantically coherent” woman in operational mode across overlapping areas of aesthetic manifestation, Maile Colbert explains Come Kingdom Come as a correspondence of sorts between the last two turns of millennium, as the wrong conception of mankind members as self-believed deciding factors in a life’s course becomes the reminder of a contemptible illusion of ascendancy on their close surroundings (and beyond, I should add). The live performance is enriched by Block’s experimental photographic artistry – a short sampling can be seen here – yet the CD alone warrants plenty of semi-clandestine emotions. Quasi-mystic music replete with fleeting communications and unusual signals integrated with verses penned by Colbert’s brother Ian and poly-idiomatic lyrics mostly sung by Crowe with an appreciably unostentatious tone, a welcome decency defining a quietly significant acoustic milieu.

The voice’s cardinal role does not detract from superbly exercised electronic makeups, the harmonic laws ruling this fictional microcosm reconfigured and frequently misshapen. The sounds may appear tactile, melted or just damaged according to what the score (mainly based on the Book Of Revelation) requires at a given juncture. Unclear location frequencies attributable to the aftermath of serious cosmological modifications (tsunamis, earthquakes, the desolate silence around Chernobyl, a sun storm hitting the magnetosphere, plus echoes of local faunas) improve a textural hypothesis that embraces both the composer’s consciousness and unwilled hints. For example, in one of the most riveting tracks on offer – “Act Three, Day From Arrival” – the processing of reiterative vocal snippets originates an involuntary callback of Akira Rabelais’ glorious Spellewauerynsherde. However, this work is not a mere container of symbols of causation. On the contrary, it’s a brilliant exhibit of Colbert’s capacity of turning potentially misrepresented human issues into something evoking the aching delight of intensity, remaining wordlessly mesmerized in the meantime.

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