delugEON is Maya Beiser’s 12th solo album and the debut album on her newly launched label, Islandia Music Records.
Recorded during a period of 7 days in Hudson Hall, New York, delugEON breaks away from the sterile studio environment, utilizing numerous sets of microphones situated in various positions throughout the space. This concept allowed for various facets of the natural acoustics to suffuse the sound of Maya’s cello with a reverberant, ethereal voice. The entire album was recorded without the use of any artificial or digital sound manipulation.
About the concept of delugEON Maya writes:
“I have always thought of making music as an act of mining. Somewhere deep, there is a vein of music. It is the observer that makes it cohere into a certain shape. The music is discovered as it is being created. It becomes a direction.
Like many, I have been preoccupied in recent years with the impending ecological disaster unfolding in front of our eyes. I have been thinking of seasons, and water, and the accelerated extinction of helpless species. Bound to a decaying world, it is easy to become despondent and helpless. But thankfully, the music is not subjugated to the folly of man; it belongs to the universe".
The concept for delugEON began with arctic icebergs and the dark rhythms created by the sound of their near-continuous melting. As she listened to these sounds, Maya imagined the layers of her singing cello, being permeated by the sounds of a vanishing natural world. In "slow seasons" she juxtaposed multi-cello layers of each of the slow movements from Vivaldi’s "four seasons" with sounds of melting icebergs (winter), desert dunes (summer), oceanic winds (autumn) and the winds on Mars – as recorded by NASA (spring).
delugEON is music that is elegiac but not hopeless. The heart of the album is in fact the heart itself: Maya’s actual heartbeat, recorded as a pulsating drumbeat to the music of Beethoven. Maya explains: "I used a retrofitted stethoscope to record my heartbeat as I was playing the piece. when we layered my heartbeat track on top of the music, it seemed like it had always been there, hidden within Beethoven’s eternal arpeggios."
As we hear the sounds of Maya’s breathing emerging within the layers of her soaring multi-cello recreation of Olivier Messiaen’s "water", we are reminded that in ancient Greek the word psyche means “the breath of life,” and is synonymous with the soul. And we understand that this music is not a requiem for the human race in one of its darkest periods, but proof of an inextinguishable human spirit. And, if our path sometimes seems dark, don’t despair; this is music to help light the way.