Laurel Halo presents ‘Atlas’ w/ Leila Bordreuil

Igreja St. George

©Camille Blake

The auspicious debut of Quarantine, which just over a decade ago almost immediately placed Laurel Halo at the centre of contemporary music, seems distant but still present. An imaginative universe, in which electronics found intersections with meditative pieces, speculating on exoplanets and other images exotic to terrestrial understanding. In line with other artists who have opened up new frequencies in the same time frame, she has excelled with a discography that is perhaps less wandering or scattered, allowing her to mature a lexicon and to continue, disc after disc, to find innovative identities – although never totally disruptive of herself. Her ability to keep her music genuinely relevant has also led her to collaborations with John Cale and Moritz Von Oswald – and even to signing the soundtrack for Possessed, directed by the duo Metahaven and Rob Schröder. Halo was thus never a mere promise, but a creative affirmation of greater designs.

Atlas has landed in 2023, in a profoundly essential and unexpected way. It’s an insular, dreamlike piece of work, where any trace of rhythm or voice has been left out, in a fantastic setting of sensory suspension. There’s a certain jazzy enquiry in the way he unveils melodies, moulding subtle compositions in silence while penetrating a haze of string arrangements and intertwining layers of sound. The result is a state of sweet somnambulism, dislocated from recognisable time and in watery flux. For the recording of Atlas, he brought together current talents such as Lucy Railton, Bendik Giske, James Underwood and Coby Sey. A group full of aces, in this orchestral and symbiotic vision whose harmony calls for a deep immersion in the recesses of the mind. As in the surrealist paintings that made history, here concrete takes on unusual forms and parallel realities emerge that were once unimaginable. Laurel Halo’s offering seems to be inexhaustible, as it is a transformative energy and a necessary force in these times. Yesterday, today and certainly tomorrow, we’ll know where to turn.

St George’s Church is hosting one of the most anticipated concerts of the season. With Atlas at the epicentre of this occasion, the audience will certainly be transported to other latitudes, high above the clouds.

Leila Bordreuil

Leila Bordreuil is a French-American cellist, composer, improviser and sound artist. She currently lives in Brooklyn. Her musical language utilizes concepts from noise, contemporary classical, free jazz, and other experimental traditions.

Driven by a fierce interest in pure sound and its inherent texture, Leila Bordreuil challenges conventional cello practice, relying on extensive techniques and extreme amplification methods without effects pedals. “I’m looking for a magical sound, one that heals, one that kills, one that turns the brain upside down.”

Her compositions often incorporate psychoacoustic explorations and sound spatialisation through site-specific pieces and multi-channel installations. Numerous and diverse collaborations with, among others: Bill Nace (Body/Head), Tamio Shiraishi (Fushitutsa), Laurel Halo, Zach Rowden, Kali Malone, Susan Alcorn, Ingrid Laubrock, Lee Ranaldo.

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