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February 25th, 2018


Edward Hamel - Grey Neon Life

Grey Neon Life is a piece composed by Edward Hamel for the cellist Seth Parker Woods. It's a particularly interesting score, in that it's very difficult to read. Not difficult as in requires a lot of talent or knowledge, but actually physically difficult. What didn't begin as illegible scribbling has been deliberately eroded, smeared and otherwise damaged. There are a few brief notes setting out the very beginning of the piece, but other than that it's all entirely to the performer. I can't decide if it's a cop-out or inspired.

As featured on Woods' 2016 release asinglewordisnotenough it becomes an intriguing assemblage of unrelated musical fragments, each one dramatic on its own and liberated from the necessity of meaning. Interspersed with these are vocal interjections and utterances, intakes of breath, the sounds that accompany a language while not being a part of it. It's demanding music, but thoughtful and rewarding.

Edward Hamel - Grey Neon Life