In honor of Benjamin Britten’s centennial Rosalie Kaplan and Marco Cappelli recorded an EP of new arrangements of the composer’s cycle Songs from the Chinese. Experimenting with processed voice and electric guitar, Kaplan and Cappelli present dramatic readings that reimagine each song using elements of jazz, rock, folk, surf guitar and downtown music.
"Cappelli’s insistent, clustering classical guitar mimics Kaplan’s vocals on the first song, The Big Chariot. Her careful articulation – “Don’t help on the big chariot…don’t think about the sorrows of the world” – rises breathtakingly as the song winds out. Although the melody has a rustic quality, Cappelli’s spacious electric guitar on The Old Lute lingers much like Bill Frisell’s did on his collaboration with Elvis Costello, Deep Dead Blue, particularly as he exchanges phrases with Kaplan. Her nonchalance and penetrating, soaring top end makes The Autumn Wind all the more sinister, Cappelli’s distorted phrases lingering as the vocals fall away gently." -- New York Music Daily