“A solitary glass bead game of an album,” is how English composer Serafina Steer describes her new solo record, The Mind is a Trap. Like the classic novel by Herman Hesse, Steer’s music offers a kind of crystalline grace, richly allusive and strangely utopian.
After several years spent writing and playing bass with all female post-punk trio Bas Jan and the likes of Jarv..is, Trash Kit, John Foxx, Steer felt she needed “a new way to personally interact with music” and reconnect with the harp, an instrument she has played since childhood. Inspired by the likes of Áine O’Dwyer, Rhodri Davies, and the music of Japanese post-modernist composer Tōru Takemitsu, Steer ferreted herself away to a shed in Tottenham and began experimenting with the electric harp, pedals, extended techniques and drum machines. In finishing the record, underground mix/master genius Amir Shoat (Inga Copeland, Carla Del Forno, The Rebel) tightropes perfectly between enhancing sonic richness and retaining raw immediacy.