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Meow mix

Katt and some other cats
By SUSANNA BOLLE  |  May 13, 2008

Katt Hernandez

Spring showers have yielded not only vibrant daffodils and vexing pollen but also a variety of recordings by local experimental musicians. For years, violinist KATT HERNANDEZ, who will perform at Emmanuel Church in the Back Bay this Friday, was one of Boston’s most ardent champions of improvised music. A little more than a year ago, she moved to Philadelphia, but not before committing some solo-violin improvisations to vintage magnetic tape on the fine analog equipment at the Basement 247 Studio in Allston. The fruits of these sessions have just been released on an LP titled Unlovely by the appropriately vernal Sprout label. For Hernandez, this soup-to-nuts analog production is an ideal way to capture her harmonic-rich music.

“I have not really joined the digital music world in full,” she admits via e-mail. “Although I think it’s splendid that people can trade and share such a vast range of stuff so widely and quickly, for me the creation of sets of a single, solid object is a very different act from the creation of a computer file. It’s more in keeping with what I do — playing the unaltered, unamplified violin.” (That said, you can listen to a session outtake at

If it’s drones you’re after, there’s a pair of new discs by New England artists on the small Ohio label Students of Decay. A tempestuous 36-minute piece, In Remembrance of Me is the first CD by the Boston duo SKELETONS OUT — this is grainy 16 rpm turntablism and murky tape manipulation at their finest. The latest release by Providence guitarist AREA C is the enigmatically titled Charmed Birds of Sorcery, and it’s a wee bit more meditative — oneiric even. You can listen to sound samples from both at

SIMON H. FELL/ ALEX WARD/JOE MORRIS TRIO + KATT HERNANDEZ + DAVID MAXWELL/ANDY FLOP DUO | Emmanuel Church, 15 Newbury Street, Boston | May 16 at 8 pm | $7 | 857.277.0134

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