True to his roots as a prolific film composer, William Ryan Fritch recently composed and released an album of filmic work in the Asthmatic Kitty’s Library Catalog Music Series, Music for Honey & Bile. The label describes the series as “instrumental albums designed for possible use in films and television, background sounds for home or office, or personal needs, such as relaxation, stimulation, meditation, concentration, or elevation,” a task which Bile and Honey adopts and masters beautifully.
The album is composed as the score of an imaginary motion picture and each track, devoid of any vocal accompaniment, produces a wide array of organic, poignant auditory images. Fritch brings every kind of instrument—from the standard guitars, pianos, and violins to the less common arimba, vibraphone and dulcimer—into the mix, lending the album an eclectic, spectral tone. At any point you might hear a sound and wonder what the heck kind of instrument produced that melancholy swish from or pat yourself on the back for recognizing the sounds of the good ‘ole sarangi. Tracks like “And in Sees Boil Over” and “Tongues that Shatter like Pigeons” juxtapose primitive handclaps with modern digital beats, keeping the sound fresh and unpredictable.
Music for Honey and Bile will take you on a ride of emotions; you’ll reach your highest highs in “Intro” only to plunge deep into the sorrowful “Shadows Like Despondent Ghosts” before launching through emotions you didn’t know existed in “Chewed Their Nails to Caustic Red Pads.” Each track defies tradition, begs for discovery, and leaves the listener waiting for a twist in the narrative instrumental. Whether taken as a simple aid towards relaxation or an active soundtrack to your daily glimpses and thoughts, William Ryan Fritch’s installment to the Library Catalog Music Series is significant in that it opens up many possibilities of how you can experience it.
- Megan Acheampong