The trio Félines was initiated by the French, Strasbourg-based label and recording studio Laubt, inviting Kaspar, the alter-ego of sax and electronics player Yérri-Gaspar Hummel (here his sax is processed through a drum machine), Belgian Fender Rhodes wizard Jozef Dumoulin, who also adds electronics, and bassist and electronics player Kasper Toeplitz. The Félines trio play and free improvising, focusing on the real-time processing of their respective instruments and live electronics and sampling. The music is supposed to be accompanied by visuals of Lucas Lejeune.
The nine, free improvised pieces of this inquisitive and adventurous sound-oriented project suggest layered and dense textures of otherworldly but highly cinematic and vivid drones, with an obvious and sometimes vintage sci-fi aroma, and abstract Musique concrète. Often, the three musicians create a united sonic entity and it is impossible to know who is doing what and with which instruments and devices. A few pieces like «Senes», «Brainstorm» and «Herzian» have a twisted poetic quality. The atmosphere of this meeting brings to mind another project of Dumoulin, Plug & Pray, with French pianist Benoît Delbecq, where they improvise and create and invent revigorating live sounds and hallucinatory beats, intense music that has no name yet.
And from these unsettling and often nightmarish soundscapes to something completely different.
Belgian vocalist Lynn Cassiers and Dumoulin have been making music together for over 20 years and recorded before as the Lilly Joel duo (What Lies In The Sea, Sub Rosa, 2015), mixing free improvisation with electronics. But Sibyl Of The Rhine takes their musical partnership even further, to the music of 12th-century sage, composer, philosopher and mystic Hildegard von Bingen (known also as the Sibyl of the Rhine), arranged for voice with electronics accompanied by a pipe organ. The album was recorded at the Abbey of Royaumont in France in March 2022 and at the Church of Peace in Eupen, Belgium, in May 2022.
Sibyl Of The Rhine sounds untimely and archaic at the same time. The key elements of this album are listening, feeling and dreaming. The chilling, subtle electronics blend and resonate organically and slowly with the spacious, ethereal and vibrant sounds of the pipe organ and with the celestial, warm voice of Cassiers and her dreamy delivery, all intensify the simple but hypnotic beauty of von Bingen’s melodies. Lilly Joel’s two original pieces, Robert Schumann’s «Der Nussbaum» and Antônio Carlos «Tom» Jobim’s «Aguas de Março» enrich the sheer beauty of this project with their timeless melodies.
Jozef Dumoulin (Fender Rhodes, live elec, pipe org), Kaspar T Toeplitz (b, live-elec), Yérri-G Hummel (sax-TR808, live-elec), Lucas Lejeune (visuals), Lynn Cassiers (v, elec)