On January 25th, Aphonia Recordings artists Evon played at El Rio in San Francisco. A belated release party show for the band, we welcome you to check out some choice photos from the event as well as listen to the release. We recommend you view the pictures below as a slideshow (the page will reload) while using the player. It’s almost like you were there! OK, not really. So the next time they play, get your ass off the couch and see them. Check the Aphonia Recordings website regularly for show dates.
Evon is an amazing group of 6 stupendously talented musicians lead by Agnes Szelag from Oakland, CA. Enjoy!
Read this great review of The Bees Are Coming from KFJC 89.7 FM in Los Altos Hills, CA:
Released in September, 2010, this album by Evon, “The Bees are Coming,” features a number of SF Bay Area artists and is led by composer and artist Agnes Szelag. Agnes composed, performed, recorded and produced this and shows her chops on a dizzying number of instruments (cello, bass, guzheng, harp, guitar, harpsichord, vibraphone, singing bowls, glockenspiel, piano, electronics, etc etc!).
The overall effect is at times heavy, with the album starting up with deep bass sounds that lumber into a monster-movie soundtrack and then twist into beauty with pretty Eastern-flavored plucking, along with warm percussion, marimba, vibraphone and woodblock. Agnes’ vocals then come in, providing a slightly jazzy accent. It can also be atmospheric, with prominent strings and vocals that are at times fuzzy accents, floating and dancing with the music. It’s kind of like chamber pop meeting some jazz performers at the symphony for the screening of a film noir, with the loveliest sounds resulting from that marriage.
If you haven’t heard the new album we welcome you to have a listen over here. Indeed, as the review points out, it is perhaps important that Szelag chose a different moniker other than her birth name, as there are lot of contributions by other artists on the record.
The Norman Conquest provided recording help as well as voice, guitar and percussion. Fellow Aphonia artist Marielle Jakobsons, who also works with Szelag in their duo Myrmyr, provides vocals as well.
Although this is clearly Szelag’s vision, the wide array and cast of characters makes it an ensemble piece, larger than life, not a hobbyist or stripped down side project that merely spotlights the ego of it’s principle creator. No, Evon’s “The Bees Are Coming” is an immense work, encompassing many sonic backcountries and thoroughfares alike and again revealing another layer to the near geologic depth that Szelag’s work encompasses. Enjoy!.
All Aphonia Recs fans should know who Agnes Szelag is by now. Not only has she released a solo EP “No Summer Or Winter” a couple of years back but also joined forces with The Norman Conquest as Dokuro. Now Ms. Szelag returns with an even more ambitious project entitled Evon “The Bees Are Coming.” It is her first full length on Aphonia and is available on compact disc or download now. From the official press release of “The Bees Are Coming”:
Heartfelt performances on cello, guzheng, and voice dance on a bed of intimately interwoven arrangements creating a lush combination of rock, classical, and folk genres with leanings in the avant-garde. Agnes’s unique instrumentation is further augmented by her distinct recording style and electronic sculpting.
Following the textural 2008 release No Summer or Winter (Aphonia Recordings), this album explores Szelag’s songwriting under the pseudonym Evon. The varied song forms intertwine with complex compositions containing the haunting, cinematic elements that Szelag is known for and that show up on her recent release The Amber Sea (Digitalis 2009) with Marielle Jakobsons as myrmyr.
Szelag’s focus in this record was to create a unified band sound that is moody and unpredictable but also very deliberate and delicate. Using her intuition for what should be written and what should be improvised, she displays her multi-instrumentalistism and production craft as she blends her performances with those of Jordan Glenn (drums), Shayna Dunkelman (marimba), Jon Porras (guitar), Alee Karim (guitar), Jason Hoopes (doublebass), and The Norman Conquest (various). The end result is a very eclectic but unified sound backing Szelag’s velvety voice.