Having previously worked with the likes of So Percussion, Alarm Will Sound, and NOW Ensemble, David T. Little’s experience is on full display on his powerful album, Haunt of Last Nightfall.
The album is tied to the El Mozote Massacre, in which the Salvadorean army killed over 800 citizens in a counterinsurgency operation. As the massacre was clearly not a bright spot in El Salvador’s (or the world’s) history, Haunt of Last Nightfall similarly focuses on compositions that many would consider unconventional (and perhaps, interestingly, even operating outside the normal scope of musical emotion). This has always been Little’s style — to explore the boundaries of modern music and even push them a little further. Performed by Third Coast Percussion, the album focuses heavily on percussive instrumentation, but it is neither heavy handed nor superfluous. Little’s compositions shine by tastefully restraining themselves and only overpowering at the most opportune moments. Bells, drums, keys, and others ring out throughout, but a thick sense of tension permeates throughout the album’s duration.
Haunt of Last Nightfall also features contributions from Eileen Mack and Mellissa Hughes of Newspeak, Andrew McKenna Lee (NewAm alumnus), and Toby Driver (of maudlin of the Well/Kayo Dot fame), though it’s the latter whose work really seems to resonate strongly with the album’s essence and trajectory. Haunt of Last Nightfall carries a sharp lucidity that should please fans of Driver’s unconventional music.