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Darkness At Noon

A Hawk And A Hacksaw

Darkness At Noon

Leaf
CD $9.50

04/05/2005 843190000173 

BAY 43 CD 


***In the past year, Jeremy Barnes has lived in England, Prague and New Mexico, gradually gathering the many instruments, musicians, and ethnographies that appear on the new album by A Hawk And A Hacksaw. Recorded in a British church and in an Albuquerque dance studio, Darkness At Noon breathes life from the cultures through which it travels. Barnes expands AHAAH with an orchestra of accordion, harp, oud, Turkish cumbus, and jaw harp. A reverential madman, he drops an impassioned bomb on traditional structures, mines through the wreckage and reassembles pieces with the attentive care given to holy relics. AHAAH doesn't break from musical history as much as sing its essential values in wholly new forms. 
 
Taking long walks down Prague's cobbled streets, Barnes first assembled the entire record in his head, beginning with a Transylvanian folk melody, warped and reconstructed around improvised trumpet, and ending with a cover of "Portlandtown," an American anti-war folk song often played by Woody Guthrie. In between, Barnes touches on Romany gypsy traditions, klezmer, mariachi, early American folk, modern composition, as well as experiences with his previous bands. 
 
Starting in Leicester then returning to the States, Barnes constructed a band that includes trumpeter Dan Clucas (who played with Henry Grimes and Arthur Lee and Love), tuba player Mark Weaver (who has done time with Anthony Braxton), and Heather Trost, who sings, plays violin and piano. He also got his mother to play harp, but he kind of already knew her. Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk 
Hotel traveled to New Mexico to contribute as well. 
 
Darkness At Noon unrolls the curtain to a circus of musical curiosities, and Barnes presides over it all with the zeal of a grand conductor. Pick apart the influences if you like, but better to let it fall over you as one unified whole. Touring the world has never been so easy.