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Little Sparrow

by Spiral Joy Band

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Third VHF release for this southwest Virginia ensemble that specializes in transportational sound sheets. Derived from the extended Pelt/Jack Rose/Black Twigs family, Spiral Joy traffics in lengthy microtonal explorations rooted in the expansive tradition of beards like Taj Mahal Travellers, Henry Flynt, Theatre of Eternal Music, etc. The four tracks here are an evolution from the trance-like gong and percussion sounds of recent Joy Band releases, with the quartet putting more of an emphasis on heavily bowed string sounds. Gangloff's fiddle, which plays it relatively straight in the Black Twigs (and occasionally Pelt), cuts loose here with some of the gnarliest string scratching this side of Tony Conrad's "Four Violins," giving the music a searing, visceral edge. The final track finds the band literally standing in the Atlantic Ocean, with their gongs and Tibetan bowls shimmering out a gentle lullaby. "No overdubs, No amplification, No effects."

credits

released August 4, 2017

Fiddles, gongs, bowls, harmonium, srutis, spiral cymbal, crash cymbal, crank whistle, flute, bells, banjosticks played and recorded march-july, 2008, by mikel dimmick, amy shea, nathan bowles, mike gangloff. tracks 1-3 at home in ironto, va, and track 4 at midniht in the hatteras island surf, n.c.

Artwork by Emily Keown.

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Spiral Joy Band Madison, Wisconsin

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