Hemispheres – comprised of Helena’s Kate Plummer, guitar, and Maren Haynes Marchesini, cello – has released their first album together. Plummer, from Sydney, Australia, and Marchesini, from Bozeman, each traveled the world, touring with oodles of prestigious musicians before crossing paths in the capital.
Plummer, who has solo albums to her credit, steeped herself in Sydney’s eclectic music scene, playing blues, rock and jazz, and later honed her chops on country and blues. Marchesini has a doctorate in ethnomusicology and studied with pros around the globe. She played in indie rock bands to boot, and currently teaches.
When Plummer was considering a home-cooked album of instrumental music, she asked Marchesini to play on one of the pieces, and they clicked. The band name represents their diverse backgrounds.
Plummer wrote all the songs, drawing on her travels and experiences, and love of Montana. But they collaborated on the cello parts, and also nabbed two accomplished Helena musicians to help on the project: David Casey, bouzouki, and Josh Loveland, percussion. The musicians weave the various genres of acoustic, instrumental, indie and folk into a gorgeous whole.
“Mountains Over Flathead” starts with succinct guitar phrasing underpinned by drony, rich cello bowing. It morphs into a complex round, the cello echoing the fluid guitar flourishes. Pretty!
In “Jonah’s Song,” wistful cello lines sway alongside finger-style guitar, then seems to float overtop, like film-score music. The western, folky “Colorado, By the River” sports some silky guitar finger-pickin’ as the bouzouki and cello trade off unison leads and harmonies. Cool!
“Waking Up to Snow” has stops and starts, the spooky ping of harmonics and growling, sandpapery cello work. The tempo slows as a new theme is introduced, bell-like. Wow! This album is layered and polished, with sterling production values. You’d be wise not to miss this one.
Visit the artists at hemispheres.online.
– Mariss McTucker