NOTE FOR AUDIOPHILES!! This album is only available by digital download but we can provide wav files if you'd prefer. Just send us a message.
"six improvised tone-poems – charting impressions of life from conception to adolescence, Sonum Vitae is a remarkable body of music from the mind and heart of a truly remarkable musician. Phillis stresses that Sonum Vitae (‘The Sound of Life’) is ‘art, not pop’. The pieces are lush and evocative in a cinematic sense, shaping six surprisingly complete sound-worlds for each of the six life-stages (so far) – ‘Conception’, ‘Incubation’, ‘Birth’, ‘Infancy’, Childhood’ and ‘Adolescence’. ‘Conception’ sounds as mystical and mysterious as is the biology of that life-stage, with luminous vocal incanting before a steady rhythm begins a pumping incessance – the rhythm of sex but also reminiscent of Stravinsky‘s ‘factory of nature’ from The Rite of Spring – the rhythm of growth and life. This regular rhythm rises again and again across Sonum Vitae – a metaphor for the hammer of time that drives us through life, as well as the pulsing pump of life that won’t – can’t – let up. ‘Birth’ takes up the rhythm with cyber cellos pushing life out into the world and then – aaaaaaahhh – massed vocal like the light of the world outside the womb, and the warm love of mother. It may be ‘art, not pop’ but Phillis’ songwriting smarts cannot be helped – the nursery rhyme harpsichord that intros ‘Infancy’ and the Debussyesque wonky piano of ‘Childhood’ evoke these times of life where discovery is a minute-by-minute thing. ’Childhood’ also has a spoken word conversation between Mum and Dad on the meaning of Life and love, a conversation that is perfectly placed and apt. The final tone-poem ‘Adolescence’ is a pink-cloud 50s doo-wop vibe, mirror-ball flecked and romantic as romantic gets. The chorus ‘I’m just sitting on a cloud‘ evokes the opposite of what one would expect from a modern, angsty adolescence. But Phillis writes with such authority that we go with her vision wherever it may lead. Sonum Vitae is a remarkable work from one of the masters of Australian music and worth a deeper listen." John Hardaker, Orangepress, Nov '13.