GB 113LP GB 113LP

LP version. Catherine Graindorge is a Belgian violinist, violist and composer. Produced by John Parish (PJ Harvey, Rokia Traoré), Eldorado is her second solo album and her first for Glitterbeat's tak:til imprint.

Gorgeous and haunting, Graindorge uses strings, harmonium and electronic treatments to explore intimate corners and widescreen vistas. Over the centuries Eldorado has become a word weighted down by so many meanings, layer upon layer of possibility and expectation. But it can also be a place to find hope and solace and discover dreams. That's the music of this Eldorado, the second solo album from Belgian violinist and composer Catherine Graindorge. Although she's best-known for her collaborations -- with a range of artists from Nick Cave to Mark Lanegan, as well as her work as part of Nile on waX, and for the music she's written for film and theater -- Graindorge had been intending a second solo release for years. But Eldorado had a much longer gestation period than she expected. The music, she says, became "like a diary", and each page brings new reflections and resonances. She worked with producer John Parish who played various instruments on the album, including the guitar on the homage "Eno". Graindorge had sent him her first album, and they built a friendship that led to her recording most of this disc at his studio. Like a series of secret paths, the music of Eldorado takes curious twists and turns, ranging from stillness to frustration. Things aren't quite as they seem; even the violin is disguised, shapeshifted by electronics, so the only certainty and continuity are the emotions Graindorge expresses. It's intensely personal, a record brimming with tales and reminiscences, like "Rosalie", a track she composed after reading of the death of a Rwandan woman in Belgium. Rosalie had come to Belgium with her husband to escape the genocide in her homeland in 1995, and Graindorge's lawyer father had befriended her. "Rosalie" is caught among the tangled, breathing shadows of the harmonium and the creak of strings, before slowly breaking free towards the light. At other times, Graindorge's compositions carry a wispy ghostliness, as on "Ghost Train", where softly spoken words peer through the swirling fog of sound. There can also be a very physical weight to what she's doing. It's apparent from the very first notes of "Lockdown", as the solid drone of the harmonium creates a foundation for her violin. During the first lockdown, she was trapped in Belgium. It's a slow build, the music exploring the texture of notes, like layers of memory gradually rising to the surface.