There are some compositions that were created to inspire, and Mally Harpaz’s self-released album, Zoom In, Zoom Out, is fuelled by them. On 5th April, Mally Harpaz released an album that has been almost two years in the making. For anyone that has been lucky enough to attend one of the primarily North London-based Blind Dog Studio gigs, you’ll at least have a sense of the material contained within.
Trite though it is for me to say (again) but wholly true, Mally Harpaz is a musician. She is an artist, a composer, a percussionist, and a beautiful soul. Mally is a musician’s musician and the musical landscape that she’s created on Zoom In, Zoom Out is every bit as artful as the stunningly poignant video art by Clara Aparicio Yoldi projected behind each live show.
While the live show visuals aid the music in reaching epic heights, one listen to the record and you’ll see your own. Recorded between Harpaz’s own Blind Dog Studio – a studio on her property named after her dog – and Hackney Road Studios with sound engineer, Shuta Shinoda, listening to Zoom In, Zoom Out is every bit the spiritual experience it should be.
All too many times people have uttered the phrase that they need words to music, but all I can think is that they don’t quite appreciate the atmosphere of a score. Zoom In, Zoom Out is a score; tracks like ‘Voices’ and ‘Not Without Pain’ say everything that has to be said: to anyone, wherever they are when listening. For me, a dark room through studio headphones with an aching soul.
Any vocal accompaniments are from Blind Dog Studio regulars Hazel Iris, James Marples, Eran Karniel, and Anna Calvi. And of course, the heartbreakingly sound ‘Not Without Pain’ mixing somber spoken word from Harpaz with Calvi’s haunting vocals washing in like a tidal wave alongside the great swell of instrumentation composed from the stunning depths of Harpaz’s mind.
Words don’t do justice to a record built on feeling, but then again, without the pursuit, music would be far duller a landscape. Thanks to artists like Mally Harpaz, however, that’s never gonna happen.
Zoom In, Zoom Out is available now via Bandcamp.
Photo Credit: Stéphane Guilley