It’s been a big week!
The Westerlies released the first single off our upcoming self titled album. This is our rendition of Sam Amidon and Nico Muhly’s arrangement of the folk song ‘Pretty Saro’, we’ve been playing it more than four years and it’s one of our big time faves. It premiered on NPR’s All Songs Considered, read the write up and listen to the song here.
twig twig released a new official remix for Taureg guitarist/vocalist Bombino. I’ve been a fan for years so this was a real dream come true…In addition to chopping up the music, I added a singing verse at the end, sort of trying to echo his lyrics with my own perspective. You can hear that via Partisan Records here.
A song from Probable Depths, the Half Waif album I produced, was just named Best New Song at Pitchfork! Totally cool surprise. This is one of my favorites from the album, check out the write up here.
Yesterday I performed my original score for a new piece by Motley Dance at the wonderful Jacob’s Pillow Dance festival in Western, MA. Check out this stage…
And now, to the west for a Westerlies tour! Here are our dates:
the westerlies sat down with hardcore podcaster-and-trombonist Dan Dunford for an hour+ conversation last month, it just came out on his podcast ‘Divergent Paths’. this was a fun one, Dan had great questions and we had plenty of time to delve deep. itunes link is here, or here on podomatic or here on stitcher.
in other westerlies-talking-about-the-westerlies news, an interview came out as a preview for our performance next friday at Seattle’s Folklife Festival. Here’s that.
some shows coming up in the next week:
Saturday 5/28 – Westerlies in a woodshop in Seattle
and, because content is KING, here’s a picture of nandi and i hugging at the really wonderful Half Waif release show last week at Baby’s All Right. Checkout that album here.
so, what’s new with you?
I’ve been collaborating, in some form, with Nandi Plunkett (Half Waif) for nearly two years now, and she’s become one of my absolute favorite people and musicians in Brooklyn. We did a few duo shows on various instruments in early 2014, then I played synth bass and trumpet in the band as it expanded to include the excellent Zack Levine and Adan Carlo. A little over a year ago I began working closely with her on a new album, the fifth of her project.
For this music I wanted to try out an idea I’ve been tossing around the last few years, of sampling source material for an album at a location somehow significant to the music. The idea is to use ‘found sounds’ in a way that is not a gimmick, or purely as an aesthetic choice, but as a way to create a sense of place that influences the songs. This sense is clear in music that is recorded in a very identifiable place, like in a cathedral or a field or live at a club, but I wonder if it’s possible to abstract that feeling.
This is a very personal album for Nandi (I guess most albums are!), so we went up to her childhood home in the Berkshires for a week of extensive sampling and sonic exploration. I ended up programming most of the drums on the album out of little sounds I found in that house. We also processed a lot of her digital synths by playing them (out of speakers) in to rooms of the house and re-recording them, sort of using the house as a reverb chamber. I think the final album very much ‘sounds’ like that house, both literally and in it’s character. The rest of the process was a bit more typical of projects I’m involved in – piano recorded in Ditmas Park (thanks Kris and Katie!), vocals recorded in Nandi’s apartment, drums in red hook, strings recorded in my bedroom, mixes done by Raphael Peterson between my and his apartments.
The full album is coming out this spring, but for now, check out the single on Stereogum! This is one of my favorites from the project. Features Zack Levine on drums and Elena Moon-Park on violin.
UPDATE: stereogum thinks this is one of the 5 best songs of the week! check out this nice little write up.
Also! Cool album art…