“If writing is a concentrated form of thinking then the most concentrated writing probably ends in some kind of reflection on dying. This is what we eventually confront if we think long enough and hard enough.”
– Don DeLillo
"This vinyl release of Enrico Coniglio's, aka My Home, Sinking, 'King of Corns' is as special as the music itself, a bucolic, meditative rumination on melancholia, assembled from the building blocks of gentle folk guitar, lilting harmonica and illuminating, dramatic vocals. Sometimes sweet, sometimes frenzied, this is a gorgeous album." - Norman Records
My Home, Sinking is one of the many sound projects fronted by Venetian Enrico Coniglio, whose latest album King of Corns blends live instrumentation with field recordings and strange vocals to create a neo-classical work wherein the sum of the whole is greater than its parts.
Like Baudelaire’s great book of poems, The Flowers of Evil, King of Corns seems to allude to the interplay between life and death as twin sides of the same coin. The beautiful, haunting sleeve art features the unsmiling bust of a porcelain woman with black eyes from whose neck emerges a full bouquet of roses.
Frequently the album is beautiful on its own terms. Consider the opening track, “Bird’s Eye” which features an Eno-esque piano walking over cinematic strings and a lazy harmonica. The piece sounds like an orchestra tuning up before a concert, a call to adventure for the rest of the album. Perhaps more fittingly, it reminds of latter day Talk Talk with tensile strings, errant notes, silent interludes, slow motion piano.
Further beauty exists in “Animating Old Postcards,” which is built around a minstrel’s guitar and the ethereal voice of Finnish artist Violeta Päivänkakkara and feels like a springtime return, a much-needed break in the clouds, a patch of blue after heavy storms.
With that said, the album’s title track is undeniably terrifying. Led by the quivering, indecipherable falsetto of Jessica Constable and a fearsome piano arpeggio, “King of Corns” sounds something like a witch’s curse or an oracle warning of things to come. The last track on the album, “Full Blank (No Stars)” is a dark aria and again features Ms. Constable, who is not so much singing here as reciting musically, as if in an opera.
Clearly, Coniglio’s King of Corns is a marked change in direction from the warm sounds of the last MHS album, Sleet. More sound art, the new work is riddled with anxiety, hesitation, fear. It’s hard to imagine listening to this in polite company or before going to bed. But ultimately the album is successful in that the work demands the listener engage directly with it to form her own interpretation of the material, and in this collaboration she becomes implicit in its creation, a kind of co-author of each track.
Often King of Corns sounds like a descent into madness, a journey through the forest of the dead to the darkest parts of the self. But where there is death there is opportunity for life, for new beginnings. KoC proves that Coniglio is a Romantic in the true sense of the word: one who believes that death and darkness and dreams give us secret access to the divine and help us reconnect with the life-giving principle, or what the Greeks called “Psyche” - the soul.
released September 16, 2017
Enrico Coniglio : guitar, melodica, harmonica, horn, electric organ, synthesizer, psalter, tapes & vinyls, found objects, field recordings & programming
Elisa Marzorati : piano
Piergabriele Mancuso : viola
Chantal Acda : vocals and lyrics "I Can't Help It (But This is The End)"
Jessica Constable : vocals and lyrics "King of Corns" & "Full Blank (No Stars)"
Peter Paul Gallo : vibraphone on "Love Scene" & "I Can't Help It (But This is The End)"
James Murray : organ, vocals, loops on "Along the Pipeline"; electronics on "Full Blank (No Stars)"
Violeta Paivankakkara : vocals and lyrics, glockenspiel and effect on "Animating Old Postcards (Aikaa Ei Ole Olemassa)"
All tracks written, arranged and produced by Enrico Coniglio
Design, Calligraphy, Hand Drawn Typography by Chris Bigg
Let's put it this way- this is simply one of our favourite works ever!...A collection of variations on a theme that drift by, perfuming the air, or that stop a moment to whisper you a story. Evocative in its sparse beauty, We are sure this will been the permanent playlist always, right alongside Arvo Part's "Alina" and offthesky's "Silent went the Sea" ....ss/tm/am editions vaché