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Colleen The Tunnel and the Clearing

Tunnel is the newest multifaceted gem brought to us by Cécile Schott, also known as “Colleen.” This project has such a strange beauty in its simplicity. These sonic layers are so carefully chosen and artfully layered. There is a subtle, sometimes hazy improvisational feel to this album but the momentum and confidence of these songs are anything but. There is a sense of urgency that maintains focus even in this album’s softest moments. The tunnel is the metaphor for what we all must navigate to reach our desire: a space of rest and recovery.

“Revelation” absolutely soars. This track takes wing into the aural equivalent of an Ibiza sunrise. Release your inhibition and allow yourself a little pathworking with this one. There is a mini suite pair of “Gazing at Taurus” tracks, the first of them uses as a focus Santa Eulalia. Cécile implores the listener (or is she speaking inner dialogue?) to “make it through the tunnel.” Eulalia is one of the patron saints of Barcelona. A dove is said to have flown forth from her mouth following her death, after which a sudden snowstorm covered her body like a garment. Transitional themes abound here. The message seems clear: in recovery lies redemption.

The notable title track, “The Tunnel and The Clearing” arrives at the peak of dead center of this album.
There is a very compelling motoric propulsion to this one that is a very effective technique. It subsides into what feels like prayer and leads the listener though by its various repeating incantations. Equal parts mindful and hypnotically beautiful. These are very well crafted compositions.

I do not view “the clearing” as a final destination, rather I see it as a verb, a process. Phantoms, underbrush, even mundane cobwebs can all ghost us on our life journey. There are periods of turbulence, emotional exhaustion followed by time spent in brilliant light and clarity. This album masterfully captures those liminal times. There were serious delays in work on this deeply personal album for health reasons. As Cécile set out to manifest health and strength for herself, this creative endeavor was shelved for quite some time. This collection of vespers closely the mirrors the transmutation of healing. You may find your healing mantra among them.

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