Luscinia’s Lullaby is the third full-length CD by internationally acclaimed Canadian singer and composer Laurel MacDonald.
MacDonald has built her recording career on a production style characterized by the use of multiple layers of her voice, with eclectic instrumentation and soundscapes concocted by producer and sound designer Philip Strong. They revel in playing along musical peripheries, and juxtapose disparate elements with ingenuity and beguiling sleight of hand.
MacDonald’s vocals dovetail and spiral in bewitchingly complex layers. By turns she sings with simmering intensity and wistful fragility: here, a spine-tingling invocation; there, a sleepless lullaby. From boyish soprano to husky alto; from yodels to whispers to wails.
A record to defy the tyranny of musical genre-fication, Luscinia’s eludes description as if the act of elusion were itself a game. A torch song rife with playful innuendo is accompanied by slithering slide guitar and liquid violins. A trippy, groove-driven polyphonic chant generates a new wave of mediaeval funkadelia. A gaggle of Venusian doo-wop girls warble and croon their way through a jubilant rhapsody. An aching lament is borne forth on shimmering triangle, vacuum hose spinning through a cloud of delay, and tube drum with undertones verging on the subsonic, conjured to resonate through your body and into your bones.
With Luscinia’s Lullaby Laurel MacDonald and Philip Strong hurl their sonic mirror ball into the stratosphere to create a pulsing, buzzing, soaring vocal fantasia. Perk up your earthling ears.
“flipping fantastic... as close to musical bliss as you can get”
- Ian Fairholm, ProgressiveEars
“an electrifying mélange... harmonious, integrated, multi-dimensional”
- Dianne Wells, WholeNote
“stellar... spine-tingling... wide and wonderfully eclectic”
- Jason MacNeil, AllMusic Guide
“stratospheric audio adventures... producer Philip Strong takes her versatile voice and wide-ranging musical curiosity and hits the frappe button”
- Stephen Cooke, The Chronicle Herald
“this spiritual stepchild of Eno and Laurie Anderson has crafted yet another haunting and haunted disc... Laurel MacDonald’s name on this album is synonymous with a complete aural vision”
- Bob Klanac, Scene
“you won’t find a vast philosophical difference between MacDonald’s Song for This Child and Brian Wilson’s Our Prayer from Smile in terms of harmonic complexity, melodic twists, and spiritual depth... Luscinia’s Lullaby weaves its world music influences and MacDonald’s voice into a kind of waking dream.”
- Bob Tarte, The Beat
Over the course of a fifteen year career Canadian singer and composer Laurel MacDonald has released five CDs: Kiss Closed My Eyes (1995), Stars & Elements (EP, 2000), and Luscinia’s Lullaby (2005), all for Improbable Music; and Chroma (1999) and Wingspan (EP, 1999), both for BMG Classics/RCA. MacDonald’s longtime creative partner Philip Strong produced Kiss Closed My Eyes, Chroma, Stars & Elements and Luscinia’s Lullaby, and on her remix EP Wingspan she collaborated with John Oswald, Bill Laswell, and Transglobal Underground.
MacDonald’s work has appeared in many film and television productions, and has accompanied contemporary dance performances on three continents. In 2003 MacDonald and Strong received a Gemini Award (The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television) for their score for the dance film The Year of the Lion, produced by the Bravo! Television Network and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.