Gladden House Sessions 2018: A Hawk and a Hacksaw

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Albuquerque natives, Heather Trost and Jeremy Barnes, (aka A Hawk and A Hacksaw,) brought their unique brand of eastern european-inspired folk music to the Gladden House on Friday, June 1, wrapping up the second day of the 2018 Nelsonville Music Festival.

A Hawk and A Hacksaw left the audience in a trance with the powerful duo of the santur (or Persian dulcimer,) and violin. Before A Hawk and a Hacksaw formed, Barnes was the drummer for beloved indie rock band Neutral Milk Hotel. Trost and Barnes met in 2005 while Barnes was recording his second album, Darkness at Noon (The Leaf Label.) Since then, outfit have put out five studio albums and even did the soundtrack for an Albanian television show.

Trost and Barnes talked with Gladden House host Josh Antonuccio about their latest album, Forest Bathing, released in April on L.M. Dupli-cation. In particular they spoke about the inspirations for the album, as well as the six-week European tour they just finished. While on tour, the duo visited many countries, and Barnes cited Istanbul as a huge influence for their most recent record.

The duo’s first song of the set was a Romanian inspired improvisation that started with Barnes on the santur using fast, rhythmic beats with contrasting dynamics to establish a tone for the song. Trost comes in with the violin playing double stops that create the illusion of playing multiple instruments at once.          Following the first song Trost described the next song, “Alexandria,” a single from their latest aforementioned album. “Alexandria” was inspired by ancient migration of the Middle East. Trost and Barnes follow this with a Macedonian/Turkish inspired improvisation that had the consistent tempo and clear rhythm of a dance that comes to a quick, dramatic end.