While Jessica Moss has spent decades contributing to a variety of projects on Constellation Records, Pools of Light is her first solo record. It's an ambitious work, using simple elements Moss has created a sprawling composition that, while instrumental, manages to capture a sense of the precarious danger of our time. Listening to it is a despairing but also cathartic experience.
The raw materials of Pools of Light are Moss's voice and violin, augmented by a subtle use of synthesizers. But Moss uses delays and loops, multi-tracking, and other effects to greatly expand the sonic potential of these basic elements, resulting in a sound world that is laser sharp in its focus, but still expansive and dynamic.
On Side A, "Entire Populations" moves from a klezmer-inspired solo violin overture to quickly cascading vocal and synth movements before ending with a plaintive violin denouement. The B-side, "Glaciers," has a more subdued pace, relying on low end synth drones and processed vocals to create an atmosphere of trepidation and uncertainty.
After receiving her musical gifts in the context of collaborative projects for so long, listeners should jump on this opportunity to hear her solo work. ()