Accelerate Every Voice
Cory Smythe is a musical iconoclast who works across disciplines in contemporary edgy music. He’s is an improviser and composer comfortable working with jazz men like Anthony Braxton or outsider classical players such as Hilary Hahn. He works in that esoteric realm where academics and visionaries create sounds never intended for mass consumption. That’s my way of saying Smythe’s music is some of the weirdest, freakiest stuff I’ve heard in ages.
Accelerate Every Voice is a work for piano, electronics and voices. The work is an evolution of ideas Andrew Hill experimented with fifty years ago when he combined jazz quartet and vocal chorus on Lift Every Voice. The songs on Accelerate Every Voice obliquely address things like climate change and social concerns. The pieces are grounded by Smythe’s abstract piano improvisations (to me sounding like a mellow Cecil Taylor). Floating over and around the piano sounds are the voices. The voices sing words without obvious meaning, sounds that are not words and hallucinogenic harmonies. The closest pop culture reference I can think of are the Xenakis choral pieces used in the soundtrack to 2001: A Space Odyssey.