Music Reviews
India Gailey

India Gailey

Problematica

People Places Records

India Gailey is a Canadian composer, cellist, and vocalist operating in the experimental / New Music realm (also sometimes referred to as “contemporary classical”). Her latest release, Problematica, could easily be heard as the work of a single improvisor working with drones and minimalist phrasing in the mode of Phill Niblock. That’s all the skill of Gailey’s curation and interpretation. For this project, India commissioned seven Canadian composers to create works for her. All of the selections are dreamy soundscapes.

The record opens with a composition by Sarah Rossy called “I Long.” The piece draws you in with long tone drones and melodic gestures leading to India’s haunting vocals. I visualize the cellist playing to endless blue skies while floating on an ice floe somewhere. Nicole Lizée’s piece, “Grotesquerie,” combines long tones, taps, and vocalizations that remind me of the calmer works of Tanya Tagaq. Andrew Noseworthy’s audaciously titled “Goml_V7Finalmix_LessVox_MoreVerb_Dec13MASTERED_48k2_FINAL” is another haunting exploration of drones and gesture. The composer and Gailey worked up the piece through a series of performances across Canada. The piece gives me the impression of traveling across the vast prairies of the Canadian West.

The closing track composed by Tanya Iyer feels like a deconstructed pop song. Gailey sings like a young Björk over plucked strings and high-register melodic lines. Problematica is an imaginary journey to lands only you can conjure. “Where I can be as big as the Sun” brings the album home to a safe landing.

India Gailey


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