Ciara Moser - Blind, So What?

When I first learned of Ciara Moser, an Irish/Austrian bass prodigy hailing from Dublin but now based in Boston, I was immediately captivated by the style and narrative of the music. On her debut fusion jazz album "Blind. So what?" she embarks on a compelling exploration of her life as a blind musician. At 27 years old, Moser, who has been blind since birth, infuses her unique perspective into a musical journey that delves into topics like the art of memorization, spatial orientation, trust, and the diverse perceptions held by the blind community.

Moser's proficiency as a bassist, wielding a Fodera electric six-string, is evident throughout the album, showcasing her command of groove-laden funk fusion and experimental contemporary jazz/world music. Her experiences at Berklee Global Jazz Institute, mentored by the acclaimed Danilo Perez, have not only honed her musical skills but have also instilled a deep commitment to using music as a catalyst for social change.

"Blind. So what?" features an array of talented musicians, most of whom are current or former Berklee students. Moser's insightful arrangements provide each contributor the opportunity to express their artistry, resulting in a rich and diverse musical landscape. The album opens with a multilingual intro, setting the stage for a captivating journey into Moser's world.

The track "I Trust" truly kicks off the album with a tight funk groove, dedicated to the trust Moser places in sighted peers, friends, and family. Over this distinctly 70’s fusion funky piece she asks listeners to imagine how it feels to live in a world where one can’t see. For audiophiles and those seeking pure audio bliss, the sound quality is fantastic, with distinct clarity and punchy dynamics.

Each subsequent song is a lyrical and instrumental dedication to a specific aspect of the intersection between music and blindness. Notably, Moser's award-winning composition, "Memory," explores the intricate process of memorization crucial for a blind person. Given that both hands are typically required to play an instrument and one hand is needed to read a braille music chart, blind musicians must memorize everything, while sighted musicians have the option to rely on their vision to read charts.

"The Call to See Beyond" urges listeners to move beyond initial visual impressions, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the person beyond societal stereotypes. "Different Ability" is a poignant two-part composition reflecting on the realization of being treated differently as a blind person and the subsequent celebration of individuality. Moser’s bass is robust, and the song reminds me of the earlier sounds of Stanley Clark. Vocals perch across the soundscape and the snare ignites the piece with a crispness that fires overtop the gentle Fender Rhodes keyboards.

Moser's bass takes center stage in the Latin-tinged "Humanity," a composition addressing the darker aspects of humanity but ultimately conveying hope, unity, and equality. "Developing Senses" explores the heightened use of senses in blind individuals, while "Sixth Sense" delves into proprioception and kinesthesia, portraying body awareness through spacy sounds and rhythms. I find the classic style of audio mixing portrays a warm jazz feeling, while providing an acoustic feel that lends itself perfectly to the genre.

"Traveling" invites listeners into the sensory world of blind travel, weaving various elements to create a full-bodied experience. The album concludes with the evocative "The Lady with a Green Cane," a free improvisation over a poem by Fran Gardner, showcasing the raw and honest interpretations of each musician. Furthermore, this piece exemplifies the hap hazard trajectory blind individuals may experience while travelling, especially in unknown areas.

In "Blind.When I first learned of Ciara Moser, an Irish/Austrian bass prodigy hailing from Dublin but now based in Boston, I was immediately captivated by the style and narrative of the music. On her debut fusion jazz album "Blind. So what?" she embarks on a compelling exploration of her life as a blind musician. At 27 years old, Moser, who has been blind since birth, infuses her unique perspective into a musical journey that delves into topics like the art of memorization, spatial orientation, trust, and the diverse perceptions held by the blind community.

Moser's proficiency as a bassist, wielding a Fodera electric six-string, is evident throughout the album, showcasing her command of groove-laden funk fusion and experimental contemporary jazz/world music. Her experiences at Berklee Global Jazz Institute, mentored by the acclaimed Danilo Perez, have not only honed her musical skills but have also instilled a deep commitment to using music as a catalyst for social change.

"Blind. So what?" features an array of talented musicians, most of whom are current or former Berklee students. Moser's insightful arrangements provide each contributor the opportunity to express their artistry, resulting in a rich and diverse musical landscape. The album opens with a multilingual intro, setting the stage for a captivating journey into Moser's world.

The track "I Trust" truly kicks off the album with a tight funk groove, dedicated to the trust Moser places in sighted peers, friends, and family. Over this distinctly 70’s fusion funky piece she asks listeners to imagine how it feels to live in a world where one can’t see. As followers of ECM Records would expect, the sound quality is fantastic, with distinct clarity and punchy dynamics.

Each subsequent song is a lyrical and instrumental dedication to a specific aspect of the intersection between music and blindness. Notably, Moser's award-winning composition, "Memory," explores the intricate process of memorization crucial for a blind person. Given that both hands are typically required to play an instrument and one hand is needed to read a braille music chart, blind musicians must memorize everything, while sighted musicians have the option to rely on their vision to read charts.

"The Call to See Beyond" urges listeners to move beyond initial visual impressions, emphasizing the importance of recognizing the person beyond societal stereotypes. "Different Ability" is a poignant two-part composition reflecting on the realization of being treated differently as a blind person and the subsequent celebration of individuality. Moser’s bass is robust, and the song reminds me of the earlier sounds of Stanley Clark. Vocals perch across the soundscape and the snare ignites the piece with a crispness that fires overtop the gentle Fender Rhodes keyboards.

Moser's bass takes center stage in the Latin-tinged "Humanity," a composition addressing the darker aspects of humanity but ultimately conveying hope, unity, and equality. "Developing Senses" explores the heightened use of senses in blind individuals, while "Sixth Sense" delves into proprioception and kinesthesia, portraying body awareness through spacy sounds and rhythms. I find the classic style of audio mixing portrays a warm jazz feeling, while providing an acoustic feel that lends itself perfectly to the genre.

"Traveling" invites listeners into the sensory world of blind travel, weaving various elements to create a full-bodied experience. The album concludes with the evocative "The Lady with a Green Cane," a free improvisation over a poem by Fran Gardner, showcasing the raw and honest interpretations of each musician. Furthermore, this piece exemplifies the hap hazard trajectory blind individuals may experience while travelling, especially in unknown areas.

In "Blind. So what?," Ciara Moser not only displays her virtuosic musicality but also invites audiences to broaden their perspectives on blindness, creating an immersive and thought-provoking debut album that transcends popular musical boundaries. Recommended for fusion jazz collectors, audiophiles, and anyone interested in experiencing the world of blindness.

Released October 20, 2023 So what?," Ciara Moser not only displays her virtuosic musicality but also invites audiences to broaden their perspectives on blindness, creating an immersive and thought-provoking debut album that transcends popular musical boundaries. Recommended for fusion jazz collectors, audiophiles, and anyone interested in experiencing the world of blindness.

Released October 20, 2023.

 

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Digital Download and available on Streamings Services.  Contact the artist through her BandCamp page to order a CD copy.

 

 

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