Susan Rothenberg, Tattoo (1979)

Jessica Moss has simply launched Galaxy Heart, a shocking assortment of ten songs that kind a companion to final 12 months’s Phosphenes. The Montréal-based composer, violinist, and vocalist recorded the fabric for each information (and extra) through the peak of early pandemic lockdown, permitting her songcraft to take new types, in addition to welcoming collaborators into her solo music for the primary time. Moss, after all, is a prolific collaborator, and we’ve been a fan of her work for over twenty years, significantly her 15-year tenure with Silver Mt. Zion. In this episode, Moss dives into the making of her two latest solo albums, the highs and lows of pandemic touring, the return of Black Ox Orkestar,  and her collaborations with Vic Chesnutt and Jem Cohen.

Episode 27: ATTUNEMENT

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Interview recorded in Montreal, Yom Kippur 2022
Produced and blended in Montreal, November 2022

SP* at Anchor


Moss started performing solo in 2014, as she explains in our dialog, partly after being impressed by some music made by Kevin Doria (Total Life, Growing, Hiss Tracts) who had steadily accompanied Mt. Zion on tour. Doria’s drones unlocked a door to composition for Moss, first documented by the cassette Under Plastic Island (2015). Recorded by Guy Picciotto, these two compositions are clearly structured when it comes to sides, a format Moss repeated for her first two LPs for longtime label Constellation,  Pools Of Light (2017) and Entanglement (2018). At the time, I remarked how uncommon it’s for a “debut” album to return from an artist with twenty years of labor behind her, and Moss’s again catalogue each does and doesn’t put together us for her work as a solo artist. Moss’s lengthy historical past with Silver Mt. Zion (and Black Ox Orkestar, and Carla Bozulich’s Evangelista, and quite a few credit with Vic ChesnuttBroken Social SceneArcade FireSarah DavachiZu and lots of others) familiarized us together with her model of amplified and signal-processed violin and vocals.

Pools of Light exceeded our expectations within the grandness and depth of its scope, with the combination of pleasure and melancholy that appears to be Montreal’s most valuable pure useful resource. That document consists of two four-part suites. Entanglement adopted swimsuit, with the sidelong “Particles” balanced by the four-part “Fractals (Truth 1-4).” “Contemplation I-III,” the a-side of Phosphenes (2021), seems to proceed this pattern of sidelong compositions or suites, however the b-side demonstrates new approaches to composition, with three distinct songs, “Let Down,” “Distortion Harbour,” and “Memorizing & Forgetting.” These three are additionally notable as the primary time Moss has included further musicians in her solo work; Thierry Amar lends his upright bass to the 2 former tracks, whereas Julius Lewy sings on the latter. Galaxy Heart (2022) is comprised of 10 discrete songs, that includes Amar’s bass in addition to some drumming from Jim White (Dirty Three). It’s additionally the primary time that she’s performed electrical guitar on her compositions. But the violin continues to be entrance and middle.








I can’t be certain precisely once I first heard Moss’s violin. Probably on Godspeed’s debut, F# A# ∞, on which she carried out as a visitor musician, credited as simply Jesse. She additionally performed on many different information round that very same time that had been essential to me in my late teen years, together with by Ok.C. Accidental and Broken Social Scene. But it was her work with Silver Mt. Zion that made the most important impression. I noticed the band play for the primary time in 2005 at Southpaw in Brooklyn, on what was (I believe) their first US tour. On that very same go to to NY the group, then a seven-member ensemble, carried out reside on David Garland’s Sunday night public radio program, Spinning on Air. That present was a favourite of mine, and I fortunately downloaded that mono MP3 on the time and have returned to it recurrently within the a few years since.

While I’d be onerous pressed to decide on a favourite Mt. Zion document, I definitely have a delicate spot for Horses within the Sky (2005). Scott Levine Gilmore was the drummer at the moment, additionally offering some pretty mandolin contributions, as will be heard on the WNYC classes. Along with Moss and Amar, Levine was a member of Black Ox Orkestar, a quartet based with Gabriel Levine to discover Jewish music, singing predominantly in Yiddish. As Mt. Zion included ¾ of Black Ox on the time of Horses within the Sky, maybe a few of the avant-klezmer model had crept in, as an illustration, on a track like “God Bless Our Dead Marines.” When requested throughout our dialog, Moss explains that Black Ox holds a particular place in her again catalogue; that group supplied an impetus for exploring her Jewish heritage, and their music counts among the many few information she’s made to which she nonetheless listens.

We had initially organized to talk upon the discharge of Phosphenes, however resulting from her obligations as a mom and touring musician we needed to reschedule a couple of occasions. Luckily, within the interval, it was introduced that Black Ox had returned from hibernation with a brand new document, Everything Returns (2022). Black Ox had been quiet for the reason that launch of Nisht Azoy (2006), as Scott and Gabe pursued educational pursuits, however the pandemic offered a possibility for a reunion, spurred by an inquiry made by a journalist from Jewish Currents journal. A brand new single accompanied that article, with the full-length LP Everything Returns slated for launch subsequent month.

That’s numerous new music to take pleasure in from Jessica Moss. She’s grow to be extra assured as a solo performer, and has slowly come to humbly embrace the well-deserved consideration. Just this 12 months, she’s been featured in a canopy article for Musicworks journal, appeared in her personal video for the primary time, and embraced a regular touring schedule. Back in 2013, Moss and her Mt. Zion bandmates had been featured in Helene Klodawsky’s glorious movie, Come Worry With Us!, a documentary exploring parenting a younger little one whereas on the highway. But after all we’re nonetheless within the midst of a pandemic, and touring, as so many artists proceed to remind us, has grow to be tougher than ever. And whereas the challenges, monetary and in any other case, which have all the time made touring tough have grown extra intense, so too has the cathartic collective ritual of gathering for reside music. Come fear together with her.


Jessica Moss
Constellation Records
Black Ox


Jessica Moss – “Enduring Oceans” (Galaxy Heart, Constellation, 2022)


Jessica Moss – “Memorizing And Forgetting” (Phosphenes, CST, 2021)

Jessica Moss – “UNDER” (Under Plastic Island, self-released, 2015)

Jessica Moss – “Uncanny Body [Violin Study #1]” (Galaxy Heart, CST, 2022)

Jessica Moss – “Uncanny Being [Violin Study #2] feat. Thierry Amar and Jim White” (Galaxy Heart, CST, 2022)

Sibelius / (Gil Shaham / Philharmonia Orchestra / Giuseppe Sinopoli)  – “Violin Concerto in D minor, Op47 – 1st motion: Allegro moderato” (Violon Concerto – Violinkonzerte, Deutsche Grammophon, 1993)

Bulgarian Television and Radio Mixed Choir – Mihail Milkov – “Svyatii Bozhe” (Orthodox Chants, Балкантон, 1998)

Black Ox Orkestar – “Golem” (Nisht Azoy = נישט אזױ, CST, 2006)

Black Ox Orkestar – “Mizrakh-mi-maarav” (Everything Returns, CST, 2022)

Ok.C. Accidental –  “Instrumental Died In The Bathtub And Took The Daydreams With It” (Anthems For The Could’ve Bin Pills, Noise Factory, 2000)

Broken Social Scene – “Time=Cause (Bee Hives, Arts & Crafts, 2004)

BSS – “I Slept With Bonhomme At The CBC” (Feel Good Lost, Noise Factory, 2001)

BSS – “Mossbraker” (Feel Good Lost, Noise Factory, 2001)

BSS – “Pitter Patter Goes My Heart” (You Forgot It In People, Arts & Crafts, 2002)

ZU – “The Dawning Moon of the Mind” (Jhator, House of Mythology, 2017)

Jessica Moss –  “Fractals (Truth 1)” (Entanglement, CST, 2018)

Excerpts of David Garland interviewing Silver Mt. Zion (Spinning on Air, WNYC, 2005)

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band – “there’s a river within the valley fabricated from melting snow” (Live on Spinning on Air, WNYC, 2005)

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band –  “Hang On To Each Other” (Horses In The Sky, CST, 2005)

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra feat. Ariel Engle – “Any Fucking Thing You Love”  (Hang On To Each Other, CST, 2014)

Jessica Moss – “Entire Populations (Pt III)” (Pools of Light, CST, 2017)

Vic Chesnutt – “Splendid” (North Star Deserter, CST, 2007)

Vic Chesnutt – “You Are Never Alone” (North Star Deserter, CST, 2007)

Vic Chesnutt – “Glossolalia” (North Star Deserter, CST, 2007)

Fugazi – “The Argument” (The Argument, Discord, 2001)

Sarah Davachi –  “Matins” (Gave In Rest, Ba Da Bing!, 2018)

Matana Roberts – “Jewels Of The Sky: Inscription” (Coin Coin Chapter Four: Memphis, CST, 2019) 

Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra & Tra-la-la Band – “Horses within the Sky” (Live on Spinning on Air, WNYC, 2005)

Jessica Moss – “Opened Ending” (Corona Borealis Longplay Singles Series 2020-2021, CST, 2020)

Jessica Moss – “Opened Ending” (Galaxy Heart, CST, 2022)

Carla Bozulich – “Evangelista I” (Evangelista, CST, 2006)

Oiseaux-Tempête – “Weird Dancing In All-Night I” (From Somewhere Invisible, Sub Rosa, 2019)

Anonymous – “Valle Popullore” (Cry You Mountains Cry You FieldsAlbanian Folk Music, Saydisc Records, 1999)

PJ Harvey – “Hanging In The Wire” (Let England Shake, Vagrant, 2011)

Eve Parker Finley – “Alone / Together” (Chrysalia, 2020)

Carla Bozulich – “Prince of the World” (Evangelista, CST, 2006)

Set Fire To Flames – “Barn Levitate” (Barn Levitate, self-released, 2020)

Jessica Moss – “Enduring Oceans” (Galaxy Heart, CST, 2022)

Jessica Moss – Distortion Harbour (Phosphenes, CST, 2021)

Sound Propositions is written, recorded, blended, and produced by Joseph Sannicandro.


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