Charming Hostess – “Bowls Project, The” – [Tzadik]
JerseyGirl 12/12/2011 A Library, CD
The Bowls Project is an interactive sound sculpture/immersive performance installation created by composer Jewlia Eisenberg with her ensemble Charming Hostess. The Bowls Project is inspired by texts drawn from Babylonian demon bowls, amulets common from 300-700 CE in the area now known as Iraq. Eisenberg discovered points of similarity between the amulet texts, more recent Babylonian Jewish devotional text, and American apocalyptic musical visions. The album is all about her voice -it dominates over the instruments. The songs are styled in various incarnations: Broadway musical, folk, traditional, Middle Eastern, and more; almost no song feels the same as another. Her voice is not suited equally to all types but the variety works to create an effective and enjoyable concept album that keeps your attention.