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.
I’m so pleased to have Craig Hultgren visit Tuscaloosa during his southern tour. He’ll be working with Moises Molina‘s cello students, meeting with New College students, and performing a concert that includes my piece Snakeskin (verso) for e-cello and electronics.
I wrote Snakeskin (verso) for Craig after traveling to Iowa to work with him on the piece. Along with Craig’s invaluable input, the piece owes quite a bit to the region. I worked out most of the structure while sitting on a hop-covered patio at a brewery in downtown Decorah. And the title was inspired by visits to Effigy Mounds National Monument in Harpers Ferry, Iowa and Cahokia Mounds in Collinsville, Illinois.
It’s nice to see that some of my previous Badstar collaborators, Charles Nichols and Zach Duer, also have a piece on the program.