Joseph Decosimo, Luke Richardson, Cleek Schrey

Beehive Cathedral

Image of Joseph Decosimo, Luke Richardson, Cleek Schrey - Beehive Cathedral

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Past collaborators of Decosimo include indie/folk artists Jake Xerxes Fussell, Wye Oak, and Hiss Golden Messenger. Past collaborators of Schrey include experimental/sound artists Alvin Lucier, Gordon Mumma and Yasunao Tone.

In April 2021, Joseph Decosimo, Luke Richardson, and Cleek Schrey three of the most compelling interpreters in the American traditional music scene gathered at a cabin in Tennessee to explore their collective repertoire of Old-time fiddle and banjo tunes, gleaned from visits with older players, field recordings, and vintage 78s. Working with fiddle, hardanger d’amore (a fiddle with sympathetic strings), banjos, and a 19th-century pump organ, the trio captured both the sonic details of their instruments and a generous musical interplay rooted in a dozen years of collaboration. Their debut album, Beehive Cathedral, presents resonant, thoughtful, and expansive explorations of Appalachian and American music. The results showcase deep Details study and enveloping, exhilarating performances.

A rich vein of stories and relationships to people and places underpin Beehive Cathedral. Much of the album draws on Decosimo’s experiences learning the music of Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, where he grew up and worked as a folklorist. A key source of inspiration was fiddler Clyde Davenport (1921-2020), “Clyde was a

social and musical trickster who knew hundreds of old tunes and had an uncanny ability to recall each piece in exquisite detail,” says Decosimo. “During my visits, he’d play breathtaking local pieces from his father Will, who was born in 1868. His father had learned some of them from a neighbor who was born in 1829.”

"This record expresses some of what we hear in Southern traditional music: the ring of the strings, the buzz of the tunings, the hum of the organ,” explains Schrey. Spending time listening to old recordings and imagining how those sounds were made has made the trio keenly interested in the relationship between physical motion and sound in their source material. The result is a dense layering of sounds and interaction. Of this sonic interplay, Irish fiddle luminary Martin Hayes observes, “The sound of a beehive conveys the idea of a unified

harmonious soundscape which is how this recording sounds. Beehive Cathedral is a sonic delight, a beautiful blend of Old-time soundscapes and more. This is a hypnotic recording that is grounded, subtle and refined.”


Side A:
1. Betty Baker
2. Blackberry Blossoms
3. Pompey Ran Away
4. Cluck Old Hen
5. Chimes
6. Lost Girl
7. Can't Jump Josie
8. Red Bird

Side B:
1. Rockingham
2. Prettiest Little Girl In The County
3. Drunken Hiccups
4. Hog Went Through The Fence, Yoke And All
5. Polly Put The Kettle On
6. Shortening Bread
7. Billy In The Lowground

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