violinists

Hannah Epperson Plays “Murder of Crows”

Listen to this track by Vancouver violinist/loop technician and singer-songwriter Hannah Epperson. It’s “Murder of Crows” as taken from her 2011 EP Home Batch.

The EP was self-recorded and self-released. All the while, Epperson served in opening act slots for acts like Dan Mangan, The Zolas, Shane Koyczen, and others. Earlier this year, she played at Uptown Live, which is a musical event right here in New Westminster, just outside of Vancouver. I missed her slot!

Hannah Epperson

But, I wrote a piece for the event that introduced me to her music while I was writing it. Epperson’s sound touches on similar neo-classical, ambient, and folk-pop territory as Andrew Bird and Kishi Bashi; atmospheric, delicate, and intertwining melody lines that seem to suggest a grand sense of narrative, even without the lyrics.

In those lyrics, the crows are “violently voyaging home”. They also seem to represent the inevitability of change, too.  The song hooks into some primal imagery, with dreadful portent that is contrasted against a light-as-air arrangement, played and sung entirely by Epperson alone.

Musically speaking, her approach that puts the electronic/acoustic split to rest when it comes to figuring out what kind of artistic slot to put it in. This music is both acoustic and electronic, with each texture balanced out against the other. Figuring out which camp it belongs in becomes beside  the point.

You can catch up to Hannah Epperson on Facebook for upcoming shows and releases.

Enjoy!

Kishi Bashi Performs “Manchester”

Kishi Bashi

Photo: Brandee Nichols

Listen to this track by Seattle-born, New York-based singer, violinist, loop technician, Of Montreal string-arranger and touring member, and songwriter K Ishibashi, aka Kishi Bashi. It’s the sumptous-yet-spacious “Manchester”, an impressionistic and post-modern narrative about a narrative as taken from the EP Room For Dream.

The song is the opening track on the EP, an ever-expanding soundscape that is, at once, airy, organic, and with a touch of hopefulness balanced against melancholy. Musically, the song is an amalgam of pan-cultural textures, from sparse Far-East flavouring, to western classical aesthetics, and delivered in the similar kind of cinematic orchestral pop packaging as a Mercury Rev, or Flaming Lips.

After seeing Kishi Bashi perform as an opening act for Sondre Lerche (and then join Lerche’s ensemble as a backing musician on violin, guitar, and keyboards) at the Biltmore Theatre here in Vancouver, I had a chat with him via email about the business of cultural crossover, about the importance of location in the songwriting process, and about what Beethoven would have made of loop technology.

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