HWY-018: Mothertongue by Nico Muhly




Classical music can be a daunting exercise for those unfamiliar with the genre. Luckily, the composer Nico Muhly prizes communication – both in day-to-day life (note his frequently updated blog at nicomuhly.com) and in his music. It’s this sensibility which has inspired the titles of both his records, Speaks Volumes and Mothertongue. Mothertongue in particular sounds like the product of someone in love with language. Voices are treated as exquisite instruments. (The click of the teeth, the tap of the tongue, the smack of the lips, et. cetera.) The music itself speaks to deeper meanings and specific ideas and emotions, like words on a page…

From PitchforkMedia.com:
The four-movement title sequence from Chinatown-based composer Nico Muhly’s forthcoming LP, Mothertongue, exhumes the detritus of memory. Muhly plumbed his mind for old, useless phone numbers, serial numbers, street numbers—all the context-dependent codes we accumulate over a lifetime—and turned them into a secret, subliminal, and ultimately unsolvable cipher.

If instant gratification sounds like more your thing, you can hear a track from the album right here:

1. Mothertongue: I. Archive
2. Mothertongue: II. Shower
3. Mothertongue: III. Hress
4. Mothertongue: IV. Monster
5. Wonders: I. New Things & New Tidings
6. Wonders: II. The Devil Appear’d In The Shape Of A Man
7. Wonders: III. A Complaint Against Thomas Weelkes
8. The Only Tune: I. The Two Sisters
9. The Only Tune: II. The Old Mill Pond
10. The Only Tune: III. The Only Tune

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