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Cellist-fronted metal trio Grayceon implore humanity to fight for a survivable future

In their nearly 15 years as a band, San Francisco’s Grayceon have reimagined the traditional shapes of metal with challenging song structures, thought-provoking lyrics, and a sound that often feels orchestral despite being largely produced by a trio of cello, guitar, and drums. On their fifth album, Mothers Weavers Vultures, the group make a plea […]

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Cellist Judith Hamann summons a multitude of voices on two new paired albums

With almost identical moonlit cover images and similarly intimate recordings of her cello, voice, and electronics, Judith Hammann’s two new albums are a matched set. Both releases present dialogues between the peripatetic Australian-born musician’s main instrument and her body. On the LP Shaking Studies, whose program she performed in Chicago two years ago, she activates […]

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Cellist Helen Money explores grief on her meditative new album, Atomic

California-born Chicagoan cellist Alison Chesley, aka Helen Money, studied at Northwestern, played in 90s indie-rock band Verbow, and often collaborates with the likes of Sanford Parker, Bruce Lamont, and Russian Circles. As a solo artist she’s cut her own road through the hills of heavy music, drone, and avant-garde. Her brand-new album, Atomic (Thrill Jockey), […]

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Charles Curtis revisits the first acoustic piece by composer Éliane Radigue at the Art Institute of Chicago

Though her work is often characterized as minimalist, composer Éliane Radigue is a category unto herself. During the 1950s and ’60s, the Paris resident worked as an assistant to the originators of musique concrète, Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry. But the music she composed after leaving their orbit employed long tones obtained from microphone feedback, […]

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Icelandic cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir performs music that reflects nature and exile

Cellist Sæunn Thorsteinsdóttir performs with orchestras and smaller ensembles all around the globe and teaches at the University of Washington in Seattle. But Vernacular, her new CD on Sono Luminus, affirms her Icelandic roots even as it acknowledges her geographic distance from her native land. Thorsteinsdóttir has lived outside Iceland most of her life, and […]