Photo by Joseph Yarmush

“SONG FOR EWE” is the feature where artists & music people beloved by VELVET SHEEP choose an obscure song they’ve been listening to that day. Today’s guest is a Montreal based violinist and composer, who is a permanent member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, founding member of Black Ox Orkestar, part of long lost legend Vic Chesnutt‘s touring band and a collaborator with VS friend Carla Bozulich‘s Evangelista.

She was featured in film maker Jem (“Instrument”) Cohen’s Empires of Tin project and joined members of Fugazi, Godspeed You Black Emperor and Dirty Three on stage to play the live score of Cohen’s film “We Have An Anchor” in the US & Europe. She’s just released her debut solo record, an apposite creation of two full side length-ed multi movement compositions collectively called “Pools of Light” (on Constellation Records) and we are pleased to welcome to these pages, the uniquely talented Jessica Moss!

Photo by Antoine Lutens

On VS we ask for “obscure-ish” records our artistes have enjoyed, and Jessica has well and truly delivered an eclectic nugget…so without further ado…

“I first heard Albanian iso-polyphonic singing on a compilation of traditional Balkan folk music. Since forever my favourite music to listen to has been generally non-Western… When Mt Zion was on tour in the early days (pre-Internet everything), there was a music store in Paris we used to get really excited to go to because you could find amazing rare recordings of music from around the world. 

We picked up this compilation at some point and it made a huge impression on me musically. There was a lot to discover and love on there, but the iso-polyphonic singing still takes my breath away to this day. I don’t know anything else quite like it. I find it to be such a clear and perfect expression of beautiful mourning, the way the soloist’s notes sometimes just fall down while the drone singers hold fast..

If you search live videos you can see that to perform such close harmonies, the groups have to be standing very close to each other  – there is a way they lean their heads in… it’s all so moving to me! I picked this particular song because it’s a good and clear example but I highly recommend you look around a bit, the slight differences between regions are fascinating, and sometimes it’s performed w instrumental accompaniment … crying clarinets and violins.. so beautiful!”


Jessica is on tour in the UK in June:

Thursday 15 June UK, Bristol – Exchange
Friday 16 June UK, London – London Fields Brewhouse
Saturday 17 June UK, Birmingham – Supersonic Festival
Sunday 18 June UK, Brighton – Green Door
Tuesday 20 June Ireland, Galway – Róisín Dubh
Thursday 22 June UK, Belfast – The Limelight
Friday 23 June Ireland, Dublin – DBD at The Mezz
Saturday 24 June UK, Glasgow – Stereo
Sunday 25 June UK, Newcastle – The Cluny
Tuesday 27 June UK, Colchester – Colchester arts centre *
All dates in support of Zu, aside from the last date *when Jessica shall perform with Laniakea

More info below on the Constellation artiste page for Jessica…