Brilliant and ingenious violinist, vocalist and composer Jessica Moss has announced details of a new album, Galaxy Heart, due out on Constellation on October 7th. Composed whilst in deep isolation throughout 2020, Moss’s newest long-player is a companion piece to last year’s Phosphenes. Where in Phosphenes Moss deliberately crafted post-classical compositions, on Galaxy Heart she expands her sonic palette, with the album featuring semi-improvised electric guitar and guest contributions from drummer Jim White (Dirty Three, Xylouris White) and double bassist Thierry Amar (Godspeed You! Black Emperor, Thee Silver Mt Zion) on some tracks.
Speaking about the album, she comments:
“This album represents me throwing out some old preconceptions of myself and my instrument, and stretching my relationship with solo expression further than I knew I could reach. And consequently, represents what feels like new doors opened, new paths forward.”
The compelling and emotive ‘Uncanny Being (Violin Study #2)’ is the first single to emerge and it features White on drums and Amar on contrabass. Of this collaboration, she says:
“Uncanny Being” is a result of distanced collaboration with two of my all-time favourite players of their instruments; Jim White and Thierry Amar. I sent them my anxious violin tracks which had their own questions, and they sent me parts back with answers I could never have expected, opening doors I could never have dreamed of. Countless hours of meticulous collage work after the fact to bring us together, until I can only hear where we met in the same uncanny space and time and I feel joyfully surrounded.”
The track comes with a video made by Moss herself and Eve Parker Finley. Watch it now.
This month's mixtape comes from the phenomenal Christina Vantzou. A visual artist as well as self-taught composer and orchestral arranger, her impressive body of work spans a wide spectrum of artistic expression. In her three widely acclaimed albums, the immersive and introspective Nº1, Nº2 and Nº3, Vantzou's painstakingly beautiful compositions incorporate a multitude of electronic elements and genres, from ambient and contemporary classical to modern chamber and drone music. So we're honoured to present this treat of a mixtape she put together for us.
Jessica Moss – Entire Populations, Pt. I excerpt[Constellation]
Miyami – Innocent excerpt
Tchaikovsky – 1812 Overture (Full with Cannons) excerpt
Frank Ocean U-N-I-T-Y [Def Jam Recordings]
Sibylle Baier – Remember The Day [Orange Twin / Isota Records]
Demen – Niorum [Kranky]
Pink Floyd – Timeexcerpt [Harvest Records]
Durutti Column – Smile In The Crowd [Factory]
Lieven Martens Moana – Music For A Clearing excerpt [EM Records]
Mark Renner – Jars of Clay [RVNG Intl.]
Klaus Wiese – Geisha excerpt[Edition Akasha]
Mark Pritchard – ?
Dariush Dolat-Shahi – Electronic Music, Tar and Sehtar excerpt [Folkways Records]
Brilliant and ingenious violinist Jessica Moss is the latest artist to join the incredible cluster of stars orbiting our favourite Constellation. As a violinist, backing vocalist and co-composer, she is best know as a member of cult chamber-punk band Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra and avant-klezmer group Black Ox Orkestar. Moss also has her hands on several other stellar projects, including records by Carla Bozulich’s Evangelista, Vic Chesnutt and BIG|BRAVE, to name but a few. Moss’s most recent venture performing solo work resulted in Pools Of Light, her first solo album due out this spring. Versatile and skilled, her approach to violin, as the label describes, “combines a natural technical fluidity, a recombinant command of folk, classical and modern idioms, and an adventurous exploration of signal-bending and analog effects that uniquely expand the spectrum of the violin as sound source”. Pools Of Light resonates with themes of world injustices, social and environmental. Moss explains:
“As a solo performer, I feel an alignment with the transportive nature of storytelling tradition. My music is narrative, and I feel it’s subjects are already on everyone’s mind (climate change, refugee crisis, plastic garbage island floating in the sea…). My aim is to create a space where we can reflect on these things together. I prefer not to use too many words to relate; once the ideas are contextualized, conjuring images with sounds and melodies feels just as powerful to me and also more accessible in many ways. I don’t have an agenda, certainly not a solution, just a great sense of empathy and desire to be sharing space and experiences. I believe that having these transporting moments together can be both a balm and a way to receive energy to move forward, to engage.”
The mesmeric and compelling ‘Glaciers I (Pt I)’ is being offered as the first taste from Pools of Light, ahead of its release on May 5th. Listen to it below.