William Henry Meung – Hiraeth and Limerence LP
Horn of Plenty is proud to present the first full-length vinyl release from one of NZ/Aotearoa’s best kept secrets, William Henry Meung. Although musically active for the last couple of decades, Meung only recently began releasing his work via a clutch of CD-R’s, lathes & tapes.
Hiraeth and Limerence, the first in a series of four LP’s, was recorded to phone and tape in Dunedin between 2016-2019 as a particularly turbulent period in William’s life drew to a close.
Hiraeth – a yearning for that which is lost or has passed.
Limerence – a state of infatuation or obsession with another person that involves an all-consuming passion and intrusive thoughts.
Context is key to understanding this record. Hiraeth and Limerence was recorded at the end of what William refers to as a ‘decade long dream-war’ where he was battling mental health issues and its fallout. It’s highs and lows are stark and interchangeable. Moments of calm and sweetness also reveal William’s fragility and confusion, while his true courage and tenacity are most evident during the LP’s darkest moments which oscillate between ecstasy and despair. The ever-present amp-hum and tape hiss play as much of a role as the piano, guitar, voice and cheap/home-made electronics William employs.
In spite of the means and circumstances, Hiraeth and Limerence is a cohesive document and stands as a candid testament to the strength of its creator’s character.
Lazy, but relevant, NZ/Aotearoa comparisons include This Kind of Punishment, Alistair Galbraith and Omit, but William cites the abiding influence of Sonic Youth, Kate Bush, This Heat and Brian Eno.