Music

Wooden Hollow

Emmalee Hunnicutt

Wooden Hollow is a collection of dreamy original cello compositions based on looping pedal pieces composed by Emmalee Hunnicutt between 2012 and 2020.

being here is always
within and without
time
A glowing repertory
of glamour
a wisdom wine
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The Library Of Babel

The Library of Babel

From BLUE TAPES:

"Unconscious gasps of breath. Finger skin sliding on metal strings. An acoustic guitar is flanked by cello and double bass in a relationship that at times feels almost parental - the two bigger instruments keeping a watchful eye over the junior one as it gambols ahead, constantly investigating and testing.

This is a very special release. If what this label has relished in before is pairing occult, abstract instances of sound to partly-erased images and letting the spectator simply make of it what it wishes, a new strategy for Blue Tapes might be to try and apply that lovingly rendered abstraction to music - things people might actually want to hear. Records, some people call ‘em.

So, without compromising our position, it would be an exciting experiment to attempt to curate releases that anyone could hear and get something from. Even if - especially if - the hypothetical listener weren’t quite sure what it was they were getting out of this.

I think the nineteenth release in the tape series, by The Library of Babel, achieves this. This music is delicate, intricate - an intimate conversation in real-time between three gorgeous-sounding instruments. So intimate, in fact, that as a listener you imagine yourself between the instruments, the sounds slipping and buzzing around you, the warm breath of the players on your neck; sometimes even more intimately you feel yourself between the the strings, the notes, sliding as they ring and you vibrate.

The music has an instinctive narrative although the playing is improvised. Fans of blue twelve: Tashi Dorji, in particular, will appreciate this - especially as guitarist Shane Parish and bassist Frank Meadows are friends and regular collaborators of Tashi in their hometown of Asheville, NC. The sounds the pair make with cellist Emmalee Hunnicutt potentially have wide appeal, though, caressing the dopamine centres of brains wired for jazz and free folk alike.

Gratifyingly, though, there is an absence of any real genre to call a home for this music. It is animalistic in its intuition and motives. Seemingly oblivious to its own wisdom and only concerned with the moment.

I love this music very much. I hope something in it captures you too. "


Praise for blue nineteen:

"Blue Tapes rarely disappoints, but even by their standards this is an intensely special recording." - The Quietus

"The singularly eclectic Blue Tapes label is known for its promotion of experimental musicians such as Stillsuit, Trupa Trupa and Tashi Dorji and for its challenging and often dissonant improvised and electronic music that isn’t performed or recorded for significantly large audiences. The Library Of Babel’s album is a little different though. Retaining the improvisational approach and also bringing a defined structure to the compositions, either accidentally or deliberately, The Library Of Babel have recorded an album of some very cool, minimalistic yet highly atmospheric chill-zone sounds, an album that consistently reveals new layers of ability from its performers, both as a group and individually." - DOA

"If you’ve listened to any of the release from this particular label before you’ll know to expect experimentation at its most beautiful and Library of Babel is no exception." - SCRZ Magazine
credits
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Woven from Rushes

Mountain Bitters

Mountain Bitters formed in the spring of 2016 from a strong desire to make music with other women. Megan brings her roots in Celtic music, Gretchen, her expertise in contra dance fiddling, and Emmalee, her love of singing Appalachian ballads. Making music in the mountains of Western North Carolina, Mountain Bitters is a nod to the traditions of this land and to the folk heritage of this region. In a time where people and places often feel separate and fragmented, Mountain Bitters holds dear their ties to land and people and the magic of music and connection.
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Colored Over [improvised songs]

Vinesines

Colored Over documents the initial recordings from Vinesines, the collaboration of cellist/vocalist Emmalee Hunnicutt and guitarist/vocalist Ben Hjertmann. These songs were all improvised in the studio in 2019. Not that you would know: the songs might be quizzical, cryptical, but they’re always linear. The lyrics are conceived in terms of story, while the guitar and cello music is conceived in terms of line. These songs are tales that start someplace and go someplace else.

The stories range from the quotidian (“Chores”) to the mythic (“Tin Crow, He Slayed a Dragon”), but less often purely imagistic (“Spectral Dusts of Dancing”), rarely resting on repetition or focusing on textural color. You might be reminded of the elliptical cello plucking of Arthur Russell, the vocal ornamentation of Josephine Foster, the fractured song forms of the Dirty Projectors; or perhaps the closest precedent is the extemporaneous folk dirges of Songs: Ohia’s Protection Spells. By the time you reach the dark-forest tones of “Jackson Hole,” it’s clear you’re hearing a contemporary bardic revival, an echo of a time when singing and storytelling were inseparable, when poetry was oral and composition meant a spontaneous drawing-together of elements from innumerable stories heard in the past.

Free improvisation is usually associated with coloring outside the lines. This music, it IS the lines. The question for the listener: what exactly are they drawing? These two are like the couple in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Buried Giant, crossing the dangerous countryside on foot, two Arthurian veterans who have forgotten their past deeds of magic, swordplay and gallantry. But they’re trying to remember.

Like much contemporary improvisation this music is full of mysterious gates. The difference is that here the gates are all open. All you have to do is walk on through. All you need is your own curiosity. You’ll recall the rest soon enough.
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Violet Tooth

Vinesines

Little is known about this release from the North Carolina improvisational duo Vinesines. It takes the form of seven duets for piano and wood stove, and we've ascertained that it was recorded on the Vernal Equinox of the year 2020.

One is reminded of the Sheriffs of Nothingness' hermetic Winter's Night at the Crooked Forest, though the season has advanced, and this cabin at least has a piano. One is reminded of Michael Harrison's recent explorations with just-tuned pianos, though here the tuning system, whatever it might be, is subtext and not subject. One is reminded of Annea Lockwood's Piano Burning, though this one appears to have escaped the flames.
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Sing to Me of...

Library of Babel

Sing to Me of... is the second album of the improv trio Library of Babel. The improvisations were inspired by Sacred Harp singing, and improvisatory material was drawn from the tunebook 'The Sacred Harp' which is printed in shape notes. It was recorded on a chilly spring day on a misty mountain close to Hot Springs, NC.
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