Liz Downing Music & Performance
Venus The Crankie
Creative Alliance | Jan, 2017
Crankie and Song by Liz Downing | Vocals Michael Willis
Videographer Sharon Crissinger | Cranker Kathy Fahey
Josh Kohn and Creative Alliance Presenters | Anna and Elizabeth Hosts
Mole Suit Choir | Liz Downing and Rupert Wondolowski
The Mole Suit Choir, comprised of Liz Downing and Rupert Wondolowski, are one banjo, one guitar, a triangle, two maracas and two interweaving voices in harmony singing of glories past and those promised in all new breaths drawn. Burrowing beneath the fecund soil like cagey moles are the dreams of life eternal.
The Choir was first given life beneath a starry sky at a Shakemore Festival in Westminster when Rupert was on parole from the Patsy Cline Institute for the Emotionally Disabled and Liz was forced into community service to pick back up a damaged soul. Long fans of each others' voices they were given extra cause to join forces by the passing of their beloved friend and poet Chris Toll and by Liz finding occult messages in Rupert's book The Origin of Paranoia As a Heated Mole Suit.
Lurch and Holler | Liz Downing and Michael Willis
...is E. Liz Downing and Michael R. Willis. For 25 years, Liz Downing and Michael Willis have been making sounds together in configurations including "Lambs Eat Ivy", "Radiant Pig" and "Lurch and Holler". In these musical performance art groups they have employed banjo, synthesizer, washboard, field recordings, sets and costumes to create plays and concerts in venues such as The Whitney, The Hirshhorn, The Museum of Art and The Baltimore Museum. They have been awarded grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Franklin Furnace Interdisciplinary Arts and the Maryland State Arts Council, with residencies from Yellow Springs Institute and the Wooster Group. "Lurch and Holler" creates sound fields in collaboration with experimental film makers such as Catherine Pancake and Julia Oldham.
"Lurch and Holler" have lately been inspired by the works of Homer, Flannery O'Connor, Edith Piaf, and Walt Whitman. As always, they integrate the grunts and cries of our early human ancestors with personal stories and the twang of Tammy Wynette. The resulting experimental sound is Appalachian Psychedelia. Currently "Lurch and Holler" is working with Laure Drogoul on a theatrical endeavor based on the homeward journey of Odysseus.
"Omens 2015 is Lurch and Holler's most adventurous recording to date, though it's steadfast to the artistic arc in terms of themes and aesthetics that the duo has followed. The fact that Lurch and Holler has abandoned the compositional confines of the formal "song" in favor of capturing a more open and expansive sense of the music that is around all of us all the time (if we listen) is terrifically exciting and inspiring." David Beadouin.
Experimental Sound for
Opossum House CD
Antique Kitchen implements, vocals,
"Snip of Blink of Water"
These musical experiments use field recordings gathered from Alabama's Tallapoosa River and are reformed into psychedelic techno rythms and layered with plaintive vocals, harmonies, kazoo, piano and banjo. All used to explore the evolution of human psyche.
In The Cabin Below CD
"Sadness of a Trash Truck"
"Quivering White Light"
The Book Of Amy CD
"Why Should I Have to Worry?"
...comes to you from three battered veterans of punk-rock art-damage. From DC, Mark Jickling (Half Japanese); Liz Downing (Lurch & Holler, Lambs Eat Ivy) from Baltimore by way of Alabama; and Rebby Sharp (Ortho-Tonics) from Waynesboro up in the Blue Ridge Mountains.
They reach into the wreckage and pull up Appalachian fiddle tunes, old-time banjo meditations, Irish marches, Carter Family broken-heart ballads, and more. Rebby on the fiddle, Mark on mandolin & banjo, Liz's celestial vocals. With nick-of-time assistance from the mighty Tinklers, David Fair, Jad Fair (who puts in a Dada version of "Cripple Creek"), and other lights-out musical talent. First-take recordings from Sugar Hollow, Virginia, and Baltimore City.
Old Songs CD
...is Mark Jickling and Chris Mason and Liz Downing. We have been translating poems by Sappho, Archilochos, Hipponax, Alcman, Alcaeus, Xenophanes, and other Greek poets from the 7th century to the 4th century BC and making the poems into folk songs. We have been recording them with musicians such as Don Peyton, David Fair, Anne Watts, Rebby Sharp and Paul Jickling.