Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler’s latest collaboration, the follow-up to their great Slant of Light album, was originally composed for and performed live with screenings of Philippe Garrel’s 1968 silent French film, Le Révélateur. The duo has now put it to record, and it’s a piece of music that — despite being conceived as a soundtrack — works remarkably well on its own. You can feel a reverence for the silent film in the quiet of these movements. There’s a stillness and isolation to the playing here. Each note of Lattimore’s harp plays out into seemingly endless darkness, while Zeigler’s synthesizer and guitar fog up the space around those fragile notes. The duo has a clear confidence and chemistry playing together, and here (as on Slant of Light) Lattimore and Zeigler push these sounds into surprising and nearly shapeless spaces. The depth of textures can sneak up on you, but just as you register the complexity of the moment, just as you get lost in the bittersweet sway of “Laurent and Bernadette” or the troubling, shadowy holes of “Running Chased”, the duo pulls back into some new, spare beauty. Lattimore and Zeigler return, over and over again, to a simple three-note circle, as if to bring us back to a center before flinging us to the edges again. This quiet, unassuming record is one worth sitting with and digging into, because it plays with space and silence in a unique way, using them as if they — like keys and strings — are things to be plucked, to be pressed, to be used to make something aching and resonant.
Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler