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Innova Release: Samn Johnson and Tis Kaoru Zamler-Carhart | ‘Consolation’

June 28

June 28: Innova Release: Samn Johnson and Tis Kaoru Zamler-Carhart | Consolation

Consolation is a song cycle composed by Samn Johnson for vocalist Tis Kaoru Zamler-Carhart, setting Latin poetry from Boethius’s Consolation of Philosophy. It features layers of Tis’s voice accompanied by Samn’s electronics and instrumental recordings.

The album—has been described by composer and music critic Alex Temple as “wildly polystylistic,” but the same can perhaps be said of Boethius’s original. Its mix of poetry and prose carried ancient readers along in the visceral flow of Latin meter, careening between intellectual elegance and sheer terror. Samn’s music hews closely to the maelstrom of Boethius’s emotions, but renders it with different devices. Tis’s voice, the backbone of the album, is pushed to virtuosic limits of range and timbre, spanning over four octaves with an astonishing array of colors and tuning systems. Interviewed by WMBR radio about Samn’s writing for the trans nonbinary voice, Tis says:

Around Tis’s voice, Samn’s electronic orchestra deploys echoes of Renaissance polyphony alongside 808 kick drums and synthesizers, flashes of romanticism, and washes of ambience. Early tuning systems—from Just Intonation to Meantone temperaments—are omnipresent in Samn’s music. For Boethius, who was also a music theorist, these would have not only been shimmering worlds of musical color, but allegories for how the cosmos is ordered. Perhaps the same is ultimately true for Samn, and is part of what binds him to Boethius across the centuries.


June 28


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