The Knells are a post rock, neo-psychedelic chamber prog band from Brooklyn, NY that combine the dynamic, formal, and harmonic intricacies of classical and jazz with the rhythmic energy and expressive vitality of rock music. Their eponymous debut album, which the New York Times describes as a collection of songs that "sweep ahead, through passages of tolling solo electric guitar, of elegiac vocal melodies and harmonies, of note-bending quasi-Indian strings and guitar, of progressive-rock processionals," was released on New Amsterdam Records in November 2013, and was cited as one of the year's most notable releases in The New Republic, The Washington Post, The New Yorker, The Daily Beast, Textura, and many others.
Led by composer and guitarist Andrew McKenna Lee, The Knells employ a veritable armada of instruments, sounds, and ideas to explore a wide variety of musical spaces. Softer chamber music passages for strings, bowed percussion, and quiet guitars frequently contrast with louder, more rhythmically driven passages. The constant throughout is a trio of female vocalists that deliver hypnotic incantations — sometimes homophonically, and at other times in complex contrapuntal arrangements.
The Knells have performed in some of New York City's most prestigious venues, including Roulette, The Cutting Room, Subculture, and (le) Poisson Rouge. They have also performed reduced arrangements of their songs in more formal concert venues, such as The DiMenna Center for Classical Music, and on the 2014 Look and Listen Festival at the Robert Miller Gallery. They are currently seeking to expand their performance schedule, and are writing new material for their second release.
The Cellar & Point (Record Release Party!)
THE CELLAR AND POINT is an adventurous, NYC-based "garage chamber" septet whose musical universe comprises the detail of modern concert music, the improvisational sensibilities of downtown jazz, and the emotional directness of alt-rock. Formed in 2010 by hometown friends drummer/producer Joseph Branciforte and guitarist Christopher Botta, the band has spent almost 5 years crafting the material presented on their debut recording, Ambit, released by Cuneiform Records on October 14th, 2014
AllMusic has called Ambit “one of 2014's finest albums of challenging, engaging, and genre-defying contemporary music” , while John Schaefer, host of WNYC's New Sounds describes the ensemble's sound as "winningly melodic, thoughtful in its balance, groove-heavy, sometimes glitchy, and delightfully unpredictable."
In addition to drums and acoustic guitar, the group features Christopher Otto and Kevin McFarland of JACK Quartet on violin and cello respectively, Joe Bergen of TRANSIT on vibraphone, Terrence McManus on electric guitar, and Greg Chudzik on bass. THE CELLAR AND POINTʼs songbook includes original compositions by Branciforte and Botta as well as imaginative arrangements of such composers as Anton Webern and György Ligeti.
Empyrean Atlas, the project of composer /multi-instrumentalist David Crowell, has been described by the Huffington Post as "an African-music inflected style that also brings to mind Ornette Coleman's record Dancing in Your Head," and by TimeOut NY as combining "Minimalist drive and Afropop shimmer – a bright infectious mix.” Members of Empyrean Atlas have performed and/or recorded with the Philip Glass Ensemble, The National, Bear in Heaven, Steve Reich, Antibalas, Steve Coleman, Superhuman Happiness, Tim Berne, Briars of North America, William Brittelle, Olga Bell, Lia Ices, Little Women and many others.
If heaven exists, Ben Seretan, wants to find it with delay pedals and join the chorus of angels. Long, swirling clouds of tones met with cascading waterfall plucks of electric guitar joined together by a honeyed singing voice and a deep appreciation of tenderness. At times fearfully, ecstatically joyful, at other times whispering drowsily into the coffee cup of your ear.
Grew up in Southern California, studied music at Wesleyan University, Flux Factory artist-in-residence 2014, Sitka Fellows Program recipient 2013, Wassaic Project artist-in-residence 2012, organizer and performer of sunrise concert series, has performed in horse barns, bedrooms, churches, movie theaters, power plants, rooftops, and once on top of the wheelhouse of a tall ship.