The self-titled debut release Beatings Are in the Body is by the gifted experimental Canadian performer/composer trio of Erika Angell (voice/electronics/bells), Róisín Adams (piano/Wurlitzer/voice/sticks) and Peggy Lee (cello/voice/sticks). Their name is drawn from a work by Canadian poet Meaghan McAneeley, who contributed the release’s artwork/design and texts for two tracks. The musicians explore and draw their compositional/performance inspiration from how the physical body carries and stores wide-ranging memories, pain and emotions throughout life, in acoustic and electroacoustic, atonal and tonal compositions, jazz, songs, poetry and free improvisations.
The opening track, Blurry, features accessible tonal piano-chord rhythms, vocals and moving cello interludes between and during spoken/sung phrases. Time for experimental new music with electronics, spoken/sung at times noisy vocals and instrumentals in Triploop. Superimposed modern electronic sound effects with acoustic instruments are especially memorable. Like a Deepness/Let Go is a contemporary atonal tragic almost-pop song with vocal solo with warbling, piano chords, melodious cello countermelody and emotional loud high vocal and cello unison held-notes at longer phrase beginnings. A subsequent faster section suddenly goes back to a slow dramatic grim song with the repeated lyric “Let go” to abrupt an ending. Intense, the too-short free improvisation, Rhiza, is like pain at its painful worst with sound effects like crashing dishes, improvisational vocal sounds and cello string bangs.
The 12 diverse emotional tracks flow seamlessly when listened to in order. Random track listening offers a different sound scenario. The tight, respectful performances create inspiring, not depressing, music!