JINLAP is the self-titled first release written and performed by sound sculptor Sebastien Leon and guitarist Kaia Fischer of the rock band Rainer Maria

Recorded largely live with lap steel and electric guitars, the musicians create an evocative melodic narrative that combines a strong Delta blues and folk sound with Tibetan chanting and digital glitches.

Layers of sonic texture create a landscape that is rooted in the American South but winds through territory that resonates with the musicians’ life work, in Kaia’s case as a scholar and translator of Tibetan sacred texts, and in Sebastien's as a designer and fine artist whose drawings allude to Australian Aboriginal Songlines and charted constellations of impossible skies.

In addition to guitar, the instruments include the harmonium, drums, the human voice, and sound sculptures: the Baschet brother’s Cristal Baschet - a skeletal, insect-like friction idiophone, Harry Bertoia’s Sonambiants - an assemblage of swaying totemic metals, and Sebastien’s most recent sculpture, the Carileon - a choir of tubular bells.

This music is a natural outgrowth of their first collaboration, a polyphonic sound installation: twelve hours of patterned meditative music on sculptural speakers, a mix of original tracks and field recordings by famed musicologist Alan Lomax. 

Kaia Fischer and Sebastien Leon // Photography by Allison Michael Orenstein

Most of the instruments and sound sculptures used in the record appear below: the Carileon (by Sebastien Leon), the Cristal Baschet (by the Baschet brothers), the Sonambiants (by Harry Bertoia), the electric semi-hollow Gretsch guitar and the lap steel guitar.

In addition various modalities of voice are used throughout the record: Kaia chants Tibetan, Sebastien sings a cover of John Lennon and the title of a poem by Edgar Allan Poe, and the song Ola Kantanga uses field recordings of children in Kinshasa (Congo).

Impromptu at Solivagant, New York - June 2015

"Vidas Perfectas", Directed by Alexander Waterman for the Whitney Biennial // Cinematography Peter Szollosi // Music by Jinlap


All Songs Written by Sebastien Leon & Kaia Fischer, except "Isolation", Written by John Lennon // Recorded by Jinlap // Mixed by Dave Schiffman // Mastered by Gene Paul

Guitar, Harmonium, Bass Guitar, Carileon and Singing: Sebastien Leon // Lap Steep Guitar & Chanting: Kaia Fischer // Bass Guitar on "Twenty-One Taras" & "Back And Forth", guitar on "Back and Forth": Erik Sanko // Drums on "Twenty-One Taras" & "Back and Forth": Zach Mangan // Cristal Baschet on "Striking The Sunset": Loup Barrow

Recorded at Studio Sebastien Leon, New York New York

Special thanks to Ronald, Amy & Zoe Guttman