Ellen Fullman And Friends

Secret Spirit House


SAUNA006   C45


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C45 | Chrome Type II
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The centerpiece of Secret Spirit House is the session I had with Margareth Kammerer and Theresa Wong. From the first moment I fell under a spell where I could make no mistakes, felt completely confident in my articulation and completely charmed by the sounds. This music was fun to play and I think that comes through in the recording.
Maggie had a book propped open from which she drew random phrases and built scenarios within her improvised lyrics. Theresa had just gotten her new cello, Hermann, and this was his first recording session. Hermann has a beautiful whistling tone in his upper range. I used this as a theme on the entire release with my other pairings, composed duets with violinist Tari Nelson-Zagar and an improvised trio with Theresa and pedal steel player Susan Alcorn. Thie violin parts for Tari are composed in Just Intonation and use no vibrato and slow glisses between notes in an ornamental style influenced by my study of North Indian vocal music. The Autoharp provides a tuning reference but the intonatino is nonetheless unusual and difficult and Tari has a great ear. These songs trail out into a whispy and high whistling range that intrigues me as a composer for its delicacy and tenderness. The final track, with Susan Alcorn and Theresa Wong, was recorded in a spectacular space in Fort Worth, Texas during a performance. Herb Levy of Other Music organized this event on the Forth Worth Stock Show and Rodeo grounds in the Poultry Barn, a three hundred foot long space. On this track I am playing a string that I had suspended almost the entire length of the building and had terminated into a loose part of the corrugated steel wall. The resulting sound was a throbbing low texture that Susan and Theresa improvised with. Theresa's playing in the upper range (although with her old cello) evokes a plaintiff animal-like call.

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