Babel is a large-scale musical structure celebrating the multiplicity of musical language and evolving technologies as the 20th century came to a close.
Originally released as a 5-CD set in 1999, the first 3 CDs contained 'rooms' within an imaginary Tower oF Babel (a kind of aural virtual reality) and the other 2 CDs contained KBBL - the Tower's fictitious radio station.
Each of KBBL's 4 shows has its own style and atmosphere. Collaborating with DJs, writers, actors and singers, KBBL is made to sound like a real radio station with ads, traffic reports, phone-ins etc.
THE LEISURE PURSUITS SHOW: (part 1) Alle Rouste; The Proposal; No More Mr. Nice Guy; (part 2) Movie Theme Music; Sir Geoffrey; Senanbru Vendanswi.
DJ written and performed by Myra Davies; extra text and voices: Tim Brady (Heaven's Gate ad), Olwen Fouéré (Tx Ffemme); Eleonora Lark is Anne Lapierre with saxophone solo from Ned Bennett and percussion from Michel F. Coté; Bob Gallico (Amos), Yvon McDevitt and Triona Ryan (movie extract, with additional material from Neil and Mary Connolly, Jackie Magee); text for What Does It Mean To Speak Without A Body by Ingrid Bachmann, spoken by Olwen Fouéré; Sir Geoffrey sung by Roger Doyle with text by Tom Mathews; programming on Senanbru Vendanswi by Dirk Haubrich.
THE NIGHTSHOW: (part 1) The Garden Room; Some Flooded Plain; The Blue Line To Wonderland; (part 2) Satanasa; Part Of My Make-up; Farewell to Bray; Sleep.
Ish K. Babble written and performed by David Olds; lyrics and vocals on: The Garden Room: Elena López; and on Part Of My Make-up: Olwen Fouéré; extra text and voice: Tim Brady (acrostic Soma ad); Jonathan Philbin Bowman (phone-in), Cindy Cummings (Soma ad 2), Mary Doyle (Sleep).
'...Finally, “Leisure Pursuits”, split into two “shows”. First up, “The Entertainment and Leisure Pursuits Show””, complete with adverts. This is the slow side of radio, with a twist. The implication, from the phone-in on the second show, “The Nightshow” (“we're going to transfigure the night”, says the announcer), is that the show is piped into everyone's home whether they want it or not, and can't be turned off. The adverts for a sleeping pill (from “Soma Pharmaceuticals”) imply that is the only escape.
Heard on their own, the last two discs might be shrugged off as clever, but so what?. Heard in the context of the preceding three discs of Babel, they take on a whole new level of meaning as part of a story, part of an impeccably imagined alternative world exoerience. Fascinating, and well worth the time required to properly immerse oneself in the weird and wonderful contents of Roger Doyle's head'.
Colin Clarke. Fanfare Magazine (USA) January 2014.
Roger Doyle – composer, keyboardist and producer of own music, in concert and in the studio. Likes to work on large projects and to collaborate with others. Works with a multiplicity of musical languages and evolving technologies.