Marielle V Jakobsons – Glass Canyon
It’s been a little while since we’ve last heard from Oakland-based sound artist Marielle Jakobsons in a solo capacity, but that’s certainly not to say she hasn’t been busy. Last year saw full-length outings by her two duo projects, Date Palms and Myrmyr, and already in 2012 works with Bay Area drone ensemble Portraits and trio recordings with Helena Espvall and Agnes Szelag have been released. Her last major solo outing (under the nom-de-plume Darwinsbitch) came in form of the dark, complex Ore, released by Digitalis in 2009. With Glass Canyon, Jakobsons presents her first major work under her own name, a decision which perhaps offers a bit of insight into her compositional intentions on the album itself. Jakobsons sought to strip down her creative process to primarily just synthesizer and violin as a way of focusing, as she puts it, “on where two timbres meet.”
Meticulously composed from 2009-2011, Glass Canyon is a work of deep richness and beauty. Throughout the record, whirring, pulsing synths flutter around elegiac arcs of bowed strings. The effect of these juxtapositions is staggering, as evidenced to profound effect by the glacial opener “Purple Sands”. Jakobsons’ preternatural abilities as a sound designer allow the otherworldly tones culled from her synthesizers to be wed perfectly to the radiant sonorities of her violin. The results are compositions that are at once classical yet somehow alien, intimate yet estranged, as though we’ve stumbled upon a conservatory located entirely elsewhere, untethered to the terrestrial.