The Western Lands


Artwork by Carlota Sanchez
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2008 – Resting BellDigital Free Download / CD-R (Sold Out)
Download here

This music is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 3.0

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The Western Lands, the western bank of the Nile: The frontier to a vast and inhospitable
desert, today as in ancient times – but also, in Egyptian mythology, the Land of the Dead:
A space open to be filled, just as William Burroughs work published in 1987, with meaning,
an ‘open book’ in many ways, readable from all possible angles, strung together by an
ambience which transcends the limitations of chronological ’storytelling’: Juggling
with atmospheres, real and unreal memories, and steeped in occult symbolism. The
road which leads to the Western Lands, Burroughs tells us, “is devious and unpredictable.
Today’s easy passage may be tomorrow’s death trap. […] To reach the Western Lands
is to achieve freedom from fear.” Far more than an interpretation of Burroughs’ text,
Tiago Sousa’s “The Western Lands” retraces itself the journey of an artist towards
an unknown territory, aiming not at a ‘conclusion’, but a transition: Just as Burroughs
intersects the present with an hallucinatory ‘beyond’, subverting our common notion
of ‘reality’, Tiago Sousa’s seven compositions draw upon both the noisy and the
melodious, loose rhythms as well as hypnotic repetitions, parallels of equal value
which never converge to one simple truth, one simple solution. It comes as no surprise,
then, that “The Western Lands” also marks the introduction of a second voice to
Sousa’s musical spectrum – the guitar, new counterpart to the piano, the former
protagonist of his two earlier works (“Crepúsculo”, 2006, and “Noite / Nuit”, split with
french artist SRX, 2007): From the frail harmonies of “The Writer” and “The Valley”,
to the harsh and discordant sounds of “Can any soul survive the searing fireball of an
atomic blast”, the sinister melancholy of “The Road to Western Lands” – pieces like
“Waghdas”, “Ka” and “Centipede’s City” always hold Sousa’s work in an unsettling
balance, never quite yielding to either side, unfolding a wide musical landscape we
as listeners can wander in: A musical ‘cut up’, equally “devious and unpredictable”,
whose lost part are for us to find: “The most obvious road is almost always a fool’s
road.”

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All songs written and recorded by Tiago Sousa
based on the book with the same title by William S. Burroughs
Thanks to: friends and family, specially to Ritinha, Carlota and Christian

 

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