Botanique - Brussels (be) + Elysian Fields
Belgian Songsmith Fred Lyenn Jacques – who performs as LYENN – purveys spare refined art pop tunes with a powerful aura of mystery and menace” (Time out New York, September 2009) Lyenn is a singer-songwriter, contrabassist, and improviser who taught himself a lot of what he knows. Lyenn’s music, like his identity, has many different roots: he was born in Belgium to a British mother, and with close relatives around the world, he has been exposed to a rich variety of sounds and customs from a young age; these influences are clearly heard in his music. Lyenn pulls his listeners into an intimate sphere of tangled emotions and moods where melancholy and desolation delicately shade the subtle traces of bliss within it. Lyenn plays live in different set-ups: solo, as a duo or trio, or in larger groups (with bass clarinet, drums, guitar, bass, electronics, and more) depending on where he is playing and whom he is playing with. No two sets are ever the same. They are not calculated, manufactured songs, but convey raw emotion and passion, which is expressed differently in each concert, depending on his mood and surroundings. The music is pure and instinctive. Lyenn’s repertoire of sounds and instruments is also quite extensive: his musical aids include a baritone guitar, Irish bouzouki, double bass, an organ bass pedal, not to mention an impressive vocal range. Lyenn’s debut album The Jollity of my Boon Companion was recorded in New York by and with Marc Ribot (Tom Waits, John Zorn, Elvis Costello, …) and features some of New York’s greatest musicians, such as: – Shahzad Ismaily (Bonnie “Prince” Billie, Sean Lennon/Yoko Ono…) – Doug Wieselman(Antony and the Johnsons) – Ches Smith (Secret Chiefs3, Ceramic Dog) – Indigo Street – Sam Amidon (Valgeir Sigurdsson,) – Joel Hamilton – Jolie Holland The record was mixed by Joel Hamilton (Lou Reed, Tom Waits, Sparklehorse and many others) and mastered by Chad Clark, and is the result of an intense and fruitful collaboration.