Friday, June 16, 2006

Celeste Lear

by Frank Gualtier -- 06/16/06, 06/17/06

Celeste LearHer voice and on camera presence are as dramatic and expressive as her music. With a rich mix of world/electronica/trip-hop'ish/dance and a flair for counterpoint Celeste Lear is a virtual smith of the arts who knows how to hammer out audio and visual delight.

Her voice is sexy and unique. The closest I can compare would be Berlin's Terri Nunn low end (strong -- dramatic) combined with Sarah Rabdau's high end (wispy -- sensual). Close at best -- as I said she's unique. Take a listen -- you will like. She does some really awesome layering and tagging and easily replicates herself at the octave. She also frequently uses her voice as a raw instrument with an innate understanding of the pleasure/pain window.

Visually she's stunning -- a real beauty -- and quite the actress. I highly recommend checking out her videos. In this regard she brings back memories once again of Terri Nunn.

Not one to slouch she weaves her art sans the synth sustain handicap so often found since synths first became affordable to most individuals. The patches and instrumentation she uses run from traditional guitar and exotic Erhu to rhythmic effect and real world sound synthesis and no excess organs or strings sus'ing would-be dead air between extremes. She leaves no dead air.

Her musical prowess might have you believing that some of the effects are actual instruments when in fact they don't exist. In that sense perhaps H.R. Giger would be her bio-mechanical creative analog except Celeste is much more colorful. Point is -- she could take a box of rocks and a rack of hangers and give them a voice people would want to hear.

I first heard about Celeste from War-N Harrison and Christa Belle (Hungry Lucy) in one of their podcasts. A visit to her website landed my ears on such songs as 'Tears in the Garden' and I've been a Lear fan ever since. In fact if you love Hungry Lucy's music (esp the 'Glo' and 'To Kill a King' albums) you'll most likely love Celeste Lear's music. She does a bit more with eurasian/indo/middle-east sounds, guitar and dance beat whereas HL is a bit more darkwave but overall they compare well.

Links for Celeste Lear:

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