San Francisco based composer Belinda Reynolds releases a single, Secret, in collaboration with vocalist Holly Nadal and electric guitarist David Nadal. On Secret, Reynolds sets a collage of four women's innocuous childhood stories over a post-minimalist scoring. Heard together the four stories hint at a more disturbing and troubling reality.
“Have you ever had to keep a secret, a secret so strong, so unsettling, that it kept you up at night? This story explores those feelings through a montage of recorded phrases, taken from four interviews of four women speaking about their innocuous childhood secrets. However, the montage creates a quite different result of their words, the story of a secret that is much darker, much scarier, much more true of what can happen to little girls when they are alone, and unaware.....Hopefully Secret gives one an avenue to explore their own secrets, regardless of the circumstances around them.” -- Belinda Reynolds
Belinda Reynolds’ seven and half minute work Secret performed here by vocalist and Holly Nadal and electric guitarist David Nadal and released as a stand alone EP, compiles recordings of interviews with four women speaking about childhood memories. Reynolds weaves these archival recordings together, assembling phrases between the different women that suggest a story more ominous than the individual stories on their own. The somber musical setting is built over a ground bass-like figure that descends chromatically, modeled on the famous “Dido’s Lament” aria from Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas. The voice frames the emotional context with phrases such as “When I lay down the memories overcome me,” and “Remembering my memories, they haunt me.” An electronic part adds static to the texture, suggesting degraded fidelity in an out of date recorded format and capturing the temporal distance between the time of the initial event and the retelling. The electric guitar provides neo-Baroque layered figuration, and arpeggiates disembodied chords at the work’s midpoint when the bass drops out. During the final section, Reynolds allows the voices to intensify, subtly overlapping them, before a climatic instrumental passage of several arpeggiated layers. Secret closes with the phrase, “Memories, remember,” over a haunting, repetitive descending fifth pattern in the guitars.
-- Dan Lippel
Mixing Engineer: Jake Aron
Artwork: Kevin Keany
Design/Layout: Marc Wolf, marcjwolf.com
Special thanks to Chris Kubick and Jeanne Velonis for their help in finessing the audiofile for SECRET. Thanks also goes to the ensemble Electra, who originally commissioned the work. Finally, thanks to my family - Dan and Eleanor - for whom my world is forever thrilling to live.
Raised in a Texan-Florida Air Force family, Belinda Reynolds now considers herself an 'adopted native' of California. Her music has been performed throughout the world and has been featured in such festivals and venues as Lincoln Center’s Great Performers Series, and the Spoleto Music Festival. Ms. Reynolds has also scored for films such as the independent PBS documentary, The New Metropolis. Ms. Reynolds is Vice-President of the composers’ collective, Common Sense and is the Co-Director of HeShe Music in Oakland/San Francisco, a private studio that teaches composition to both beginners and professionals. Her music is published by Dover, HeShe Music, Kithara Editions, Les Productions d’OZ and PRB Productions. Her recorded music for guitar and other mediums can be found on the Albany, Innova, and Trance recording labels, among others.
Facebook: Belinda Reynolds
David Nadal, guitarist, recording credits include Evan Hause’s Melanconia (on Moog), Slow Six “Nor’easter” and Erin Rogers’ North River. His edition of the complete Lute Songs of John Dowland (1563-1626) has become a popular source for the repertoire and is used throughout the world.
Holly Nadal, soprano, is active as both a soloist and chamber musician. Most recently she can be found singing with the M6 ensemble, on Meredith Monk's Songs of Ascension, Sufjan Stevens' “All Delighted” EP and Van Stiefel’s Souls and Raindrops.