Recorded by Andrew Munsey and Mike Butler.
Treesearch’s sophomore album Birdward is aesthetically omnivorous, further investigating many of the innovative musical compositions that defined their debut collection, Know More Knowledge (577 Records, 2020). In this album, violinist Keir GoGwilt and bassist Kyle Motl are joined by horn player Nicolee Kuester, combining original poems written by GoGwilt and Kuester with precise musical arrangement. Their spoken recitations alternately play signifying and rhythmic roles—the incessant lilt of Kuester’s voice in “Beautiful bird, quiet birds” bleeds into the fraught skittering of Motl’s bass, while GoGwilt’s poetic images of the natural world and fracturing relationships float over his colleagues’ instruments in “Certain Bird” and “Shame.” To arrange their lyrics on inventive bass lines and sparse violin, they use “starling form,” a matrix of 27 word-spaces, invented by Christopher GoGwilt, allowing for rhythmic, reversible recitations. Some tracks are through-composed by one or more of the members; some have just a hint of architecture in a melody or bass line around which all three improvise. Throughout, the listener divides their attention between the instrumentation, and the lyrical human dialogue, an effect that suggests an interpretive biomimicry. The emotional scope of Birdward is as wide as its stylistic roamings: earnest and snarky, serious and frivolous, funny and devastated.
CD, released May 7, 2021
Keir GoGwilt – Violin, text
Nicolee Kuester – Horn, text
Kyle Motl – Bass
Celeste Oram – Voice on “So Long”
Recorded by Andrew Munsey and Mike Butler on March 13-15, 2020
at UC San Diego, Warren Studio A
Mixed by Kyle Motl
Mastered by Jeremy Loucas at Sear Sound, New York City
Graphic design by Sergio Vezzali
Brooklyn, New York