In only a few years, Brussels – based Echo Collective have forged an enviable reputation in the post – classical world: sought out for their instrumental and arranging expertise by icons such as A Winged Victory For The Sullen and the late Jóhann Jóhannsson, or lending their interpretative intuition to genres as diverse as alt.rock, synth – pop and black metal.
Finally, an album of their own material “The See Within”, confirms Echo Collective are equally inspired creators, using their past accomplishments as a springboard to a new, illuminating vision. From brief, singular themes to lengthier, shifting and questing episodes, this masterclass in composition, expression and technique bridg es intimacy and grandeur in line with the most rewarding of post – classical works.
The See Within is scored composed for violin, viola, cello, harp and , in its first appearance on an album recording, the magnetic resonator piano (MRP). “All sounds are acoustic, and produced in real time,” explain co – founders Margaret Hermant (violin, harp) and Neil Leiter (viola). “No processing or post – production other than reverb. The acoustic element is Echo Collective’s identity. A natural sound.”
The eight tracks comprising “The See Within” were composed specifically for the album. “The Ancienne Belgique residency produced full pieces but we didn’t feel we found our identity with them,” says Leiter. The album title The See Within indicates how they succeeded: “ To look inside ourselves, to find an intimacy and a sound that you want to share,” Hermant explains. The album title pays respect to Lisbeth Gruwez’s dance piece The Sea Within, “a beautiful expression of the way people perform together, instinctively, but also organically,” she adds. “It’s how Echo Collective makes music together.”