- Gibu Master
- Harp Sketch
- Breakfast with Dolores
- Ogre Under the Bonsai Tree
Mac Ritchey: oud, bouzouki, electric oud, saz, harp
Gabe Halberg: tabla, frame drums, shuitar, percussion
Naseem Alatrash: cello
With Brian Boyes: trumpet (track 2)
Continuing on our “sinuous sonic journey”, we’ve captured a new angle on 35th Parallel — primarily in a trio format. Cello joins the mix as a new integral voice in the bands’ arrangements on nine compositions, some potentially familiar to some listeners and others composed during the recording process.
Gabe, Mac, and Naseem played a show together in 2014 and it was immediately clear that this was a combination to be explored further. Our longtime friend Brian Boyes joins us for one tune, and new tones and timbres have been harvested (including harp, shuitar, and saz baglama).
A melody we’ve had on the vine for years and years, it finally ripened and our “arms opened wide”.
Finally captured in the studio, this has been a stage favorite for years! To be a Gibu, one must swallow a tadpole. But to be a Gibu Master? A minnow.
Composed on a 3 octave harp Mac has had since he was 16, this composition feels so evocative of visuals that we didn’t want to cloud anyone’s own interpretation with a name. This is the one duo tune on the album.
Breakfast With Dolores
Leaving Bar Harbor after a gig, this melody came crashing through the windshield. We’ve got 30 minutes of audio sketches of Mac singing this over and over again, with Gabe in the background handling logistics on his phone for our next shows. By the time we left the next gas station, the entire form was composed. Our thanks to 2 Cats restaurant in Bar Harbor for an inspirational breakfast!
Originally composed as part of a suite of material commissioned by the Flynn Center in Burlington VT, this piece grew from a long, slow rhythm in five that Gabe composed and sent to Mac. One of those songs that took almost no time at all to write together.
Ogre Under The Bonsai Tree
Originally composed with 9-year-old Evren Ozan on his album “As Things Could Be”, we’ve played this song live since 2003. Evren preferred the title “Roots And Vines” for his release, but we always harbored a love for tiny little ogres. Featuring Gabe on shuitar!
A study in repetition, this melody came from a cold wintery writing day. For years Mac wondered where the song “might go”. We decided to keep it right where it is, going deeper by adding layers upon layers.
An improv captured! Gabe resonated with a moment of impromptu audio that we had in our archives from a pre-show soundcheck, and he grabbed the helm to take it to fruition.
Exploring the saz baglama, this melody came to life originally imagined as a vocal song “without words”. Gabe builds a percussive bed of rising and crashing waves, and Naseem closes out the album with a powerfully haunting cello solo.