AMN Reviews: Danny Norbury – Light in August (Flau)

R-150-1831444-1246368131Obtaining a copy of this Japanese re-release with its added material brings one pretty much up to date on the young composer´s commercial output. Manchester´s Danny Norbury explains that “the urge to write music happens very rarely, and the desire to record what has been written is rarer still”. This is not a bad thing in an era of so much sound and fury signifying nothing.

Norbury composes small longings and heartbreaks and though his forte is the cello, he also performs on piano, violin, perhaps viola too, even harmonica. Bent in monkish concentration like a manuscript illuminator, his piano is cautious, his strings keening. Norbury´s pastoral Light in August actually hearkens to several seasons, a light shower in spring, a chill winter being kept at bay on “I Turn Off the Last Light and Close the Door”. And though emotionally fraught throughout, he wreaks hope, not despair. Tragedy implies necessity and unalterable finality; like so many of Norbury´s compositions, “This Night is For You and For Me” instead gathers itself from lachrymose to transcendent.

“Speak, Memory,” the opening track of  his Dusk EP, is bittersweet and incomplete – memory, that “spiral of unwinding things” as Vladimir Nabokov calls it in the memoir from which this track borrows its title, simply cannot recollect all the pieces of the past. Light in August slants out of sight with”Fragment 2,” his “sound response” to Angela Carter´s novella Bluebeard for Wistrec´s “Book Report Series”.

Stephen Fruitman


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