Ringing For The Begin Again (2009)
that sounds like a Brothers Grimm fairytale set in a forest after dark!
A unique and multi-faceted take on contemporary folk from the Constellation camp, fusing a typically Canadian, exploratory approach to arrangement with Japanese songwriting and wild instrumentation, drawing on scrapyard percussion, accordion, ukulele and xylophone. "Elfin Saddle is the musical project co-founded by Jordan McKenzie and Emi Honda. Partners in life and in art, Jordan and Emi have been building a wonderful body of visual, installation and video art that combines organic living materials with found and scavenged objects to create enchanted environments of growth, slow transformation and gradual decay. Miniature examples of this work can be seen on the album cover art for this, their second record, and first for Constellation. Elfin Saddle's music is gently mystical, calmly wide-eyed, and consistently guided by crystalline melodies deployed over the group's building blocks of accordion and junkyard percussion. Jordan and Emi trade off on these instruments and on vocal duties, with Jordan singing in English and Emi in Japanese. Supplemented by acoustic guitar, ukulele, banjo, xylophone and bells, the result is a truly unique hybrid folk music, woven from simple, insistent instrumental elements and vocal rounds. The addition of Nathan Gage (Shapes And Sizes) on double bass and tuba creates a new anchor for these magical tunes."
Emi Honda and Jordan McKenzie grew up on opposite sides of the same ocean. Somehow the currents were strong enough to carry Emi from her home in southern Japan to southern Vancouver Island in Canada. Emi spent a lot of time gardening, collecting and making things. Meanwhile, Jordan was busy writing music and learning to build sound machines. As the currents grew stronger, they met, at first through art, each recognizing unmistakable similarities in the others work. Soon they were playing music together, busking in the streets of Victoria.
They also began to collaborate in making art installations (often working with Scott Evans). They recorded far & few, and Emi joined Jordan’s prog-folk/sound project, sound stories. Working with Rachael Wadham, they put together their epic story, the spiral ship, and attemped touring around the pacific northwest. Perhaps taking the road less travelled too often to be beneficial, they remained in the peripheries of the music world, rarely being noticed head-on. As things grew quiet, Emi and Jordan grew restless in Victoria and decided to push off to Montreal. In the process of moving, they developed a new, compact musical set-up, along with a more stripped down sound. This is now Elfin Saddle (the name of their favorite wild mushroom).
Member Since:August 07, 2006
Members:Emi Honda (singing, ukulele, drums, half-accordion, singing saw)-- Jordan McKenzie (singing, half-accordion, xylophones, guitar, drums)-- Nathan Gage (contrabass, tuba)
Influences:outsider art, folk music, field recordings, nursery rhymes, our instruments, everything that grows of its own accord.