This Album Changed My Life: Arthur Russell – World of Echo (1986)

Peter Broderick on ‘music that penetrates deeply into the heart’

I first heard of Arthur Russell from people saying I sounded like him. This happened for years before I heard his music. When I finally did hear it, I didn't really get what everyone meant. But I was so intrigued by what I heard, I dove deep into the Arthur Russell rabbit hole – a seemingly endless world of experimentation with just about any type of music you can imagine. The man tried it all.

But for all the varying planets and satellites in the Arthur Russell universe, World of Echo could be considered the sun. It all revolves around this: one man and his cello, inhabiting a sonic world so singular, you can't help but ponder how this music ever got made. Yet for all its intellectual challenges, the music penetrates deeply into the heart.

Just try listening to the song All-Boy All-Girl intently without welling up. It has been said that Arthur was interested in blurring the lines between words and sounds, which is very apparent on this record. It's not easy to decipher at times but it has also been said that words are merely containers for meaning, and the meaning behind these vocalisations – the feeling – could not be more potent.

Peter Broderick will release a new EP, Two Balloons, on November 9th on Erased Tapes, featuring his score to the award-winning stop-motion animated short film of the same name. The film is screening at this year’s Kerry Film Festival on Wednesday, October 17th, and at The Richard Harris International Film Festival in Limerick, October 25th-29th