Félicia Atkinson is a composer, sculptor, painter, poet, and publisher from Rennes, France. Atkinson has led a fruitfully fantastic run of eerily blissful, serenely euphoric sounds. Whether under her own name or via her defunct recording pseudonym Je Suis Le Petit Chevalier, Atkinson has released work on Umor Rex, Digitalis Limited, Aguirre, and Shelter Press, an imprint co-run with Bartolomé Sanson.
‘Coyotes’ is an EP inspired by Atkinson’s last voyage to New Mexico in February 2017, when she visited and took in the geographic landscapes from Taos to Ghost Ranch. The same vistas also inspired much of Agnes Martin’s and Georgia O’Keefe’s painting, as well as Jerome Rothenberg’s poetry and translation’s works.
Atkinson describes a ‘Coyotes’ as a “Carnet de Voyage,” a tape you could directly play in your car while traveling somewhere, a kind of imaginary map to a sentimental journey. A spontaneous gesture, close to the notion of gift or offering. Or, simply, a postcard to a friend.” But it’s also a praise to the conservation of national and state parks and its human and non-human souls, menaced as we know now by drilling and violent economic speculations.
Here, coyotes act as a kind of metaphor of ambiguity and doubt, a state of mind that Atkinson finds interesting to transcribe musically; the ambiguity furthered by Atkinson as a literal “foreigner” in New Mexico. She conveys a sense of visiting these native sacred lands and wondering what you are doing there.
Musically, ‘Coyotes’ is composed of two long tracks, “Abiquiu” and “Lighter Than Aluminium.” Each track features an effervescent froth of piano, midi sounds evokes marimbas, Fender Rhodes, bells, sub-basses, and spoken word poetry written by the musician to display a melancholic landscape made of transparent but deep layers of pale colors and blurry lines.
released March 3, 2018
Music: Félicia Atkinson
Mastering: Helmut Erler at D+M
Label: Geographic North
Cat #: GN49
LIke tman1015, I am a little scared of this album. It is a deeply shocking and accurate musical portrayal of senile dementia -inasmuch as I've (sadly) observed members of friends and family become gradually subsumed by it.
Yet it is captivating, there are many moments of beauty along the way. I cannot stop going back for another listen.
I wonder if anyone (apart from the artist) has managed to listen all the way through in one sitting. I am not even close to managing yet. Simon Woolf