It’s taken a while for Colleen’s new album, The Weighting of the Heart, to grow on me. Previous Colleen albums—the name that mutli-instrumentalist CÉCILE SCHOTT records under—have been instrumental affairs. She meticulously crafts layers of acoustic instruments and electronics to create tranquil sound tapestries. Some of the instruments she uses are antique: viola de gamba or the spinet. The new album introduces her voice into the mix. She has a winsome alto, and her lyrics are basically simple melodic chants. The focus, though, is on the dense, textural music that she plucks, strums, and loops. The hermetic and classically-minded compositions synaesthetically recall the chiaroscuro paintings of De Chirico, and the smell of potpourri. Her lyrical imagery is mysterious, magical, cloaked in darker hues. The song titles recall the titles of surrealist Leonora Carrington paintings: “Ursa Major Find,” “Geometria del Universo,” “The Moon Like a Bell.”
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