Home Read Albums Of The Week: BrhyM | Deep Sea Vents

Albums Of The Week: BrhyM | Deep Sea Vents

THE EDITED PRESS RELEASE:BrhyM is a collaborative project featuring Bruce Hornsby and the experimental chamber ensemble yMusic. Their first album Deep Sea Vents was produced by Hornsby and Rob Moose and recorded in Williamsburg, VA and in New York, N.Y. It features additional contributions from jazz legend Branford Marsalis, Mark Dover and drummer Chad Wright.

yMusic and Hornsby first crossed paths when they performed back-to-back sets before Bon Iver at the Eaux Claires Music and Arts Festival in 2016. Afterwards, Hornsby reached out to ask them to play at his Funhouse Fest the next year. A musical exchange began, with yMusic appearing on Hornsby’s 2019 album Absolute Zero. Deeply inspired by the collaboration, the two outfits decided to head out on the road together.

Their shows occurred in late February and early March 2020, ending right before the Covid shutdown, and planted the seed of what has become Deep Sea Vents. Each night, as an encore they performed a song they had composed together which ultimately became the album’s title track. With the lock-down freeing up everyone’s schedules, yMusic and Hornsby resumed writing together remotely in the fall of 2020.

One of the songs from those sessions was the first single Deep Blue: “In eighth grade we had a poetry section in English class, and Stephen Crane (The Red Badge Of Courage) was on the list,” Hornsby says. “For some reason some of my friends and I thought two of his poems were a scream so we never forgot them, and I couldn’t get them out of my mind after creating this track so just started singing them — voilà. The rest fairly much wrote itself. yMusic may be the funkiest, groovingest chamber group in all the land! Plus, I’m making my recorded debut as an electric sitarist on this piece. I have a limited range and not much ability, granted, but I feel it added a wry, exotic and soulful texture to the song, so why not?”

Adds CJ Camerieri of yMusic: “Bruce started the writing process for Deep Blue. When he sent sketches our way, we immediately fell in love with the vibe, and got excited about how this song would fit on the album. We love stretching the limits of our ensemble, working to sound like many different kinds of groups without changing instrumentation, and Deep Blue presented a great opportunity on that front. We ended up using the bass clarinet in a bass guitar-ish role, the trumpet as a Roy Hargrove-inspired rhythmic element, and the strings to take it home with a feature that goes to wildly unexpected, virtuosic, and contemporary places.”

yMusic are an American chamber ensemble featuring Moose, Camerieri, Nadia Sirota, Gabriel Cabezas, Hideaki Aomori and Alex Sopp. Now in its 16th year, the group explores work on both sides of the classical/popular music divide and has lent their instantly recognizable sound to commissions and projects by a dizzying array of artists including Andrew Norman, Anohni, Missy Mazzoli, John Legend, Paul Simon and Caroline Shaw.

It’s this same interest in collaborative and boundaryless genre exploration with which three-time Grammy winner and songwriting legend Hornsby has approached his career. With a staggering 24 albums and numerous groups, contributions and collaborations under his belt, the pianist and multi-instrumentalist continues to be a source of inspiration for young artists and an ardent collaborator.