Ringing For The Begin Again
CST059 180gLP • CD • DL
Release date: 18 May 2009
Elfin Saddle is the musical project co-founded by Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie. Partners in life and in art, Emi and Jordan have been building a wonderful body of visual, installation and video art that combines organic living materials with found and scavenged objects to create enchanted environments of growth, slow transformation and gradual decay. Miniature examples of this work can be seen on the album cover art for this, their second record, and first for Constellation.
Elfin Saddle’s music is gently mystical, calmly wide-eyed, and consistently guided by crystalline melodies deployed over the group’s building blocks of accordion and junkyard percussion. Jordan and Emi trade off on these instruments and on vocal duties, with Jordan singing in English and Emi in Japanese. Supplemented by acoustic guitar, ukulele, banjo, xylophone and bells, the result is a truly unique hybrid folk music, woven from simple, insistent instrumental elements and vocal rounds. The addition of Nathan Gage (Shapes And Sizes) on double bass and tuba creates a new anchor for these magical tunes.
Ringing For The Begin Again is a highly organic song cycle; the music sounds as if it had been dug up from dark, rich earth, or forged directly out of the seasonal extremes of Canadian nature, with the instrumentation like a shelter of wood, moss, grasses and packed earth within which simple and cyclical rituals of invocation and parable can be shaped and intoned. Song after song emerges as if from a sort of hibernation, inscribing its own little portal and then breaking open through it, letting in the elements and harnessing them into harmonious coalescence.
The CD and LP are packaged in a 100% recycled cardstock jacket with original artwork by Jordan and Emi. Includes additional artwork and lyric sheet on a fine paper insert.
Emi Honda: vocals, drums, ukelele, accordion, etc.
Jordan McKenzie: vocals, accordion, guitar, xylophone, drums, etc.
Nathan Gage: double bass, tuba
Jessica Moss: violin
Nick Scribner: trumpet
Recorded and mixed at Hotel2Tango in Montreal by Efrim Menuck, winter of 2008-2009.
Mastered at Grey Market in Montreal by Harris Newman.