1. According to the Moon 19:18
2. Tea Story 08:14
3. Vio-Voi 08:23
4. The State of Corn 04:20
5. Arbretreebaum 06:11
6. Sweet Summer Salad 05:03
7. Ancient Ocean Floor 14:30


« ..this album is a triumph for all concerned, and leaves one hoping that further albums of Young’s compositions will soon follow.”
— John Eyles, All About Jazz on ‘As Trees Grow’

“…the moment that sticks with me most vividly is a portion of the frst piece played by a Montreal collective called No Hay Banda. Vocalist Sarah Albu does a long stretch of heavy, slow breathing into the microphone. Having been so aware of others’ breath for the last couple of years, there is something astounding about it, full of menace, hope and ultimately a deep sense of humanity that really resonates.”
— Byron Coley, The Wire on Sarah Albu

Canadian artist Gayle Young’s unusual and imaginative approach as composer and musician situates her within a long lineage of maverick experimentalists. Though Young’s output does not shy away from more conventional modalities as well, since the 1970’s she has variously embraced electronics, graphic/ text scores, installation, sophisticated tuning systems outside of equal temperament, the sounds of found objects and natural environments, and—perhaps most notably—instruments of her own invention.

According To The Moon sees Young collaborating with Montréal-based vocalist Sarah Albu, one of Canada’s most dedicated and curious performers of contemporary and experimental music. The disc follows another release from last year for Farpoint Recordings, As Trees Grow, which featured her piano music performed by Xenia Pestova Bennett & Ed Bennett.

The works that comprise the present disc span over 40 years, including music commissioned by Albu herself. Unsurprisingly, this makes for a very diverse collection of works, however there are distinct unifying features that help to establish a trajectory throughout them. Chief among them is Young’s idiosyncratic approach to text. According to the liner notes, “Albu was intrigued by the use of texts as elements of notation, suggesting an instrumental approach to the voice.” In earlier pieces, such as the titular 1978 work, this is evident in how the composer uses vowels as acoustic filters applied to frequency content of the vocal tone. Yet even with later pieces that employ more involved texts such as The State of Corn (1998) or Sweet Summer Salad (2013) Young emphasises the texture and musicality of phonemes over building narratives. On the disc’s haunted 14-minute finale, Ancient Ocean Floor, the most recent of the compositions, Albu’s voice intones descriptions of a river valley walk, leading the listener through a broad, rich sound palette. Accompanying her is Young’s microtonal string instrument the Amaranth woven through a recording of a waterfall filtered acoustically through tuned resonators.