Hank and I have collaborated over the last four years on a variety of projects including three installments of the Brush Mind series, the book with accompanying album field recordings of mind inmorning, and recent performances at the New Orleans Poetry Festival and Blue Ridge Arts Center.
I’m thrilled to announce my latest solo recording, Sky Sparrow Snow. This release is a return to song forms for banjo, voice and electronics. Sky Sparrow Snow is a collection of seven original songs merging old-time Appalachian banjo with ambient electronics. The tunes touch on folk (“Laurel Cove“) and gospel (“Over Yonder’s Ocean“) with adventures into hybrid genres like raga blues (“Alap Catfish Impala“) or Steve Reich-meets-Dock Boggs (“No Mule“).
Though these recordings may sound like studio creations, they’re largely documents of live performances, with only minimal edits and overdubs. All of the electronic treatments happen in real-time; I play the banjo and sing while custom Max patches respond to the audio signals and data from my sensor-equipped instruments.
Here’s the final video from the field recordings of mind in morning project with poet Hank Lazer. I’m pretty sure I randomly tuned the banjo just before this improvisation–there are some lovely, dissonant open string combinations that aren’t typical. Lots of chiming harmonics, too.
My favorite line from the poem: “I am nothing more than a location for change”