When I first glanced at a cover of Wurdskrieme I had an involuntary reaction… You see, I don’t really like lyrics and prefer instrumental music, painting the pictures without the words. That being said, I was relieved to see that it was not in English, and that perhaps the sound of a foreign language will add to the experience of the album. I wasn’t wrong. When it comes to dialects I can’t comprehend, I prefer the music of the tongue in Japanese, Portuguese, and Finnish. I believe that when the language strips off its underlying message, it becomes an instrument all on its own.
The poetry recited by Jan Kleefstra on the album is delivered in a perfectly paced, accentuated language of his native Friesland, a province in the far North of the Netherlands. Upon further investigation, perhaps I wouldn’t mind understanding the lyrics that much:
I’d like to be a word not alone, I’d like to be immeasurable light
and float around your voice like a sound that flew out because of me
the night only knows it through hearsay that the light then tired
fell like an autumn moth to earth and never got up
– Wurch Ljocht (tr. “Tired Light”)
Besides the words by the above mentioned Kleefstra, the other three members of Piiptsjilling are Romke Kleefstra, Mariska Baars (aka Soccer Committee), and Rutger Zuydervelt (aka Machinefabriek). With haunting abstract paintings on the guitar, strange effects and various noises, the group of musicians create acoustic folktronica for distant lands and desolate places. The poetry comes and goes, drifting into the foreground of experimental sounds, then receding into the shadows of drones.
Wurdskrieme (tr. “Cry of Words”), is somewhat improvisational, somewhat post-processed, and finally mastered by the acute ear of Taylor Deupree. The album explores “serene soundscapes”, “nocturnal atmospheres”, and “emotional abstractions”. Be sure to also check out Machinefabriek and Jan Kleefstra’s earlier collaboration on an album titled Piiptsjilling (Onomatopee, 2008), a 30-minute opus that started this project. Beautifully crafted and highly recommended. A delicate lullaby in a faraway tongue.