Emmanuel Witzthum – Songs of Love and Loss [Eilean Rec]


Emmanuel Witzthum is an Israeli musician, violist, composer, multidisciplinary artist, and lecturer who has been involved in projects, festivals, and orchestras all around the globe including including New York, Jerusalem, Paris, Berlin, and Madrid. Some readers here may recall his work with collaborator Craig Tattersall (aka The Humble Bee) as E& I on their sublime Eilean Records release The Colour of Sound (2016) an album described on this site as “a complete suspension of time and the invocation of a blissful, halcyon torpor conducive to a state of deep reflection” and “a truly gorgeous album of quietly epic proportions”. Two years later Witzthum returns to the enigmatic label with a new solo work entitled Songs of Love and Loss which brings his viola and voice work into a sharper and more impassioned focus as he offers up a quartet of ardent compositions each represented by a haiku and associated with a different season.

Eyes shut, leaves 
Lift in winds across 
Autumn skies 

Soft rain falls 
Winter solitude 
At night, still 

Shy flowers 
Cloud sighs, clear blue sky, 
Breeze turns warm 

Against tree 
Eyes look to sunset 
In summer 

Links:   Bandcamp  |  Eilean Rec. Emmanuel Witzthum

Whereas The Colour of Sound was abstract and opaque with its emotional content lurking on the periphery, Songs of Love and Loss resonates with intensity of feeling and indescribable beauty. The album begins with compelling portraits of vivid autumnal melancholy and pensive wintry stillness gradually allowing light to seep into the final two movements as spring blossoms with hope and summer is bathed in a warm glow of peaceful acceptance if not serenity. In so capably leveraging season as metaphor and translating this into music, Witzthum takes the listener on a poetic, poignant and picturesque journey that cannot be soon forgotten.

Songs of Love and Loss will be available March 3 on limited edition CD (160 copies) featuring artwork by Dirk Stewan. Note that Eilean releases routinely sell out very quickly, so interested readers won’t want to delay in placing their orders.