Sophie Tassignon

Photography © Katrin Andrzejewski

Over the past 20 years Sophie Tassignon‘s voice has been heard in a variety of contexts, from avant-garde jazz and free improvisation to theatrical performance and electroacoustic music. She’s released eight albums with projects including Charlotte & Mr. Stone (with Simon Vincent), Azolia (co-led by Susanne Folk) and her group Zoshia, as well as collaborations with her husband, saxophonist Peter Van Huffel. She also leads the ensemble Khyal, which blends jazz and Arabic poetry, and has enjoyed a decade-long collaboration with theater director Elzbieta Bednarska.

The haunting strains of a distant melody, the resplendent majesty of an angelic choir; the echoing cries of circling birds, the thundering clomp of charging hoofbeats; the menace of an ominous growl, the soul-stirring chime of a tolling bell, the urgency of a percussive rhythm: Sophie Tassignon conjures all of these with only that most beautiful, boundless and mysterious of instruments, the human voice.

On her first solo album for RareNoise, Mysteries Unfold, the Belgian-born, Berlin-based vocalist transcends time and language to explore and evoke a stunning panoply of human emotion.

Mysteries Unfold weaves a dazzling sonic tapestry from the varicoloured threads of Tassignon’s versatile and daring voice. Able to grip the listener’s heart with just her emotional expression of a lyric, Tassignon crafts a staggering variety of effects by layering her voice into polyphonic architectures or lush choruses, powerful ensembles or enigmatic atmospheres. Drawing influence from the ancient to the boundary-stretching, she unearths a unifying strain of spiritual longing that underlies the human experience.