This marks our third release with American singer songwriter Jesse Poe’s project Tanakh, currently based in Florence Italy. Unlike the first two recordings this latest offering strays from structured songs and resides much more in the regions of the avant-garde.
These recordings include revolving members of Tanakh, including Pat Best (Pelt), Via Noun (Bevel), Peter Neff (Tulsa Drone), Phil Murphey (Broken Hips), Tom Brickman (Rattlemouth), Jeff Krones (wckrspgt). Like all Tanakh recordings it is led by,Jesse Poe but it features more drone-oriented elements comparable to the debut Tanakh release Villa Claustrophobia and the collective ensembles of the Mile End music scene of Montreal.
These two CDs were recorded by Brian Hoffa at The Pyramid Institute, which served as living quarters, recording and performance space for Tanakh for over four years. The Pyramid Institute was a two story Masonic Temple built in 1905, in the historic district of Richmond Virginia called Church Hill, a mile wide high-spot in the city with a dense historical significance: Native American burial grounds, St. John’s Church, the location where Patrick Henry delivered his famous challenge, “Give me liberty, or give me death.” It also the site of the final resting place of E.A. Poe’s Mother and his childhood sweetheart, the Sisters of the Visitation convent Monte Maria C & O Railroad Tunnel Collapse of 1925 which ran under the temple, and local participation in the anti-slavery movement the “Underground Railroad” led by Elizabeth Van Lew. All of this served, in part, as inspiration for these recordings.
One day just outside the temple a piano had fallen off a moving truck, seizing the opportunity, Tanakh salvaged the twisted mess of the former piano with hopes of reconstructing the ruble. This self-titled double disc is based around that unique hand made instrument. Poe and company bolted piano wire to the hardwood floor of the temple and ran bulk piano wire across it. The whole thing was bolted down at different lengths, tuned, and bowed with bass bows the temple itself acting as the body of the instrument resonating a deep sonorous drone heard throughout the recording.
The recording itself is as mysterious as the grounds on which the music was created, long droning numbers with tremendous swells and divots emoting feeling as if you are experimenting with E.V.P. (electronic voice phenomena) as different sounds and textures come in and out of the mix. This music provides a different digestion with every listen. Comparisons can be drawn to Double Leopards, Taj Mahal Travelers, Molasses, Paul Panhuysen, Pelt, and set fire to flames.
This latest recording from Tanakh comes as a two CD set packaged in a jewel case and sold at the price of a regular single CD. The packaging displays photos of the temple in which the recording took place.
Other releases by Tanakh currently available from Alien8 Recordings include Villa Claustrophobia on CD/LP [ALIEN33] and this year’s Dieu Deuil [ALIENCD43].