Susan Matthews ~ SirenWire69
Date: Saturday, August 05, 2006 @ 07:39:32 UTC
Artist: Susan Matthews
Quote: "This work is a specialized album, for a specialized listener. But if you enjoy your tea a bit on the bitter side, by all means try a sip soon."
By Dan MacIntosh
Susan Matthews is pictured as a pretty and introspective young lady on the cover of her new SirenWire69 CD. But this beautiful flower also makes the music of a troubled femme fatale. It's a CD much like a horror movie soundtrack; one where you’re constantly expecting something bad to happen to somebody.
Matthews makes experimental music that is oftentimes based around unusual percussion elements. Occasionally, she’ll incorporate traditional instrumentation, such as piano. In fact, “A Perfect Happiness” is all piano and sounds almost happy -- almost. When there are vocals, singing can sound tortured. One aptly named song, “Bruised Letter,” features little girl singing on it, as if it were a breathy, tearful lullaby. Few of these works have what can be termed traditional arrangements, however. “Aural Effigy” begins with a buzzing sound that gets louder and softer, louder and softer, and repeats as necessary. Yet it has what might be construed as a classical melody at its start, before a sort of industrial sawing sound enters in.
Even the titles of these tracks suggest pain. What else can be drawn from spooky names like “Blister Lip Mutation” and “Grieving Naid”? Furthermore, “Bruised Letter” reads like a suicide note.
Although Matthews is like a musical mad scientist at times, her chosen style is rarely offensive -- the way, say, Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music was for some. Hers is a quiet sort of pain, much of the time. This work is a specialized album, for a specialized listener. But if you enjoy your tea a bit on the bitter side, by all means try a sip soon.