A Note From Stephen Mead:
“Whispers of Arias”, Volume 1 & 2
Sound collages, songs as stories, songs as films…from the opening doorbell on the first track of Stephen Mead’s “Whispers of Arias” , Volume One, the listener is invited to enter no ordinary musical experience. Instead, drawing on classical, folk, and alternative traditions, these songs owe more to the works of John Adams, Phillip Glass, & their
librettists, for defying contemporary verse/chorus composition. Even the rhyme schemes are not typical moon/June/spoon, but more that of soliloquies set to music. Including voices from myths (Ariel, Isis), and voices
of history (Nefertiti, Helen), through characters set in 21st Century scenarios, (a welfare mother on-the run), the song cycle of this CD weaves a thematically comprehensive whole, while the musical backdrops provided by Kevin MacLeod makes each piece a journey unto itself. To be human is to know how valuable life is, these songs seem to say,
and will hopefully leave the listener emotionally transported by that message.
“Whispers of Arias”, Volume Two, picks up the Ariadne thread of Volume One to bring the listener further through a
compelling musical maze. Indeed, conceptually, the two CDs could easily be combined as a double-set.
Again there are voices both historic (Eva Braun), and from legend (Cassandra), while the themes of love, loss, war, and perseverance remain Universal. Again Kevin MacLeod’s instrumentation provides a haunting display of colors, ranging through a palette which could come from both Weimar Republic cabarets (Liebestraum), to Gregorian choral chants,(Rites). Whether exploring the legacy of 911 (“Rings”), or the passing of his own mother (“now, in this stillness”), a sense of human frailty and struggle for dignity remains vibrant in Stephen Mead’s explorations, and, although defined as whispers, perhaps ultimately something of spiritual truth will come through for the listener in these esoteric songs.
Downloads of "Whispers of Arias":
Jonathan Penton from Unlikely Stories has written:
It's appropriate that Stephen Mead has named this double-album "Whispers of Arias", because despite the layered, operatic music and big dramatic
themes, these recordings, ultimately, sound very little like arias: The vocals are so tortured and quiet that one can't help but think of a ghost in a symphony
hall, desperately trying to impress something upon the listeners, something dire, something unbelievably tragic. Stephen Mead sings his poems over
Kevin MacLeod's complex and sophisticated classical intepretations, and the effect is transformative—on the rhythm of the poems, on the meaning of MacLeod's
recordings, and ultimately, on the listener.
radiowildfire.com writes: Stephen's work with voice and soundscape continues to intrigue us and, we think, set a benchmark for recording spoken word.
For words/lyrics or CD versions of downloads please contact Stephen via http://soundcloud.com/stephenmeadart
To purchase Volume One on CD via PayPal or Visa please click link below:
To purchase Volume Two on CD via PayPal or Visa please click link below:
This music is available for download via http://stephenmead.amazingtunes.com/ in addition to Amazon.com