48 Cameras – “Songs from the Marriage of Heaven & Hell”
In 2018 I had the pleasure and honour to work with Jean Mathoul, founder and driving force behind ’48 Cameras’ (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/48_Cameras), on an album that unexpectetly turned out to be the last release of 48 Cameras.
The album was built around poems by William Blake (1757-1827), masterfully delivered by the voice of Edward Ka-Spel (from The Legendary Pink Dots – https://legendarypinkdots.org/).
The recording process as usual consisted of sending parts to each other, following hints and suggestions by Jean – who was constructing, reconstructing, mixing and re-mixing, until he was satisfied with the result.
There were some bumps in the road: a computer crash in which files were lost, and Jean in that time went trough a difficult time – in personal life as well as considering health issues – but nothing stopped his focus on the project. When Edward Ka-Spel unfortunately could not engage enough time for a full album (it was first intended to be a full album), it was decided this album to become a short E.P. instead.
Luckily, it turned out to be a beautiful little gem.
Calogero Marotta delivered wonderful bowed double bass parts, Jean did mix, percussions and sound design, and I delivered some subtle, haunting background sounds and treated guitars, which were masterfully mixed into soundscapes supporting the voice of Edward Ka-Spel.
The e.p. was finished in june 2018, ready for release, when the suddenly & unexpectedly – on July 4th 2018 – the sad news came that Jean passed away…
It was a shock for everyone. So much things were yet to be said, to be done…
In the months after this, a posthumous L.P. was released: ‘Chosen Songs’ – something Jean also was working on in that time – with a selection of some tracks he considered to be essentials/his personal favourites in the 48 Cameras discography. This album turned out to be a fitting tribute to his life and work with 48 Cameras, and it was released by stroom.tv: https://stroomtv.bandcamp.com/album/chosen-songs
The E.P. however, got postponed for a while, but now it is finally released as well: a fitting, beautiful and short last statement for the fascinating entity that was 48 Cameras – and it makes you wonder where it could have gone next, if Jean was still around…
The album can be heard here:
The digipack CD version can be purchased at Mandaï Distribution: