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The Violencestring

by Shelly Black-Plock

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Prologue 02:29
River Folk 02:05
Narraion 1 00:51
Narration 2 00:39
Beatings 01:57
Narration 3 00:39
Roger Gale 03:29
Intercession 03:41
Narration 4 00:57
The Butcher 02:01
You Alone 02:47
The Pact 02:39
Narration 5 01:01
Miss Armory 02:43
Full Moon 02:51
Lycanthropy 03:07
Winter Song 02:13
Serendipity 03:40


Shelly Blake-Plock and musical director Joel Grip assembled an international cast featuring Parisian phenom Eve Risser, Stockholm-based trumpeter Niklas Barnö, reedman John Dierker, violinist Ryan Dorsey, drummers Lyle Kissack and Ben McConnell, and Jessica Riefler, Carly Ptak, Twig Harper, Lawrence Lanahan as well as others in voice roles to record an album that merges radical 21st century experiments in free improvisation and concrete studio manipulation with traditional 19th century storytelling and character acting. It is produced by Shelly Blake-Plock and Matthew H. Welch.

An eclectic work comprised of styles ranging from free drones tosch maltzy quasi-jazz to improvised chamber pieces to noisy art rock, ‘The Violencestring’ is based on a Victorian short story by Sabine Baring-Gould. It tells the story of a young boy whose only desire lies in learning to play the violin. Alas, when one’s parents are werewolves, music lessons just aren’t in the cards.

Blake-Plock and Welch recorded the album in an abandoned mansion in West Baltimore. Shelly’s lo-fi roots and unique take on sound editing come through especially strong on the project. He has called his process ‘reductive sound’, whereby a wall of instruments is recorded live – some through a small army of microphones and some direct to the board. Decisions are then made in the editing room to ‘chip away’ at the recording in an attempt to find the music and sound most essential to drive the narrative forward. Rather than smooth out the edits, Shelly leaves the edges hard and allows fields of sound and space to emerge and disappear in a very blunt and raw way. Residue and hidden scraps of sound therefore emerge as if from a palimpsest.

CDs and vinyls are available on our website: www.umlautrecords.com


released December 11, 2007

Shelly Blake-Plock : voice, keys, guitars
Niklas Barnö : trumpet, choral voice
John Dierker : bass clarinet, tenor sax
Emir Sze : no-attack guitar
Ryan Dorsey : violin, choral voice
Jenny Graf Sheppard : voice
Joel Grip : double bass, cowhorn, voice
Twig Harper : voice, recorder, jaw harp
Jessica Riefler : voice
Aaron Henkin : banjo
Mike Apichella : electronics
Lyle Kissack : percussion
Lawrence Lanahan : prepared slide guitar
Carly Ptak : voice, soprano recorder, reeds
Ben McConnell : drums
Eve Risser : piano, synth, flute, theremin
MJ Wojewodzki : voice
Johanna Wojewodzki : voice

Recording : an old house in West Baltimore . December 2006-January 2007
Engineering : Shelly-Blake Plock and Matthew H. Welch
Mastering : Audio Siteworks


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Umlaut Records Paris, France

Umlaut is a music collective born in 2004 in Stockholm, which then opened two branches in Berlin and Paris.

« Transformation of sound » is the motto around which they gathered to produce records, organize concerts, discover new artists and play music together.

The collective works to spread a music that is too rarely shared and discovered.
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