X--a mark inscribed to represent a signature, the determining chromosome for the female gender, an unknown or mystery element, a nickname for Christine Baczewska
The X Factor is Christine Baczewska's 2nd CD release on the indie label, paRiah record project. In The X Factor, composer and solo performer Baczewska uses her signature mixture of voice-as-instrument and voice-as-tale-teller to beckon the listener on a journey through her most recent collection of vocalscapes. Her first compilation disc since Tribe of One (1993), The X Factor visits similar territory, but in a stripped-down, deeper, more essential way. Creating textural, overlapping, occasionally a-melodic choruses with her voice, building vocal line upon vocal line, Baczewska explores her ever-shifting but steadfast relationship to the musical terrain.
The haunting "And How Do You Feel About the Moon This Time?" addresses the nuances of shaping vocal and narrative space in a completely different way than does the deceptively jaunty, but double-edged "Vocabulary." The extemporaneous "Yaki Imo" (commissioned for a video soundtrack) and the gripping "See How She Sorrows" (commissioned as a concert piece for radio) both deal with melody in much the same way, but to diametrically different effects. The eccentric percussion in "O Rose * on Finding Harryette Mullen" underscores the tension of its story while the more traditional drumming in "Aries Lovers in April" moves Baczewska as close as she'll ever get to a pop sensibility. The pure joy of singing is palpable throughout The X Factor, from the naked voice of "Epithalamion" to the ebullient multilayers of "L.ov.ely."
And underlying everything is the fundamental force of Christine Baczewska's music--harmony. She weaves her voices into a lush musical fabric, one voice interacting with many, raveling/unraveling a mesmerizing web. For Baczewska, the resonance of human singing not only delivers the message, but is the message as well.
All pieces were written, arranged and performed by Christine Baczewska (except for the surprise "cover," composed by a contemporary song-writing giant, and intrepidly arranged and performed by Baczewska). Drummer extraordinaire Ubaka Hill played drums/percussion on "Aries Lovers in April." The X Factor was recorded at New York City's Harvestworks/Studio PASS and engineered by the incomparable Leslie Lavelanet.
Plus, it comes in a new, eco-friendly package with graphics by Baczewska.
Give a listen to Christine Baczewska's The X Factor. It's Xuberant, it's Xotic, it's Xceptional.
Check out the artist's website:
2. And How Do You Feel About the Moon This Time
3. O Rose--on Finding Harryette Mullen
6. Aries Lovers in April
8. See How She Sorrows
9. Yaki Imo