Seed Triangular Robbie Lee and Mary Halvorson



release date: September 7, 2018

release date: September 7, 2018

Seed Triangular is the first collaborative album from adventurous multi-instrumentalist Robbie Lee and virtuosic guitarist Mary Halvorson.

Praised as “an evocative pairing” by the New York Times, the album features Halvorson and Lee not only improvising together on a rarely-heard combination of instruments for the very first time, but also documents Halvorson touching these instruments for the very first time. She explores the extended high and low strings of an 18-string Knutsen harp guitar (circa 1899), the vintage quirks of a 1930 Gibson L-2 guitar, and the gut strings of an 1888 SS Stewart 6-string banjo as Lee performs on equally unusual woodwinds, such as baroque flute and the world's smallest saxophone.

The record has been further been acclaimed as “an impressionistic wash of sound” by Downbeat Magazine and “a striking and creative contribution to the history of improvised music” by The Wire.

The project began as a casual jam session between old friends one day in Brooklyn. Although Lee and Halvorson have not often appeared side-by-side professionally, they have improvised together for more than a decade, creating a mutually-understood musical language that draws on their respective musical backgrounds -- Halvorson as a prolific solo artist and bandleader, Lee as an in-demand studio and live musician who has played with artists ranging from Jozef van Wissem and Neil Hagerty to Cass McCombs and Glasser.

Seed Triangular defies genre, floating in a space between early music, folk, free jazz and more. The pieces on the album are edited versions of the improvisation session, "composed" in a way that tells the story of the duo's discovery. The music is naturalist and responsive, with each performer continually taking turns generating or responding to each other as they explore the instruments, creating a magnetic pull with their catch and response as Halvorson learns about the instruments as she plays them. Despite the unusual and (for Halvorson) unfamiliar instrumentation, the duo's rich history performing with each other creates a baseline of ease that allows their signature styles to shine through, giving new life and textures to age-old sounds. 

Seed Triangular was recorded by Elisha Wiesner at Studio Drewtube in Brooklyn, NY. The album was mixed by Robbie Lee and mastered by Bob Weston. Album art and design by David Stith, with Tintype by Jolene Lupo at Penumbra Tintype Studio.

1. The Booming
2. Seven of Strong
3. like a ripple made by the wind
4. A Forest Viol
5. Potamogeton
6. Fireproof-brick Dust
7. the stuttering note of probably
8. Pondeteria
9. Rock Flowers
10. Spring Up There
11. sing o-gurgle-ee this evening
12. Shoots Have Shot
13. The Tawny Orange
14. Early Willows
15. Seed Triangular