Exaudia is the latest collaboration between Lisa Gerard and Marcelle De Francisci that they worked on together during lockdown with a core of musical collaborators that included Bahar Shah, Astrid Williamson, Daniela Arbizzi and Farhad Behrooz to create an album that to me sounds like an elegy for all we have lost due to the Pandemic, even without understanding the lyrics the feelings and emotion conveyed thorough both the music and vocal performances are abundantly clear for a piece of music that feels like it ought to be performed live as an opera.
The album begins with the first two singles, opening with the second single as it fades in with When The Light Of Morning Comes with gentle strings slowly building with wispy violins and swelling cellos with almost ghostly apparitions of angelic vocals slowly becoming clearer before the deeply sonorous brass adds tone and depth to this elegiac sound.
The First single Until We meet Again fades in slowly swelling as the strings swell and Lisa Gerrard's vocals come in sounding like she's singing a eulogy for close friends and lovers lost in the pandemic, as the funereal march percussion adds to the sense of loss and sadness at the core of this beguiling song, even if it is meant to be about long distance love, the hope that the lovers will once more be re-united, the songs roots in the pandemic imbue the song with an elegiac air. This song grows with every listen and works perfectly within this album.
Fallen is slow memoriam for those we've lost to the pandemic, those we miss and wish to memorialize, with slowly plucked strings extremely sparse drumming and Lisa's magical vocals evoking the loss, as this caresses the soul, thus perfect for some deep reflective thoughts, as the percussion builds and the choir backs up Lisa's main vocal.
The title track Exaudia has an almost Arabic catholic feel to it, like Natacha Atlas' debut solo album crossed with Diamanda Galas incantating in Latin, this builds swells with the timpani quite central to how the strings and brass build arabesque curves.
Stories Of Love, Triumph And Misfortune fells like it's in two movements from the slow cautious opening it opens out into music floating through the mountains of Spain, whistling through the air as your wrapped in the warm emotions, the memories of the love you had before it all went awry.
Stay With Me has sepulchral strings and feels like you're sitting at a loved one deathbed hoping against all hope that they will pull though, once more be able to have a meaningful life again, but you know deep down that's not about to happen.
The Album closes with Exaudia reprise that turns the song into this brilliant swelling maelstrom with echoes of The Faction's percussive attack with Nico but in a deeply orchestral setting with Lisa's operatic vocals floating and weaving through it all like a spirit escaping on this majestic aria into the ether.
Find out more at https://orcd.co/exaudia https://www.lisagerrard.com/