Eye Circuit: Tiny Desk Concert (Home)
The Tiny Desk is operating from home for the foreseeable future. Introducing NPR Music’s Tiny Desk (home) concerts, bringing you performances from across the country and around the world. It’s the same spirit – stripped back decors, an intimate setting – just a different space.
Haley Fohr’s voice is made for cathedrals, but we will take a funeral chapel. In Eye CircuitFohr’s Tiny Desk (home) concert – recorded amidst the sepia stained glass windows of the historic May Chapel at Rosehill Cemetery and Mausoleum – Fohr’s four-octave lyrical vibrato contains a marvelous dread, but also an illumination of l ‘to be.
This unique setting is not only a venue for the experimental Chicago music scene that Fohr calls home, but also a reflection of Circuit des Yeux’s latest album, -io. In it, Fohr explores how grief not only shapes people but transforms them – that death (of self, of a loved one, of an idea) is not an end, but an opening. On “Vanishing”, she wields a 12-string acoustic guitar warped to disastrous peaks, matched only by breathy drum fills and a string trio burning Fohr’s ecstatic arrangements in sublime chaos. “Dogma” follows with a spaghetti-western riff, like an existential biker gang grooving to chirping synths and Fohr’s deep howl: “Tell me how to feel real / Talk talk talk talk talk talk about what’s real. ”
A lot of -io was written on the organ and the piano, instruments which enabled Fohr to expand his sound universe. This ensemble ends on the balcony organ with “Stranger”, a song ultimately about empathy, and accompanied only by Andrew Scott Young, who tilts a double bass behind the benches. At the climax, Fohr’s voice tears the vaulted ceiling as if to divide the chapel in two, and we find ourselves in the wake of lamentations.
- Haley Fohr: vocals, guitar, bass, organ
- Whitney Johnson: viola
- Andrew Scott Young: bass, guitar
- Ashley Guerrero: drums
- Billie Howard: violin
- Oli Harris: cello
- Video Rudy Rubio, Marisa Gesualdi
- Audio: Cooper Crain, recording of Cooper Crain
- Director of Photography: Rudy Rubio
- Editor: Marisa Gesualdi
- Assistant: Margaret McCarthy
- Conductor: Mike Weldon
SMALL OFFICE TEAM
- Producer: Lars Gotrich
- Video producer: Maia Stern
- Audio mastering: Josh Rogosin
- Small production team: Bob Boilen, Bobby Carter, Kara Frame, Sofie Hernandez-Simeonidis
- Executive Producer: Keith Jenkins
- Senior Vice President, Programming: Anya Grundmann