Alice and Michi is a collaboration with my friend, Michi Wiancko, a violinist/composer who splits her time between Brooklyn and rural Massachusetts. We met in Cleveland in the mid-nineties and decided to write and record an album together about 15 years later.
It was just before 2011, a jazzy feel-time season. Michi wrote Alice a letter urging her to come to New York and collaborate on a musical project. Alice was driving around Los Angeles deep in her annual autumnal malaise. Skimming the message at a stoplight before stopping at her favorite Subway, she only read the remainder just before going to bed.
Three months later Alice arrived in NYC with two suitcases, a snare and cymbals but it was unclear who would be playing what instrument. Would Alice be attacking the drums and Michi the violin? Would they record the sounds of appliances and street fights? Who would be singing? Nobody knew but Michi welcomed Alice into her home and the musical experiments began.
The resulting album ‘Strange Bloom’ incorporates lush vocals, richly-stacked violins, bizarre forays into electronica, and an arsenal of unexpected instruments: cardboard tubes, trash-filled wastebaskets, live trumpets, howling wolves, and setting 065 on the Casio. It is the fruit of a 6-month collaboration between two friends who learned the beauty of experimentation, hard work and living according to the creative dictum of “Let’s try it!”