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Winston Tong \ Miserere [LTMCD 2368]

Miserere ('mercy') is a soundtrack album by Winston Tong, the cult performance artist who made his name as a member of the group Tuxedomoon. The music was composed in 1985 for a modern ballet of the same name staged by Belgian choreographer Pierre Droulers, based on the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. The lyrics were written by Tong, and the music a collaboration with celebrated Persian-born dancer and vocalist Sussan Deyhim.

Miserere is remarkable in that it was recorded using voices alone, and employs no instruments at all. The effect is both eerie and seductive, and always hypnotic. Closer in tone to Tong's meditative cycle Like the Others (1982) than his polished pop album Theoretically Chinese (1985), Miserere is now revealed as a major work, which for many years was thought to have been lost.

Tracklist:

1. Prologue
2. Orpheo Walks
3. Vicious Circle
4. Song
5. Lovers
6. Soliloque
7. Metropolises
8. Cobalt Room
9. In Turning
10. Penumbra
11. Egypt
12. The Way to Me
13. Burdens of Passion
14. Beyond
15. Miserere
16. Compassion

Booklet features Tong's poetic text for Miserere, and images from the staged performance.

Miserere [LTMCD 2368]

Reviews:

"Miserere somewhat resembles the physical sound poetry of Henri Chopin. Its beats and rhythms are made up from repeated breathing exercises, grunts, laughter and other body music. This is particularly effective when the spoken text overlaps into the more abstract sounds of the other performers to create a feeling of the natural and the supernatural worlds coming together. The result is a compelling sound journey into the dark soul of the Orpheus legend" (The Wire, 06/2003)

"A holy, impressionistic incantation of seductive, hypnotic power and ethereal intent" (Glasgow Herald, 08/2003)

"Stunning and genuinely other-worldly" (Whisperin' and Hollerin', 06/2003)