Wayne Horvitz: The Snowghost Sessions

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Snowghost is the Montana studio where Seattle-based Horvitz performed a house concert for a group of visiting “audiophile engineers and developers”. Long-time buddies Geoff Harper (double bass) and Eric Eagle (drums) made up the trio, with Horvitz at the helm commanding a battery of piano, keys, Hammond organ, Wurlitzer and Mellotron.

The music performed included sketches for film scores as well as more experimental chamber pieces, pulled from a rag bag of old, new and unfinished material. Some more mixing and a few overdubs done with Eagle produced 14 numbers that are quintessential Horvitz: slow moving, contemplative and not a little strange.

“Northampton” has a Mehldavian country-blues feel with an achingly slow repeated piano motif that’s gradually unfolded, a Hammond organ occasionally harmonising as the piece fizzles into the ether.

Horvitz’s piano seemingly stalks the ballad “IMB” for a while before the leader lets rip with some Pere Ubu style synth action, Harper and Eagle joining the controlled pandemonium. Yukio and Nao’s “Duet” also starts on a simple repeated phrase, but it’s augmented with eerie FX not unlike a bot getting to work in the background, juxtaposed against an occasional lonely tambourine shake.

If atmospheric late-night spookiness is your bag, then look no further.

Discography
The Pauls; No Blood Relation #1; Trish; IMB; Apart from You #1; Northampton; For James Tenney; No Blood Relation #2; Flies on Friday; The Trees; Yukio and Nao’s Duet; 55 6 (21) Variations; 55 6 (7) Variations; Apart from You #2 (47.31)
Horvitz (p); Geoff Harper (b); Eric Eagle (d). Montana, April 2015.
Songlines SGL1627-2