If you don’t like cats, stop reading now, you cruel and heartless person. But if you do like cats, keep reading, because this is one of the nicest things anyone has ever composed for a feline. Formeg: was written for Meg, a rescue cat who was loved by the Weeks family for six months before dying of inoperable lung tumors. And now that all the cat haters have gone away (reading other articles, we hope), we can let you know that this tribute to her life and death and (hopefully) new life is a moving, articulate and powerful trio of pieces that are strong enough to give comfort to many people who are experiencing similar or even dissimilar types of loss. The irony is that this isn’t exactly music for cats – most of the cats I’ve known would completely ignore it – but it’s music for a cat, and by extension, for the humans who miss her.
We don’t want anyone to get really sad while reading this review, so before we get to the music, let’s take a little break to enjoy the kind of music that cats really like.
Everyone okay now?
When we last reviewed Chris Weeks, we were impressed by the gritty edge of A Deconstructed Sun. This edge appears across the board on Formeg:, a sign that the artist is expanding his tonal palette. “Respiration” begins with sheets of drone that expand and circulate like the title. Such harshness imitates the difficulty of drawing breath: labored gasps, violent expulsions. Weeks adds a thick bass pattern to the final third, moving it toward the industrial. In contrast, “Requiem” is sedate, an organ tribute that sounds like a memorial service ~ which it may in fact be. The opening minute includes the rustle of solemn gathering, but such sounds are soon subsumed by overlapping chords: lovely like Górecki, but with additional thickness in the finale. Finally, “A Body, Ascending” uses bells to intimate heaven, continuing the chordal movement of “Requiem”, but with a tone more hopeful than sad. Footsteps, whistles and birds conclude the segment. With fond memories and wistful faith, we wish Meg a fond farewell. (Richard Allen)