Here are the stories behind last four artists to appear on Refractions: The Echoes Living Room Concerts Volume 12.
What a coincidence that only a few hours ago I stepped out of the Echoes Living Room after a new concert with Al Petteway & Amy White. They drove up today from North Carolina to record the final segment of our Sonic Seasonings show, Living Room Concerts for Christmas and they gave us another compellingly pristine performance drawn from their new Winter Tidings CD, easily the best Seasonal CD of 2006. It was every bit as good as the concert they played for Thanksgiving in 2005 from which we took this piece, Midnight Ride. Amy played mandolin, harp and whistled in that concert, but we wound up taking the tune on which she plays guitar in a duet with Al Petteway. Midnight Ride is a hypnotic web of interlocking lines.
Don Peris might be making the most understated music heard on this album. He’s the guitarist in a rock group called Innocence Mission, but this music taps into a more nostalgic, early 60s instrumental sound. Don brought in a trio with acoustic bassist Mike Bitts and guitarist Dennison Wittmer, who’s a singer-songwriter in his on right. Don is one of the more self-effacing and humble musicians you’ll meet and he taps into a very personal and intimate music on his album, Go When the Morning Shineth and this song from it Flyer.
Electric violinist Caryn Lin is an old Echoes favorite. She played one of our first live events ever at a record store in Harrisburg for a live broadcast on WITF. Caryn has a penchant for crayon drawings and elipitcal tales. She released her best CD yet, The Call, earlier this year. Caryn uses all kinds of technology live, but she’s a firm believer in everything beginning on her fingers, nothing pre-programmed. She built up this piece, A Lump is a Hole from scratch moving her iridescent bow across her futuristic violin and looping her lines into this miniature symphony.
Finally we come to Vic Hennegan. I just saw Vic in Los Angeles where we went to the Massive Attack show at the Hollywood Bowl. I contacted Vic about 2 years ago after hearing something about his CD, Desert Gods. It turns out, Vic was an old fan who used to listen to me spinning discs on a progressive rock show called Diaspar on WXPN in Philadelphia in the 70s and 80s. We visited him in his Los Angeles apartment last year. His studio was in his kitchen where he had a synthesizer and computer hooked up. While jets flew overhead into Burbank Airport, Vic spun out some electronic fantasies, including this piece which at the time had no name. So he called it A Soundscape for Echoes.
It’s the perfect way to end Refractions, hurtling into space.