“A Turn of Breath” Ian William Craig (Recital)
This album is pure beauty – probably one of the most stunning and powerful releases I’ve heard in the past few months. Ian William Craig is a trained opera singer who, on this album, uses tape malfunctions and manipulations as well as a system of reel-to-reels to obscure and manipulate his voice in interesting ways. The contrast between the beauty of his singing and the way that the tapes can pull it apart and re-assemble it in interesting ways is the main technical focus of the album. But, on a more basic level, these are powerful works that manage to convey sorrow, hope, and heartbreak all at once. The way that many of these droning, beautiful chords, and harmonies disintegrate into noise or static is very reminiscent of William Basinski’s “Dissintegration Loops,” while the vocals are part-Beach Boys part-Bon Iver. The high points of this album will stop you in your tracks and haunt you in your dreams.