Review of original Under the Spire CD version of 'For José María'
In a rather surprising follow-up to 2009's Type release I Could Not Love You More,
Rameses III gives us a single-track EP dedicated to José María' Bellido, a pianist,
husband, father, and athlete who was stricken with crippling diabetes. It's a plaintive
and melancholy setting that features, in its opening minutes, the voice of José's daughter,
Cristina Bellido, speaking in Catalan and a simple piano theme repeating overtop a thrumming
drone. That theme eventually disappears, leaving the gently swirling drone to persist in
its absence. Strings slowly advance to the forefront and Cristina's voice briefly returns,
after which the strings swell in volume and size. The piece carries on without interruption,
growing ever more epic as the deepening mass of sound is joined by field recordings of
children's voices. Like everything I've heard by Rameses III, For José María' impresses
as a wonderfully executed and realized work, even if the release's overall scope is
circumscribed somewhat by its EP length.