Nurse With Wound / Graham Bowers – Rupture (Dirter) 2012

What an extraordinarily cheery concept for a record. Rupture is the musical interpretation of the last hour and three minutes of a person’s life after they suffer a stroke. Lovely. Now based on that premise I was expecting a bit of the horror minimalism which was so on display on NWW’s last proper outing The Surveillance Lounge, but this record seems to be Graham Bowers show. Bowers is a respected composer who has a bio listing on the BBC Wales Website. He is a bit of a big deal in contemporary composition yet the sounds explored on Rupture are the musical and media memories of someone who grew up in a land of English street parties and village fairs. A sentimental life which, I suspect for many of those who will buy this, will be quite foreign. For the most part this is an exposition of memory as it marches towards an imminent death.  But the sounds that have been chosen to represent those memories can be, well, clunky. Especially when the traditional wedding march make s jolting appearance. When I heard that I thought it was being horribly obvious. There are some lovely avant garde orchestral bits in this but frankly I’m not sure why it needed to be recorded. It just doesn’t  sustain interest  even in the middle of listening to it let alone for repeated listens. It is a piece written for performance and in that context it may actually be OK. The subject matter of Rupture lent itself to something quite terrifying. I think if there was still some consciousness after having a massive stroke I would be screaming for an hour about the lack of control and the inevitability of death. A massive disappointment. It shouldn’t suck this hard.

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