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MP3 Au - ROCK: Folk Rock

"This acoustic group has a fine grasp on both delicate minimalism and dense, Elysian soundscapes, settling down somewhere in the zoological canon between Animal Collective and the Penguin Café Orchestra."

8 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Folk Rock, ROCK: Psychedelic

Au is the work of Portland, OR multi-instrumentalist Luke Wyland which unfolds a world of musical nuance instilled by a patient and focused hand. Situated amongst the spheres of Avant-Folk, Art-Pop, and New Music’s nuance- while never adhering to any- it is at the vanguard of modern songwriting.

Luke studied classical piano as a child, but his interest in music wasn''t fully ignited until struck by avant-garde jazz as a teen. He studied at the Mass. College of Art in Boston and toured the country with left-ended improv bands. Starting with keyboards & accordion, he then took up the banjo & guitar, and the musician who was first inspired by Cecil Taylor and Monk was now headed down an unlikely backwoods road of improv that cut across Appalachia. The influences Luke credits give some insight into the uniqueness of his music- a life spent as a stutterer, the rhythmic hypnosis of Arnold Dreyblatt, the simplicity of Louis Hardin''s structures, the magic of Terry Riley''s repetitions, John Cage''s restraint, and the New Lost City Ramblers'' re-interpretation of America''s historical music.

Under the new moniker Au (pronounced ‘ay you’), this is his second album recorded in his home studio (the first , peaofthesea, as ‘luc’, 2005) and unearths a more crystalline and cohesive whole. Enlisted are the considerable talents of Zoë Wright and Sarah Winchester on vocals (from Team Love’s A Weather), Jonathan Sielaff on clarinets (Nick Jaina, Parenthetical Girls), Mark Kaylor on percussion (Haiku Ambulance, Ghost to Falco), and the mastering finesse of Jherek Bischoff from The Dead Science. Throughout the album Luke looks to the paradigms of everyday life, whether in the sorrow and longing of “Death”, or the glorious celebration of “Sum”; presenting songs that sidestep diaristic accounts in search of a more ubiquitous emotional experience.

The live show finds him collaborating with Jonathan Sielaff (clarinets, guitar, saw and banjo) and Mark Kaylor (drums, sousaphone, and saw). The three met in the Portland improv scene centered around the 411 Collective (2003) and together weave sets on numerous instruments that find a delicate balance between their roots as free music players and the pop oriented structures of Luke’s songs.

Luke has had the honor of sharing the stage with such bands as the Castanets, Tom Carter (Charalambides), Shaky Hands, Valet, Phosphorescent, Modernstate, Mary Halvorson and Jess Pavone, Grouper, Ches Smith and David Hoff, Colin Stetson, Evolutionary Jass Band, Dragging and Ox Through Water, Amps for Christ, Rollerball, David Kendall, Jackie-O-Motherfucker, The Yellow Swans, Pauline Oliveros, Olivia Block, GOD, A Weather, and Emma Zunz.

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