Tori's Night Music

Silent All These Years

Into the Night

Years ago, when MtV actually played music videos, I sat in my living room and saw an absolutely beguiling video by a slender, red-haired, female singer-songwriter by the name of Tori Amos. Her work over the last few years has been, to say the least, interesting. So I was not surprised when I saw that her upcoming release was going to be inspired by her classical training, but also be released on the Deutsche Gramophone label.

From the reviews and description, I went in with the idea this was her attempt to do a 'Classical Crossover' album. Nothing could have been farther from the truth.

The album, intended to be a song cycle, takes place during one single night. A couple has returned to Ireland, and as night falls, the man disappears. The opening track Shattering Sea, uses strings to build the ebb and flow of tempest, while a piano gives the whole track a chamber music quality.

The woman begins her search through the night in a piece called Snowblind, which has Tori's Daughter making her debut as the voice of a shapeshifter. Obviously she has inherited her Mother's vocal cords, her voice being somewhere between Adele or Charlotte Church.

A wizard, warlock or some other sort of magic-user appears in Battle Of Trees. Which sounds like something a ballet company could perform to.

Fearlessness continues the forest motif, using dark strings and winds. Tori also gets back to the powerful voice and piano sound that has won her crticial acclaim and legions of loyal fans.

The shapeshifter makes a return, as Tori again joins forces with her Daughter in Cactus Practice. This may be one of the more gentle tracks of the cycle, as it describes a ritual of some sort.

Two movements make seem to make up Star Whisperer. The night deepens and we hear Tori's Daughter again in Job's Coffin.

Another water piece, perhaps implying that the man has taken to, or died at sea, comes around in Nautical Twilight. The ethereal Your Ghost, only adds to the notion that something may have happened. There are shadows throughout this piece.

Edge of The Moon and Night of Hunters, bring the idea of predator and prey and the search home. Night of Hunters has the shapeshifter telling of how she's one moment a falcon, and the next corn. Tori's Niece adds her voice as well. There may be a third track that fits this theme, but technical issues prevented me from hearing The Chase.

The cycle, and the story, comes to an ambiguous end with Seven Sisters and Carry. Tori admits that she's left it up to the listener to decide what happens.

I was expecting Night of Hunters to be the kind of music that would be perfect for a chilly Fall night. It could be used for that, but I'll say I also found it great for a cool late-summer morining as I went through my morning routine. Fans of Tori Amos and the curious alike will find Night of Hunters to be well worth adding.


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