A HAWK AND A HACKSAW
A Hawk And A Hacksaw is the duo of drumming accordionist Jeremy Barnes, formerly of Neutral Milk Hotel, and violinist Heather Trost. Since pairing up in 2004 the duo have delved deeply into a range of musical traditions, drawing particularly the folk music of Eastern Europe and Turkey as well as the mariachi traditions of their native New Mexico. Their thrall to such sounds a little less familiar to most Western ears has seen them collaborate with respected traditional ensembles from Hungary, Turkey, Romania, and Bulgaria, partly during a period spent living in Budapest. Over the course of six albums AHAAH have steered a singular course through these sounds, producing music that is always rich and grand, from flamboyant heartrending ballads to frantic aksak dances. Forthcoming album, Forest Bathing, slightly shifts the group’s focus, with Trost’s violin intertwining with Barnes playing Persian dulcimer on a set of tunes inspired by the concept of Shinrin-yoku — “taking in the forest atmosphere.”
DEAD RAT ORCHESTRA
Our old friends from Colchester return to this city once more. The endlessly creative Dead Rat Orchestra are master procurers of forgotten songs, sounds and stories which they rework in their own idiosyncratic fashion. Previous works have seen them soundtrack films on traditional Hebridean gannet-catching and the Tyburn gallows, tour Southern England by narrowboat, and incorporate a series of non-conventional instruments — meat cleavers, drainage grating, suitcases, etc. — into dynamic, brutal, ever-evolving pieces that defy categorisation.