Mimes of Wine - Renaissance Musicianship
Laura Loriga is a very talented musician. As well as work on soundtracks and collaborations she has written this third album which is arranged with her band Mimes of Wine. The band are comprised of Loriga's fellow Italian compatriots and between them an assortment of instruments.
This all goes together to create a work of wonderfully brooding mystery. Her voice is sometimes pained but not painful to hear and the perfect delivery of these songs (which are in English, if you are wondering).
'La Maison Verte' comes together as a consistent piece of work and a first listen felt like a single 45 minute piece of several movements, but closer listening reveals the vast array of instruments (I was previously unaware of the Nychelharpa, Dan-bau or Shruti box) and styles that make up the collection.
'Below A Fire' opens as a simple ballad but builds to a searing rock track; 'Jai Singh' has elements of Eastern mysticism and a trumpet solo with a gorgeous sung response. 'Hour' has syncopated beats against a droning background.
There are a variety of emotions too - 'Birds of a Feather' is dark ("bury their names in the night") whereas 'Last Man on Mount Elysian' brings a sense of hope.
Folk and world music influences feature stronger, particularly on 'Gates' which also contains strains of Middle Eastern or North African music. 'Shemkel' and 'Lovers Eyes' are repetitive, yearning strains.
We finish with the simple piano accompaniment of 'Road', a song that feels quite personal to Loriga. A lyric sheet would be fascinating, there is a lot to explore and wonder about on this album. Which Maharajah is Jai Singh referring to? Where do the Gates lead? What fantasy lies behind Shemkel?
I'm quite happy to listen over and over again to work it all out.