Simon McCorry - And Where Are You Really From?
Simon McCorry is here to engage you - from the title of his latest album through to its final notes.
"And where are you really from?"
Simon is of mixed Indian/British heritage and his previous albums have explored the theme of human migration, continued here with a subversion of that question, posed to himself and others time and time again. I am white British and no one has ever asked me that - it's a mark of my privilege. In Simon's own words:
Each track is a thought on this question. Are we from ‘the life giving waters that are taken for granted’? Are we made from the thermonuclear explosions deep within the centres of stars? Are ‘we such stuff as dreams are made of?’
Simon's music may be without vocals, but it is not without a voice. He is challenging us to recontextualise that question - to view it not through a white 'western' nationalistic framework, but on a more holistic, even cosmic level. As a listener you might reflect on your own worldview; as an artist on what your own art can communicate into the world.
A lofty proposition, perhaps, for an album which blurs the lines between neoclassical composition and modern ambient, but Simon's contemplative soundscapes seem somehow to communicate his themes and musings. The music itself ebbs and flows like the water it opens with. On the opening track, plucked strings providing a dance of movement over Simon's trademark elegant cello. Next, Strange Charm takes us into more elegiac territory - a wall of drones building before mournful cello cuts a swathe through their heart.
Migrations is perhaps the best example of how the themes manifest in the music. The pizzicato melodies and pulsing harmonies give the feel of travel with gradually shifting harmonies acting like gradually changing scenery.
Released on March 19th on the excellent Polar Seas label, this is expansive, and thought-provoking, ambience.