At first listen, one might assume that the intricate music created by these friends-in-arms, reveling at the intersection of classical virtuosity, existential poetics, and art-film surrealism, would require careful discussion between musical partners, but songs are the one thing Ian Williams and Katie Mosehauer never talk about.
“In a vast sea of disposable music, every once and a while something comes along that notches out its very own immaculately unique nook.”
Global Texan Chronicles
“Glass Heart String Choir dwell in a beautiful, humbling darkness. Their honesty strikes the heart with a fierce blow, beckoning us further into their world of wonder and woe.”
“Light glows with complex luminous colors, supple textures, and a gorgeous liturgical aura.”
“Brace yourself. This quiet song about the internal disquiet that often seems to go along with being human is startling for both its beauty and its honesty.”
YabYum Music + Arts
While occasionally verbose when discussing the nuances of nature (especially birds) or poetry, Ian is a person who generally prefers to stay silent. He’s someone prone to long pauses while searching for the perfect word or metaphor to describe his own inner mechanics— you may have an uncomfortable, indefinite wait for sentences that never finish or metaphors that remain unfound. It is songwriting that allows him ample time to plumb the more faceless emotions of life and dredge for exactly the right words to capture them. “When I can refine my emotions through these songs, I feel like I can speak with eloquence and complexity,” Williams says. “And when Katie and I communicate, whether performing live or in our letter-exchange of evolving recordings, there’s always a sense that we’re weaving a tapestry, an elaboration… it’s a language that I feel I can speak better than that of everyday conversation.”
And in these exchanges, Katie constructs finely-detailed visions that weave a unique counterpoint and architecture to his lyrics and songs. Greatly inspired by monolithic artists like Werner Herzog, Leonard Cohen, and Salman Rushdie, and their “beautiful impracticality and complete disregard for convention”, Katie takes their boldness to heart in her pursuit of the arts. She’s not only the composer, multi-instrumentalist, and engineer for the duo, but also the dreamer and director responsible for the band’s music videos and other artistic output. While her journey as an artist began as a classically-trained violinist, it has spiraled and blossomed into multiple disciplines. The path to big ideas is rarely paved with small efforts and safe choices; Katie takes the intrepid nature of her mentors as a blueprint for her explorations, both sonic and visual. “Werner Herzog dragged a literal ship over a mountain for a film and walked half-way across Europe in the hopes that the sheer force of will would extend the life of a friend. Leonard Cohen abandoned the world to live in solitude with monks and only after an epiphany, reemerged, simultaneously anew and unchanged. Salman Rushdie wrote a book that was so incendiary, he was forced to live in hiding for years,” she states. “I take example from them that more women should pursue these impractical dreams, these ‘so-crazy-it-just-might-work’ schemes.” And with Ian’s lyrics and the songs they write together, she found the emotional core around which to build and sculpt these prodigious ideas.
Always ambitious in their quest to create unique compositions that stand out from other string-heavy chamber-pop, their latest release California (releases July 21st 2021) is a beautiful art-song reminiscent of Damien Rice or Joanna Newsom. Departing from the massive, 100+ string-sections and near-operatic highs of previous releases, California is newly surrounded by Katie’s own vocals, an airy, Enya-esque choir that haunts the piano-driven bridge, and then boldly carries the song forward in it’s latter half. The song begins immediately in warm orchestral depths, with Williams’ delivering the song’s hook, “Do you remember?…”, in delicate yet sanguine tones, setting us up for the tug-of-war between fond recollection, consolation, and sorrow that permeates the compact 2’30” song, floating upon multi-instrumentalist and producer Katie Mosehauer’s elegant violin melodies and choral soundscapes suggestive of contemporary soundtrack composers Yann Tiersen and Jocelyn Pook.