Benjamin Dwyer: Scenes from Crow

Fri, Mar 14, 2014, 00:00


Benjamin Dwyer Scenes from Crow

VOX21 Ensemble, Dermot Dunne, Sylvia O'Brien, Benjamin Dwyer

Diatribe Records


Benjamin Dwyer seems to have encountered Ted Hughes’s From the Life and Songs of the Crow much as a helpless coastal dweller might have encountered one of the recent Atlantic storms: it was going to have its way with him, whether he liked it or not. Dwyer’s Scenes from Crow for amplified ensemble with soprano and tape is black and bleak, with a lot of surreal grating, grinding and scrubbing. It’s as if Dwyer, having himself shared the tortures of Hughes’s complex imaginings, wants to fix them as graphically as possible in music and pass them on to his listeners with the maximum of impact. Be warned – VOX21’s new recording may put your teeth on edge. This is not music for the faint-hearted, even with evocations of John Dowland to the fore.