Boomkat Product Review:
Heavily immanent organ works, possessed of a rare presence that’s partly due to their performance on Franz Liszt’s favourite organ in Denstedt, central Germany, but also the quiet concentration and daring of Rishin Singh’s compositions, taking pride of place on Beacon Sound after Singh’s works for Wandelweiser Editions and Another Timbre
“In the 1850s the influential composer Franz Liszt, who was living in Weimar, Germany at the time, carried out, with the famous cantor Alexander Wilhelm Gottschalg, a series of “ländlichen Orgelexperimente” (rural organ experiments) in Thuringia – investigating various instruments and their capabilities for contemporary music. They eventually settled on the organ in Denstedt because of its high quality. Many years later, award-winning organist Martin Sturm would invite the Berlin-based composer Rishin Singh to repeat these “ländlichen Orgelexperimente” with him and they again chose the organ at Denstedt, now named in honour of Liszt, as the best instrument – the most flexible and expressive – to perform and record Singh's music for organ.
mewl infans is a contemporary classical piece that invites modern listeners to ponder the enduring pull of an instrument that was first conceived more than 2,000 years ago and has, in recent years, been rediscovered by a new generation of composers and listeners. Throughout the larger architecture of the four movements, melodic motifs return over and over, fractured by noise, fragmented by carefully calibrated alternate tunings, dissolving into thin air, and generating drones which then transform into new melodic variations. Over the 44 minutes of the piece the organist at times attempts to exert complete control over the instrument, and at other times relinquishes all control entirely.
Conceptually rigorous and emotionally charged, mewl infans rewards deep listening and patience. At times conjuring a sense of doom, at other times suspense, pastoral drift, or aquatic submersion, the album is a universe of tiny details comprised of noise and air, of the journey each tone takes from birth to expiration.”