- Artist: Earnest Woodall
- Format: CD
- Release Date:6/15/2004
PRESS REVIEW AMG REVIEW: 13 by Earnest Woodall is a true character. He creates outrageous atmospheres from eclectic sound sources. 13 by Ernest Woodall is a collection of 13 compositions, each of which deals with or recognizes a different superstition. The pieces have just enough dissonance and just enough melody for balance. This is modern avant-garde for the new millennium. It will appeal to fans of Terry Riley, Pauline Oliveros, and Dmitri Shostakovich. ? All Music Guide - Review by Jim Brenholts E.E.R Eclectic Earwig Reviews - 13 is a compellingly dark and fascinating work of art produced. Woodall skillfully blends such seemingly disparate elements as percussive/electronic loops, Schulze-like ambience, minimalism, jazz piano, chamber music, and a highly developed and unique melodic sense. Prog fans who like groups such as Univers Zero, Art Zoyd, and especially Daniel Denis' solo works should get this album. Every song on this CD is a success, a masterfully focused glimpse into the frightening unknown. Swamps are painted with low wind instruments, jungles with loops of mallet percussion, funerals with flute and synthesizer. The vast quantities of instrumental textures (all handled by Woodall himself, although he probably sampled some) are put to purely perfect use. The compositions themselves are well-developed and delightfully unpredictable. Woodall has had experience with film music, which somehow makes sense although his music works extremely well removed from any visual or narrative context (much like innovative film composer Bernard Herrman). Woodall is not needlessly dramatic, and can be quite detached during one part of a piece and then hit you with something heart-rendingly beautiful soon after. This is a composer of uncommon caliber, and he deserves better. Highly recommended. Aiding & Abetting - There are 13 tracks here, but that's just to complete the theme. Woodall, through his use of found sound and creative studio work, has crafted an interesting meditation on the entire concept of luck. Bad luck, to be specific. At times playful, and at other moments rather subdues, the music constantly challenges. The pieces have something of a classical cast to their sound, but I think a better comparison would be a movie score. Music and attendant noises. Yes, I think that conveys the concept of what I'm hearing so much better. Woodall is telling stories with his pieces, and he uses whatever he can find to illustrate his tales. Whether haunting or invigorating, Woodall always manages to impress. These pieces are quite easy to access, and once inside there is plenty of room for wandering. Put this disc on and take a field trip to your frontal lobes. Don't forget the black cat. NY ROCK.COM - For fans of the avant garde out there, you're well aware that this genre isn't too popular. With the music bordering on a fence with insanity on one side, and genius on the other, it's sometimes difficult to tell exactly which way the songs or pieces are leaning. I do know that with junior balling his brains out upstairs, the 13 disc calmed me down quicker than liquid valium. This effect, of course, indicates that there is something there in the, uh, music (at least for me). Who knows, maybe Ernest has insight on how neurons react, and what effect tonality has on the human brain. In any event, it's an interesting listen, and revisiting the disc yields more surprises. My only question is, how does he go about naming these tunes For example,Spilling of Salt, which is devoid of lyrics, and a 2:25 romp with an electric piano.... Pick it up yourself and find out. HEARd E-Zine - If you think haunting film soundtracks as a reference point to this album, then you'll be somewhere close to the mark. Across the length of this CD, there's a startling array of interesting musical diversions, with stripped back orchestration giving way to more lushly constructed sounds & electronic effects. Overall, my favourite track is the memorable sound of CrosseFingers which invokes quite a few different sounds, with other tracks like Cover Your Yawn, Evil Eye certainly highlights of what would have made a good backing soundtrack for parts of The Blair Witch project. There's definitely scope for some work along those lines for Earnest & it'll be interesting to see where his musical journey takes him next. TRACK Information TR 1. 13th of Friday[6:43] Tradition has it that on Friday the 13th, Eve tempted Adam with the apple. The actual origin of the superstition, appears to be a tale in Norse mythology. It is believed that every Friday Frigga the witch convened a meeting with 11 other witches, plus the devil - a gathering of 13 - and plotted ill turns of fate for the coming week. TR 2. 13 Black Cats [2:33] Lincolnshire, England 1560, a father and son were frightened one moonless night when a black cat crossed their path. Hurling stones at the cat, they saw that they injured the black cat and it limped into the house of a suspected witch. The next morning the suspected witch was bruised and she walked with a limp. From that day on all back cats were suspected of being witches in night disguise. TR 3. 13 Broken Mirror [4:28] The 1st breakable sheet-glass mirrors were very costly. Servants who cleaned the mirrors of the wealthy were emphatically warned that to break one of the mirrors invited 7 years of a fate worse then death it's self. TR 4. Crossed Fingers [7:09] The pagan belief that a cross was a symbol of perfect unity, and that it's point of intersection marked the dwelling place of beneficent spirits. A wish made on a cross was supposed to be anchored steadfastly at the cross's intersection until that desired was realized. TR 5. Spilling of Salt [2:25] Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. Judas has spilled the table salt, foreshadowing the tragedy - Jesus' betrayal - that was to follow. Though, there is no evidence of salt having been spilled at the Last Supper. TR 6. Open Umbrella ? [4:07] The Egyptians believed that the canopy of the sky was formed by the body of the celestial goddess NUT. With only her toes & fingertips touching the earth, her torso spanned the planet like a vast umbrella. Man-made umbrellas were regarded as small-scale earthly embodiments of NUT and suitable only to be held above the heads of nobility. The shade cast by an umbrella outdoors was sacred, and for a commoner to even accidentally step into it was considered sacrilegious, a harbinger of bad luck. TR 7. The Wishbone [1:09] When a sacred fowl was killed, the birds collarbone was laid in the sun to dry. The person still wishing to benefit from the oracles powers had only to pick up the bone & stroke it (not break it) and make a wish, hence the name 'wishbone.' TR 8. Cover Your Yawn [6:24] Ancient man had accurately observed that a newborn, struggling to survive, yawns shortly after birth. With infant mortality extraordinarily high, early physicians, at a loss to account for frequent deaths, blamed the yawn. The helpless baby simply could not cover it's mouth with a protective hand. TR 9. Under a Ladder [4:11] To the Egyptians, the ladder itself was a symbol of good luck. It was a ladder that rescued the sun god OSIRIS from imprisonment by the spirit of darkness. A ladder leaning against a wall forms a triangle, long regarded by many as the most common expression of a sacred trinity of gods. In fact, for a commoner to pass through a triangulated arch was tantamount to defiance of a sanctified space. TR 10. Thumbs Down [6:43] Ill Will, Defeat. Often at the time of death the hands contract, enclosing the down turned thumbs. TR 11. Knock Wood [6:11] Christ was crucified on a wooden cross. So, to knock wood hopefully was supposedly synonymous with a prayer of supplication, such as: 'Lord, let my wish come true' TR 12. Evil Eye [5:58] Pupil Reflection: If you look into a person's eyes, your own image will appear in the dark of the pupil. Early man must have found it strange to glimpse his own image in the eyes of someone else, fearing that his likeness might lodge permanently in, and be stolen by, an evil eye. TR 13. Flip of a Coin [2:09] Fifty Fifty - 50% - Yes or No - The Luck of the Draw.
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