FolkWords Reviews

‘The Waking’ from Noctambule – poetry and music that exerts a powerful hold

(August 12, 2015)

There’s a certain bravery in exploring the whims and capriciousness of time, a subject with limitless vastness and an unconquerable disposition, unless of course you’ve mastered the longed-for art of time travel. Assuming for the moment that you’re not so fortunate, then the new album ‘The Waking’ from Marla Fibish and Bruce Victor, better known as the duo Noctambule, will with its examinations of that fickle friend, take you through its strange portals.the waking from noctambule

As with their debut album, ‘Travel In The Shadows’, they interlace their musical threads through and around the works of an eclectic crowd of poets, including in this case the controversial and influential W.H. Auden, American author and poet Stephen Vincent Benét, the haunted Sylvia Plath, British poet laureate Ted Hughes and poetry Pulitzer Prize winner, Theodor Roethke. Taking the sometime seductive, often provocative and distantly melancholy words from these icons of poetry, Noctambule have created yet another poetry-set-to-music album that exerts a powerful hold.

From the silky suppleness of the opening instrumental ‘Bastardo’s Waltz’ they move into subtle treatments of villanelle fixed verse form blending Roethke’s ‘The Waking’ into their delicate mix of voices and instruments, then with a short step into Sylvia Plath’s precarious hold on reality they relate the fragile ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ and W.H. Auden’s longing into ‘If I Could Tell You’. They isolate segments of Benét‘s epic ‘John Brown’s Body’ into the vagaries of time through ‘Sally Dupre’ and its demanding sacrifices with ‘Since I Was Begotten’. The lingering echoes of life fragment through the instrumental ‘Out Of Time’ and with their empathic interpretation of ‘September’ by Ted Hughes, they mark the passing and sometime standing of time.

Just occasionally in music, something comes along that just works and when it does it works to perfection, Noctambule is just that … find more here: www.noctambulemusic.com

Review: Tim Carroll 

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