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A Hawk And A Hacksaw

Tuesday, October 01, 20:00
adv £17.50

A Hawk and A Hacksaw was founded in Saumur, France in 2002 by Jeremy Barnes, the drummer of Neutral Milk Hotel, who, completely burnt out by playing the drums, picked up the accordion and became obsessed with folk music from Romania, Hungary, the former Yugoslavia, and Turkey. The band’s name is a reference to Don Quixote, intended as a reminder that while the path chosen is a fool’s quest, there is always the possibility of beauty and discovery along the way.

In 2004 Barnes moved home to New Mexico, and met his partner in life and music, violinist Heather Trost. Their first conversation was about Bela Bartok. The pair toured extensively in the U.S. and Europe, and eventually further afield, to Brazil, Turkey, Australia, Japan. They released a good amount of recordings in an era when CDs were sold at shows and one could carry a large amount of them in carry on luggage. In 2005, they helped a fellow native New Mexican, Zach Condon get a record deal, and played on his debut album. He named his project Beirut. That same year, Barnes travelled to the far Northeast of Romania, to the Roma village of Zece Prajini, where he recorded with the brass band Fanfare Ciocarlia. Barnes and Trost moved to Hungary in 2006 and worked extensively with four Hungarian folk musicians, Ferenc Kovacs, Béla Ágoston, Zsolt Kürtösi, Unger Balázs. They moved back to New Mexico in late 2008 and continued touring, working with a variety of musicians from different parts of Europe and the U.S. They were finally able to play in Bucharest in 2010. In 2011 and ’12, they toured cinemas with a new soundtrack to Sergei Parajanov’s classic film “Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors.” Barnes and Trost began releasing their own records and releases from around the world on their label Living Music Duplication around this time. They worked with Turkish Roma clarinetist Cüneyt Sepetçi, the Sayat Nova Project, former Taraf De Haidouks accordionist Marin Sandu, Thor Harris, and Calexico drummer John Convertino, among others. In 2015, they worked with the BBC Concert Orchestra and the Berlin based classical ensemble Stargaze on larger orchestrations of their music, and curated the Transmissions festival in Ravenna, Italy.

In the past few years, the pair have taken a break from touring, but still release music. Heather Trost has released three solo records to critical acclaim. They have recently written music for film director Peter Strickland among others. Trost has developed a thriving piano and violin studio in Albuquerque, while Barnes worked with incarcerated and refugee youth and then began teaching drums and engineering records for other musicians. They are very excited to be back on the road this coming Autumn.

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