Soliloquy for Lilith (1988) (1 Viewer)

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chronic procrastinator
Staff member
Nov 14, 1999
5.00 star(s) Rating: 5.00/5 1 Vote
Title: Soliloquy for Lilith
Artist: Nurse With Wound
Released: 1988

1 - [untitled] - 17:57
2 - [untitled] - 17:07

CD 2
1 - [untitled] - 17:46
2 - [untitled] - 17:52

CD 3
1 - [untitled] - 17:30
2 - [untitled] - 17:28

Soliloquy for Lilith is an album by Nurse with Wound.

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 . 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; the significance of this is that the central figure depicted has been identified with Lilith.

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".
Dec 21, 2004
'north munster'
anyone here friendly with Stapleton ?
back in the nineties i remember reading he lived in Clare and (not knowing anything about him) being stunned. always seems to have kept a low profile in Ireland.
there is an amazing video on You Tube of him giving a tour of his compound much of which is built of old palettes - he did an amazing job on it.


Well-Known Member
Jan 16, 2010
I sometimes wonder how much stoned out of it you have to be to listen to stuff like this but maybe the answer to not at all. It sounds a little bit primative or rough around the edges but I think that's appropriate for a release like this from the eighties, curious anyway.

ann post

Well-Known Member
Oct 13, 2002
Internment Explorer sp3
I'm just going to wade in criticism after scan listening to about 9 minutes. fuck it like, life is short.

I like the statement about music. Its made just like most music, some dipshit poking a thing to make something kinda repetitive sound come out of it. I kinda like what is happening philosophically here and I'm not going to say the end result wont be used for white noise/sleep things at some point.

I don't think i'll ever focus listen to it - its an album you buy as a statement about how you perceive the world and how music production is going. I think i'd like about 25 mins of it live. It connects where other things don't. like its not a lyrical thing obvs. its not really a groove thing, its not really a sound thing (like people dig electro palettes, guitar palettes, etc etc) but it does sound great for earlym twenties drug fuelled couch yoga.

Here's some similar artists for people who love it.



Well-Known Member
Sep 8, 2003
A white house with a folly
Three listens in the bag! Actually I've listened to this album loads of times but three times since it popped up here (the 6-track version, I don't really see any point in listening to more...). Obviously it's a totally inappropriate choice for album club. This used to be one of my go-to albums of background music for reading back before 24/7 internet when I could sit down and read for hours on end. It's like it wraps around me and creates a cozy little bubble that helps me focus on books or whatever - this week I put it on at work and had a moderately productive day yesterday. I wouldn't really sit down and just concentrate on the actual music though, as it just starts, goes on according to the pedal settings and then stops. It doesn't engage me in a sustained/active kinda way and there are no "God I love that bit" or "that bit makes me giddy" moments but I still like it a lot, it's great. Two of the tracks (untitled and untitled) are not as good as the rest proving that it's not all just the same samey-samey even though it is. 4.2/5

After listening to this twice yesterday I had a NWW evening and listened to Spiral Insana, The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion and Merzbild Schwet - they're all better IMO. But Soliloquy for Lilith is just fine.


Well-Known Member
Apr 18, 2006
Post of the week winner: 22nd March, 2013
I made it 2 songs in on my first listen. Will try another couple tomorrow. It's nice. I like what I heard. William Basinski meets Swans, kinda thing. Just, it's so long. I need time with this.
2 and a half more songs in today. Still liking it but have this urge to just go and listen to Stars of the Lid instead. I need to be patience.


Well-Known Member
Apr 22, 2009
Hi 5 to whoever nominated this, I LOVE this album. MAYBE I NOMINATED IT, I DON'T REMEMBER.

Negative Lili

Oct 14, 2002
Way beyond the Rubicon
Hard to actively have an opinion about this one way or the other, as far as I can tell it achieves what it's going for.

It's quite menacing sounding, I don't know if the music came before or after the feelings it evokes, this kind of thing is so ingrained in culture these days. What was it like to listen to in 1988?

In the here and now though I think its the kind of thing people use to cover up that they forgot to write a story for their youtube horror film, or when your character wakes up in an abandoned landscape in a 3d shooter and there's no enemies in sight.... but you know they're just. around. the corner.

Mind you I haven't listened to it all and maybe it breaks into a disco song 5 mins before the end.
Last edited:
Music information in first post provided by The AudioDB

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