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The Feeling of Walking: Songs of 2020

by lisa butel and brent cross

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I'm Giving Out the Love
Super Skies 03:01
When you sing, for me I remember big skies, thunderstorms and I walk slowly down the gravel road and the wheatfields. I'm slowing down and I'm still here.
Who will listen?
Smoke fills my lungs, makes my eyes water. Smoke from the fires in the USA. Smoke from the fires of the west side. Makes it hard to breathe. Breathe air.
Don't let me "I said" go away
I step lightly to avoid the cuts of glass. Outside in the warm earth when the wind blows. Frozen in the winter earth. She's on my mind too much, right now, every day.
Send Bit 03:33


This album is the sound and the feeling of our personal experiences as the pandemic developed. Composed of disparate parts of ambient sounds from inside our family piano, noise from an analog oscillator and sampled/prepared piano and the comforting sounds of voice. This music was a meditational process that helped us deal with the isolation and anxiety that we all felt and continue to feel. The album cover is an inverted photograph of Brentwood mall skyscrapers as viewed from Hastings Sunrise park at night. We refer to this park as the "Look Out" which has become part of our nightly walking ritual where we can connect with the view of the landscapes and "power up".

REVIEW: ~Dominic Valvona

"This month selection of choice music (as you may have noticed) is particularly heavy on voice/vocal experimentation; none so more then the double offerings from the Vancouver-based collaboration of sound artists, Lisa Butel and Brent Cross.

Another product of stress-relief and vehicle for abstract anxieties, feelings and terms of bereavement felt through the creation of music, during the harrowing and restrictive pandemic this sonic and empirical voiced partnership created a moiety of albums. As release valves for pent-up feelings of loss and isolation, these two album suites are full of blended and manipulated minimal synthesised sounds, piano accompaniments from a family heirloom, and a gauzy flow of uttered, elegiac, aria and tonal vocals.

A Low Lament For Love And Loss takes a one-hour improvised session and breaks it down into seven parts of varied elegy and ethereal sung mystique and diaphanous outpours. To a flutter, ripples and fuzzy synth undulations and drones, Butel’s voice yearns syllables and sounds. Often they sound otherworldly, or as in the case of the slowed, stripped Red Mecca era Cabaret Voltaire, buzzing and crisp Middle Eastern tinged ‘Intro To Lament’, like a mysterious call to prayer from atop of a minaret.

Wafted, drifted, translucent yet deeply felt that voice and accompaniment is entrancing but often tragic; dealing as it does from the loss of Cross’s mother, whose Heintzman piano can be heard throughout, fluctuating between sentimental tinkles, singular patted notes and melodious dreamy passages.

The Feeling Of Walking is in a very similar vein, though the process is a little different, using the voices as a sort of comfort and meditation. Opening beautiful gesture ‘I’m Giving Out The Love’ is like a mix of ambient generated dreaminess and slowcore; ‘Super Skies’ an almost monastic kind of poetry. There’s even a kind of Japanese dulcimer-like feel to the ghostly, delicate ‘The Beautiful Women’.

Two congruous releases of pent-up emotions delivered in the form of an experiment between voice, piano and a palette of purposeful oscillations and manipulations, Cross and Butel’s lockdown albums act as a personal process but above all sound fully immersive and cathartic: A communal, connective experience."

Kevin Press - The Moderns - modernsblog.ca. FRIDAY FIVE: NOV.5, 2021
Five new releases you need to know:

1.Lisa Butel & Brent Cross - Feeling of Walking: Songs of 2020 (Independent)
2. JJJJJerome Ellis - The Clearing (NNA Tapes)
3. Nick Malkin - Nothing Blues (Mondaj)
4. Marina Rosenfeld - Index (Room40)
5. jared Sagar - Vessel (Esc.rec.)


released December 30, 2020

Lisa Butel - voice, text and production
Brent Cross - prepared piano, dual oscillator analog sound machine, voice, text and production


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lisa butel and brent cross Vancouver, British Columbia

Preparation for new release in May.

Somewherecold label (Kentucky)
release our double album;
Coexisdance Transcontinentale.


CoexisDance Western Edition 2; Fake Jazz; Quiet City; Mixed Input; Vines Arts Festival - all shows comprised of improvising and collaborating with multidisciplinary artists.
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