In most cases intimate musical connections take years to foster, with much time spent learning the others’ unique melodic and harmonic languages before true symbiosis can occur. For harpist Mary Lattimore and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler that type of deep understanding and effortless communication was almost instantaneous. On their first record as a duo, Slant of Light, Lattimore and Zeigler emerge completely synergetic, offering up stunning improvisations that are as advanced melodically as they are texturally. The four pieces on Slant of Light are seductive and picturesque, with Lattimore’s elaborate melodies blossoming out of Zeigler’s tonal beds of synthesizer and guitar. Equally inviting and challenging, Slant of Light is an impressionistic work that draws on musical histories ancient and contemporary, existing outside current trends in music as a whole. There is nothing that sounds remotely like it.
The strong and fast kinship between Lattimore and Zeigler is best understood in the context of their highly collaborative pasts. Lattimore has recorded and performed with Kurt Vile, Meg Baird, Jarvis Cocker, Wrekmeister Harmonies and Steve Gunn, to name a few, and her years touring with Thurston Moore inform some of Slant of Light’s noisier moments. Zeigler has played with members of Chris Forsyth’s Solar Motel Band, The War on Drugs, and A Sunny Day in Glasgow in his group Arc in Round. The contemplative, dynamic improvisations on Slant of Light reflect the collaborative ingenuity of musicians experienced in adapting their playing and sound to fit multiple contexts.
Slant of Light was recorded by Jeff Zeigler in Philadelphia during a city-stopping snowstorm during the winter of early 2014. Zeigler is one of the most in-demand recording engineers in Philadelphia, and has recorded albums by Kurt Vile, The War on Drugs, Nothing, Purling Hiss, and many others. The cover painting is by Philadelphia based artist Becky Suss.
Mary Lattimore was recently awarded a Pew grant for her ingenuity on the harp and as an exceptional member of the Philadelphia arts community. In December 2013 Lattimore and Zeigler performed a live score for Philippe Garrel’s 1968 film Le Révélateur in Marfa, TX in coordination with the influential arts group Ballroom Marfa, an endevour endorsed by the legendary director. The Ballroom performance was so successful that following a summer tour with Matteah Baim, Lattimore and Zeigler will tour with the film. The duo plans performances throughout the year following the release of the album, including some festivals.