Soliloquy for Lilith

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Soliloquy for Lilith
Studio album by Nurse with Wound
Released 1988
Recorded 1988
Genre Industrial, experimental, drone
Length 106:43
Label Idle Hole
Producer Steven Stapleton, Diana Rogerson
Nurse with Wound chronology
Spiral Insana
(1986)Spiral Insana1986
Soliloquy for Lilith
A Sucked Orange
(1990)A Sucked Orange1990
Professional ratings
Review scores
Allmusic4/5 stars [2]

Soliloquy for Lilith is an album by Nurse with Wound, released in 1988.

Background and recording[edit]

The album was recorded by Steven Stapleton and his wife Diana Rogerson in May 1988. The only sound source was a number of effects units which he had set up to operate in a feedback loop - there was no original input signal being processed, simply the feedback hum generated by plugging the original chain of pedals back into itself. However, when Stapleton went near the pedals he found the sound changed in accordance with his proximity to the various pedals and units. Stapleton told author David Keenan (in the book England's Hidden Reverse) that he had created the album by gently moving his fingers above the various units to create the slow, subtle changes in the sound. As this shouldn't happen, Stapleton has put the album down to an electrical fault of some sort in the studio. This was acknowledged on a later reissue with the credit "our thanks to Electricity for making this recording possible". He remains proud of the album, describing it to Keenan as "fucking brilliant". The album title refers to Stapleton and Rogerson's daughter Lilith who was born that year. Lilith would go on to contribute both artwork and vocals to releases by NWW and Current 93.

Despite being a 3-LP set in an embossed box, the album was one of the most successful NWW releases; Stapleton advised Keenan that the sales of the album funded his and his family's move to Cooloorta in County Clare, Ireland in 1989. Originally issued on the short-lived Idle Hole label (founded by Stapleton and Rogerson with a government Enterprise Allowance Scheme grant), a small overrun of the third disc was issued separately as Soliloquy For Lilith Parts 5 & 6 [3]. The album was reissued as a double CD on United Dairies via World Serpent in 1993 and then again in 2003, this time as a 3 disc set mirroring the box packaging of the original with the third disc containing two remixes of the original material by Stapleton and Colin Potter. When World Serpent Distribution went out of business in 2004, the 3-CD set was reissued by United Jnana (a hook-up between Stapleton's United Dairies and Mark Logan's Jnana Records), this present edition being identical in all but catalogue number from its predecessor.

The length of the selections follows a noticeably strict convention: all six selections which comprise the album proper are between seventeen and eighteen minutes in length. Among the two bonus selections, even the seventh selection can be said to follow this convention - the song ends at about 17:50, and is followed on CD copies by roughly a minute of pregap which is either attributed to the seventh selection (as in the present tracklisting) when played on conventional computers, or un-counted "negative time" which is attributed to the eighth and final selection, when played on standard CD players. Only the eighth and final bonus selection breaks this convention about track length; nevertheless, all eight selections have playing times that fit comfortably on one side of a modern LP.

Releases of the album commonly feature depictions of the Burney Relief in the album artwork;[1][2] the significance of this is that the central figure depicted has been identified with Lilith.[3]

FACT ranked it the 54th best album of the 80s with Aaron Turner of Isis calling it "one of the most listenable and enduring albums from the vast NWW catalog".[4]

Track listing[edit]

Side one[edit]

  1. "[untitled]" – 17:56

Side two[edit]

  1. "[untitled]" – 17:06

Side three[edit]

  1. "[untitled]" – 17:51

Side four[edit]

  1. "[untitled]" – 17:51

Side five[edit]

  1. "[untitled]" – 17:29

Side six[edit]

  1. "[untitled]" – 17:30

Bonus tracks (2003/2005 editions)[edit]

  1. "[untitled]" – 18:54
  2. "[untitled]" – 20:52


  1. ^ "Soliloquy for Lilith (1)".
  2. ^ "Soliloquy for Lilith (2)".
  3. ^ Joshua J. Mark (February 19, 2014). "The Queen of the Night".
  4. ^ [1]