Arguably more recognisable for her work with Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, Canadian violinist and composer Jessica Moss also has a nifty line in creating solo works of stellar magnificence. Second album Entanglement (CST Records) is a journey through string-led soundscapes and unnerving Electronica that renders the mind a bewitched mess.
The bleeps and dots of twenty-one minute opener ‘Particles’, whilst verging on irritation, are also curiously endearing and create a cocoon around the mind while the growing, haunting violin, reminiscent of Vaughan Williams’ A Lark Ascending but oh, oh so sad, fractures the heart and wraps the pieces in a blanket. The middle third is a trip through a starlit sky, the drone of a cello the limitless expanse of the cosmos and the warmth of the duvet, the hypnotic calls both soothing and unsettling. The dénouement, the death, is warm and comforting, the siren luring the besotted soul toward the sun.
Second opus ‘Fractals’ is split into four parts: the eerie, plaintive, Gaelic strings of ‘Truth 1’ painting a mournful scene and layered atop one another to dramatic, moving effect.
It’s a similar story with ‘Truth 2’, the atmosphere just as sparse but the strings here, while still emitting the grandiose euphoria of that layered effect, are a little lighter, a jauntiness close to breaking through during certain movements.
‘Truth 3’ returns to the spectral, choral background of the album’s initial stages, vocal inflections soaring to the stars initially in a cappella format before accordion chords bring the track to a mystical end. The closing ‘Truth 4’ brings back the crushing emotion of those lamenting strings, pregnant with both sadness and irrepressible beauty, a jagged cello undercutting the weeping violins before ethereal chants pave the way for the ultimate ascension.
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t like to be seen as overly expressive in public, then it would be wise to keep Entanglement behind closed doors. Whatever, it doesn’t matter if you’re happy to have Jessica Moss next to Cannibal Corpse on random play, or just want to escape from the Metal barrage for a while, this utterly breathtaking piece of Classical genius is a must.