“Have you ever had to keep a secret, a secret so strong, so unsettling, that it kept you up at night? This story explores those feelings through a montage of recorded phrases, taken from four interviews of four women speaking about their innocuous childhood secrets. However, the montage creates a quite different result of their words, the story of a secret that is much darker, much scarier, much more true of what can happen to little girls when they are alone, and unaware.....Hopefully SECRET gives one an avenue to explore their own secrets, regardless of the circumstances around them.” -Belinda Reynolds
Belinda Reynolds’ seven and half minute work Secret, performed here by vocalist and Holly Nadal and electric guitarist David Nadal and released as a stand alone EP, compiles recordings of interviews with four women speaking about childhood memories. Reynolds weaves these archival recordings together, assembling phrases between the different women that suggest a story more ominous than the individual stories on their own. The somber musical setting is built over a ground bass-like figure that descends chromatically, modeled on the famous “Dido’s Lament” aria from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. The voice frames the emotional context with phrases such as “When I lay down the memories overcome me,” and “Remembering my memories, they haunt me.” An electronic part adds static to the texture, suggesting degraded fidelity in an out of date recorded format and capturing the temporal distance between the time of the initial event and the retelling. The electric guitar provides neo-Baroque layered figuration, and arpeggiates disembodied chords at the work’s midpoint when the bass drops out. During the final section, Reynolds allows the voices to intensify, subtly overlapping them, before a climatic instrumental passage of several arpeggiated layers. Secret closes with the phrase, “Memories, remember,” over a haunting, repetitive descending fifth pattern in the guitars.
released June 19, 2020
David Nadal, guitar; Holly Nadal, voice & electric piano
New Focus Recordings is an artist led collective label featuring releases in contemporary music of many stripes, as well as
new approaches to older repertoire. The label was founded by guitarist Daniel Lippel (who is the current director), composer engineer Ryan Streber, and composer Peter Gilbert in 2003-4, and features releases from many of new music's most active performers and composers....more