...Marshall’s (b. 1942) Evensongs represent a return to home ground. Based on two protestant hymns of his childhood, Now the Day Is Over and Abide with Me, the piece mixes taped elements—including a chorus of music boxes--with a live string quartet. Once part of a ubiquitous American soundtrack, the melodies in Marshall’s six variations shift in and out of focus like half-recalled memories. Both songs are Victorian era meditations on evening. Now the Day was written as a children’s hymn; Abide, whose author knew himself to be ill, is a frequent funeral piece. Between these two aspects—the rosy end of day and the gloomy end of life—Marshall’s music stakes out a tremulous middle ground. There, in the shimmering twilight, with echoes of his own child’s voice on the tape, innocence and experience blur.
Like the films of Andrei Tarkovsky, much of the music here has a quality of timeless lament, of inconsolable sorrow. Tenderly human in expression yet superhuman in scale, it seems to contemplate our condition from a very great height. Mr. Marshall (b. 1942) enhances this effect by interweaving conventional instruments with prerecorded, computer-manipulated sounds or with live devices, like digital delay. The fusion of electronic manipulation and human intention is seamless but never slick.
Always You is an album by James Ingram, released in 1993. Following a four-year hiatus, singer-songwriter James Ingram came back in 1993 with "Always You", his fourth album on Qwest Records, the label run by producer Quincy Jones.
The first piece “Fog Tropes” was composed in 1979 at the request of performance artist Grace Ferguson. Marshall (b. 1942) wanted to create a piece reminiscent of the fog-shrouded bays of San Francisco, so he went around the waterfront and made numerous field recordings of different fog horns. Now, the end result sounds nothing like the flatulent fiesta you’d expect after a piece based on fog horns. Marshall marries queasy drones, unsettlingly dissonant strings and the soothing, but authoritatize blare of the fog horn to create a noirish soundtrack to 3am on a lonely pier.
It's Real is the title of the third full-length recording from R&B singer-songwriter James Ingram. It was released in 1989 on Quest/Warner Bros. Records, and features the smash hit single "I Don't Have The Heart", which peaked at number 1 for 1 week. It also features a remake of the classic song "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman, re-written with different lyrics and entitled "(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Man".
Savage Altars, from a concert performance by the Tudor Choir, derives its title from the Roman historian Tacitus' Annals Book I, which chronicles the Roman campaigns against the German tribes. They suffered a devastating defeat by the Cheruscan soldiers in the Teutobugian forest. Six years later, the remains, bleached out bones, splintered spears and debris, of three Roman Legions, were found, the whole of which was named "barbarae arae"—savage altars. Elements of the hymn Magnificat, and the canon "Sumer is i cumen in" are also interwoven in melodic and textual contributions. This was written on the eve of the first Gulf War under Bush the elder.—Ingram Marshall
Ingram Marshall (b.1942) is a composer who refuses to be categorised. He feels strongly that too many convenient ‘tags’ are placed upon artists simply to make discussions of art easier; he resists attempts to lump him together with minimalists (itself a term purloined from the visual arts), downtowners, New Romanticists or the "California School". In fact he is on record as saying, 'I hope my music is remembered for its personality rather than its style or historical position … I feel strongly now that music always points to something else, has other meanings, and in that sense I am an ‘ expressivist’' These comments are interesting in the light of the present disc, which probably represents the best of his current aesthetic.—Tony Haywood