|Origin||California, United States|
|Genres|| Indie |
|Associated acts||A Minor Forest|
|Members|| Dave Cerf|
Threnody Ensemble are a three piece experimental classical music group who formed in 1997, first as a two piece made up of Dave Cerf and Erik Hoversten, but soon as a trio when cellist Dominique Davison joined a year later.
The band are unusual in that they are former rock musicians playing experimental music and recording for a classical music label, thus setting them apart from any particular music scene. Threnody Ensemble's music is neither strictly "classical" nor "popular"; it is both part composed and part improvised, part acoustic and part computer-generated. They fuse elements of non-Western musical traditions with their own contemporary compositions to create new hybrid forms. Their stated intent is to complicate traditional notions of musical identity and authenticity.
Though the group's material was originally based around the interaction between two acoustic guitars and a cello, the members decided to develop in a more fluid way with each project, and have since eliminated this structure entirely. The group members collaborate with a variety of musicians from disparate musical traditions and assemble different groups for each tour or project.
The Ensemble's core members come from diverse musical backgrounds. Erik Hoversten studied ethnomusicology and composition at the University of California, Berkeley, focusing on Javanese, Balinese, Korean, Indian, and Ghanaian traditions. He played in the noted San Francisco math rock band A Minor Forest from 1993–1998 and later did graduate work in music at the University of California, San Diego.
Math rock is a style of indie rock that emerged in the late 1980s in the United States, influenced by post-hardcore, progressive rock bands such as King Crimson, and 20th century minimal music composers such as Steve Reich. Math rock is characterized by complex, atypical rhythmic structures, counterpoint, odd time signatures, angular melodies, and extended, often dissonant, chords. It bears similarities to post-rock.
A Minor Forest was a San Francisco-based math rock band in the 1990s.
Dave Cerf studied film as well as West African, Indonesian, and Indian music at California Institute for the Arts. He was a member of the Washington D.C. based group Lorelei and played in numerous heavy metal bands. In addition to his musical activities, Dave has been active in photography, film and video, and radio drama. Cerf and Hoversten have supposedly been collaborating since they were three years old,and have now been making music together for over 25 years.
The Lorelei is a 132 m (433 ft) high, steep slate rock on the right bank of the River Rhine in the Rhine Gorge at Sankt Goarshausen in Germany.
Dominique Davison has performed in orchestras since childhood. She played bass in the punk band Spitboy and later she met Hoversten while playing cello in A Minor Forest and New York's 33.3. She is an architect.
The debut album by Threnody Ensemble, Timbre Hollow,was produced by Brian Paulson, and took a number of years to be finished. During the process of recording the album the trio was expanded to include cellist Amy Domingues. As well as Domingues, the album would also feature supplementary musicians playing piano, contrabass, clarinet, and percussion. It was finally released on the classical based New Albion label in 2000, to some critical acclaim, Mark Athitakis of SF Weekly stated that "it's one of the most remarkably giving, accessible, and simply beautiful records to come from these parts in some time. Neither rigidly chamber pop nor wildly experimental, its spare, slow, organic sound is utterly entrancing." Two years later was given a European release on the All Tomorrow's Parties-affiliated ATP Recordings.
New Albion, also known as Nova Albion, was the name of the continental area north of Mexico claimed by Sir Francis Drake for England in 1579. This claim on the Pacific coast, which became the justification for English charters across America to the Atlantic coast, soon influenced further national expansion projects on the continent. Today, it is known as Point Reyes, California, a marine environment which is the setting of several small towns, ranches, and the Point Reyes National Seashore.
SF Weekly is a free alternative weekly newspaper in San Francisco, California. The newspaper, distributed throughout the San Francisco Bay Area every Thursday, is published by the San Francisco Newspaper Company. Founded locally in the late 1970s by Christopher Hildreth and Edward Bachman and originally named ‘San Francisco Music Calendar, the Magazine or Poster Art’, Christopher saw a need for local artists to have a place to advertise performances and articles. The key feature was the centerfold calendar listings for local art events. Bought by Village Voice Media in 1995, SF Weekly has garnered notable national journalism awards. The paper sponsored the SF Weekly Music Awards, also known as the "Wammies."
ATP Recordings is a British independent record label that was started in 2001 by London-based concert promoter Barry Hogan of Foundation/All Tomorrow's Parties. It was originally created to bring out a compilation cd (ATPRCD01) after the Tortoise-curated All Tomorrow's Parties event. First, everyone who attended the first festival was given a limited edition promotional sampler (PROATPFCD01), the packaging of which echoed the Factory Records style of Peter Saville. The full compilation followed later, and indeed a number of other ATP festivals would also receive the compilation treatment, the most recent being the 2006 Nightmare Before Christmas, for which ATPR and Plan B Magazine collaborated on a free cd given out to attendees.
Members of Threnody Ensemble have also composed music for soundtracks, including Sam Green's documentary The Weather Underground , and Scott Hamilton Kennedy's OT: Our Town.
The Weather Underground is a 2002 documentary film based on the rise and fall of the American radical organization Weather Underground. Using much archive footage from the time as well as interviews with the Weathermen today, the film constructs a linear narrative of the organization.
In the live arena the band have toured with The Sea And Cake, The Mountain Goats, Pinback, Nina Nastasia and The Black Heart Procession. They have also appeared at two All Tomorrow's Parties festivals, in 2002 and 2004 respectively, where they were asked to play by festival curators Shellac and Sonic Youth.
The Mountain Goats are an American band formed in Claremont, California by singer-songwriter John Darnielle. The band is currently based in Durham, North Carolina.
Pinback is an indie rock band from San Diego, California. The band was formed in 1998 by singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists Armistead Burwell Smith IV and Rob Crow, who have been its two consistent members. They have released five studio albums and several other releases.
Nina Nastasia is an American folk singer-songwriter. A native of Los Angeles, she first came to prominence in New York City in 2000 after Radio 1 disc jockey John Peel began giving her debut album, Dogs, airplay. The album earned Nastasia a cult following, and was re-released in 2004. Her third album, You Follow Me (2007), was a collaboration with Australian drummer Jim White of Dirty Three.
The cello ( CHEL-oh; plural cellos or celli) or violoncello ( VY-ə-lən-CHEL-oh; Italian pronunciation: [vjolonˈtʃɛllo]) is a string instrument. It is played by bowing or plucking its four strings, which are usually tuned in perfect fifths an octave lower than the viola: from low to high, C2, G2, D3 and A3. It is the bass member of the violin family, which also includes the violin, viola and the double bass, which doubles the bass line an octave lower than the cello in much of the orchestral repertoire. After the double bass, it is the second-largest and second lowest (in pitch) bowed string instrument in the modern symphony orchestra. The cello is used as a solo instrument, as well as in chamber music ensembles (e.g., string quartet), string orchestras, as a member of the string section of symphony orchestras, most modern Chinese orchestras, and some types of rock bands.
A musical ensemble, also known as a music group or musical group, is a group of people who perform instrumental or vocal music, with the ensemble typically known by a distinct name. Some music ensembles consist solely of instruments, such as the jazz quartet or the orchestra. Some music ensembles consist solely of singers, such as choirs and doo wop groups. In both popular music and classical music, there are ensembles in which both instrumentalists and singers perform, such as the rock band or the Baroque chamber group for basso continuo and one or more singers. In classical music, trios or quartets either blend the sounds of musical instrument families or group together instruments from the same instrument family, such as string ensembles or wind ensembles. Some ensembles blend the sounds of a variety of instrument families, such as the orchestra, which uses a string section, brass instruments, woodwinds and percussion instruments, or the concert band, which uses brass, woodwinds and percussion.
Shellac is an American post-hardcore band from Chicago, Illinois, composed of Steve Albini, Bob Weston and Todd Trainer and formed in 1992. Their music genre has been classified as post-hardcore and noise rock but they describe themselves as a "minimalist rock trio."
The music of Thailand reflects its geographic position at the intersection of China and India, and reflects trade routes that have historically included Persia, Africa, Greece and Rome. Traditional Thai musical instruments are varied and reflect ancient influence from far afield - including the klong thap and khim, the jakhe, the klong jin, and the klong kaek . Though Thailand was never colonized by colonial powers, pop music and other forms of modern Asian, European and American music have become extremely influential. The two most popular styles of traditional Thai music are luk thung and mor lam; the latter in particular has close affinities with the music of Laos.
The music of Burma has similarities with and is related to many other musical traditions in the region.
Autolux is an American alternative rock band consisting of Eugene Goreshter, Greg Edwards and Carla Azar. The trio formed in 2001 and have released three full-length albums, Future Perfect (2004), Transit Transit (2010) and Pussy's Dead (2016). Their eclectic sound draws from post-punk, electronic music and krautrock.
Threnody to the Victims of Hiroshima, also translated as Threnody for the Victims of Hiroshima is a musical composition for 52 string instruments composed in 1960 by Krzysztof Penderecki. Dedicated to the residents of Hiroshima killed and injured by the first-ever wartime usage of an atomic weapon, the composition won the Tribune Internationale des Compositeurs UNESCO prize in 1961.
All Tomorrow's Parties was an organisation based in London that promoted music festivals, concerts and records throughout the world for over ten years. It was founded by Barry Hogan, in 2001 in preparation for the first All Tomorrow's Parties Festival, the line-up of which was curated by Mogwai and took place at Pontins, Camber Sands, England. Named after the song "All Tomorrow's Parties" by The Velvet Underground, the festival exhibited a tendency towards post-rock, avant-garde, and underground hip hop, along with more traditional rock fare presented in an environment more intimate than a giant stadium or huge country field. It was at first a sponsorship-free festival where the organisers and artists stay in the same accommodation as the fans. It claimed to set itself apart from festivals like Reading or Glastonbury by staying intimate, non-corporate and fan-friendly. Another vital difference is that the line-ups were chosen by significant bands or artists, resulting in unorthodox events which often combined acts of all sizes, eras, and genres.
Budapest is the capital and largest city of Hungary; it has long been an important part of the music of Hungary. Budapest's music history has included the composers Franz Liszt, Ernő Dohnányi, Zoltán Kodály and Béla Bartók and the opera composer Ferenc Erkel.
Vocal jazz or jazz singing is an instrumental approach to the voice, where the singer can match the instruments in their stylistic approach to the lyrics, improvised or otherwise, or through scat singing; that is, the use of non-morphemic syllables to imitate the sound of instruments.
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to music:
Alexander Tucker is an English musician from Kent who writes, records and performs alone and in collaboration with a varied array of artists. One critic writes that "Tucker sounds like he’s following a tradition that has long been neglected, focusing not on ageless songs and ideas but on ageless feelings captured through his droning miasma of acoustic guitar and mandolin." His first musical position was singing in hardcore band Suction in the early 1990s, who according to Tucker "played noisy adolescent punk with leanings towards Swans and Fugazi." His next job was as vocalist of post-rock hardcore 5-piece Unhome who released one album Short History of Houses (Unlabel) and a split single with Papa M. Unhome split in late 1999 and Tucker went on to tour the UK with Detroit space-rockers Fuxa, playing guitar synthesizers.
Fuck Buttons is an electronic music duo formed in Bristol in 2004 by Andrew Hung and Benjamin John Power.
White Out is a two piece experimental music group from New York City that formed in winter 1995, whose aim is to create "an incendiary new music". The bands core members are Tom Surgal and Lin Culbertson, but they often work with other musicians, most notably renowned producer/musician/filmmaker Jim O'Rourke on two albums.
The Henschel Quartet is a German string quartet comprising the Henschel siblings; Christoph and Markus (violinists), Monika (viola) and Mathias Beyer-Karlshøj (cellist), who joined them in 1994. Brother Markus left the quartet in 2010, and was succeeded by Daniel Bell in 2012. In 2019 Gregory Maytan took the place of the second violin.
Alan Shulman was an American composer and cellist. He wrote a considerable amount of symphonic music, chamber music, and jazz music. Trumpeter Eddie Bailey said, "Alan had the greatest ear of any musician I ever came across. He had better than perfect pitch. I've simply never met anyone like him." Some of his more well known works include his 1940 Neo-Classical Theme and Variations for Viola and Piano and his A Laurentian Overture, which was premiered by the New York Philharmonic in 1952 under the baton of Guido Cantelli. Also of note is his 1948 Concerto for Cello and Orchestra which was also premiered by the New York Philharmonic with cellist Leonard Rose and conductor Dmitri Mitropoulos. Many of Shulman's works have been recorded, and the violinist Jascha Heifetz and jazz clarinetist Artie Shaw have been particular exponents of his work both in performance and on recordings.
Dave Eggar is an American cellist, pianist and composer.
Threnody is a song, hymn or poem of mourning composed or performed as a memorial to a dead person.