Mia Doi Todd has reached a “post-verbal” plateau with her instrumental Morning
Music. After twelve years of Patti Smith meets Nick Drake
philosopher/folkie singing, she’s pleading the fifth. While her voice is
beautifully expressive, her heartfelt lyrics can be tediously overwrought and
sophomorically repellant. Interestingly, Todd herself has recently referred to
“the confines of words” compared to instrumental sounds.
Morning Music is Todd
playing simple, drone-like meditations. At times exploratory, they’re mainly
soothing, simple gestures played as if the background to a Buddhist “sit.” A
couple of tracks seem to have some retro studio manipulations vaguely recalling
Steve Reich’s early minimalist tape “phasing” or Jimi Hendrix’s backward
looping. This adds some sonic variety and fits with the general contemplative
mood. Overall, the music is very relaxing, which seems to have been Todd’s
intent. This is functional music. Music as furniture. Morning furniture.
Standout Tracks: “samai’i,”
“simple things” JOHN DWORKIN