From New Amsterdam Records: Robbie Lee and Mary Halvorson “Seed Triangular”

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From New Amsterdam Records

ANNOUNCING:

Seed Triangular

First collaborative album from
Robbie Lee and Mary Halvorson

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Adventurous multi-instrumentalist Robbie Lee and virtuosic guitarist Mary Halvorson announce their first collaborative album, Seed Triangular, which will be released Sept. 7 on New Amsterdam Records. It will be available in digital, CD and LP formats and is available for pre-order through Bandcamp here.

Seed Triangular features Halvorson and Lee not only improvising together on a rarely-heard combination of instruments for the very first time, but also documents Halvorson touching these instruments for the very first time. She explores the extended high and low strings of an 18-string Knutsen harp guitar (circa 1899), the vintage quirks of a 1930 Gibson L-2 guitar, and the gut strings of an 1888 SS Stewart 6-string banjo as Lee performs on equally unusual woodwinds, such as baroque flute and the world’s smallest saxophone.

The project began as a casual jam session between old friends one day in Brooklyn. Although Lee and Halvorson have not often appeared side-by-side professionally, they have improvised together for more than a decade, creating a mutually-understood musical language that draws on their respective musical backgrounds — Halvorson as a prolific solo artist and bandleader, Lee as an in-demand studio and live musician who has played with artists ranging from Jozef van Wissem and Neil Hagerty to Cass McCombs and Glasser.

Seed Triangular defies genre, floating in a space between early music, folk, free jazz and more. The pieces on the album are edited versions of the improvisation session, “composed” in a way that tells the story of the duo’s discovery. The music is naturalist and responsive, with each performer continually taking turns generating or responding to each other as they explore the instruments, creating a magnetic pull with their catch and response as Halvorson learns about the instruments as she plays them. Despite the unusual and (for Halvorson) unfamiliar instrumentation, the duo’s rich history performing with each other creates a baseline of ease that allows their signature styles to shine through, giving new life and textures to age-old sounds.

Seed Triangular was recorded by Elisha Wiesner at Studio Drewtube in Brooklyn, NY. The album was mixed by Robbie Lee and mastered by Bob Weston. Album art and design by David Stith, with Tintype by Jolene Lupo at Penumbra Tintype Studio.

Halvorson and Lee will tour the project in the US this fall, including a date in NYC. More details coming soon.

Lee recently released an early woodwind album with Norbert Rodenkirchen and James Ilgenfritz, entitled Opalescence on Telegraph Harp Records. Halvorson’s latest album, Code Girl, is out now on Firehouse 12 Records.

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Mary Halvorson and Robbie Lee. Credit: Amy Mills

Instruments played on Seed Triangular:

Mary Halvorson: 18-string Knutsen harp guitar circa 1899, 1930 Gibson L-2 guitar, 1888 SS Stewart 6-string banjo

Robbie Lee: Baroque flutes after Eichentopf and Quantz by Stefan Beck, 1829 8-key flute by Rudall and Rose, chalumeau (Renaissance clarinet), soprillo saxophone, melodica, bells

Seed Triangular tracklisting:

1. The Booming
2. Seven of Strong
3. Pondeteria
4. A Forest Viol
5. The Tawny Orange
6. sing o-gurgle-ee this evening
7. Shoots Have Shot
8. Rock Flowers
9. Spring Up There
10. the stuttering note of probably
11. Fireproof-brick dust
12. Potamogeton
13. like a ripple made by the wind
14. Early Willows

In all of our presenting and recording activities, NewAm holds firmly to its mission to support artists whose work lies outside of traditional music industry infrastructure – whether that be classical, pop/rock/indie, jazz, world, or experimental. In pursuit of this calling, NewAm often collaborates with like-minded organizations. Our past and ongoing partnerships with the River to River Festival, Ecstatic Music Festival, Art of Elan, the Indianapolis Symphony (multi-year residency), MoMA PS 1, Liquid Music, Galapagos Artspace and National Sawdust have yielded high-profile opportunities for our artists to present their work. On the records side, we often partner with other labels in order to offer our artists the best possible representation for their projects. Partner labels have included Bedroom Community (Iceland), Nonclassical (UK), One Little Indian (UK), Sono Luminus (USA), Cantaloupe (USA) and NNA Tapes (USA).

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