While most classical composers attempt to spread around their artistry among various mediums, Stephen Scott has put all of his eggs into the proverbial one basket, specializing in bowed piano music as founder/leader of the Bowed Piano Ensemble, est. 1977. This is not as limited a resource as it sounds; in 1930, Henry Cowell stated he had discovered 165 ways to play the inside of a piano, though if he made a list of all those methods no one has been able to find it. Moreover, Stephen Scott doesn't seem to mind being regarded as "the Bowed Piano Guy." New Albion's The Deep Spaces is his sixth bowed piano CD and demonstrates some measure of stepping out of the box on Scott's part; The Deep Spaces is a song cycle, set to poems by Shelley, Wordsworth, Lord Byron, Pliny, and Pablo Medina and sung by soprano Victoria Hansen.
On the follow-up to her landmark debut, Happy Come Home (1987), Victoria Williams' skills as a multi-faceted songwriter become increasingly stronger and more distinct. The lack of aural opulence – such as Van Dyke Parks' string arrangements – reveal a less-forced approach, resulting in a giant leap forward in terms of the development of Williams' own voice. Likewise, her rich Louisiana bayou roots increasingly influence her music and act as a strong motif throughout not only Swing the Statue, but her future releases as well – most notably her contributions to the Original Harmony Ridge Creekdippers. Perhaps drawing upon her own experiences, Swing the Statue has an air of melancholia wafting throughout much of the album. Both "Boogieman" and "I Can't Cry Hard Enough" – while divergent in terms of musical style – speak directly to the feelings of loss and abandonment. These aptly juxtapose against the innocence and youthful awe of "Look at That Moon" and "Wobbling" as well as the spiritual guidance found in "Lift Him Up" and "Weeds." Unlike Happy Come Home, Swing the Statue is exceedingly more reserved and somewhat stark – with an emphasis on acoustic instrumentation. These aptly inhabit Williams' remarkably jazzy arrangements.