Concert: Eric Carbonara and Jesse Sparhawk / Evening Fires
Eric Carbonara and Jesse Sparhawk
Sixty Strings is an album of two epic duets by Eric Carbonara (22-string upright Chaturangui guitar) and Jesse Sparhawk (38 string lever harp). While Eric has studied Chaturangui extensively with Pandit Debashish Bhattacharya in Kolkata, and Jesse was classically trained by major figures of the harp world in his formative years, the music here is their own - not a mashup of quasi-orientalism and conservatory bloodlessness. (VHF Records label copy)
"The instrumentation suggests an exoticism yet sounds completely contemporary. Its success lies not only in the natural, intricate modal overlaps of the instruments but more through the players own American perspective expressed through them. The results yield a western influenced raga that organically moves at its own pace. In two side long pieces the performances by both players becomes their own dynamic without surrendering to overplaying or false mysticism. With sixty strings between them the pair never seems to hit an unnecessary note. Their dedication to restraint shows in the ease of the records duration, the album evolving by constantly unfolding on itself. Sparhawk and Carbonara explore Americana through eastern figures to provide a remarkable musical viewpoint." (Steve Lowenthal, Swingset Magazine)
From their secret den in a northern Appalachian forest, Evening Fires brew up a rich blend of wide-spectrum rural psychedelia, with ingredients ranging from earthy folk sounds to cosmic drones to full-on rock freakouts.