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Hawk And A Hacksaw - Forest Bathing

  by Nicky Crewe

published: 31 / 5 / 2018

Hawk And A Hacksaw - Forest Bathing
Label: Living Music Duplication
Format: CD


Globally inspired latest album from A Hawk and A Hacksaw which creates a wonderful escape from hard reality

I woke up one morning recently convinced that a world war was imminent. Switching off the radio news, I put A Hawk and A Hacksaw’s ‘Forest Bathing’ in the CD player for the first time, in a desperate attempt to retain my sanity. I made a good choice. Even the title of this album is calming and sustaining. Forest bathing, or shirin-yoku, is a Japanese concept for maintaining good health and promoting healing. ‘Taking in the forest atmosphere’ was developed in the 1980s. I’m sure it’s been around since there were forests and woods and people, but as a conscious movement it is a very attractive one. A Hawk and A Hacksaw are Alberquerque-based musicians Heather Trost and Jeremy Barnes. Their chosen forest bath takes place in the Valle De Oro National Wildlife Park in New Mexico. So, we have American musicians inspired by a Japanese method for making a deep connection with nature. Then there’s the music. It’s truly free of borders. It’s a dream of music made on trade routes across Eastern Europe and into the mysterious continent of Asia. Travels in Bulgaria, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Romania have provided the inspiration,and musicians and instruments from those cultures and musical traditions provide the soundscape. There’s a Persian Santur, a type of hammer struck dulcimer and a Serbian brass sound as well as wonderful string and woodwind melodies. The music sounds folkloric and traditional. There are ten instrumental tracks written by Barnes and Trost. It’s rural and it’s timeless. There are guest musicians from Hungary and Turkey who bring their particular talents to the mix, alongside Chicago trumpeter Sam Johnson, Deerhoof’s John Dieterich and Noah Martinez of Lone Pinon. It’s a global mix of sounds and influences that defies expectations and assumptions. It was a perfect antidote to the global news and will now have a special place in my heart.

Track Listing:-
1 Alexandria
2 A Broken Road Lined with Poplar Trees
3 A Song for Old People / A Song for Young People
4 The Shepherd Dogs are Calling
5 Night Sneaker
6 The Magic Spring
7 The Sky is Blue, the Desert is Yellow
8 Babayaga
9 The Washing Bear
10 Bayati Maqam

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live reviews

Club Zigana, the Romanian Restaurant, London, 4/12/2008
Hawk And A Hacksaw - Club Zigana, the Romanian Restaurant, London, 4/12/2008
Chris O' Toole finds A Hawk and A Hacksaw's blend of Eastern European folk and jazz intriguing and beguiling, but hammpered by their audience at a gig at the one-off venue of Club Zigana Romanian Restaurant in London
Bush Hall, London, 11/5/2007
Luminaire, London, 12/11/2006

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