ROY MONTGOMERY/EMMA JOHNSTON
|Artist||ROY MONTGOMERY/EMMA JOHNSTON|
New album by New Zealand composer & guitarist Roy Montgomery in close collaboration with Emma Johnston.
After Nietzsche is a response to Nietzsche's assertion in Twilight of the Idols that “Without music, life would be a mistake”. Roy Montgomery and Emma Johnston recast this as “Life is a mistake set to music” and they take issue with one of Nietzsche's principal tenets concerning fate.
After Nietzsche is in a way the sister-album to last year’s Suffuse, where Montgomery composes songs for guest vocalists. Only this time it’s in close partnership with Emma Johnston. Montgomery's distinctive, interweaving guitar play is set as background for Emma Johnston’s angelic vocals & experimentations. Swimming through the four tracks of the album, it’s surprising to notice how different they are. The opening track could have been plucked from one of Montgomery’s 80s projects, while the rest of the a-side takes us into more shadowy territory, Realm Of The Senses with it’s slow strumming and echoing vocals evokes Grouper and the title track After Nietzsche with dramatic vocals and strings, cleverly builds up to a climax that never happens. The last song clocking in at 21:10 is a post-postmodern duet between the two musicians in a dark philosophical mood.
Roy Montgomery is a composer, guitarist and lecturer from Christchurch, New Zealand. Montgomery's mostly instrumental solo works have elements of post-rock, lo-fi, folk and avant-garde experimentation. His signature sound might be described as atmospheric or cinematic, often featuring complex layers of chiming, echoing and/or droning guitar phrases. He is currently head of the Environmental management department at Lincoln University in New Zealand. Montgomery has played in several New Zealand bands since 1980, most notably The Pin Group, Dadamah, Dissolve and Hash Jar Tempo. He has also released solo albums on labels including Kranky and Drunken Fish.
Emma Johnston, a classically trained singer, she has developed a practice that explores experimental voice in theatre. This led to her MA and then PhD theses, which explore her work in the context of experimental voice in avant-garde performance. Emma has also worked as a singer and actor with Silencio Ensemble, the Christchurch Symphony, and Corrupt Productions, and has premiered vocal works by composers Chris Reddington and Gao Ping. Alongside her ongoing Free Theatre work, she enjoys collaborating with artists such as Reuben Derrick and Roy Montgomery on a diversity of projects.