R E L E A S E D A T E : 0 8 . 2 5 . 2 0 1 7 O N I N N O V A R E C O R D I N G S
Time, silence, light, reflection, and transcendence are all explored in Jane Antonia Cornish’s new album, Into Silence. A breathless fragility on the precipice of liminal space imbues the album’s six over-arching linear meditations; each work an inquiry into the transitory beauty of the unknown, through self-reflection and the conscious reorientation of perspective. These hallmarks of Cornish’s aesthetic experience, along with the exquisitely balanced unfolding of her material, all contribute to a highly expressive and brave musical narrative that is unafraid, and, once heard, cannot be unheard.
The six works featured here are not only unified conceptually, but also through their instrumentation; each features a subset of an aggregate ensemble of violin, piano, four ‘cellos, and electronics. Throughout, Cornish brilliantly uses a carefully planned unveiling of instrumental sonorities to actuate and propel the over-arching design of the album’s broader narrative.
Memory of Time (solo violin and four cellos) explores a distant nocturnal pathos as the solo violin’s expressive presence floats, suspended, over the ‘cello ensemble’s irrevocable sighs. The titular Into Silence I incorporates piano and electronics into the sonic tableaux of the proceeding work, reorienting the seemingly unappeased yearning of the introductory material with a tender earthbound comfort. Scattered Light, scored for ‘cello alone, expounds an unbridled moment of cadenza-like virtuosity. As the harmonic rhythm increases and intensifies the work concludes in an evaporated calmness. Elegia returns to the sound-world and material of the album’s opening work (Memory of Time), now examined through the aperture of elegiac reflexivity. A meditation on solitude, Into Silence II, for piano solo, probes some of the album’s most inner-directed moments of isolation. Luminescence (scored for solo ‘cello, three ‘cellos, and electronics) is a culmination of the entire album’s exploration of liminality. The electronic component returns with an exquisite and arresting subtly of hushed empyrean filigree. A solo cello momentarily transforms the sighing motif of the opening into a hopeful upward reach towards transcendence. The work ends in deliquesce silence, and the album concludes with a return of the opening motif, exemplifying the elegant notion that silence is the path to transformation.
— Brett Banducci