Nick Cave and Warren Ellis create film and theatre scores that are elegantly minimal, hauntingly beautiful and instantly recognisable as theirs alone. Full of light and shade, creeping dread and inconsolable yearning, these heavily instrumental sound paintings inject aching humanity into ghostly frontier towns, parched desert vistas and post-apocalyptic war zones. Most are built around the duo’s intertwined piano and violin melodies, with sporadic use of guitar, flute, mandolin, celeste, percussion and other elements. Vocals are rare and sparing. But even without lyrics, they are always lyrical.
A raindrop resting upon the fragile lace of goats beard, a pesky weed, an amazing umbrella for Thumbelina. It has been told that an old widowed woman planted a seed given to her from a good witch and within the flower that grew from that seed was a little girl no bigger than the old woman’s thumb. Fairy tales can be somewhat dark, but not the story of Thumbelina.
You can learn about the pine only from the pine, or about the bamboo only from bamboo. When you see an object, you must leave your subjective pre-occupation with yourself; otherwise you impose yourself on the object, and do not learn. The object and yourself must become one, and from that feeling of oneness issues your poetry. However well phrased it may be, if your feeling is not natural—if the object and our self are separate—then your poetry is not true poetry but merely your subjective counterfeit.
Keith Kenniff is an American composer, multi-instrumentalist, and electronic music producer. He composes ambient/electronic music under the moniker Helios and post-classical piano music under Goldmund.
The Belgian composer Wim Mertens (born 1953) is an international recording and performing artist who has given countless concerts, as a soloist and with his ensemble, all over Europe, North and Central America, Japan, Thailand and in Russia. He initially studied at the Conservatory of Brussels and graduated in political and social sciences at the K.U. Leuven and Musicology at the R.U. Gent. In 1998, Mertens became the Cultural Ambassador of Flanders.