Cathedral City was the (2010) debut album of Missy Mazzoli’s ensemble Victoire. All the tracks are music composed by Mazzoli and give a pretty good feel for her non-operatic output. It’s been described as a “distinctive blend of post-rock dreamscapes and quirky minimalism” and that seems as good a description as any. Virtuosic instrumental playing is mixed with live vocals, electronics and distorted recorded speech fragments. Often the material is looped and the basic acoustic changed to create a different sound scape. The music is by turns, drivingly energetic, brutal and gently lyrical. It’s like the work of no other composer I know and I find it really compelling.
NPR asked “Is Victoire’s music post-rock, post-minimalist or pseudo-post-pre-modernist indie-chamber-electronica?” and responded ” It doesn’t particularly matter. It’s just good music.” And that’s pretty much how I feel although I have no idea what “pseudo-post-pre-modernist indie-chamber-electronica” actually is. So there you go.
It’s available direct from New Amsterdam Records or from your favourite on-line retailer or streaming service.