The new album from cellist Danny Norbury is titled Light In August. I can only imagine it is named after the novel by William Faulkner, but the similarity seems to go only title-deep (while I have not read Faulkner’s, I don’t feel that this album is meant to reflect the subject matter of the novel). A warm, yet heart-breakingly beautiful album of cello pieces accompanied by sparse piano swells up out of the silence besetting it and dies away in the twilight with such ease that it seems next to breathing for Norbury. I think of a backlit spiderweb on a hot, but comfortable afternoon in August, a breeze hassles its superior strength, which is betrayed by the frailty of its appearance. The silken strands will stretch and sway, but only a vigorous effort will force it to surrender and give way. The sharply reverberating piano that begins “I Turn Off the Last Light and Close the Door” has the same tensilary strength for vibration and duration as the spider’s web. As it creates a whirling wheat field underfoot, you drift into the title piece. “Light In August” is a wordless eulogy (much like the entire album as a lament) of Norbury’s cello layered over itself until a one-man chamber orchestra is bidding adieux to the way life used to be. “This Night Is For You And For Me” follows up nicely with a slow lovers’ dance that spirals downwards into invisible arms. And “All The Stars Are Out Tonight”, Norbury’s web wraps in intricate patterns around your heart, stretching itself in tachycardic rhythm until they both break into the infinite.
I have only had one proper, all-the-way-through listen to this record, but already recognize its godly quality, its knowledge of the most esoteric simplicities of life and well-crafted love of beautiful sound.
Don’t think about it too long or doubt my true knowledge, just get it.
Oh, and by the way, the words “there, that should make life better” better roll outta your mouth whenever you pass this music on to a friend.