Lisa Butel and Brent Cross are sound artists living in Vancouver, BC. They create experimental music using improvised live vocal looping, and vocal sound manipulation, improvised and live sound synthesis and sample collage. In 2020, Butel and Cross, like so many other musicians, had more time on our hands to do some recording and put together two albums – The Feeling of Walking and a low lament for love and loss. Themes of relationships with our parents, the recent loss of Cross’s mother and the struggles and complexities felt during Covid run throughout the tracks. The focal instrument being used in both albums were from the family piano gifted and shipped to us from Saskatchewan many, many years ago.
The Feeling of Walking album is the sound and the feeling of our personal experiences as the pandemic developed. Composed of disparate parts of ambient sounds from inside our family piano, noise from an analog oscillator and sampled/prepared piano and the comforting sounds of voice. This music making was a meditational process that helped Butel and Cross deal with the isolation and anxiety that we all felt and continue to feel.
The album cover is an inverted photograph of Brentwood mall skyscrapers as viewed from Hastings Sunrise park at night. Butel and Cross refer to this park as the “Look Out” where they can connect with the view of the landscapes and “power up”.
Content for a low lament for love and loss is taken from a one hour live improvised session that Butel and Cross recorded and then edited down to 7 pieces with very few overdubs. The album is fondly dedicated in memory and emotion to Marge Cross whose Heintzman piano and all of its’ glorious imperfections is sampled and featured along with samples of clarinet played by Johanna Hauser.
Get a copy of this limited double album soon before they are all gone!