The Parts Interior: A Review
“Great art is never perfect; perfect art is never great.”
I once had the thrilling experience of sitting in the big tent at New York fashion week, bearing witness to my dear friend’s designs draped on leggy models as they stalked down the runway. Her clothes were gossamer and fluttered gracefully in arch sophistication.
Strangers, seeing those designs for the first time, could not have known what inspired them. But I did. I had seen the early sketches, the art book clippings, that long and painstaking process of idea to creation. The inspiration for those subtle pieces was in fact birds, ballerinas, Pierrot and David Bowie. But by the time they were on that stage, they were an entirely unique incarnation bearing only a hinted resemblance to those iconic tutus and tulled collars.
I was reminded of this while listening to Briget Boyle’s recently released solo album The Parts Interior. I have known and delighted in Boyle’s playing for years. She is a respected and accomplished member of the Balkan band Brass Menažeri and the Kitka Eastern European Women’s Vocal Ensemble. This training and honoring of the form is in evidence in her other project, the True Life Trio — a distinctly folk oriented expression deeply rooted in traditional styles.
The Parts Interior however is something wholly different. Her technical skill and folk influence is in evidence, as is her distinctive lilting voice — but they are transmuted, varied inspirations metamorphosed into a cohesive work of musical maturity and soulful investigation. It is deeply personal but does not drag you into woefulness. Instead, it spills and teases around ache, provoking that sort of softly ecstatic sigh that comes after the summer storm has passed leaving, the dusty scent of dampened, verdant streets.
“Things don’t have to be perfect, they just have to be real”, sings Boyle in “Perception of Grace” (song 7). True words indeed, as neither we nor can any album be perfect. Music is nothing without the listener, an ever evolving exchange. But we can get close, close enough to taste it and be touched by it. This album, as a complete entity, is kissably near to perfect. So much so that I wrote a poem composed of the titles of the songs. The best kind of inspired work — inspires.
What I was Like
When was drawn back
The Black Curtain
Grey Skied Ether
And the Parts Interior
Untwisting My Mind
Now knowing that what Matters is
A Perception of Grace
Jill, this is the Countdown
To finding the Cornerstone
And at last,
hearing that Resting Sound
Briget’s first solo album, The Parts Interior, is now available oncdbaby.com. Showcasing Briget’s own talents as well as those of Bay Area musicians Aaron Kierbel, Mike Shiono, Matt Szemela and many wonderful others.