Sound Impression: The Great Lake Swallows by Julia Kent and Jean D.L. [Gizeh Records]


The Great Lake Swallows is the seventh entry in the Dark Peak series from Manchester UK’s Gizeh Records and introduces a very special first time 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 album’s long elegiac arc comprises four movements, chapters if you will, in a single riveting whole punctuated by brief caesuras that mark subtle shifts in the narrative.

Kent immediately sets the tone with a soliloquy drawn from her cello, a bright, aching melody filled with longing that dissolves into an opaque sea that churns in dark, stormy swells and roils below its shimmering surface. Fervently melancholic, a tension builds in the final coda as the melody resurfaces reaching more and more anxiously for the fading light. There is no denying the ravishing beauty in what has been created, but there is also no denying the disquietude of its unrequited pining and ambiguous resolution. The Great Lake Swallows is a unique collaboration and a distinctive work with a gravitas that is hard to escape.

Links:  Gizeh Records Store (CD)  |  Bandcamp (DL)

The Great Lake Swallows comes in a limited CD edition of 175 housed in a double-panel, hand-silkscreen-printed card sleeve with two printed card inserts. Each item is individually printed, cut, assembled, numbered and packaged by SmilingPaper Ghosts. MP3 and lossless digital download options are also available.