Mailbox: George Crotty – Inner Nature

Having a child has made me think more about the question of nature vs. nurture than I ever expected to. Before Iris arrived, I thought of it as one of those questions that didn’t make much real-world difference, and therefore didn’t merit much contemplation. Whether or not we were born with some quality or another wouldn’t relieve us of taking responsibility for it, and society would be likely to judge us the same regardless. But now, perhaps largely out of sheer awe, I’m equally amazed by my daughter’s utter behavioral originality as I am her perfect absorption and reflection of my behaviors and those of my wife’s. What makes us who we are? Are we primarily the product of our surroundings, or is our true self innate? It’s porbably some combination of both, but now I don’t think I’ll ever cease being fascinated by the question.

If you’ve been reading closely the past couple of years, you’ll have noticed I’ve been flirting more and more with ambient music that teeters into the world of classical. Tonight, my toe dipping is replaced by setting my foot down squarely in the realm of Baroque and contemporary classical. Inner Nature is the new three song EP from Toronto-based composer and cellist George Crotty. And while it’s certainly the most straightforward classical music I’ve written about here, it’s by no means stiff. The record is open-hearted and lush, and ultimately an abstract exploration of exactly the questions I’ve posed above. The extent to which we can ever know the answers to these kinds of perennial questions is limited, but Crotty has written a record that seems to communicate that the answers themselves are essentially unimportant. Instead, it tells us to embrace our inner selves, no matter how obfuscated our true nature may be, or how impossible it is to know its source.

All three songs on Inner Nature are simultaneously optimistic and wistful; harmonious and bittersweet. We can accept ourselves for who we are while still acknowledging our capacity to hurt others and cause pain. True self acceptance is forgiving oneself for one’s misdeeds and also rejoicing in the capacity to do good.

Inner Nature is out now on bandcamp and for streaming.

George Crotty – “The Fog” (bc)


This review was written in support of the artist’s promotional campaign.


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