NEW ALBUM THE OPENING, OR CLOSING OF A DOOR OUT MARCH 4TH VIA ANTI- RECORDS
Photo Credit: Jon Weary
Kristine Leschper (fka Mothers) shares a video for “Picture Window,” the latest from her upcoming album, The Opening, Or Closing Of A Door, out March 4th via ANTI- Records. The self-directed video is inspired by the song’s lyric: “It’s like a picture, I think, one where we’re untouched by the future.”
“I was thinking about how effortless it felt to commune with the mysterious as a child, especially in the ‘natural world’ as we call it, as if it is something alien to us,” says Leschper. “I was thinking about my sister, our shared experiences of childhood, and I wanted to create a sonic environment that felt like that. It was obvious to me that the video should embody the same character of discovery, that it should slow me down, get me out into the world to look for something unfolding, and I settled in on the quiet drama of a stream. I shot time lapse photographs and compiled them into video sequences, a meditation on time or timelessness. The resulting video is uncomplicated, things are constantly changing and yet nothing happens; I spin indefinitely in a circle, a stream bubbles on into eternity.”
The Opening, Or Closing Of A Door is a paean to the sensory world. It’s the first music Leschper has released under her given name, having retired the moniker Mothers after eight years of performing and releasing music under it. Though both projects are guided by Leschper’s idiosyncratic approach to songwriting, they couldn’t sound more different. While Mothers drew inspiration from the stark, skeletal sounds of post-punk and contemporary folk, Leschper’s new work is practically baroque, integrating an array of synthesisers, strings, woodwinds, and over a dozen percussive instruments.
Out of chaos, the universe emerged, and from chaos a person can emerge, too. Kristine Leschper isn’t being hyperbolic when she describes a sensation of “being born” when a culmination of events, both personal and global, catalysed in her “an understanding of how to relinquish control in a big way, and from that, a new sense of connectedness, transition, and impermanence.” She explains her desire to cultivate work in the spirit of the New World Poets, where in the words of June Jordan there exists “a reverence for the material world that begins with a reverence for human life, an intellectual trust in sensuality as a means of knowledge and of unity.”
“Earlier work didn’t involve recording as part of the writing process, recordings were simply made as a document of something that had been written and rehearsed. I have since discovered a deep affection for home recording and sound exploration, finding that I thrive in those rabbit holes of texture, timbre, rhythm, which can add so much complexity to the emotionality of a composition.”
The at-home recording process gave Leschper freedom to set her personal ethos to music divorced from the pressure of an audience. As she worked on The Opening, Or Closing Of A Door, the constellation of ideas that had guided her personal transformation began to cohere into something communicable through music. “My pleasure lives in the poetics of democracy — in the liberatory words of June Jordan, in the humanitarian performances of Bread and Puppet Theatre. Puppetry, like poetry, is a distillation of complex ideas into absolute essentials. With these songs, I wanted to explore themes of longing, encouragement, connectedness, these things that are both straightforward and complex, ubiquitous and vital. It is the foundation of our personal lives that extends broadly into our political lives. I wondered, what might a love song to my friends look like? What might a love song to myself look like?”
“Lately my work centres on exploring joy in its wildness and complexity, the complicated ways that this joy intersects with an imperfect world,” Leschper says. “Circularity has become a major part of my belief system, the lens through which I watch the world — observing cycles helps me make sense of my universe, both internally and externally. Popular culture loves to tell us stories about the importance of ‘growth’, personal growth, economic growth, what have you. It’s very linear. In work, as in life, I am making a conscious effort to centre myself around something antithetical to that, because linear growth just doesn’t exist in nature. If you zoom out far enough, everything is cyclical, everything is in a stage of transition! It becomes impossible to ignore the vast network of systems we inhabit, that we are in relationship with each other at all times.