Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
La Sala Rossa
Planning collaboration for a while now, the dreamy minimal sounds of Elfin Saddle shall meet the overworldly clangs and rhythms of post-rockers Hangedup along with Nick Kuepfer in multiple-tape-machine-mode for an integrated show, switching between live configurations of both bands and amalgamations thereof. Sound installations of automated organs, turntables and tape will act as a base medium connecting live performances in a project potentially entitled Music Temple.
Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie began Elfin Saddle after moving east across Canada from Vancouver Island to Montreal…their take on acoustic folk is charged with myth, mysticism, anarchism, and a love of wilderness…the alertness and drive of their luminous songs actually sounds electrified, but it’s not—they’ve prefigured a time in the post-apocalyptic future, after the machines of civilization have ground to a halt and the remaining humans will have to make their music without plugging in… -WZRD Chicago
Hangedup is the Montreal-based duo of Gen Heistek (viola) and Eric Craven (drums). The two met in 1995 while playing in Sackville and formed Hangedup in 1999. They released their eponymous debut in May 2001. Kicker in Tow followed in October 2002 and Clatter for Control in April 2005.
Hangedup play battle hymns for shut-ins, tightrope walkers, and urban bicyclists. Hangedup channel dead Roma musicians from Slavic republics, playing east European folk tunes backwards, skipping every 3rd note. Hangedup write road songs for model train enthusiasts. Hangedup compose soundtracks for slow-motion automobile accidents and use leaded gasoline every chance they get.
Hangedup are unique operators of their chosen instruments, and have mastered a signature sound that is well ahead, and far behind, the times. Heistek’s vertigo-inducing viola runs through hallucinating loopers and warranty-voided amplifiers. Craven’s inimitable sound fuses auto shop discards with home-wiring experiments and fifteen-year-old drum skins. Sometimes soaring, occasionally distressing, Hangedup are the sound of tomorrow, only tomorrow was this morning, just before you left the house. And you left the stove on.
Hangedup has toured extensively in Europe and North America, including performances at All Tomorrow’s Parties in England, the Printemps de Bourges in France, the Domino festival in Belgium. At the Rhaaa Lovely and K-RAA-K festivals, also in Belgium, they headlined and were widely declared the highlight of these events. The K-RAA-K show led to friendship and collaboration with legendary violin minimalist Tony Conrad, who also played that night. Conrad joined Hangedup for several North American shows and a series of recording sessions in 2004. These recordings are set to finally see the light of day as Transit of Venus, to be released in June 2012 as part of our Musique Fragile Volume 02 box set.
Since moving to Montreal in 1987, Gen Heistek has been a member of many bands, including Pest 5000, Sackville, Set Fire To Flames and The Mile-End Ladies’ String Auxiliary. She has played with Sam Shalabi, Elizabeth Anka Vajagic and many others. She wrote for CBC Radio’s Brave New Waves and now co-owns Local 23 and General 54, the former a fripperie and the latter a purveyor of locally made stuff.
Eric Craven moved to Montreal in 1993, having previously played in various punk bands in his native Victoria. He has been a member of Shortwave, Sackville and Blackout, and has thrown down his unparalleled rhythm thing, on record and in concert, with Mitchell Akiyama, Polmo Polpo, Elizabeth Anka Vajagic, Silver Mt. Zion and Hrsta, among many others. He composes extensively for dance in Montreal, and is currently tending to an impressive bicycle graveyard in his back yard.
After a several year break, the band reunited to perform at the Godspeed-curated All Tomorrow’s Parties in December 2010.
Nick Kuepfer is a guitar player who weaves nylon string and electric guitar pieces with live-sampled tape loops, recordings of animals, and drones from various sources. His predominantly wordless music ranges from subtle and static to frantic and abrasive, with a methodical, vigilant sense of experimentation guided by the search for consonance and dissonance with the sounds of “nature”. He began performing solo, under his own name, in 2009 and occasionally invites guest players to join him.
Kuepfer recorded several hours worth of solo material on a field-recorder while traveling through rural Argentina in 2007-2008, assembling an audio scrapbook of guitar and percussion pieces along with environmental sound, He subsequently worked these into a finished album of sonic travelogue and audio collage called Avestruz, which was included in the first edition of the Musique Fragile series issued by Constellation Records in 2010.
Kuepfer has continued to work in this vein from his Montreal home base, recording to 1/4″ 4-track in his practice space and to laptop on various excursions into the Quebec and Ontario hinterlands. He contributed a 20-minute EP to the Rural Route 3″ CD series on Standard Form Records in February 2011.
Alongside his increasing activity as a solo performance, Nick also plays in Hrsta andNo Nature. He has previously played in countless bands, including Lungbutter, Aids Wolf and L’Embuscade. Other notable recent activity includes participation in Rhys Chatham’s Lincoln Center performance of A Crimson Grail for 200 electric guitars and the inclusion of material from Avestruz on the soundtrack for The Woods by filmmaker Matthew Lessner, alongside The Dirty Projectors, Sun Araw, Indian Jewelry and others.
Kuepfer was born and raised in Stratford, Ontario and has made Montreal his home since 2003.