Old World | New Ruins is the title of Abigail Toll’s first EP, which she released under the collaborative moniker Ionian Death Robes with violinist Laury Achten.
The songs envision the dismantlement of power systems and control by disrupting melancholic, classical washes of drone with dissonant distressed instruments. They are a means to reconcile internal and external spaces in order to create a home in which we feel safe to cry and hear ourselves cry. They search through a world in turmoil: through the awakening of a nuanced, emotional language that oscillates between ferocity, despair, longing, anger, eroticism, determination, hope and vulnerability. The tracks draw on memory and passages of quiet reflection as a way to emerge from what Tiara Roxanne calls an "atmospheric fog" which can be both destabilising and debilitating.
Berlin based artist and scholar Tiara Roxanne contributes a vocal recording of her poem 'FWIW' to the song titled ‘A Prayer For The Body’ which echoes a line from the poem. Roxanne describes the relationship between the words and the original instrumental composition as a “lingering levitation of post heartache waving away a poltergeist.”
These versions of 'RUIINS' and 'Hallows' were developed under the mentorship of Caterina Barbieri during a residency with Amplify Berlin in September 2018.
Artwork by Isabel O'Toole
Special thanks to Caterina Barbieri, Shub Roy and Philipp Hülsenbeck.
flute, arrangement: Abigail Toll
violin: Laury Achten
poetry: Tiara Roxanne