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Baker's Dozen

Moulding Voices: Julia Holter's Favourite Albums
Gary Kaill , September 23rd, 2015 09:22

From a girl group compilation heard in childhood to more recently discovered singer-songwriters and jazz via a medieval mass, the LA composer talks Gary Kaill through some key albums in her record collection


Alice Coltrane - Turiya Sings
I'm still learning about Alice Coltrane; I can't really claim to know a lot about her. I've heard a lot of music from her - she did a lot of different things - but this is the first of hers that I really listened to. The first time I heard her, I was performing on this all-night radio show in LA and it took place in a church. After I'd performed, I lay down on this pew to sleep and the DJ played this record and I woke up and it just really hit me. It was the track 'Yamuna Tira Vihari' and I was like, "Oh my god". It was so immersive and a flood of light, and so ecstatic. I can hardly explain. I was delirious, almost. There were all these strings and an organ, I think, and then her voice chanting and it's so insane.

I listen to it a lot. It's spiritual, I think - and I don't know anything about that aspect of it - but I listen to a lot of music in that way. I listen to a lot of early music and Renaissance music, a lot of choral stuff. You know that this is a spiritual record and you almost don't need to know about that aspect of it. It just gets you. But I think that's okay, I think you can do that.