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Brian Harnetty: Rawhead & Bloodybones

Two CDs of archival, Appalachian field recordings arranged with newly-composed music by Brian Harnetty.

 A composer and artist, Brian Harnetty discovers old stories in sound archives and creates new stories to complement them. His work transforms sampled archival material––including field recordings, transcriptions, and historic recordings––into newly re-contextualized sound collages. For the past decade, this has led to a focus on projects with the Berea College Appalachian Sound Archives in Kentucky, and the Sun Ra/El Saturn Creative Audio Archive in Chicago.


Rawhead & Bloodybones deftly spins together sampled Appalachian folk tales and field recordings with newly composed music. The album focuses on folk tales mostly told by children and recorded in the 1940s. The tales are humorous, gruesome, and full of meaning and character. They are weaved together with archival samples and newly composed instrumental parts. The combination of the youthful voices and often-grisly tales offer a strikingly beautiful contrast.

Click here for tracklist