Songs for Easter 2020 from the 'What News' trio – semi-disembodied music made of vocals, piano and electronic manipulation.
‘Easter Parade’ (written by P. Buchanan and R. Bell, published by Flag 22). This song originally appeared on 'A Walk Across the Rooftops', the 1984 debut album of Glasgow band The Blue Nile. Alasdair, David and Amble first developed their arrangement of it to perform as an encore during tour dates for their 2018 Drag City album 'What News'.
‘Maria Muoter Reinû Maît’ is'ein Geisslerlied' – a ‘flagellant song’. 'Geisslerlieder' were the songs sung by wandering bands of self-flagellating penitents in mediaeval Europe (particularly in Italy and Germany), mainly during two periods in the 13th and 14th centuries. It was during the second period, at the time of The Black Death, that a priest, Hugo Spechtshart of Reutlingen (1285-1360), noted down the words and music of some 'Geisslerlieder' as he heard them sung. He presented them in his work 'Chronicon Hugonis sacerdotis de Rutelinga' (1349), making him perhaps one of the earliest known collectors of vernacular song. Reutlingen lies in modern-day Baden-Württemberg, south-western Germany (coincidentally, it also happens to be the town where Alasdair’s mother Annegret was born).
released April 12, 2020
Alasdair Roberts: voice
Amble Skuse: electronics, susurration
David McGuinness: digital piano
Recorded by Amble, David and Alasdair in Devon, Glasgow and London, 2019/2020. Mixed by Amble Skuse. Mastered by Sam Smith at SJS Mastering, Glasgow. Paper marbling by Maud Hewlings. Design by Dan Osborn. Thanks to Drag City.