Emily Hay: Video Clips

Emily Hay and Motoko Honda appear Sunday, Feb. 27, at Musician’s Union Hall, 116 9th St. near Mission, San Francisco.

Southern California flutist/vocalist Emily Hay has a new quartet CD out (Polarity Taskmasters) and is coming up this way for a show. Random stuff I know about her:

I liked her self-titled trio album with Brad Dutz and Wayne Peet, on pfMentum.  Dutz, a percussionist, often improvises in a melodic and rhythmic mode, using tuned instruments such as xylophone or marimba. Peet, an organist, often works on building rhythm and groove as well. It’s a different type of improvisation, not quite groove music but less abstract than you often find as well. It’s a mix I enjoyed. You can hear some of the groove element about halfway through this video:

Hay’s improvising can be quite cutting and acidic, which complements Motoko Honda’s piano work quite well. Add in some reverb, and they make a formidable wall of sound, far from the welcoming grooves of the Dutz/Peet trio. Here’s one of their appearances at the Boise Improvised Music Festival.

What I hadn’t noticed in Hay’s bio before now was her turn in art rock, singing for Motor Totemist Guild and U Totem, circa 1990. Via YouTube, I’m getting my first taste of what that music was like, and I’m intrigued.

I guess my only point here is that I spent a lot of time on the Web last weekend. I realize some people would chalk up U Totem/Motor Totemist/5UUs as Art Bears/Henry Cow derivatives, but I’m still curious to hear more from them.