LAND AND SEA is pleased to announce their 38th effort: EMPATHY, an album/cassette by Haitian-American composer, sound artist, and musician JOEL ST. JULIEN.
For his first physical release, made during the early months of the 2021 quarantine lockdown, ST. JULIEN has woven together a series of lush, cinematic tapestries rooted in an attempt to understand, if not transform the perpetual state of the world. EMPATHY, produced and composed utilizing modular synthesizer and laptop, is a sonic, guttural response to the myth of ego and separateness that continues to be perpetrated by the fictitious, racialized ideal at the root of white supremacy.
An almost alchemic act, with EMPATHY, ST. JULIEN transforms echoes of American ugliness into profound beauty. These songs lend to the notion of the very human act of processing a harsh truth or sudden loss. At times sounds and gestures find themselves at odds with one another, yet in other moments we hear a soft field of harmony – perhaps a coming to terms with self.
In his own words, “The creation of this music was a balm for my depression and anxiety of constantly seeing America fail to reckon with its original sin. These songs were a way to create a world I could live in and create for myself – not as an escape but a safe place to be. It’s my hope that this album gives you a place to be. It is my deep wish that communities of empathy continue to be created outside of the shadow of white supremacy. Beyond the gatekeepers of identity, beyond the righteousness of narcissism, beyond the Twitter fingers, beyond the ego of cancellation, beyond the ease of black mirror activism, beyond the indifference of your comfort, beyond the need to be perfectly understood, beyond the need to be a man.”
Follow Joel St. Julien: