Rupert Lally has proven to be quite adept at translating the literary world into the musical world. Even when he’s just building on an original horror theme(as on albums such as Maniac’s Almanac and The Prospect), Lally engulfs the listener in that world. The best composers do that. But when he’s pulling inspiration from the literary world he locks in on those pages and opens that world to another realm of the senses. Where The Dark Speaks was Rupert Lally summoning the spirit of Stephen King by writing pieces inspired by the fictional towns where King’s masterful horror took place. It was a stunning work, and one that was played ad nauseum last October.
Now Rupert Lally is taking inspiration from another literary master, Ray Bradbury. Fahrenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles are Lally’s literary muses here, as well as being two of Bradbury’s most accomplished and revered works. Lally takes two very distinct approaches here and flawlessly captures the worlds Bradbury built with typewriter and paper, giving us musical companions with depth, emotional heft, and an engaging clarity.
The Martian Chronicles has an effervescent quality. There’s a sense of wonder and exploration, much like in Bradbury’s book about Earth’s colonization of Mars. Built on electronics and acoustic elements you get both organic and synthetic qualities here. From the grand robotic openers “Rocket Summer” and “Ylla” to the more slow build of “The Green Morning” and “Way Up In The Middle Of The Air”, Lally uses restraint and subtlety as musical tools, telling this literary tale in a slow moving but grand way.
With Fahrenheit 451 Lally goes in the opposite direction, writing three long form pieces with cold, angular electronics and lone piano notes, capturing the mood and dystopian horror of a world where books are burned and people are punished for wanting to expand their minds through via the written word. The nearly 17-minute “The Heart and the Salamander” builds slowing via synth, piano, and electronic drones. Elements of Philip Glass come through here, as does Vangelis and Klaus Schulze. “The Sieve and the Sand” is all electro airiness, tinkling notes and soft drones that work into closer “Burning Bright” which builds tension from a tick-tock percussion and explodes into terror and dissonance.
If anyone could musically interpret a literary master like Ray Bradbury, it’s Rupert Lally. And he has with these two engaging albums.
Rupert Lally’s The Martian Chronicles and Fahrenheit 451 are available now. Get them here.