MOSES SUMNEY - BBC PROMS, LONDON 2021

June 1, 2022 – 6:11 am

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MOSES SUMNEY
with Jules Buckley and BBC Symphony Orchestra
BBC Proms
London 2021 [no label, 2CD]

Live at the Royal Albert Hall, London, UK; August 21, 2021. Very good audio (ripped from HDTV webcast).

Thanks to allfuzzedout for sharing the HDTV webcast at Dime.

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Blending soul, jazz, art-pop and spoken word, singer-songwriter Moses Sumney defies traditional categories. His ever-evolving voice has channelled political rage and emotional optimism into everything from sprawling orchestral tracks to electronica. Here he performs songs from his albums Aromanticism and græ in new orchestral arrangements, masterminded by Jules Buckley. - bbc.co.uk

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thesoulhouse.net:

One could sense the audience collectively hold their breath as the characteristically enigmatic Moses Sumney entered the stage at the Royal Albert Hall last night, veiled in grey. Behind him sat the lavish BBC Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Jules Buckley - also the BBC SO’s Creative Artist in Association - at the helm. Eventually discarding his coverings, Sumney launched into surely one of the most experimental and unexpected performances to feature at the BBC Proms. It was a bold choice for a largely classical concert series, but one which hopefully sets a precedent for more adventurous programming.

The instrumentalist and singer-songwriter – raised between California and Ghana, a dynamic which has fuelled the themes of identity and belonging in his music – has called out the reductive and racist pigeonholing of his music as ‘R&B’. Indeed, his acclaimed debut Aromanticism (2017) and sophomore dual-album græ (2020) reveal a melange of styles, genres, and textures, from ambient electronica, soul, and art-rock. His meditative lyrics explore the commodifcation of romantic love, toxic masculinity, and self-worth in the face of lovelessness.

His music has an intensity in its introspection, and often in its quietude. In many ways, pairing Sumney with a fully-decked orchestra (plus a special guest rhythm section) may have seemed antithetical. But rather, it served as the outward manifestation of that introspection. Buckley, alongside his team of arrangers, Tim Davies, Jochen Neuffer, and Tom Trapp, made judicious choices in their blending of electronic and orchestral textures, creating moments of high drama and simmering minimalism in equal measure.

It was a largely uninterrupted flow of music, with a setlist chosen well in advance to allow Buckley and his team to incorporate musical bridges between pieces. But this was to the detriment of greater engagement with the audience; Sumney, though clearly endeared by the audience’s effusive response and applause, was only able to share a few words.

However, Sumney’s voice – from its cello lows and anguished highs, connected via lines of intricate melisma – is undeniable. Sometimes, one could be forgiven for mistaking his dexterous falsetto as a tool of the orchestra itself.

Convulsing in tandem with the twists and turns of the BBC SO, Sumney gave nakedly emotional performances. ‘Quarrel’, written about the inherent power imbalance between the races (‘Quoting this a quarrel/So immorally implies/We’re equal opponents/And we both antagonize‘), featured Sumney modulating against the soaring string section. There was a terrific moment of stillness to begin ‘Doomed’, one of Sumney’s most existential lyrics (‘Am I vital/If my heart is idle?‘), with Sumney accompanied by Iain Farrington on the grand organ. Buckley’s rendering of ‘Me in 20 Years’, where Sumney looks to his future with uncertainty, was gorgeously cinematic.

Prior to concluding his set, Sumney, taking stock of the moment, spoke to the audience: “When I imagined returning to the stage, I didn’t think it would be here… But this works too.” I’m sure it won’t be his last visit to the Hall.

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Disc 1
Track 101. Intro 8:56
Track 102. Insula/Virile/Conveyor 12:55
Track 103. Quarrel 7:36
Track 104. In Bloom/Colouour/Cut Me/Rank & File 18:26
Track 105. Bless Me 9:09
57 mins

Disc 2
Track 201. Bystanders/Me in 20 Years 8:52
Track 202. Gagarin 6:51
Track 203. Come to Me [Bjork] 7:17
Track 204. Doomed 6:15
Track 205. Don’t Bother Calling 6:55
Track 206. Plastic/Polly 14:36
51 mins

   Click here to order Moses Sumney releases.

  1. 16 Responses to “MOSES SUMNEY - BBC PROMS, LONDON 2021”

  2. I liked this guy when he was on Stanford & Sons but thats bout it . His stand up stuff was pretty funny but it was some raunchy shit man

    By Derrick on Jun 1, 2022

  3. Had not heard of Moses before reading this review and hearing some of his music. Turns out he has quite a few million-play tunes on Spotify. He also has an elastic falsetto and can take some operatic, jazzy turns with it which recall movie music. He should consider doing an album with a symphony orchestra; this has drama and soul.

    By Tony on Jun 1, 2022

  4. He might be my dad, Mom fucked a lot of guys who looked like him.

    By DD on Jun 1, 2022

  5. I liked this guy when he put his dik in my mouth but thats bout it . It stood up hard and fat the way I like em . I ate his ass too but it was some raunchy shit man

    By Derrick on Jun 1, 2022

  6. Same shit different day. postings are so weak. same thing for me, DD, Derriere and Nelson. These bubbleheads never get tired

    By HHH on Jun 2, 2022

  7. Different shit in my pants every day, I enjoy the variety and change of texture. I never get tired of it!

    By HHH on Jun 2, 2022

  8. He should get what Joe Piscapo gets at McDonald’s

    By Derrick on Jun 2, 2022

  9. Rumor has it Moses gots a Big Un

    By U L E on Jun 2, 2022

  10. Of course

    By U L E on Jun 2, 2022

  11. This darkie has got a big ole triple size hoagie in his britches. Super super big dude . The white gals really like it I heard

    By ELU on Jun 2, 2022

  12. White chix dig black dix

    By Jennifer on Jun 2, 2022

  13. Who starts these rumors?

    By Jocko P on Jun 2, 2022

  14. Twernt me above . Not gay anymore - don’t care about penises

    By U L E on Jun 2, 2022

  15. Last one twernt me nuther fake

    By U L E on Jun 2, 2022

  16. Twernt me above . Not gay anymore - don’t care about penises or butts

    By U L E on Jun 2, 2022

  17. …until I see a hot dude in tight jeans with a well rounded butt and a nice crotch bulge mmmm……….

    By U L E on Jun 2, 2022

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