Tag Archive: HorizonVU Music


Sara Evans
Words
Born To Fly Records

Visit Sara Evans at Facebook and iTunes

American country music singer-songwriter Sara Evans has released “Words” her eighth studio album and the first on her independent label Born To Fly Records. Clearly what distinguishes this album is that all of the fourteen songs are written by a female songwriter. That’s not to say that there are not any melodies worthy of special attention. There’s some ear-pleasing country pop tracks such as “Marquee Sign” written by Evans, Jimmy Robbins, and Heather Morgan and featuring vocals by Evans’ daughter, Olivia. “Letting You Go” written by Evans is good country folk. You probably won’t feel blown away by the album, but keeping in mind the emphasis on female songwriters and the pleasant feeling one is likely to take away, if you’re into contemporary country it should be added to your collection.


Sheer Mag
Need to Feel Your Love
Static Shock Records

Sheer Mag is Kyle and Hart Seely, Matt Palmer, Ian Dykstra and Tina Halladay. The band’s debut album, “Need to Feel Your Love”, offers up an amalgam of grizzly punk, classic rock and progresssive rock led by Haladay’s sizzling high-powered and commanding vocals. While there can be no ignoring Halladay’s awesome voice, her bandmates are exceptional in executing mature arrangements. Sure, there are white-hot tracks like “Meet Me In The Street”, “Turn It Up” and “Suffer Me” where there’s not much in the way of free headroom, but “Milk And Honey”and “(Say Goodbye To) Sophie Scholl are relatively easy-going. You’ll likely be compulsed by the total ass-kicking-ness of “Need to Feel Your Love”!

Visit Sheer Mag at Facebook and iTunes


HorizonVU Music and Belushi’s Paris Canal announce the launch of the HorizonVU Music – Belushi’s Acoustic Showcase For Women In Music. The object of the series is to make a positive statement on behalf of women in music by featuring the best nationally and internationally accomplished women performing music covering the spectrum from whimsical folk to alternative acoustic rock.

The venue is Belushi’s Paris Canal http://www.belushis.com/bars/paris/canal catering to the upscale university and young work crowd. Frequented by the after classes-after work segment, it sits on one of the canals running through Paris making it exceptionally attractive. The showcase is clearly an opportunity for female musicians to showcase their work for a generally young, vibrant audience.

Every effort possible is going into ensuring the series builds in popularity and has considerable longevity. We’ve currently booked for the fall and look forward to scheduling performances during the winter months!

For information concerning future concerts and participation contact decibels@horizonvumusic.com.

6 June Stay Local
12 July Marca Cassity
22 August Jane DeCuir
29 August Jackie Paladino
6 September NED
10 October Mary Kay Mass
31 October Juni
15 November Sumana

Copyright © 2017 HorizonVU Music, All rights reserved.

Sally_newsfeedSally Morgan wrote the book on contemporary vocal technique – literally. Sing Like You Speak™: Simply and Naturally. SLYS™ is specifically designed to restore the effortless vocal production that is natural to the human instrument making your singing powerful, joyful and free. Sally has been successfully training singers for more than 30 years.

Your Body-Your Instrument-is Smarter Than Your Mind
by Sally

Your body is smarter than your mind. Your body is your singing instrument. So why does singing seem to be so difficult? Sing Like You Speak™ is here to teach you it ain’t necessarily so.

Breathing is completely natural. You are reading this, so your breathing is working – you are alive.

And yet when it comes to singing, we second-guess or even doubt the body’s natural ability. We actually override nature by overthinking the process and relying on the mind to ‘figure it out’ instead of trusting the natural process of breathing and phonation. We actually invite the mind to participate in a perfectly natural process.

Does this sound familiar?

You take an inhale and you immediately think, that isn’t enough air to get through the phrase! So you push and pull at the muscles of your abdomen to “help” your singing process.

But guess what? You run out of breath even faster!

That’s what happens when you take a subconscious process – breathing – and make it a conscious process.

The purpose of your inhale is to open the whole instrument. It is to open your resonators, release the jaw and larynx and open all the way down to the lower back and abdominal muscles, thus activating those powerful muscles that will naturally work to propel breath and sound easily through your open instrument.

When I was developing Sing Like You Speak™ my contemporary vocal technique, I could not ignore the fact that singing is natural. And if singing is natural and breathing is natural – what makes singing so difficult?

Makes singing difficult…

Voice teachers who tell you to manipulate and force the physical instrument
Trying to imitate most singers recorded after 1997 where the singer has been recorded (first was Roy Vedas Fragments of Life) and then a sound engineer has manipulated the voice for better pitch, tone quality, rhythm. You are not listening to a voice but to an electronically altered sound that cannot be imitated by the human instrument.
Myths or false thoughts about the effort involved in singing
Trusting the mind and not the body

Sing Like You Speak™ always uses the natural physiological process for simple, healthy signing. Your inhale is to open the instrument. Done right, releases the jaw, tongue and larynx, opens resonators and activates the very intelligent low abdominal and back muscles. That sound like a lot to do but it can be achieve with one thought.

When I have new voice students who has studied voice with another teacher in the past there’s always a conversation that goes something like this.

Student: That’s it? That’s all you do to inhale?

Sally: Absolutely! A simple opening inhale.

Student: But how do I get enough air to sing a long phrase or to sustain a pitch?

Sally: With a simple opening inhale. It seems you want to feel how much effort you are using to breathe.

Student: Of course. The effort tells me that I’ve gotten a good inhale.

Sally: Aren’t you taking lessons to learn how your singing can be effortless?

Student: Well, I didn’t really believe that it could be easy. My last teacher taught me to push out on the inhale and pull in like crazy to exhale.

Sally: Yes, that’s typical old-school teaching. Let’s experiment with a simple, opening inhale.

First step is a simple, opening inhale…

Align your instrument collarbones wide, head on top of the body
Release the jaw and tongue
Feel as though you are opening your instrument all the way to your bottom
Blow the breath out and simply observe how the abdominal and lower back muscles are working – just observe to not interfere.
Use the above breathing process for our experiment proving how brilliant the body can be. No pushing or pulling of belly muscle allowed!

Experiment 1

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying an FFFFFF
Observe what muscles are working

Experiment 2

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying a VVVVV (be a motorcycle)
Observe what muscles are working

Experiment 3

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale saying a ZZZZZ (be a bumble bee)
Observe what muscles are working

Experiment 4

Perform a simple opening inhale as described above
Exhale sighing an MMMMM
Observe what muscles are working
What did you observe?

If you were able to perform the simply opening inhale then with each experiment you felt a different set of muscles working. The physical intelligence of your instrument chose which muscles to use. Your physical intelligence simply knows what to do. Your mind cannot possibly figure out how to use different muscles for different consonant sounds.

I love the fact that my physical intelligence takes over the singing process when I allow it to. Taking the process out of my mind and putting it into the body where it belongs lets me focus on the music, on phrasing, on character, on enjoying the massive vibration of my sound and having a blast doing so!

Click here for the best voice lessons on the web!



FNAC Live 2017 – 6 – 8 July – Hôtel de Ville

The FNAC-sponsored annual outdoor music event held in the heart of Paris distances itself from its peer festivals in that it offers music-lovers a string of buzzing concerts featuring artists who represent the best in modern French music, all for free. Each year, the music retailer giant FNAC assembles an impressive line-up of talented artists – from up-and-coming mavericks to established musical veterans – to the 4th arrondisement’s historic Hôtel de Ville district for riotous festivities and sonorous music spanning 4 nights during the first week of July – following a 5pm to midnight schedule. The event promises a series of electrifying musical performances from the likes of firebrand Julien Cleric and the talented darlings of record label Label Microqlima (The Pirouettes, Fishbach, Mémé Tan etc) on the festival’s opening night, to an eclectic assortment of artists (Juliette Armanet, Albin de la Simone, Tim Dup…) on the remaining nights. The jam-packed festival schedule will also feature concerts held at the smaller, more intimate venue of the Salon des Arcades for those festival-goers seeking a more relaxed, subdued festival experience – for more information about the highly-anticipated live event, click here!


Breakfast Muff
Eurgh!
Amour Foo

Visit Breakfast Muff at Facebook and iTunes

Post-punk is alive and well with Eilidh McMillan, Simone Wilson and Cal Donnelly – Breakfast Muff. Not to be taken lightly, Breakfast Muff is a genuine post-punk band of the do-it-yourself variety. “Eurgh!” is exciting. It’s loud trashy punk ferocity for real delivering songs with the kind of rough edges reminiscent of 1970s/80s . You’ll be greeted with a great intro – the ripping, frantic “Lunch Money”. 00:49 seconds later you careen into the relatively melodious “Arms Brains”. The album’s killer song “R U A Feminist” follows, leaving no doubt that the band will confront women’s right and other political subjects head-on. “Eurgh!” ends on the melodious “Stinky Goodbyes” and somewhat off-kilter “Waving Cat”. Okay, this album isn’t for everybody, but if you think post-punk is only about aggressive growling and barking, you’re wrong, and Breakfast Muffin’s “Eurgh!”delivers on creativity, experimentation and fun.


Beach House
B-Sides and Rarities
Sub Pop

Visit Beach House at Facebook and iTunes

Victoria Legrand (vocals, keyboards) and Alex Scally (guitar, keyboards) are back with “B-Sides and Rarities” a compilation album including both known and previously unreleased songs. The compilation album is “Pick of the Week” because when it comes to dream pop Beach House is one of, if not the, best, and honestly, there just isn’t any other release for the week that seemed right for this week’s choice. This is an album that you should put on your summer play list as characteristic Beach House and chill.


Don’t know Tunabunny? The band hails from Athens, Georgia as in the home of the famed 40 Watt Club, The B52’s and R.E.M. Tunabunny founders are Scott Creney and Brigette Herron. Along with Mary Jane Hassell and Jesse Stinnard the band has released their fifth album, “PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr”. The album captured us. Taken as a whole (twenty-eight tracks) or on a track-by-track basis, the journey is well worthwhile. Fortunately, Tunabunny found time to talk with us. This is a great band having seemingly unbounded creativity accompanied by a welcome sense of humor!

HVUM: Thanks so much for taking time to talk to us! We’ve read a bit about the background of the band and it sounds like a good story, so tell us how Tunabunny happened and how you came up with the band’s name!

TB: Just some friends getting together to make some noise. None of us were proficient on our instruments, or had ever played in a band before. Scott and Brigette had moved in together and their house, in addition to kind of falling apart, had a lot of space. Her dad played music and brought over a bunch of stuff for them to play around with.

After a couple of months of this, songs started to emerge out of the ether and we began to dream of maybe one day playing a show. The original idea was to have a different name every time we played, but Scott saw a sign on a rural highway that said BUNNYTUNA. We flipped it around because it sounded better and all our friends just kept calling us Tunabunny. Some people hate it, but we think it sounds kind of cute and kind of disturbing, which makes it perfect. Anyway, it’s a better band name than Def Leppard. Or Ed Sheeran.

HVUM: Many of our followers are D.Y.I. musicians, so they are always interested in knowing if band members have formal musical backgrounds or if they are self-taught.

TB: Entirely self-taught. We were totally inspired by all that Raincoats, Kleenex, early Slits stuff. Plus Velvet Undeground, and The Shaggs, and Pere Ubu, and The Clean. All those bands showed what you could do with a couple of chords and a lot of imagination. More locally, bands like Pylon and The B-52’s made us thing you could be weirdo art kids with more inspiration than chops and have fun playing music.

HVUM: Fantastic! We’re absolutely into The Slits (Cut), The Raincoats, Kleenex/Liliput…Knocking on to the last question, we’d like to know how you found your HHBTM or was it that HHBTM found Tunabunny?

TB: After a couple of shows, word got around town that there was this band called Tunabunny that was a cool fucking mess and someone told Mike (owner/ceo/whatever of HHBTM) that he needed to check it out. It took him a couple of tries because he kept showing up after we’d already finished playing (we pride ourselves on punctuality—plus the sooner the show’s over the sooner you can relax and party). Anyway, he signed us right there on the spot. Said he’d never make us stars but he’d let us record whatever we wanted, which is all we could’ve asked for. And we kind of got to become stars anyway—distant stars that you can only see when the planets and atmosphere are properly aligned, but still stars nonetheless. We’ve certainly gone further than we ever expected or dreamed when we started playing together.

HVUM: Your music covers a very large bandwidth of genres from pop to blazing rock and it seems just to say that much of what you do is experimental. Do you have any influences that motivate you or is it more about an independent convergence of creative minds?

TB: The music usually emerges from us playing in a room. Because we listen to and love all kinds of music—from Abba to Sun Ra, from Swell Maps to The Beatles, we don’t put up boundaries around what we can or can’t play. Someone in the band shouts That’s great! Play that again! And a song comes out of it. Given that we live in an age when we have practically the entire history of recorded music at our fingertips, it seems dishonest for a band in 2017 to sound like they’ve only ever heard one record in their entire collective lives. Maybe that’s a good marketing strategy, but it makes for really boring records. And as a band, the only goal we’ve ever had is to not being boring — to ourselves or to our audience.

HVUM: Your new release “PCP Alice in Wonderland Jr” is our pick out of new releases for 23 June. We had a hard time describing the album in the sense of “pinning it down”. We’d really like to know your thoughts on the twenty-eight track album as far as its being topical or thematic?

TB: It’s a concept album about how great we are (I’m half channeling Noel Gallagher and half serious when I say that). There seems to be a lot of politics on this one, personal and otherwise, and a lot of struggling to keep one’s emotional head above water. I hear a lot of ostracism, a sense of loneliness and loss and isolation in the lyrics, with the music kind of pushing back against that. Like the best music, it’s about dancing on the graves of your problems and fears.

HVUM: Let’s take time out for a look and listen to “Incinerate”, the second track on “PCP Alice in Wonderland”.

HVUM: We first learned about the band with the release of “Genius Fatigue” and we like that album…”Duchess For Nothing” gets put on repeat! Has there been any change in direction between “Genius Fatigue” and the new release?

TB: We recorded Genius Fatigue back when we were touring all the time, so it has that kind of attack you get from standing in front of an audience. Being at home more, you tend to pick up different instruments, play around with drum machines, electronics, recording techniques, etc. Plus, the first two albums were us learning to play. Genius Fatigue (third album) was us kind of mastering the form. The only thing to do at that point was unlearn—switching instruments, switching approaches, etc.

HVUM: If Tunabunny was a book, what would it be and why?

TB: That is such a great question…It’s probably going to take longer to answer than all the others combined. Maybe Guy Debord’s autobiography Panegyric. We’ll defer to the publisher’s description of it as a “tongue-in-cheek autobiography [that] mixes precision and pastiche in a whirlwind account of philosophy, exploit, and inebriation. Plus it was original bound in sandpaper so it would erode the covers of the books next to it and most people haven’t heard of it—just like Tunabunny.

HVUM: Finally, what is on the horizon for Tunabunny? Any tours ahead?

TB: We’ve toured a lot over the years—low-budget shoestring DIY touring, but there’s more obstacles now than there used to be. Brigette’s about a year away from finishing her PhD (if all goes according to plan), and there’s a 3-year-old baby bouncing around, and Mary Jane has a real grown-up job and mortgage. That’s not to say we’ll never tour again, but we’d probably need more money than we did in the past, which would mean we’d need to be more popular, something we have no control over. Most likely we’ll be a cult band that gets criminally ignored during our lifetime only to be besieged with offers 20 years from now when we’re cited as incredibly influential, etc. etc. assuming human life exists 20 years from now in any recognizable form of course.

HVUM: Hey! Thanks a lot for spending time to share your experience and thoughts about Tunabunny. We really hope that you can find the time (and the money) to keep going. Don’t hesitate to call on us if we can lend a hand going forward!


staff card pic_200x300A Lecturer in Popular Music at a British Higher Education institution, Denigrata Herself is undertaking her PhD in women in extreme metal. She is also the front woman/guitarist in Denigrata, an experimental black metal collective. Denigrata have coined the term noir concrête for their music, meaning the avant-garde dark noise initiated by Pierre Schaeffer and Karlheinz Stockhausen finds a different rhizomatic existence within their contemporary black metal performance space.

Denigrata Herself is a gender theorist whose research and publications to date focus on body performativity, reclamation of female space, tattooing, graphic novels, death metal and black metal. She is part of the International Society for the Study of Metal Music (ISMMS) and sits on various academic and equal rights boards in the UK.

For over a decade she was a lead guitarist in British death metal bands, she was signed to and worked for various independent record labels and now devotes her time to lecturing, researching and performing. She is choir master for her departmental chamber choir and presents annual post-modern renderings of canonical classical pieces with her choir, a string quartet, a contemporary band and Ableton performers.

29 June 2017

So, after five long years and a change of heart half way through, I have finally completed my PhD. I have passed my viva and had my amendments accepted. And the crazy thing is, I do not feel the way I thought I would.

Many academic friends of mine warned me, saying things like ‘you will feel empty when it’s done’ and I completely poo-poo’d them, as I struggled under the weight of it all. I longed for the moment when it was done, finished, completed, that I would get my life back, that thing I did before the PhD began. But it was so long ago, I can’t really remember what it was.

Five years ago, I started the research. Three years into it, 55 thousand words later, I had a meeting with my supervisory team and director of studies. We sat solemnly round a table. The DOS said bluntly, ‘your heart is not in this. Why are you doing research if you don’t want to?’. She was quite right of course. I had chosen a field of inquiry that did not excite me and that I found boring. And being a university lecturer, there is an expectation that you either already have a doctorate or you are working towards one; in short I felt at that time that it was something I just had to get done. And let me tell you, lecturing full time and doing a PhD are not compatible. By this point, I had essentially wasted my first three years. So I went to Italy. Obviously. I spent the week with a friend of mine in Naples, Positano, Saint Agnello and Malfi. It was perfect but more than that, I had my epiphany.

Earlier that year, I had taken part in my first metal scholars conference and gave my first paper on my experiences as a death metal guitarist. Not only were the metal community friendly and warm, they were so supportive of me that it suddenly occurred to me that I had, in effect, been barking up the wrong tree. The reason my previous PhD felt wrong, was because it was. I already had my subject area but hadn’t realised it. So in August 2014 I changed topic, I started Denigrata, which I knew would provide the data for my research and now it has come full circle. I basically wrote my new PhD from scratch, started a band, all in two and a half years. Lots of people told me it couldn’t be done but 88,600 words later, it is.

My thesis title is ‘Denigrata Cervorum: Interpretive Performance Autoethnography and Female Black Metal Performance’ and I am very proud of it. I use the band as the data for my autoethnography (crudely summed up as examination of the self) and I apply feminist psychoanalysis to those experiences. And why have I done this? Make no mistake, this is a feminist inquiry. It examines the ways in which patriarchy encodes the modes of address and engagement for women in black metal. But it is not a savage take down of the genre, not at all. It obviously has to highlight the problems but it is very much a celebration of what Denigrata and black metal have given to me and what I found in myself during the process.

How do I feel now that it is completed? Well, a bit lost, my drive and commitment have taken a bit of a hit and I don’t really know what ‘normal’ people do with their time?! I now feel grateful that I am lecturing full time because I’d probably go mad without it.

Also during this time, Denigrata have been working on a new album, begin gigging later this year again (after a writing hiatus), released a new video and have acquired a drummer. We have always remained busy. But this time, I get to enjoy the band without the constant weight of thinking ‘I need to write that down’! But, is it enjoyment or panic? I’m not sure I can tell the difference anymore…

In the last year of my PhD, I also got married and conducted/stage managed my first opera (I like to keep busy!) and I am left thinking what does being busy really mean? Is it a filler for other things that I should be doing? I know I want to spend as much time with my husband as possible, and I know I love being creative and am extremely fortunate that I am in an environment where I can be. So I should shut up really shouldn’t I…And yet…
What happens to PhD students after graduation? I have an actual summer facing me now. But I can feel change in the wind, I can feel it in my bones. I can only speculate as to what that will be but for once, I am not going to worry about it. I think I’ll just look forward to my graduation and that moment I’ve been dreaming of for the last five years…


Tunabunny
PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr
HHBTM

Visit Tunabunny at Facebook and iTunes

For those who don’t know Tunabunny, the band hails from Athens, Georgia as in the home of the famed 40 Watt Club, The B52’s and R.E.M. Tunabunny founders are Scott Creney and Brigette Herron. Along with Mary Jane Hassell and Jesse Stinnard the band has released their fifth album, “PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr”. It’s tough getting one’s head around the twenty-eight track album and that’s okay, it’s worth setting aside the 1:14:25 to take the journey. You’ll get pop – “Incinerate” (video below), and trip folk (maybe that’s not the right description, but just think in terms an acid trip experience that’s so weird you can’t describe it) – “Seek Consequence”, and punk rock – “Noise Problems”(track below). It’s recommended that you have listen to the album as a whole, which might leave you feeling a bit dazed, but after letting it all register, you can return to take it in bite-sized pieces. Tunabunny is positively avant garde and “PCP Presents Alice in Wonderland Jr” originally unorthodox.


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