Wednesday 18 July 2018, 7.30pm
House and Land is the duo of Sally Anne Morgan (fiddle, shruti box, banjo, vocals) and Sarah Louise Henson (vocals, 12-string guitar, shruti box, bouzouki). Sally and Sarah started playing together after Sarah opened for The Black Twig Pickers for whom Sally plays the fiddle. The duo quickly discovered that they were both interested in the same very specific forms of traditional music. Additionally, they both viewed it through the lens of their shared love of modern, experimental and minimal music. “We honor what two voices and bodies can do in one moment in time. It totally shapes our sound.”
Their playing together is wholly unmediated, without amplifiers and using just two sets of hands and voices. With a minimalist approach, their music considers the space between notes as much as the notes themselves. The material on their debut is drawn from traditional southern hymns and Appalachian ballads that originated in England and elsewhere hundreds of years ago. Microtonality is as essential to certain Appalachian vocal styles as it is to a Tony Conrad composition and the often spare adornment to their singing puts these complexities on full display.
“House and Land don’t just make these songs their own: they effectively reclaim them, illustrating that they’ve always been theirs.” – Pitchfork