Acclaimed electro-acoustic composer and performer Sxip Shirey celebrates the release of his new album A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees with a non-stop evening of music and performance. Shirey and his band perform songs from Whiskey/Bees including “Cinnamon Stick”, “Woman of Constant Sorrow”, “Penny Red”, “Palms”, and “So Stay” alongside his full arsenal of sonic and performative ideas.
Featuring: Choral Chameleon performing a new piece for “The Gauntlet – The choir you walk through”; The infamous co-joined breathing duet last performed by Sxip Shirey and Rachelle Garniez at TED; A dance party with Sxip’s sousaphone-fueled JANK band; And multiple reverse disc music boxes, marbles and glass bowls, spinning weight plates, extended triple penny whistles, and other sonic surprises alongside the beautiful, sexy and surprising music from Shirey’s new album, A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees.
About the album:
“Shirey has been traveling the world with a circus (appropriately called LIMBO) since his last album, Sonic New York. He’s been inventing a manifesto of bells, whistles, broken glass, screaming brakes, and blistering love affairs. A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees was written drunk and damp in Edinburgh, hot and hungry in Bogota, swaying in the top of the red double deckers in London, and skulking with acrobats in the scorch of Adelaide.
The seventeen songs on the album shift from frenzy to soothe without notice. They are slapsticks to the cheek, tongues to the ear, and the sort of rhythms that might, if pounded hard enough, restart the heart of a dead dancer. They are blood sucked to the surface of a woman’s throat in a dark barroom, a man singing alone in a spaceship, untethered.
Listening to them is akin to listening to the exploding circus organ Shirey once played at the Sydney Opera House for a fleet of pyrotechnic clowns – that is, if you managed by some fluke of the universe to simultaneously be listening to the hillbilly songs he once played in a Transylvanian Romany camp with his band the Luminescent Orchestrii, as well as to the piece using no instruments beyond two people breathing into one another’s mouths. Throw in a round of Shirey performing as an invited Master of Ceremonies with his JANK band at Madonna’s birthday party last year, and another of his recent “Gauntlet,” a choir singing a piece meant to be walked through, and you begin to understand the alchemical nature of A Bottle of Whiskey and a Handful of Bees.”
-Maria Dahvana Headley