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9th & 13th (2002) - Tricatel*
9th and 13th cover image

Track list: Theme from The Rotters' Club/Destination Moon Music/Une courte promenade à bicyclette/Tower Hill Music/Fires Rise and Die/Three Views of Cicely/9th and 13th/Alone With Shirley/Benjamin in Paradise/Somniloquy

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*This album will be released in France February 2002 and distributed in the UK, through Pinnacle, 20 May 2002.

I think it's probably true to say that there is no other record quite like 9th and 13th. Which is not to say that Louis, Danny and I have succeeded in reinventing the wheel. Just that, for me, this peculiar collection of melodies and recitatifs represents a small but significant step towards one of my long-held goals as a writer: finding a new way of integrating music and the spoken word.

Reading to a musical accompaniment is, I have discovered, more liberating than restricting. Just as Georges Perec found a strange kind of freedom for himself in writing a novel without using the letter 'e', so the creative mind is wonderfully concentrated by knowing, for instance, that the extract you are going to read must last exactly 52 seconds, and must contain a natural pause to allow that lovely vibraphone figure to be heard. In this way, you discover new rhythms in your prose, beats and pulses that you didn't know existed.

The other joy of making this album has been the excuse it has given me to hang around in recording studios, which has always been my idea of paradise. Don't ask me why. Time passes differently in these womb-like environments, hermetically sealed off from the cares of the outside world. Of course, there is claustrophobia, too - you can see why some band members end up wanting to kill each other - so I must thank Louis and Danny, and the calming, omnipresent Richard Preston, for being, among other things, such good companions, such fun to hang out with; as well as being endlessly open to suggestions, and happy to enter into the spirit of an enterprise which must at times have seemed alarmingly different from anything they had done before.

Jonathan Coe, January 2001.

Featured Musicians: Jonathan Coe (speaking voice); Louis Philippe (vocals, piano, keyboards, guitar, speaking voice (track 6)); Danny Manners (piano, bass, double bass, melodica, speaking voice (track 6)); Camille Auclair (Speaking voice (track 5);) Esther Freud: Speaking voice (track 6)); Andy Lymn (drums); Martin Owen (French horn); Pete Whyman (flute, saxophone); Dave Gregory (electric guitar); Phil Hopkins (vibraphone); George Hadjineophytou (mandola); and the Covent Garden String Ensemble, led by Abigail Trundle (cello).

Listen to/download Somniloquy from this album

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