Originating from The Legend, a joint literary and visual effort by Rhodri Davies and Brian Marley originally published in 2006 as an appendage to Tolling Elves #37 and available for downloading at Entr’acte’s website, this magnificent recording uses the English writer’s voice reading his original words as a primary source for Will Montgomery’s strategies of sonic revision. This is not spoken word (initially, I had imagined that after a superficial look at the notes) but a brilliant series of mesmerizing constructions in which the vocal components are stretched, strained and made glisten in style, tending to a general sonority that frequently results as awe-inspiring as the sparkling stars of a clear summer’s night and yet often deeply anguishing, extended parabolas, unfathomable halos and bionic birds (check the effects of the seventh movement on your psyche) depicting a transformation characterized by the infectiousness of inner movements implied by an introspective inertia.
Montgomery tackles the material with technical proficiency and utmost control, transforming rather anaemic sonic bodies into delicate fluorescence, sympathetic quivering and coordinated hovering: subtly or evidently, this is music that affects the person who stands and accepts its consequence. The album is closed by a filtered audio snapshot of the empty room in which Marley’s rendition firstly happened, the ominously hollow whisper of the container equally gratifying to appreciate in respectful immobility. Classy stuff, all the more appropriate given the unbearably grey, low-pressure afternoon in which the listening sessions are taking place.