Originally posted on July 24, 2010
The Sojourn of Professor Narducci is a combination short story/musical requiem created by self-proclaimed “space folk artist” Bazile, of Austin, TX. The lyrics are the abstract “ramblings” of the title character, preserved in a journal, and set to music posthumously (so to speak). Accordingly, the musical result is eclectic, traveling through a few different song styles. Overall, the album lies somewhere between gentle but eccentric indie folk (a la Sufjan Stevens) and jarringly avant-garde no wave (a la Zs).
Each song makes its own little world, as in the opening track “Helen of Troy,” which, as the longest song on the album, is reminiscent of a 1970’s style multi-section mini fantasy. The next track is “Solder City,” a bouncy, jazzy tune, with a surprising hint of polytonality in the chorus. Another upbeat tune is “Contest,” which has a pop-rock feel, but also features unconventional harmony in the chorus.
There are laid back, quiet songs, like “Life of Particles,” which drifts along easily, until an abrupt shift speeds up the tempo towards the end; also the acoustic plucking of “Adios,” and the half-whispered “Picasso’s Grandson.” There are two instrumental tracks, the quite touching movie-soundtrack-esque “Atlantis,” which features solo banjo and muted strings, and the minimalist last track, “Lawn Chairs and Applesauce.”
You can listen to the entire album here.