In 2020 The Letter String Quartet are set to release their debut album featuring the serene vocals of Marita Dyson from The Orbweavers. After revealing their first recorded material earlier this year with debut single 'All The Stories', the seasoned musicians are thrilled to unveil their next track, 'Momento Mori'. Out today, 'Momento Mori' is a cover of a song by The Orbweavers arranged for string quartet by TLSQ member, Biddy Connor. Originally released on The Orbweavers' 2011 EP Japanese Mountain/Spotswood, the new single welcomes a renewed sense of melancholy and dramatisation with strings as wistful as ever.
"Momento Mori was written about silkworms, known as Bombyx mori, in latin, named after the mulberry genus Morus / Mori, on which they exclusively feed. Silkworms spin a cocoon of continuous silken thread at pupal stage, before breaking from the cocoon to emerge as a white moth. Silkworm cocoons have been used to manufacture silk fabric and embroidery thread for thousands of years. To harvest the silk as a continuous thread, cocoons are usually plunged into boiling water before the moths have a chance to emerge. This was a sobering realisation, and changed the way we felt about the silk clothes we possess, a humbling reminder of the many moth lives that contributed to them. The song title is a reference to the latin expression 'memento mori', a western artistic motif and theme, translating as 'remember you will die', substituting 'momento' Italian for moment, and retaining 'mori' latin for both death, and the scientific name for the mulberry plant genus. Death is prescient in the western naming of a moth and plant, whose lives are intertwined." – Marita Dyson
From collaborating with Australian and international composers, poets and visual artists, to generating transcendental improvised performances, The Letter String Quartet have recorded with Jen Cloher, Augie March, Alice Humphries, Andrew Batterham and Richard J Frankland. The highly sought after musicians have presented world premiere commissions by composers Bree van Reyk, Ned Colette, Yana Alana, Wally Gunn and Erik DeLuca, completed tours with Laura Jean, and recorded with Mick Harvey. In an Australian first, the band were invited to perform with Gang of Youths at the debut MTV Unplugged Australia in 2018, and select TLSQ members have also performed at Supersense Festival of the Ecstatic with esteemed international artists John Cale and Spiritualized.
Outside of the quartets collaborations, the quartet have presented their own concert series at Melbourne Recital Centre, Abbotsford Convent, Next Wave, Festival of Live Art, Metropolis New Music Festival, Inland Concert Series, and the Adelaide Cabaret Festival as well as regular performances with The Orbweavers.
All recording, mixing and mastering credits/detailsInformation 'Momento Mori'
The Letter String Quartet featuring Marita Dyson
Music & Lyrics by The Orbweavers (Marita Dyson and Stuart Flanagan)
String Arrangement by Biddy Connor
Strings and Vocals Recorded by Neil Thomason at Head Gap Recording Studio
Marita's Vocals recorded by The Orbweavers at Waterway Studio
Mixed by Jed Palmer
Mastered by Casey Rice
Vocals - Marita Dyson
Violin & Vocals - Steph O'Hara
Violin & Vocals - Lizzy Welsh
Viola & Vocals - Biddy Connor
Cello & Vocals - Zoë Barry