claire rousay “Live”

There are moments where the shortest distance between two points isn’t so much a straight line as it is a deep breath. Gaze long enough into the distance and all the imperfections in the distance will blur into an opulent, fleeting view of the future. claire rousay continues her vertical trajectory and showing another side of her ever-growing repertoire. With longtime friends Mari Maurice and Henna Chou, this piece burns out before it can fade away.

Knowing and trusting your collaborators is half the game and with skilled musicians like Maurice and Chou, rousay is smart enough to give them space while still staying true to the feeling of her latest album, a softer focus, elicits. The trio follow the same basic path, leaving ashes behind as they shuffle toward the sinking horizon, lamenting the shared moments lost to bad decisions, missed connections, and mundane responsibilities. Objects pulled across rough surfaces and rattled in the air create organic sonic detritus throughout, a million tiny movements pushing the narrative forward, tiny ants holding 1000 times their body weight. These sonic nuggets may seem inconsequential, but they’re a strange, disparate glue.

Maurice and Chou continue creating hypnotic magic with their strings, violin, and cello singing in unison as worlds collide to create new worlds, the old ones left behind as barely-remembered remnants passe down through fairy tales. By the time rousay creates a tangled web of guitar squelch, building tension with each grinding passage, the walls are built. We reckon with the quiet realization that we’re stuck alone on the outside. As a voice whispers against the force of loneliness, a stillness sets in and the trio finds closure in the sustained solitude. It’s going to be okay as long as we take a moment to breathe before taking the next step toward something new.


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