Anna Homler

(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )

Puppetina: Piewacket (2001), 7/10
The Many Moods Of Bread And Shed (2012), 6/10

Anna Homler (Los Angeles, 1948) is a performance artist, vocalist and composer whose vocal acrobatics fall halfway between Meredith Monk and Laurie Anderson. She started out in 1980 with performance art and around 1985 began to focus on the human voice and invented a language of her own. Pharmacia Poetica (1987) is a multimedia performance and installation that she would continue to develop over the years.

The five-song cassette Breadwoman (Pharmacia Poetica, 1985) documents a collaboration with multi-instrumentalist Steve Moshier. It featured the first versions of Ee Che, OO Nu Dah and Yesh' Te. The 2016 reissue adds two lengthy compositions: the repetitive loop of Sirens (12:06) and the esoteric ceremony of Celestial Ash (17:06).

Her first triumph was the phantasmagoric album Do Ya Sa' Di Do (AMF, 1992), featuring Ethan James, Steve Moshier, David Moss and Bernard Sauser-Hall. She fully revealed her surreal persona in songs such as Moshier's Ee Che, a bluesy chant over an industrial beat, the cubistic carillon Do Ya Sa Di Do and the folkish dance Oo Nu Diya.

After lending her vocals to the first incarnation of Voices Of Kwahn and to the project Sugarconnection (sound sculptors Frank Schulte and Axel Otto) on the 20 brief vignettes of Plays Alien Cakes (No Man's Land, 1994), Homler teamed up with keyboardist, guitarist and violinist Geert Waegeman and percussionist Pavel Fajt for the 15 abstract folk dances of Macaronic Sines (april 1995 - Lowlands, 1995), with lively lullabies like the funk-jazz Komida Kapak, and for the live album Corne de Vache (Victo, 1997).

House of Hands (ND, 2000) with Viola Kramer, Steve Roden, Nadine Bal, Alain Neffe, and Lyn Norton offers twelve of her under-developed songs.

Kelpland Serenades (september 2001 - Pharmacia Poetica, 2005) is a live improvised collaboration with electronic keyboardist and contrabassist Steuart Liebig.

Anna Homler started the project Puppetina with multi-instrumentalist Stepanie Payne. Their Piewacket (PNT, 2001 - ReR, 2005), featuring accordionist Ethan Holtzman and credited to Puppetina, was devoted to Homler's simulation of international folk music. The catchier tunes, such as M-Bira Song and Sweet Clarina 12, sounded like a hybrid of Meredith Monk and Enya. But the lively Country Western Song had a rustic and down-to-earth quality that was missing from both the other visionaries of imaginary folk music. Cafe Song evokes a Slavic wedding, Scary Song an expressionist cabaret, Monkey Jazz a swinging radio group from the 1950s, and Accordian Song a Louisiana madhouse party. Electronic noise and hypnotic procedures permeate the Far Eastern-sounding Do Wa Do and Organ Song. The voice is distorted beyond recognition by the electronics in Bongo Song. And no less creative are the instrumentals Bell Song, a micro-concerto for toy instruments and found sounds, French Song, for sampled voices and Parisian merry-go-round, and Barbie Song, six minutes of musique concrete for kindergartens.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da Antonio Buono)

Anna Homler (Los Angeles, 1948) Š una cantante, compositrice e performer, il cui canto acrobatico Š qualcosa a met… strada tra quello di Meredith Monk e Laurie Anderson. EsordŤ con una performance nel 1980 e intorno al 1985 inizi• a focalizzarsi sulla voce e invent• un linguaggio proprio. Pharmacia Poetica (1987) Š una rappresentazione multimediale che ha continuato a sviluppare nel corso degli anni.

La cassetta Breadwoman (Pharmacia Poetica, 1985) fu una collaborazione col multi-strumentista Steve Moshier. Questa offre le prime versioni di Ee Che, OO Nu Dah e Yesh' Te.

Il suo primo trionfo fu Do Ya Sa' Di Do, nel quale figuravano Ethan James, Steve Moshier, David Moss e Bernard Sauser-Hall. Rivel• completamente la sua personalit… surreale in piece come Ee Che di Moshier.

Dopo aver prestato la sua voce per la prima incarnazione delle Voices Of Kwahn e al progetto Sugarconnection (gli scultori del suono Frank Schulte e Axel Otto) su venti brevi vignette di Plays Alien Cakes (No Man's Land, 1994), Homler collabor• con il tastierista, chitarrista e violinista Geert Waegeman e il percussionista Pavel Fajt per le 15 danze di folk astratto di Macaronic Sines (Lowlands, 1995), uno dei suoi lavori pi— creativi, e l'album registrato dal vivo Corne de Vache (Victo, 1997).

House of Hands (ND, 2000) con Viola Kramer, Steve Roden, Nadine Bal, Alain Neffe e Lyn Norton offre dodici delle sue canzoni non ultimate.

Kelpland Serenades (Pharmacia Poetica, 2005) Š una collaborazione improvvisata dal vivo col tastierista elettronico e contrabbassista Steuart Liebig.

Anna Homler avvi• il progetto Puppetina con il multi-strumentista Stepanie Payne. Il loro Piewacket (PNT, 2001 - ReR, 2005), che include il fisarmonicista Ethan Holtzman, Š dedicato alla simulazione della musica folk internazionale di Homler. I motivi pi— orecchiabili, come M-Bira Song e Sweet Clarina 12, suonano come un ibrido tra Meredith Monk e Bjork. Ma l'animata Country Western Song ha una qualit… rustica e positiva che manca alle altre visionarie della musica folk astratta. Cafe Song evoca una cerimonia nuziale slava, Scary Song un cabaret espressionista, Monkey Jazz un gruppo swing anni '50, e Accordian Song un party da manicomio della Louisiana. Rumori elettronici e procedure ipnotiche permeano le sonorit… da Estremo Oriente di Do Wa Do and Organ Song. La voce viene distorta attraverso l'elettronica tanto da non essere riconoscibile in Bongo Song. E non meno creativi sono gli strumentali Bell Song, un micro-concerto per strumenti giocattolo e found sounds, French Song, per voci campionate e carosello parigino, e Barbie Song, sei minuti di musica concreta per giardini d'infanzia.

The Many Moods Of Bread And Shed (The Orchestra Pit Recording Co, 2012) documents collaborations with London-based violinist Sylvia Hallett between 2002 and 2010. Homler plays found objects, ranging from a walkie-talkie to a doll heart, while Hallett plays violin, accordion, mbira, jaws harp, piano and various sound effects. The pieces belong to three broad categories. First you have the relatively more conventional "exotic" songs, based on modes and ideas imported from imaginary regions of the world, such as the Plutonian Lullaby and Radio Fish, the mock-religious hymn Omina Noctis, and the accordion-driven Ma'dona Sa'ye, the catchiest of the bunch. Second, the surrealist chamber music, well represented by the concrete noises over subdued percussive loop of Vishnu's Pond and the theremin-ian nightmare Les Perdues, that harks back to the primordial age of electronic music. And finally the unlikely lieder, like Sea Of Vapours, a witchy whisper of non-words over a rhythmic cello loop amid a profusion of instrumental and non-instrumental sounds; Yves's Eyes, in which the vocal part has been reduced to distant galactic wails and whines and guttural drones; and the eight-minute Seething Bay, a sort of nursery rhyme set against a backdrop of fibrillating semi-industrial sounds. The singing is always mesmerizing, despite being obviously under-utilized, and the digital-acoustic soundscapes is never predictable. There is a painstaking care in the way these tiny fragile psychological emissions are configured.

Berlin Toy Bazaar (2012) documents a live performance with pianist Steve Beresford and Richard Sanderson.

Here & Here & Here (2014) documents a live improvation with a free-jazz combo (Michael Vlatkovich on trombone, Jeff Kaiser on trumpet, Scott Walton on bass and Rich West on drums).

FTS003 (2018) was a split album. Homler's side contains five brief improvisations with soprano saxophonist Adrian Northover and guitarist Dave Tucker.

The mini-album Deliquium in C (2019) contains Deliquium in C, a 15-minute loop of ominous wind, earthly rumble, and guttural chirping.

Luz Azul (2020) compiles an unreleased 2008 collaboration with percussionist Marcos Fernandes and keyboardist Robert Montoya of the collective Trummerflora. Homler plays "pocket theremin, sample sticks, whistles, assorted dry and squeaky objects" besides singing.

Her immense talent as a creative vocalist is not fully represented in her discography.

(Translation by/ Tradotto da xxx)

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(Copyright © 2003 Piero Scaruffi | Terms of use )
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