|Dimensions||22 × 16 × .50 cm|
CD review by Roger Holdsworth
Earlier this year, we saw what was announced as the fi nal show of (the current incarnation of) Zulya and the Children of the Underground. It was an inspiring but sad occasion, yet Zulya and the group have continued to perform on several occasions. “More farewell tours than Johnny Farnham,” Zulya said recently, and for that we’re very grateful.
However, the uncertain future of the Children of the Underground makes this CD (Zulya’s sixth) even more important. It represents the group at the peak of its powers, often sparse, sometimes raucous, notes and silences placed just right. The contributions of a host of guest musicians complement the virtuosity of the core band members in subtle but important ways.
Tales of Subliming is linked around classic children’s tales, interpreted through Zulya’s lyrics and music, and the music (and some lyrics) of band members Justin Marshall, Andrew Tanner and Lucas Michailidis.
Yet, what dark children’s tales!
These are not stories to waft a child placidly to sleep, but could be the stuff of nightmares: ‘The Ropemakers Daughter’ with its parallel of love between a hanged man and the noose; ‘The Subliming of the Snow Maiden’ as the ice-child dissolves over the flames (of love perhaps); ‘A Tale of Love and Death’ in which ‘the song will stay … and the pain will fade…’.
Whether in English, Russian or Tatar, these are themes that may have terrorised children for generations, but also still enchant and move us, and even more so through their setting to this music.
Tales of Subliming is a fine CD, perfectly played, immaculately recorded, and wonderfully presented with a book of lyrics and illustrations.
The musical and lyrical continuity of its theme may mark an important development for these consummate Australian musicians.
4 in stock (can be backordered)