Cruel Diagonals Crafts ‘Fractured Whole’ Using Only Voice Elements

Fractured Whole is the new Cruel Diagonals album from LA-based composer, musician, and Producer Megan Mitchell. The album was made using nothing but sound generated by Mitchell’s voice.

Mitchell’s vocal parts were “chopped up, warped, rendered unrecognizable, ringing out in hymn-like incantations” to create a sense of the album title, Fractured Whole. Some of the themes addressed are “vulnerability, resistance, and the freedom to be yourself.”

Boomkat writes of the new album:

“If there’s one thing that’s clear within moments of ‘Fractured Whole’, it’s that Mitchell can sing – she can really sing. Her last album ‘A Dormant Vigor’ was also focused around her vocals, but this time she’s restricted herself to using her voice as the album’s only instrument. This choice forces her to think about the compositions more deeply, and the unsettling operatic qualities that were an undercurrent on previous releases are now a riptide. ‘Penance’ is a bleakly cinematic introduction that sounds like velvet curtains parting to reveal an elaborate stage; Mitchell’s mezzo-soprano carries a level of emotion that’s impossible to counterfeit, and establishes a mood that she proceeds to expand on methodically.

Throughout, electronic treatments and percussive elements are decoration, not the main event. Each track features subtle supporting elements but it’s the voice that rings as clear as a bell. On ‘Lament’, radio static growls oscillate in the background and offer important texture, but Mitchell’s gliding moans position her between Enya and Tatiana Troyanos, absorbing the spotlight completely. On ‘Synectics’, she dissolves her wails into stuttering, insectoid clusters, harking back to her previous experiments, but once her operatic swoops descend on the track’s final third, we’re lifted by angels into clouds of euphoria.”

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