The Hallowing (Dark Symphonies) by Autumn Tears

Composed/produced by Ted Tringo. Style refs: Stoa, Arcana, Caprice, Vox, The Moors, DCD, Love is Colder than Death, Ophelia’s Dream. Opening with resplendent Dies Irae, Tringo’s orchestration strikes a majestic stance heralded by organ, then rolls into a pastoral field of piano & flute with nostalgia like chamber work of French group Collection D’Arnell Andrea. Solemn yet never tendentious, it’s free of the pomposity or pseudo-profundity of more grandiose gothic incantation. Tringo’s arrangement unfolds into radiance of shimmering, exultant strings. Tringo’s lyrics, revised by vocalist Laurie Ann Haus, are ghostly: “Feel the ancient sound with a feathered pulse / The aged thrush bound to death’s dark wing” (Thrush and Wake); “Gods are poets and now they score / In the tranquil air we breathe / An endless symphony” (a Joyless Occasion); “Mask of sculpted skin white as oleander” (Canticle, by Terran Olson), complemented by empyrean photography of Kathleen Tringo. In #3 Spirit, Laurie Ann Haus’s voice is exquisite. Title-track/finale brings flute, piping a wispy call between staccato vocals that bounce among strings like buds scattering in Spring. Elsewhere on the album Tringo’s organ carries a sombre tone. Rumbles of symphonic snare call to mind the German masterpiece Porta VIII by Stoa. Instrumentation includes cello & contrabass by Greg Ball, flute & clarinet by Terran Olson, piano by Ted Tringo, French horn by Cathleen Torres, oboe by Maya Glovinsky, violin by Angela Hsu, viola by Emily Packard, harp by Tanya Brody. Clarinet, horn & oboe passages fuse playfulness with melancholy, evoking satyrs and fauns in a dance of consecration.