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fall and decline. gregory w brown
NV6359 (Navona Records, CD)
NEW RELEASE (27 August 2021)
℗ 2021 Navona Records LLC
© 2021 Navona Records LLC
Reviewer: John Dante Prevedini
Review of fall and decline. gregory w brown published on 28 August 2021
Gregory W Brown:
fall and decline
1 but after six years
2 the wine of life
3 After the President’s Speech You Dream of Corpses
4 as orchards bloom again
5 sixty phantoms of kings
Recorded at Windy Acres
American composer Gregory Brown's Fall and Decline on Navona Records chronicles the heights to which humanity can soar - but also the depths to which it may come crashing down. Scored for the solo voices of virtuosic vocal sextet Variant 6 and electronics, the sounds range from typical choral textures (though peppered with microtones) to angular and aggressive electronic soundscapes.
The lyrics may span two-and-a-half millennia, but their spirit and subjects are abiding: humankind's struggle against the limitations of time, conflict, inevitable decay. Persian rulers of the fifth century BCE, Baroque historians, poets of the Victorian age, contemporary wordsmiths: they are all caught in a grander, timeless labour, as is every one of us. Fall and Decline is a stern reminder of humanity's ephemerality, but even more, it's a harbinger of hope, a celebration of creative endeavors despite perpetual adversity.
This work was written and first performed in the depths of the Trump administration, recorded from the heart of the Coronavirus pandemic, and edited during the weeks surrounding the 6 January 2021 insurrection at the Capitol Building.