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– The Dead
– The Proximity of Death
– The Brave
“…an industrial-folk musician who uses 19th century factory noises, steam sounds, and celtic melody to tell folk tales in a new way.” – CyberPR
Jordan Reyne stopped by my Facebook page to leave me a comment. Obviously curious, I visited her site to learn more about her. The opening of her site stated that Jordan Reyne is “industrial-tinged alternative folk, from the edges of the earth”. How could I not listen?
What I discovered were songs from her 2008 release “How the Dead Live“. This haunting collection of music is captivating, as well. It drew me in to the story of Susannah Hawes – an early New Zealand pioneer. When exploring Jordan’s electronic press kit at Ariel Publicity, I learned that she had been commissioned by the New Zealand Arts Council to tell the story of Susannah Hawes. Here’s a quote from the press kit:
In this concept record sharing a dialogue between Susannah and History and exploring the darker areas of New Zealand’s pioneer past, Jordan makes sharp commentary on culture which culminates in History’s annoyance with the lack of gore and grand narrative in Susannah’s story and its choice to forget her by throwing her name into the sea. As How the Dead Live is a historical piece, Jordan defined the sound of the record with industrial noises that would have existed at the time of Susannah’s life, like hammers and anvils, gold pans, and two-man saws, and visualizes how death is close to pioneers even in the simplest actions of life in a music video for the single “The Proximity of Death.”
It shouldn’t surprise any of us that Jordan would be asked to write for such a lofty project. She has received three nominations for the “Tui” Award in her native New Zealand. You can also find her performances on the soundtrack of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings films.
I am captivated by Jordan Reynes music. Her inclusion of non-instruments as instruments helps to weave textures and sounds that create ambiance within the music. In “How the Dead Live” she has woven these together in such a way that we can hear the story and feel the pain and suffering of pioneer Susannah Hawes.
Though you only hear four of the songs from the album (and they are out of context), you owe it to yourself to listen to the complete collection. As described on her site:
Jordan combines pioneer-era industrial found sound, with folk instrumentation and etherial vocal melodies. She usually writes “concept” albums with stories, old and new, told song by song. This means it makes sense to hear them whole. For that reason, her first 4 CDs are available via the discography listing to the right of [Jordan’s web site] for private listening purposes.
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