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Carmen Villain + Robert Ames
Institute of Contemporary Arts
A person with short hair plays a clarinet into a mic, in front of synths and a laptop. They are surrounded by dark blue fog
Photo: Joanna Lamprecht

The diverse sonic worlds that Carmen Villain has built over her career invite the listener to explore depths, caverns, and intimacy within a discography shaped by her natural curiosity of sound, and of seeing the potential for music in everything. Her most recent album Only Love From Now On was released earlier this year to critical acclaim, with Resident Advisor calling it “a masterpiece of jazz-informed ambient and downtempo.”

In her creative process, Carmen admits she doesn’t know exactly what the final result will be, preferring to operate by intuition, and seeing the process as a “conversation” with sound. A texture or melody buried in a field recording can be the spark that becomes a sketch. Those recordings are burned with snatches of instruments such as the flute, voice and clarinet, then disappear into evocative granular soundscapes – places where words cannot express what each instrument does when stripped down past its elements.

Far from the sparse and introspective ECM-style jazz of popular memory commonly associated with Norway, the isolations and warm sensations Carmen channels can also be found in Jon Hassell’s sublime worldbuilding exercises, Brian Leeds’ immersive tableaux as Huerco S and Pendant, and the “freak energy” of Arizonan psychonauts Sun City Girls. Only Love From Now On is more explicit in calling out to those influences and inviting them into her universe. With any horizon blurred and distant, Carmen Villain will continue to follow those shapes, sparks, and ideals, to build many more worlds for us to explore.

Special guest: Robert Ames (solo)

Part of the ICA 75th Anniversary Season

Set Times:

8:00pm  Doors
8:30pm  Robert Ames (solo)
9:30pm  Carmen Villain
08:00 pm
Thu, 10 Nov 2022

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