fri 01/03/2024

Album: Cerys Matthews, Hidden Orchestra & 10 Poets - We Come From The Sun | reviews, news & interviews

Album: Cerys Matthews, Hidden Orchestra & 10 Poets - We Come From The Sun

Album: Cerys Matthews, Hidden Orchestra & 10 Poets - We Come From The Sun

An evocative soundscape of poetry and music

Poetry and music, selected and composed by Cerys Matthews

In such a somnolent time We Come From The Sun is an awakening – the immediacy and presence of poetry urging you to listen, and pay attention to the beauty of now.

For her latest album Cerys Matthews selected 10 poets to record their work and composed background music to accompany it, alongside Joe Acheson of Hidden Orchestra. The result is a sound journey that orbits the theme of Genesis by way of present British heritage.

It is a beautifully presented soundscape of time – historical, personal, planetary. Poets speak in vivid sequences about nature, the inheritance of womanhood, football, wildlife, family and home. Their messages are both soft and urgent, fragile and prophetic. Led by MA.MOYO, “Flame Lily” is a powerful piece about "the whores and Madonnas of light and dark" that came before and made us who we are. Repetition builds strength, as the message "I come from the sun" falls into musical pauses, echoing in the space around percussive rhythm and deep bass.

The poets’ words are as everyday are they are extraordinary – Raymond Antrobus’ “Happy Birthday Moon" is accompanied by tender piano tinkling like electronic rain falling beneath moonlight, over the words a father said to his deaf son; Anthony Anaxagorou refers to hashtags, emojis and double taps as the garb we now dress ourselves in to find the spirit we desire within the swamp of consumerism in “Once I Had an Acceptance Speech”.

A heartbeat begins to pound as the backing of Liz Berry’s redolent “Connemara”, continuing through Kim Moore’s “And The Soul” which questions what kind of totemic beast may be lurking within. Adam Horovitz’s “A House Built From Cloth” takes us on a journey through old stone houses, hedges and dry stone walls that "ran through the fields like seams”, speaking of time caught in the valleys as "watching the past pull the weight of the future".

Kayo Chingonyi’s “Loch Long by Ardgarten, Argyll” is mesmeric. He reads, words like velvet atop layered sound of birds chattering in long, soft notes, reciting: “Where night is a crow troubling the surface of the water and the light of morning is the breadth of a lover’s gaze”. His message about the past being “an old song nobody knows how to sing anymore” resonates throughout the album – in Imtiaz Dharker’s words about shadows living wherever there is light in “The Trick” or the familiar solo voice humming in the background of Liz Berry’s “Birmingham Roller” that describes the terraced houses of Brum with ethereal grace. Kim Moore’s “Sometimes You Think of Bowness” is similarly evocative of English landscapes, capturing the smell of rain, and imagery of “wooden rowing boats like slippers".

The collection is like a time capsule of this present moment, capturing perfectly the multifarious land we inhabit, but with a welcomed meditative beauty. We Come From The Sun proves poetry can provide a sonorous experience that soothes; that it is a rhythm reflective of our pulse, our heartbeat, as we ruminate on or question the stories and snippets of someone else’s truth.


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