Using the violin and voice to explore the experience experience of extreme empathy felt by people with the neuro-cognitive trait Mirror-Touch Synesthesia. Musically these traits are explored by her soft, yet powerful voice and deftly plucked strings that provide touchstones into her orientation as a outsider folk artist from the vein of Joanna Newsom and Lau Nau. To give a bit more context into the content and ideas explored in her album, the press release states: “
Using a series of anonymous interviews as a springboard to explore music’s capacity to elicit empathy, Abbate’s new album title refers to the experience of extreme empathy felt by people with the neuro-cognitive trait Mirror-Touch Synesthesia. It utilizes an outline of harmony and motif using primarily 5 string violin played by Abbate, as well as drums, and highlights of woodwinds. “Creatures” is the album opener, displaying Abbate’s delicate touch and unique brand of outsider folk fused with modern composition.
On Mirror Touch, Abbate is joined by Benjamin Engel (percussion), Leanne Friedman (flute, alto flute), Vasko Dukovski (bass clarinet), Charlie Rauh (guitar). The timbres and textures of the instruments move together effectively to take listeners on a journey of emotions. Emotions that are raw, complex and as layered as the music’s arrangement. There are moments of dissonance, comfort, solitude and contemplation. This is a clear, sonic representation of a story depicting valiance and bravery through embracing the unknown.
About the album, Abbate says “Mirror Touch is my attempt to make sense out of a very personal story by looking at how it makes sense in the context of a larger system. Each song is inspired by a unique perspective offered to me by a collaborator and friend. The individual songs have little awareness of one another but when put together they ultimately reveal a larger theme. There is a power that emerges from shared storytelling.””