(Dome of Doom)
Release date: Apr 14, 2017
The fragility and balancing act of creativity is an immeasurable factor in the life of any artist, serving as a commanding force in the choices they make over their careers. If the connection and meaning in creativity becomes devoid, there's a transformation process that either channels an ascension or departure. An internal and external battle that can chase and haunt individuals in every part of their life if one falls into the latter position.
In the case of Los Angeles based electronic producer Huxley Anne, ascension was achieved during one of these tests of creative endurance and preservation, entering a phase of her life where the process of feeling art on meaningful levels had subsided for a lengthy period and the eventual reprisal of these natural gifts returned. This led to the creation of her debut album and an expansion in creativity that marks an important beginning for her path as an artist. This work is known as Ilium, representing a moment in Huxley Anne's life that's been one of her most testing yet rewarding mountains to climb. Ilium is Huxley Anne's debut album with Los Angeles indie imprint and Alpha Pup Records affiliate, Dome of Doom.
To understand the road to Ilium, there is a specific time and place that initiated its origins. Upon arriving back to the States in February of 2012 after living in France, Huxley Anne found herself unable to feel emotion in the act of observing, interacting and creating art. This remained true for several years while she worked as a tech for one of the world's largest live sound companies. During a visit to the Broad Museum, Huxley Anne encountered an awakening moment while observing Cy Twombly's 1960s painting "Ilium (One Morning Ten Years Later)." The duality of tranquility and intensity in emotional response flooded her senses after contact was made with the painting, bringing back a very critical piece of her life.
"I spent thirty minutes in front of one of his masterpieces, "The Rose," explains Huxley Anne. "Turning around, I came face to face with Twombly's "Ilium (One Morning Ten Years Later)," and in one sublime instant I was overcome with raw emotion, tears bleeding from my eyes with joy and pain and beauty and melancholy and death and desire and the truest feeling I'd been searching for for the past five years. I could feel emotion again and the intensity was overwhelming." It had the affect of activating a voyage of artistry that's become lasting fuel in the strength of her soul and the desire to reach from the furthest depths of her creativity to produce art that can live far outside of her reach.
When diving in even further around the catalyst to Ilium's creation, the biggest influence of the record appears. A few days after Huxley Anne found Cy Twombly's "Ilium (One Morning Ten Years Later)," she read an essay that a friend left in her car, discovering a word that took her to the mental, spiritual and physical realms the painting originally evoked: duende. As Huxley Anne further explains, "Duende loosely means having soul, a heightened state of emotion, expression and authenticity. The duende is the spirit of evocation, it is what comes out from inside you as a physical/emotional response to art. It is what makes you cry or smile or fall to your knees when hearing a concerto or witnessing flamenco in the streets. Federico Garcia Lorca wrote often about this spirit, stating there are key elements involved: irrationality, earthiness, a heightened awareness of death, and a dash of the diabolical. I believe Lorca, the duende is a spirit who helps the artist see the limitations of intelligence, it reminds you a lobster could suddenly fall on your head, bringing the artist face-to-face with death in order to help create and communicate memorable art. The duende is not virtuosity or talent or work. It is a power, a struggle."
Recordings for Huxley Anne's debut album took form shortly after this experience at the Broad Museum and her newly sparked connection with the force of duende, finding refuge in her home studio in the beginning hours of 2017 with a storm of sonic visions to explore. The act of deep solitude served the writing and recording process in equal measure, giving her ample space to explore the vast world of sounds that were finalized for the album. Sonically, Ilium is an orchestrated field of unique beauty, drawing together eight tracks of exotic electronic music that calls upon the darkest and most light driven of emotions. Exploratory textures take on vortexes of shape through cinematic sound designs, fluidly traversing between amorphous undertones, intricate composition mapping and pulsing rhythms. Electronic music that's sprouted through emotive songwriting and shape-shifting contours, conjoined in the most dynamic of forms and progressions.
From the submersion of euphoria to the illumination of power, Ilium draws upon as many influences in the realm of mystical antiquity as it does the landscape of experimental music leading us into the future. A sonic portrait of her ascension through creative turmoil, the struggle of sustained determination and a rebirth into timeless artistry. Huxley Anne has created a boldness in sound that was made with the most vulnerable and giving of sides and simply put, Ilium is the continuation of meaningful life.
- 1. Slant
- 2. Aphro Dye
- 3. Nin
- 4. Ashes
- 5. Celadon
- 6. Igredo
- 7. Aesop Fable
- 8. Dragoon