JULIA KENT & JEAN D.L.
The Great Lake Swallows
The Great Lake Swallows is a collaboration between Canadian cellist Julia Kent and Belgian guitarist/tape machine manipulator Jean D.L.
Recorded in Charleroi, Belgium in 2015 during a video installation with Sandrine Verstraete, the music was created using field recordings, processed guitar and cello and serves as a soundtrack to the video of the same name.
The album is an aching, ambient wonderland that ensues beauty at every turn. It was built as a whole and, indeed, should be consumed as a whole. The repetition is hypnotising, a lulling sense of calm entwined in hints of unease that flows seamlessly in and out of sleepy melodies and broken drones. Unfolding over a brief twenty-six minutes, The Great Lake Swallows cannot out-stay its welcome. Everything contained within feels necessary, each movement informing the next, a conversation between two outstanding musicians.
"With a title such as “The Great Lake Swallows ” you would be thinking of being dragged deep into the darkness. Thankfully that doesn’t happen, rather Kent and D.L. take you exploring darkness, but leave a little light for you to find your way out." Drifting, Almost Falling
"Make no mistake ~ this music is morose. The four-part composition flows forward inexorably to its bittersweet conclusion. But it is also lovely and dense. The partnership provides a greater texture than we might encounter from a single performer, the field recordings in particular grounding the suite in a real world setting. We agree with the recommendation to listen to the recording as a whole in order to comprehend its cumulative weight. Sorrowful even at the start, it comes across as a requiem, guitar tones amassing behind Kent’s cello in a slow drone." A Closer Listen
"The ambient nature of the music hides both beauty and undiagnosed horror in its swirling repetitions, bringing about hypnotic levels of calm and lingering unease – seduction before a prearranged strike, words of encouragement before the stab in the back, kisses before the betrayal." Fluid Radio
"Forges an expansive vista of surge and swell, as ghostly voices echo in the shadowy background. The effect is haunting, but also beautiful and as a whole, the work is deeply evocative. The Great Lake Swallows doesn’t just occupy space, but creates it." Aural Aggravation
"This is devastatingly beautiful, utterly vital, and has the potential to ruin you emotionally in the most wonderful of ways." The Sound Not The Word
"Slowly building in intensity, the material gradually advances from a prolonged episode of dazed drowsiness to a series of cello convulsions whose plummeting arc suggests bombs dropping." Textura
"Intense lyricism is at full motion here -something that brought to mind the sentimental explosions that A Silver Mount Zion unleashed, at their early stage. Or even a more structured -and less guitar dominated, naturally- version of Set Fire To Flames." Against the Silence
"This type of semi-ambient / modern classical music is exploring so many avenues these days, and The Great Lake Swallows is a gorgeous way of a telling a tale of lives where no words are necessary." Freq
Julia Kent: Cello
Jean D.L.: Guitar & Tape Machine
Sandrine Verstraete: Field Recordings
Mix & Arrangement by Jerome Mardaga
Mastered by Christophe Albertijn
Recorded at Le Vecteur, Charleroi, Belgium on 30.10.15 by Benoit Nonclercq
Photo by Dominiek Claeys
Artwork layout by Richard Knox
Packaging and printing by SmilingPaperGhosts
August 31st 2018
CD / DL
Limited edition of 175. Housed in a double-panel, hand-silkscreen-printed card sleeve with two printed card inserts. Recycled card used throughout and placed in an eco-friendly outer plastic bag. Each item is individually printed, cut, assembled, numbered and packaged by SmilingPaper Ghosts at Gizeh HQ. A download code is inserted for access to a lossless, digital version.
IF YOU LIKE THIS RECORD TRY THESE: