Even though you still can’t hear the album apart from “Separating”, I thought I would show you pictures of the vinyl and CD featuring the incredible artwork created by Iker Spozio and would let you know more about what is “behind” this album, which is as close to a concept album as I’ve ever come. Musically, it’s my first fully electronic and keyboard-based album (next month I will write a series of posts dedicated to my relationship with keyboard instruments). But just as crucially, this album was composed over the course of a very peculiar year for me, a year marked by the constant presence of death on my mind. Some of you may remember I posted a very melancholy mix on 4th November 2015, mentioning sad circumstances in my family. A very close family member had become suddenly very ill, and shortly after posting that mix, I went to France to visit my family, who live in a small town in the province. Right before the trip the horsehair on my viola da gamba bow came undone, and as I didn’t like the thought of sending such an expensive bow to the bow maker via mail, I decided to do as she suggested: I would drop the bow at a colleague of hers in the Republique area of Paris, so she could later pick it up. Paris is on the way to and back from my family’s home, but ever since I left it back in 2010, I rarely spend any time there. In 2015, I had spent only the night the show I gave on the Captain of None tour in April.
So I decided that at the end of my family visit I would go to Paris just for one afternoon and night, that way I would see some friends, drop the bow, and leave for San Sebastian the next day. I chose Friday 13th November, and at about 5 pm I walked back from the luthier and past the terraces of the Rue de la Fontaine au Roi. The afternoon was beautiful and sunny and Paris even seemed to regain some of the attraction that 11 years of living there had taken from it in my eyes. In the evening, as we sat having dinner with my friends in their living room, my boyfriend called us to tell us that there were terrorist attacks happening. We stayed glued to the news late into the night, sirens blaring outside, shaking in fear and disbelief at the thought of what was happening a mere 2 kilometres away. As the news unfolded, I also realised that some of the terraces that had been shot at were those very same terraces I had walked past a few hours earlier.
I was not able to sleep at all, and in the morning, after some hesitation, decided to take my train as planned. I could not believe that of all the days I could have been in Paris, it had to be *that* day, and I thanked destiny/chance/whatever you want to call it that I went past thoses terraces at 5 pm and not later on.
I spent the next two weeks pretty much like everyone else I know – trying to make sense of what had happened. The combination of those events and the illness of my beloved family member meant that for the next months, all I could think about – especially at night – was death: my own death, the death of people I love, the death of complete strangers. A couple of weeks after the events, though, I managed to shake myself out of inaction and started working on the record. The music and lyrics it contains served as my therapy, and I cannot wait to share this music with you as it means so much to me.
More information (on the technical side of things too) in the press release on the preorder page on my Bandcamp and Thrill Jockey’s page.