- Echo Poem Sequence 2
Echo poem sequence two is designed as a follow on rather than a full realisation of sequence 1 (the little dipper minus two) released as a limited edition at the Stapleton/Potter/Rogerson shows in Vienna in May 2005. Here the sound is stripped of the various elements that augmented the voices of Amantine Dhan-Stiner and Isabelle Gaborit and we are left with a fifty minute collage of half heard female French vocals. The sleeve notes tell us that this album is inspired by the film Last year at Marienbad, a film by the avant garde French director Alain Resnais. It is in my opinion necessary to see this film to fully understand the concept and realisation of this work. On itís own it hypnotises and entrances with seemingly never ending permutations of speech and half sung sounds. I donít recognise any obvious repetition in the dialogue or singing and it retains a truly ethereal quality for itís entire duration. Now onto the film. Last year in Marienbad is a film primarily concerned with ideas of memory and shared experience. The film is very abstract and there is not much of a plot to speak of. What we see is a man trying to convince a woman that they had a passionate affair last year (at Marienbad) and that they had agreed to run away together the following year. The woman has, or seems to have no memory of this. The whole film is set in this huge baroque hotel. The editing, flow and bizarre situations in the film create an intimate dream like narrative where you never know what is truth and what is fantasy.
These ideas of half heard, half remembered memory is very much evident in the composition of Echo poem sequence two. There is little in the way of clear dialogue and much of the sound comes to the ear in a very half heard dream like quality. Itís a conceptual piece that requires much patience, but will reward those who give it time and most importantly a good setting. Like Salt Marie Celeste and Soliloquy for Lilith it may not appeal to fan of the more fast cut musique concrete style Nurse material, but for everyone else this is another interesting twist in the modern Nurse discography.