Lisa Butel and Brent Cross got their start as musicians in Regina, then a few years ago they moved out to Vancouver. Since arriving on the west coast, they say, they have been making “waves” (ha-ha, Pacific Ocean, get it?) in the experimental music scene. The duo released Last Mountain, their most recent album, in June 2023 through the Berlin-based imprint Elektramusic. Here, they share six selections that have influenced their musical process. /Gregory Beatty

“Teeth Agape”
Tanya Tagaq, Tongues (2022)

Dealing with the horrors towards Indigenous peoples, this song showcases Tagaq’s bravery, vulnerability, strength, and power. I also treasure her book, Split Tooth. /LB YouTube

“We Float”
PJ Harvey, Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2000)

A powerfully cathartic song with a great message and beautiful melody. Don your headphones, breathe deeply, and let it all go. /LB YouTube

“You Will Return”
David Lang, Death Speaks (2013)

The intimacy in the vocal delivery reveals every breath and consonant. I feel as though the singer is speaking directly to me, and with such vulnerability that I find this song so moving. /LB YouTube

“Virginal One”
Tim Hecker, Virgins (2013)

Employing woodwinds, piano, and analog synthesizers in effort to do what digital music does not do naturally: making music that is out of time, out of tune, and out of phase. Perfect! Like listening to the sun on the brightest day imaginable. /BC

Flavia Massimo, Glitch (2022)

A relatively new find, this beautiful piece of music is from a self-produced album by Italian cellist Flavia Massimo. Through the use of live looping and extended techniques, it transcends the instrument and the process itself to take on a life of its own. /BC YouTube

High Plains, Cinderland (2017)

A fellow Vancouverite, ambient music composer Loscil is joined by American cellist Mark Bridges at a residency to produce a beautiful album combining acoustic instrumentation with electronics. I can’t help but imagine that I’m approaching the foothills when listening to this. /BC YouTube