good day good day bad day bad day
Our recording of Oliver Leith's good day good day bad day bad day was released in August 2020
Deadpan, subversive, quietly anarchic, disarmingly heart-sore and sweet-sour music that makes masterful use of space and placement and sparse forces and really deft repetition [...] there is great style and finesse in what Oliver Leith is doing. [...] I've listened to [good day good day bad day bad day] an awful lot since it arrived in my inbox and I am enchanted afresh every single time.
Kate Molleson, BBC Radio 3 New Music Show
At the premiere I remember thinking the opening was one of the most dreamy things I’d heard in ages. But I’d forgotten just how many more sweetly sad worlds the rest of the work carries us to. New music does not get more lovable than good day good day bad day bad day. It’s a piece you want to hug. A sweet-hearted hypnagogic gem from one of the young masters of the sadboi school.
Each of [good day...'s] eight movements focuses on a single musical idea, some deliberately commonplace, others that are insidiously repetitive. There are moments of unexpected grandeur alongside sheer banality, yet somehow the mixture is curiously addictive.
Andrew Clements, The Guardian
Each successive movement adds a layer of sentiment that hovers close to wistful melancholy, gently rocking itself into more troubled depths [...]
The inventive use of instrumentation adds depth and complexity, while the duet form of the piece gives clarity. Together, they manage to combine the bright and the plaintive into an indivisible whole. It feels like a piece that will continue to grow and change for the listener, even as a single recording. [...]
There’s a simplicity that appeals to the listener in the manner of the populist wing of the minimally modern composers, but with an emotional sophistication which just deepens with each successive listen, where so many others would quickly wear themselves out. The piece does not necessarily get darker as it proceeds, just more sweetly inextricable in the complexity of its mood. The piece welcomes you in as it refuses to explain itself, like a favourite love song that gratifies your need for sadness. [...]
The two musicians play with an evenness and interior calm that makes the music’s formal structure and changes in instrumentation flow naturally without apparent effort. They make it all seem inevitable, even as the outcomes remain unknown, with a transparency that makes their playing inseperable from the music.
Ben Harper, Boring Like a Drill
Leith and GBSR deserve equal credit for the success of this piece, which indicates that we shall be hearing far more from all three of them in years to come.
John Eyles, All About Jazz