‘A Short Stay in Longevity’ from Simon Beavis - theatre for your ears(July 08, 2013)
Listening to ‘A Short Stay in Longevity’ from Simon Beavis is listening to theatre for your ears … images, characters and scenes come to life and pull you into their sphere. There are swirling, convoluted, often tenuous yet engrossing soundscapes; images and situations that are gentle, enlightening and occasionally disquieting. ‘A Short Stay in Longevity’ is part-CD and part-poetry.
Perhaps this will not suit everyone, indeed much like any dramatic or poetic presentation there will be those that immerse themselves in its verse and stagecraft, and those who find it hard to engage with. No matter how you interpret it, ‘A Short Stay in Longevity’ is music and words that are inseparable. Is this poetry with background music or music set to poetry? Actually, it’s probably both – from the delicate expanse of ‘She Fears The Loss of Love’ through the sharp observation of ‘Geese’, the subtle strings of ‘Lost’ and the melodic richness of ‘Amsterdam’.
This album demands attention and involvement. Your enjoyment will increase in direct proportion to your attention. This is not music for your in-car audio. You need to sit somewhere quiet to immerse yourself, not drive down the road beating out a steering-wheel tattoo.
The package comes in an A5 booklet of Simon’s illustrative poetry with photographs by Alida Bea, and an audio CD with words and music by Simon Beavis. Simon handles vocals, spoken word, Spanish, tenor and bass guitars, baritone ukulele, accordion, piano and keyboards, accompanied on certain tracks by Andy Bell (flute) Theseus Gerard (body percussion, cymbal, Tibetan bell) Tony Hobden (12-string guitar) Dave Loach (bass, backing vocals) Rob Lowry (acoustic and electric guitar, dobro) Penny Marler (mandolin, vocals) and Nodd McDonagh (bass).
Reviewer: Dan Holland