Press Quotes
"...a stunning manifesto where the strings and Richter's piano pull one another between poles of regret and redemption"
Pitchfork
"Songs From Before is a deeply moving, near-sacred work.""
XLR8R
"Richter finds the poignant in the ordinary; the sacred in the everyday"
Stylus
"Songs From Before is possibly the most focused product Richter has released under his own name... a satisfying 12-part suite that rewards repeated listening. There are strong melodies to complement the atmospherics and static: emotional pieces such as Autumn Music and Sunlight could happily find their way into the classical repertoire. "
The Guardian
"there's no questioning the beauty of Richter's string lamentations and ruminative piano settings, and Songs From Before is refreshingly succinct"
Textura
Songs From Before
LP13-05 / CD13-05 / DA13-05 / 23rd Oct 2006
Tracklist
01
Song
02
Flowers For Yulia
03
Fragment
04
Harmonium
05
Ionosphere
06
Autumn Music 1
07
Time Passing
08
Sunlight
09
Lullaby
10
Autumn Music 2
11
Verses
12
From The Rue Vilin
13
Leo

Following releases by Set Fire To Flames, Sylvain Chauveau, and Max Richter himself, ‘Songs From Before’ was the fifth release on FatCat’s 130701 imprint. Beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope, ‘Songs From Before’ once again carries a pensive, emotionally resonant tone throughout that manages to fully engage the listener. Following 2004’s critically acclaimed ‘The Blue Notebooks’, ‘Songs From Before’ provides a further refined, perhaps even subtler take on Max’s narrative landscape, yet sounds as contemporary and impacting as any of his previous work.

Punctuated by Robert Wyatt’s distinctive, understated readings of Haruki Murakami’s text (chosen by Max for it’s haunting, Kafka-esque tone), ‘Songs From Before’ utilises piano, cello, violin and viola, with Max playing piano, mixing and producing. Augmented by regular contributors Louisa Fuller, Natalia Bonner, Rick Costa, John Metcalfe, Chris Worsey, and Ian Burdge, the music evokes forgotten memories or lost histories, a series of bittersweet articulations that seem suspended somewhere between a dreamy sense of awe and melancholia. The title refers to the fact that, as well as this being a kind of specimen case of music written over a long period, the album also carries other music inside it – with the sources ranging from music between 5 and 300 years old – either used as starting points for Max’s own writing, or submerged deep within.

All of Max’s music is part of an ongoing collection of writing, with music re-contextualised for each LP – records are an almost arbitrary slice across that continual process. As with a box of found objects carefully arranged to reveal meaning, the remote, grainy dubs that permeate the record, at times redolent of Mike Ink’s Gas or perhaps the more opaque Basic Channel / Chain Reaction output, deploy slight shifts in tone and colour, framing the music. Comprised mainly of shortwave radio sounds (a fondly revered but increasingly archaic medium with the advent of the internet), this connects with the analogue and tape aesthetics of the music, and the title itself. Recorded at Eastcote Studios on 16-track 2 inch analogue tape via the old MCI desk (a forerunner of the 24-track format that became the standard in the 70s and 80s), known as “the Bob Marley desk” because of his love of it, Max expands ‘this record is all about bass, so it is perfect’.

 

Following releases by Set Fire To Flames, Sylvain Chauveau, and Max Richter himself, ‘Songs From Before’ was the fifth release on FatCat’s 130701 imprint. Beautifully recorded and cinematic in scope, ‘Songs From Before’ once again carries a pensive, emotionally resonant tone throughout that manages to fully engage the listener. Following 2004’s critically acclaimed ‘The Blue Notebooks’, ‘Songs From Before’ provides a further refined, perhaps even subtler take on Max’s narrative landscape, yet sounds as contemporary and impacting as any of his previous work.

Punctuated by Robert Wyatt’s distinctive, understated readings of Haruki Murakami’s text (chosen by Max for it’s haunting, Kafka-esque tone), ‘Songs From Before’ utilises piano, cello, violin and viola, with Max playing piano, mixing and producing. Augmented by regular contributors Louisa Fuller, Natalia Bonner, Rick Costa, John Metcalfe, Chris Worsey, and Ian Burdge, the music evokes forgotten memories or lost histories, a series of bittersweet articulations that seem suspended somewhere between a dreamy sense of awe and melancholia. The title refers to the fact that, as well as this being a kind of specimen case of music written over a long period, the album also carries other music inside it – with the sources ranging from music between 5 and 300 years old – either used as starting points for Max’s own writing, or submerged deep within.

All of Max’s music is part of an ongoing collection of writing, with music re-contextualised for each LP – records are an almost arbitrary slice across that continual process. As with a box of found objects carefully arranged to reveal meaning, the remote, grainy dubs that permeate the record, at times redolent of Mike Ink’s Gas or perhaps the more opaque Basic Channel / Chain Reaction output, deploy slight shifts in tone and colour, framing the music. Comprised mainly of shortwave radio sounds (a fondly revered but increasingly archaic medium with the advent of the internet), this connects with the analogue and tape aesthetics of the music, and the title itself. Recorded at Eastcote Studios on 16-track 2 inch analogue tape via the old MCI desk (a forerunner of the 24-track format that became the standard in the 70s and 80s), known as “the Bob Marley desk” because of his love of it, Max expands ‘this record is all about bass, so it is perfect’.

 

Press Quotes
"...a stunning manifesto where the strings and Richter's piano pull one another between poles of regret and redemption"
Pitchfork
"Songs From Before is a deeply moving, near-sacred work.""
XLR8R
"Richter finds the poignant in the ordinary; the sacred in the everyday"
Stylus
"Songs From Before is possibly the most focused product Richter has released under his own name... a satisfying 12-part suite that rewards repeated listening. There are strong melodies to complement the atmospherics and static: emotional pieces such as Autumn Music and Sunlight could happily find their way into the classical repertoire. "
The Guardian
"there's no questioning the beauty of Richter's string lamentations and ruminative piano settings, and Songs From Before is refreshingly succinct"
Textura