composer, voice, saxophones, clarinets, flutes, percussion, keyboards
mandolin, guitar, object manipulation
contrabass viol, flute, saxophone
drums, percussion, mbira
In a time of great cultural ferment, in a time of great cultural complacency, in the ever-shifting dance of the present moment, in the paradox of this post-contemporary global melting-pot of local culture, what role can music play in our lives?
My hope is that all who hear this music will be able to relate to it, subtly or profoundly, in a way that will help our community:
To sleep better and to dream better and to awaken better to the light of each new day.
To give ourselves permission to remember how to rightly breathe.
To refresh our soul and spirit by silently conversing with the beings that live at the source of song and word and tone.
To dance when we feel like dancing, to cry when we feel like crying, and to open and to close our eyes when we feel a need for darkness or for light.
To identify in the music a small and beautiful and neglected aspect of our selves, like a forgotten childhood toy or a grainy half-remembered feeling-image from a dream, and to give that fragment and that feeling the attention that it needs to become again a powerful and healing part of our selves.
To remember, even in our moments of highest joy and deepest despair, never are we alone—for there will be always with us a song. And that song can be shared.
Anthropophonia offers concerts in Human Sound for a human experience. In a world where music, like all of our culture, is becoming increasingly digitalized, synthesized, and commoditized; in a pop-concert-world where ear-injuring volume and self-aggrandizement emerge as the twisted phantoms of spiritual striving and artistic integrity; in a world that is simply flooded with all kinds of bands and sounds and songs and noise and over-stimulation, we seek to offer something different. We seek to offer a soft still voice that tells of the rich inheritance of the musical cultures of our ancestors as well as the potential for music to spiritually evolve into the future, not as a product of the increasing mastery of technology, but as a force of Love.
For these reasons, Anthropophonia chooses to hold concerts without microphones or amplification. While electricity can be a great helper and friend, its indiscriminate use in music over the past decades may have unforeseen consequences. Playing without a 'sound system' requires more sensitivity and skill of the musician as well as more active participation from the listener. Rather than blasting an audience with electronically amplified tones, our hope is that the listeners actively engage their will in listening to the music, and in doing so become co-creators of the musical experience. And rather than having the sound be directed from one or more single focus points—the 'speakers'—our sound should resonate throughout the whole environment; resounding across the airy periphery of the space, sounding in the fluid below your skin and eardrums, and finally resting in the warmth of your own heart and the marrow of your bones.
Having written all that, it may seem a bit paradoxical to offer an album of recorded music. And yes, I acknowledge that paradox. Recording an album is quite a bit more like chiseling stone than it is playing a concert. Consider this recording a monument. Or a snapshot. Or better yet, a collage of many photographs—some blurred, some overexposed, yet somehow the whole thing seeming almost just right. If you listen to the album, I do hope you enjoy it, but more importantly, I hope you can come and experience Anthropophonia in concert as living human beings, the way countless generations have experienced music of all genres across all times.
Anthropophonia was founded in 2012 as the result of a direct and simple question: "Would you like to offer a concert to some people?" The answer was an enthusiastic, "yes." And we do hope that you may enjoy and be strengthened, always and all ways, by our offering.
Nevada City, CA
St. John's Tide, 2013