Saturday, May 15, 2021

Catherine Lee - Remote Together [Redshift Records]

Coming in via mail from Portland, Oregon these days is "Remote Together", the new and forthcoming album effort created by American improviser, oboist - and Doctor Of Music - Catherine Lee. Scheduled for release via Redshift Records on May 21st, 2k21 Catherine Lee's sophomore longplay outing is based on a foundation of oboe, english horn and the rare oboe d'amore in combination with Field Recordings, electronics and manipulated sound. Based on this combination we see the artist explore several compositions written with her in mind by the likes of Jordan Nobles, Dana Reason, Taylor Brook, Julian Snow and Matt Carlson as well presenting a piece she perceived alongside Juniana Lanning, talking the concluding "Silkys" here which is, and what a great inspiration this is, by the life cycle of the domestic silk moth. This being said, Lee touches base with a classically inspired, touching solo performance in "Nocturne", pairs her instrument of choice with minimalist background electronics as well as a collage of mostly nature-leaning Field Recordings - think: rainfall, crickets, jungle sounds etc. - in "Chanson De Fleurs: Eleanor Of Aquitaine" to create a beautiful sonic score with a slightly eerie, uncanny undertone caused by various disturbances and harsher one-off events of unclear origin before "Alluvium" indulges deeply in somewhat droning, score'esque as well as slightly Dark Ambient-infused melancholia with an innate sense for intricate, interwoven harmonic drama. Furthermore "Red Eyes, Green Lion's Teeth, Golden Heads" is a well fascinating tale for oboe d'amore and tape which relies on somewhat of a call-and-response resembling interplay between the live instrument and the pre-recorded medium featuring a ruminant, slightly ritualistic music evoking memories of Asian temples and ceremonies, "Chiasmus" approaches a concept of ever evolving, emotionally touching melodic patterns in combination with extended breaks and short periods of silence whereas the aforementioned "Silkys" caters a crackly, partially dubbed out and probably Max/MSP generated electronic backdrop for Catherine Lee's hovering, floating, and somewhat outerworldly oboe performance to create a piece that truly exceeds the dimensions of space and time. Highly recommended, this.


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