"The latent power of this work is all the more effective because of the collective thought processes behind it all. Elusive at points, and perhaps an acquired taste for some, but there’s no denying this music’s extraordinary import." - Darren Bergstein, Downtown Music Gallery NYC
Having witnessed with awe his sagacious feline-managerial skills with music and musical psyches of many a stripe (including *cough* my own), I was certain that Andy McAuley was the right person to orchestrally illuminate my semi-inchoate ego-laced narrative. Zooming in and out of rainbow-hued classical fractal frequencies like an electronic-inculcated dervish and weaving keyboard themes (one composed by Saichairí McAuley), Udu-fronted percussion and vibraphone from the Terpsichorean Martin Pyne and Martin Archer's finely filtered organ work into his structure, the stage was set and the floor picked clean to inspire a set of moods that we hope will float your mind on an ocean of your preferred potion.
Dylan Thomas, who always struggled sandy and baby-faced on the verge of experience like some ancient bardic curse - a regressive, infantile personality and overblown neo-romantic apocalyptic word-chimer, is unassailably part of our consciousness of the poetic landscape.
Thomas's outrageously bejewelled manner of startlingly foreshortened perspectives and abrupt cuts is breakneck in its idiosyncrasy ‘a blockage against intelligence’ showing that the whole business of life, for him and those he engulfed, was repetitively sad rather than wonderfully awful - ‘the mangle of winter-fall before just the owl-black, pine marten world began’ as he put it.
Seamus Heaney found a memorable set of metaphors for Thomas’s poetic procedures: he ‘plunged into the sump of his teenage self, filling his notebooks with druggy, bewildering lines that would be a kind of fossil fuel to him for years to come ...” Most of his life's work comes from notes written between the ages of 15½ and 19 in Cwmdonkin Drive - endlessly reworked for the better in light of his pantheistic creed - in Coleridge’s phrase, ‘the latency of all in each’. .
He suffered a wild publicity which has had little enough to do with his work - rather his attitudes to drink and money - the Dylan Thomas of the Fitzroy and the Yorkshire; his boast before dying - ‘I’ve just had 18 straight whiskies, I think that’s the record’. “... After the first death,’ he had written, ‘there is no other.’
But he died, perhaps fortunately for him - less so for us?, on the verge of success; wanting distance from his early style and with several apparently mature projects (with some very serious, eg Stravinsky, collaborators) in process - TAO is an attempt to recast his work in the spirit of the life he could never endure using cabaret and a woozy waltz.
- Bo Meson