Laurel MacDonald | Kiss Closed My Eyes

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Electronic: Ambient Classical: Contemporary Moods: Type: Vocal
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Kiss Closed My Eyes

by Laurel MacDonald

"Best unknown record of 1996? Canadian singer Laurel MacDonald's Kiss Closed My Eyes - hands down. The dark atmosphere of choke-throated Bulgarian style singing and eerie sampling scenarios will leave you, as I, speechless, stunned and mystified."
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Kyrie
5:48 album only
2. Oran Na h-Eala
4:25 album only
3. Mo Chubhrachan
4:15 album only
4. Yet So Beautiful
5:25 album only
5. Kiss Closed My Eyes
13:55 album only
6. Aslumber
5:22 album only
7. An Ribhinn Alainn
7:22 album only


Album Notes
From the moment it was released in 1995, Kiss Closed My Eyes, the debut album from Canadian singer and composer Laurel MacDonald, garnered widespread critical acclaim. The following is an excerpt from the original press release:

With Kiss Closed My Eyes Laurel MacDonald uses her voice to create extraordinarily direct, often abstract, and utterly compelling expressions of emotion. Where lyric is used, the language is hauntingly elusive; much of the singing is in Gaelic, and one piece uses an early Christian liturgical chant sung in Greek. Vocal textures range from a delicate whisper to a ghostly soprano to a raw, pleading lamentation. The mood shifts from one of gentle vulnerability to one of driving emotional intensity.

And then there is the eccentric array of instrumentation: you will hear the reedy pipes and cantankerous creaks of an antique harmonium, the spinning, whirling turns of an Irish whistle, the richly strident timbres of a hurdy-gurdy, the lush resonance of a bowed bouzouki.

Fragments of the Celtic, Balkan, Middle Eastern and Indian musical traditions are woven into tapestries of found sound, the manic manipulations of producer Philip Strong. A delayed guitar barrels through a fragile soundscape of staccato whispers. The unearthly ambiance of a subterranean reservoir provides the setting for a prayer. A spellbinding chorus of radio noise and an intoxicating piece of plunderphonics grip and seduce the soul. Such are the cacophonies of another world.

Kiss Closed My Eyes is by turns ethereal and pandemonic. The murmuring, wailing vocals may well make you weep; the riveting soundscapes will leave you breathless. It is crucial, often heart stopping music, and it is an essential sonic experience.


Over the course of a fifteen year career Canadian singer and composer Laurel MacDonald has released four CDs: Kiss Closed My Eyes (1995) and Luscinia's Lullaby (2005), both for Improbable Music; and Chroma (1999) and Wingspan (1999), both for BMG Classics/RCA. MacDonald's longtime creative partner Philip Strong produced Kiss Closed My Eyes, Chroma 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 her work 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.



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