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Esteemed Melbourne artist Grand Salvo launches his eagerly awaited new album Sea Glass with support from Sarah Mary Chadwick. "In the water", the first excerpt from Sea Glass, is a baroque-folk rumination on memory, loss, the passing of time and death: "Oh say you love me before I go / will you remember me when I'm gone". Someone walks slowly along the beach, though it soon becomes apparent that this is a beach of dreams, where everything is allegory and symbol. "I wander slowly along the shore / the tide is high and the sun is low"; a childlike attempt to articulate the endless flow of time.
Paddy Mann has made six albums under the Grand Salvo moniker: (1642-1727), River Road in 2002, Temporal Wheel in 2005, Death in 2008, Soil Creatures in 2009 and Slay Me In My Sleep in 2012. His songs can be both sparse and heavily orchestrated, with each album focused on a particular idea or theme. Death was a story-book affair, with narration and intricate programmatic arrangements; Slay Me In My Sleep, an ambitious narrative-based song cycle co-produced with Nils Frahm, was shortlisted for the Australian Music Prize. All Grand Salvo's albums have received lavish critical acclaim, winning Album of the Week on RRR (twice), Radio National, PBS, RTR and 4ZZZ.
Sea Glass is Grand Salvo's seventh album, and his Mistletone debut. This richly allegorical album explores how a single, vivid memory can shape who we are; resurfacing and altering our thoughts and recollections as the years go by. The album's very structure is an approximation of how such a memory is forged; each song radiates out from a seed memory which unfolds like a lotus jewel in Field of Flowers, the second-last song and the only "straight" narrative song of this remarkable album. The album then closes with Standing On The Sea, a dreamlike journey on the beach that uncovers "a shard of sand smoothed emerald glass / and a change in the light", layering the dreams of childhood and the memories of adulthood into a woozy contemplation of eternity and the cyclic, ever evolving nature of memory.