"Timbre Hollow" is the debut album by Threnody Ensemble -- a new chamber group founded by guitarists Erik Hoversten (formerly of A Minor Forest), Dave Cerf and Dominique Davison. Incorporating into their compositions elements of improvisation, what is most striking about these pieces is Threnody Ensemble's use of non-Western instrumentation and techniques (hocketing, droning, etc.) in combination with more typical chamber instruments: Indian, Indonesian, and Cuban elements are all apparent but not overt. The effect is to complicate ideas of musical identity and authenticity, to discomfit lazy 'classical vs. folk' distinctions. But above all, the use of steel-stringed acoustic guitars and cello, with a variety of instrumental guests, creates a shimmering soundfield that is at once beyond instrumentalist ego and at home on the concert stage -- chamber music in the new era.
Threnody Ensemble's core members come from diverse music backgrounds, though all were at one time or another heavily involved in the independent rock world. Erik Hoversten studied ethnomusicology and composition at UC Berkeley and founded the noted San Francisco avant-rock band A Minor Forest (Thrill Jockey). Dave Cerf studied non-Western musics at Cal Arts and was a member of the Washington, DC, based group Lorelei. Cellist Dominique Davison, also of A Minor Forest, has performed orchestral music since childhood and currently plays in the New York band 33.3.
Reviews"Though the compositions are not very standard, sounding improvised at times, they remain rather fluid, even melodic, perhaps due to the rock influences. Especially the warm and pleasing sounds of strings and acoustic guitars give this album its special appeal. I have listened to 'Timbre Hollow' quite often now and it keeps surprising me. Not an album which you can easily put a label on, with its mixture of classical, avantgarde and rock elements, or it must be the label 'excellent'!" - Funprox Webzine