CELLO CITY INK, Newsletter of the New Directions Cello Association
by Corbin Keep
"All Summer in a Day" arrived in my mailbox about a month ago. Innocuously, it sat in my studio atop a stack of CDs slated for possible reviews. It was only when the deadline for this issue of Cello City Ink was upon me that I got around to listening to it in earnest.
Wow, wow, wow!
The first track, "paint box," could be loosely compared to the sadly defunct Godspeed You Black Emperor-at their best. It's a great composiiton; an unusual, emotional, quirky juxtaposition of cellos, voices, and subtle electronica. It is with the next track, however, that the summer fun really begins. Redhage sings and plays, one cello, one voice. OK, big deal, lots of cellists do that these days, right? Not like her. Rather than follow standard A-B-A, riff-based forms, this cellist-singer tends to be much more 'classical' in her approach to song structures. She's like a medieval troubadour singing early music, tempered by nights of 'shedding Schoenberg lieder. For a more modern reference, think Dead Can Dance, minus the synths, and a whole lot happier!
Jody's stuff is dissonant for sure; however there is always a sense of joyful purpose behind the notes. The music never sounds as if it is "outside" simply for the sake of it. It is rare that I have heard anything that so successfully pulls off being simultaneously discordant and light-hearted the way this record does. Not that Ms. Redhage sounds as if she's 'pulling anything off'-rather, she comes across as simply being herself, singing and playing her heart out.
This is challenging music, complex in many aspects. However there is a lovely simplicity to the fact that much of the recording is just Redhage on her own.
Give this woman a cello, and stand back!
I repeat: wow, wow, wow!