Nico Muhly - The Only Tune: III. The Only Tune

from by Various Artists



About "The Only Tune"

"'The Only Tune,' also on 'Mothertongue,' is another Muhly collage—a dismantled traditional English song about a violent sororicide, delivered with affecting flatness by an American folk singer named Sam Amidon, to the accompaniment, variously, of a sampled Farfisa organ similar to that used by Philip Glass in 'Music in Twelve Parts,' a pair of butcher’s knives scraping against each other, a recording of whistling Icelandic wind, and the sound of raw whale flesh slopping around a bowl."


from Bedroom Community Sampler, track released June 16, 2008
From the Composer
“The Only Tune”: “Mothertongue started as an attempt to reconnect with the folk
music of my childhood; I remember my parents singing the ballad of the two sisters
– one murdering the other in a river – and I remember a disjuncture between the
simple beauty of the song and the intense violence of the words. I still shiver at the
memory of the miller fishing the girl's body out with ‘his long, long hook,’ and the
ensuing phrases, in which the girl's corpse is slowly turned into a fiddle, are
continuously haunting. In writing ‘The Only Tune,’ which is essentially an explosion
of the folk song, I started becoming interested in personal archives – figuring out all
the things, physical and otherwise, that define us.”
Voice, Banjo & Guitar: Sam Amidon



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the Bedroom Community record label

Bedroom Community is an Icelandic record label/collective formed in 2006 by Valgeir Sigurðsson, with Nico Muhly and Ben Frost, later adding Sam Amidon, Daníel Bjarnason, Puzzle Muteson and Paul Corley to the intimate roster.

"...the best record label in the whole of Iceland and maybe even the entire world" -Drowned in Sound
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