Elegies for Theremin & Voice
LP (Butterscotch Records © 2019)
Release: September 27, 2019
Elegies is released in the centennial year of the invention of the theremin – an instrument played without physical contact – and was created over the course of two years at producer Allen Farmelo’s studio in upstate New York.
Eyck has composed theses ten pieces specifically for the LP format (her second outing doing so for Butterscotch Records). Together they form a haunting work in which Eyck surprises us with her vocal prowess, which ranges from forlorn moans of grief, to primordial howls of anger, to runs of nonsensical syllables that reinforce the ineffable nature of her topic: mortality and loss. There are no discernible words to be found on the LP, yet Eyck communicates a veritable encyclopedia of emotions without them. In one instance Eyck makes the album's theme crystal clear – she dedicates the album to her friend Wiebke (1987-2016) and her uncle Mercin (1962-1979).
While Eyck started with loops as sketches for her compositions, Farmelo insisted that everything on the LP be recorded in live takes, even as phrases repeat themselves. The approach gives the LP a subtle earthiness. Farmelo says, “At times, Eyck's voice and theremin become indistinguishable, suggesting the deconstruction of language that is at the center of the LP's ethos while simultaneously creating a kind of sonic camouflage. This camouflaging effect is especially strong when Eyck deploys her exceptional control of micro-intervals to create pronounced beating between voices.”
Farmelo writes of the process of making the album, in his producer’s note:
"No matter how many times you do it, the moment you hit record your mind goes nuts. The best studio musicians know how to mitigate that crazy headspace, but still the mind begins to skid out, headed for the guard rail beyond which there is a steep drop to a bitter crash into self-doubt and insecurity. Drugs mitigate this feeling, and huge egos can compensate for it, and thus the Rock Star is born. But without those two defense mechanisms, what’s left is fear. Carolina, who doesn’t even drink and has a refreshingly slight ego, is way tougher than any Rock Star I’ve worked with. She knows how to swallow, digest, and then use her fear in the studio. When we came out with the truth of this LP’s theme – the passing of loved ones – she swallowed the fear whole and immediately came to life in the studio. And suddenly the compositions began to expand, taking on a life of their own. That’s when you know you’ve got it, when the music starts to tell you what it wants, and you know how to give it those things."