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LISTEN: New Resina Album
Christian Eede , July 4th, 2018 16:18

Cellist Resina streams her second album in full ahead of its release later this week

Polish cellist Resina is currently gearing up to release her new album, Traces, which comes two years on from the release of her self-titled debut on FatCat's 130701 imprint. Ahead of the album's release on Friday, you can now stream it exclusively above.

Much of the album, like her debut, was captured via fully live recordings, though where her debut focused on presenting single live takes, the cellist, real name Karolina Rec, opted to focus more on precision and some post-production on this record. On the record, she loops various layers of her cello, using these recordings as a basis for each track seeking interesting sound structures as a starting point.

Rec has also chosen to push her own voice to the centre of the record this time around. Where it only featured on her debut's closing track, her vocals can be heard on half of the tracks that make up Traces. The record also features additional work from percussionist Mateusz Rychlicki.

Traces is out on CD, vinyl and digitally on Friday (July 6). You can pre-order it here. Keep reading below for a full track-by-track guide penned by Rec herself.

'In'

"The choir which forms the base of this piece was recorded years ago. With group of artists we were invited to prepare a museum hacking at Polin, the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. I was placed in the part of the exhibition dedicated to Yeshiva - a special institution which focuses on the study of traditional religious texts, including mystical ones. It was clear to me that the theme and atmosphere of this place was very close to my own interests in mysticism at that time. I felt it was a perfect moment to jump into this subject from a musical perspective, and I recorded many layers and versions of these intuitive, "transcendental” choirs (which I later used for this piece), but the one I liked the most was impossible for me to re-produce or sing again in the same way. So on the album you can hear the first version, which was recorded in my bedroom. Everything else (strings) was composed much later, when I finally found an idea for the cello arrangements which would form a good dialogue with these types of voices, suspended in time and space."

'Procession'

"We've probably all seen many religious processions in our lives. Usually it's a visually stunning but also a bit of a surreal experience for me: like an amazing window onto the deep past of a history of human beliefs, archetypes and rituals. Some religious objects or certain beautiful temples stay closed or empty for the whole year, slowly decomposing and are revived only for one day, the day of the procession. It's kind of a story about forgotten places, stolen gods, long-ago burned incense. I also think that this is the most rustic melody I've ever written."

'Resin'

"This piece was originally prepared and recorded for my first album almost 3 years ago. But I wasn't happy with the original arrangement nor with the recording or my own performance and so it didn't appear on the album. It was also too direct in its strong mood to fit with the concept of that record. But I was performing it live at almost every show during the last two years, and it's a good example of how playing live influences and improves many of my pieces. In the meantime, I found a great drummer who intuitively read my intentions. On our first rehearsal together, during the first ever attempt at this piece, he played his part in the shape we decided to record on the album."

'Surface'

"This track is another case where the vocal layers were the root of the piece and all the rest of the arrangement came later. However, right from the beginning of the composing process I wanted to keep it very simple and put the main focus on the damaged part of the track. It's one of the pieces which transpose from a kind of beauty to a form of a disintegration. I took me a lot of time to find the satisfying ending for that piece, but once I found it, I was absolutely sure that's what I wanted to do: to break it to the point of some random loss of the original beauty of the sound.

Many things make us feel like something is dropping out of our hands – including those connected to the sense of loss. For me it was a loss of illusions. I just wonder if thinking about ourselves as rather conscious, infallible and fundamentally good beings, we are just treading on very thin ice. This idea was captured perfectly by Polish psychologist Bartłomiej Dobroczyński, who wrote that "It is enough for a small event to effectively destroy this rational surface [of humanity] for a long time”. That was actually on my mind when I was working on this piece."

'Glimmer'

"This is nearly a pure improvisation, which was recorded 100% live. Somewhere between composing my darkest pieces I just needed this small, free, ethereal breath - a kind of hidden fragility which brings maybe just a bit of hope."

'In In'

"For me, this track is probably the most personal and essential piece on the album. It's like a tale about a cave or labyrinth for me, a kind of passage through a rather dark corridor where the promise of change looms or some uncertain reward waits at the end. That probably sounds pretentious!... But it's this type of piece which gives me the overflowing feeling of diving very deep and an enormous pleasure of just simply making music. While working on this composition I had several strong visuals in my head. For instance, the memories of a 'sacred' cave which I visited in Asia - one of the most unexpected, shockingly beautiful things I've ever seen, which required a long passage through unlit corridors, but at the end of the path there was something extraordinary waiting for the visitor."

'Trigger'

"I was a bit tired of my self-imposed style of playing mainly very delicate and ethereal pieces during most of my past shows, as this one-dimensional way of expression has stopped resonating with me. Then I had an occasion to do something very different: I was invited alongside a group of other artists to prepare a special performance which focused on the phenomenon of misophony (which is connected with strange and uncomfortable sounds from body). Moreover my part of this performance called "Trigger” was directly linked with a part by Zamilska – a Polish electronic/ techno producer famous of her powerful shows. And somehow it just simply clicked. I finally wrote this truly rhythmic, 'uncomfortable' piece which was perfectly connecting with her sharp, uncompromising set. And that was the start of a friendship and a longer cooperation. I re-wrote the piece a bit for the album but I left the character and title."

'Leftover'

"It was definitely a desire to try to find one of the strongest deconstructions of the cello sound which you can hear in this piece... Probably it's worth mentioning that during the composing process as well as in recording and live performances, I use only acoustic/ hardware sound-sources. Not because I don't view the computer as a possible instrument – I'm just this type of 'manual' person, who finds a special connection with the instrument and sound through touch and likes the infinite freedom of expression coming directly from the body, which is surely the easiest feeling for me when I play cello. It took me a while to find a satisfying way of decomposing the acoustic cello sound, to make it truly noisy without any trashy, obvious overdrive effect. Also it's an effect that I can't completely control - I'm attached to the thrilling sense of following the sound ”here and now”, sometimes building something new on unexpected situations. This piece was definitely a way of searching for some possible intensive deformation, to the point of almost total chaos, and then starting again on the remains of the sound. The producer of this album (Maciej Cieślak) told me that he had instinctively titled this piece 'War' in his head."

'Lethe'

"This track is a kind of response to the very first composition on the album. When I started to work on some final pieces for the album, I wanted not to focus on my personal expectations regarding how my own music should sound. So I started improvising only with vocal layers. I haven't been doing it for a while and a blast of the oxygen to the brain caused by deep breathing made me feel a bit like being high. So I was a bit afraid that I liked the effect of my vocal experiments purely because of this specific state. Luckily after listening to the recording I found it made an ending for the album which I was searching for – a meditative state, eventually dissolving in its own oblivion. Somehow it captures my own fears about the imperfection of human memory."

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