Introducing: Textile Audio
You listen to so many bands from so many PR emails that after a while, even the ones that are supposedly “weird” start to become fairly uniform. Perhaps that’s why I put off listening to Textile Audio’s The Pomegranate Cycle for so long, even when the accompanying press release featured the bewitching premise of experimental opera.
I wish I had listened sooner. It’s pretty rare to find something so refreshingly unlike anything you have ever heard. Textile Audio is Eve Klein, a sound engineer, mezzo soprano, and Doctor of Music and Sound (not a made up title) from the Queensland University of Technology. Klein works with traditional classical music and opera, however she re-contextualizes it with elements of noise and experimental sound engineering. The overall effect of her music is to immerse the listener in an operatic fever dream.
The immersive aspect comes from the multi-layered tiers of sound that seem to come from every direction at once – at one minute you have vocals whispering almost inside your ear cavity, only to next hear them at a seemingly great distance. And the sound is continuously bathed in varying levels of echo and drone, not to mention the accompaniment of a skillfully reserved symphony.
The Pomegranate Cycle runs the length of sixteen songs, and contains thematic elements from the Greek myth of Persephone (Zeus’s daughter who was stolen away by Hades). In Klein’s version the stolen girl’s mother becomes the story’s heroine. In Klein’s words she’s a “new kind operatic heroine, who lives, reflects and heals” (rather than the traditional modus in which the soprano is often a victim).
Even if you aren’t all that familiar with opera (I certainly am not) The Pomegranate Cycle makes for an expansive listening experience – the perfect antidote to an ear that’s been aching from the tiresome repetition of modern pop.
— Jon Behm
The Pomegranate Cycle can be purchased or downloaded for free from Wood and Wire here.