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***Fresh off his acclaimed solo album Fountain Fire, BILL MACKAY is back to harmonic atom-splitting with all six of his guitar strings in this new collaboration with cellist KATINKA KLEJIN, STIR. Bill is an avid collaborator and over the past seven years, he and Katinka have used live performance to build their chemistry into a surprising, organic density, with sharply-etched colors drawn from avant-rock, folk, jazz classical and experimental music. It is at once an unlikely and perfect pairing as both musicians are known not only for their chops, but for their creativity, curiosity and range. Together they form a fluid, intuitive, dialogical and improvisational pair. Stir is centered on a series of MacKay's compositions, partially inspired by Hermann Hesse's novel Steppenwolf. You can try following along with the book, but don’t expect any Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz-type moments. This is a concept unhindered by the conceptual, but it has a beautiful through-line to its organization. The repetition and expansion of themes borrows from the chamber music world, while the distortions, free play, and edge of much of the work clearly draws from the duo’s friends in noise and the avant-garde.