North Sea Radio Orchestra - Dronne album review
Fourth album by the chamber ensemble, well worth the five-year wait
NSRO leader Craig Fortnam recently arranged a set of Robert Wyatt’s compositions for performance by the group at the Nuits De Fourviere Festival in Lyon and has included a studio recording their cover of Wyatt’s The British Road (from 1985’s Old Rottenhat) here. His instrumental voicings of bassoon, strings, tuned percussion, and harmony vocals with spouse Sharron Fortnam, are sympathetic, but give it the trademark NSRO stamp and quite a different, fleshed-out feel to Wyatt’s more sparsely arranged original.
A particularly inspired of mix of Britten, sea shanties and kraut.
The beauty of NSRO’s music is that it feels like a core sample drilled down through the last few hundred years of music, revealing traces of Purcell, Victorian parlour music, Britten, sea shanties, and krautrock. This blend of ancient and modern was reflected more overtly on their previous album I A Moon, but their flowing – if occasionally knotty – music sounds particularly inspired on Dronne.