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Miss Murgatroid And Petra Haden: A Slow 'Fade'

Singer Petra Haden and infrequent collaborator Miss Murgatroid (a.k.a. photographer Alicia J. Rose) have composed a gorgeous ode to impermanence in "Fade Away," one of many dark, sublimely gorgeous pocket symphonies on the appropriately named Hearts and Daggers.

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then so are the swirling and symphonic sighs, moans and instrumental flourishes in this spookily beautiful combination of voice, violin and accordion. Language is at a premium here — employed only briefly, but all the more poignant as a result.

"Every time you walk in, you're not here, so you fade away," Rose sings in a dusky alto, before Haden answers, "In the time I was here, it was clear I would fade away." The music, of course, does everything but fade away: After an elaborately baroque crescendo or two, it culminates in a breathtaking crest — and suddenly drops the listener right into the next song as if nothing unusual has transpired.

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Barbara Mitchell