arthur russell – little lost (1993)
“if nick drake had lived long enough to make records with new order, they might have sounded something like this” – rolling stone magazine
russell (may 21, 1951 – april 4, 1992) was born and raised in rural oskaloosa, iowa. as a child and adolescent, he studied the cello & piano and began to compose his own music. when he was 18 he moved to san francisco, where he lived in a buddhist commune and studied north indian music. in 1973, russell moved to new york and enrolled at the manhattan school of music, cross-registering in electronic music. he became interested in the early underground disco scene.
september 1986 saw the release of world of echo (upside/rough trade, 1986). critically heralded as “a magnum opus of sorts” by contemporary critics, it incorporated many of his ideas for pop, dance and classical music (and experimentation in dub, disco and minimilism) for both solo and cello format. The album was well-reviewed in Britain and included in melody maker’s “top thirty releases of 1986”. this was to be the peak of his lifetime crossover ‘success’.
russell died of aids on april 4, 1992, at the age of 40. in an april 28th column, kyle gann of ‘the village voice’ wrote: “his recent performances had been so infrequent due to illness, his songs were so personal, that it seems as though he simply vanished into his music.”
i’m not sure when little lost was penned and recorded by russell. it appeared on the first posthumous release – another thought (point music), in 1993.
this is an unofficial video, made with an excerpt of the animation ‘girl and dolphin’ by r . zelma.