A “Vibrating Voice to Shake the Soul”-NPR
Josephine Foster is a singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer whose “music plays games with our ideas of time and space” says The Guardian. The Nashville Scene describes her work “fusion of art song and American folk music” and there she walks a musical high wire. Byron Coley calls her “one of this generation’s great original voice”, and she is “known to breathe new life into archaic forms, embodying the cultural archaeology of Harry Smith’s old weird America, and has lent her characteristic warbling mezzo-soprano and interpretive wit to over two decades of recordings” Blank Forms
Since abandoning the operatic studies of her youth Josephine has released some twenty albums, song cycles drawn from her own singular songbook, performed solo or leading various ensembles, occasionally under band guises: Mendrugo, the Supposed, Born Heller. Peripheral but not insignificant are her unorthodox arrangements of 19th century German Lieder, the folkloric collection of Lorca, or her musical settings of Dickinson and other poets. Foster is a poet herself, as well as visual artist.
She has collaborated on stage or in recording with Michael Hurley, The Cherry Blossoms, Victor Herrero Band, Keiji Heino, Sonny Simmons, Brian Goodman, Paz Lenchantin, Jason Ajemian, The Master Musicians of Joujouka, Daniel Blumberg, Shahzad Ismaily, Heather Trost, Chris Scruggs, Lorena Alvarez, Moon Bros, Alex Neilson, Ed Askew, Susan Alcorn, Michael Zerang, Eric Chenaux, Louis Landes Levi, David Pajo, Alasdair Roberts, Victoria Williams, Hamza el Fasiki, Ailbhe Nic Oireachtaigh, Les Fils du Detroit, and Kath Bloom.
Originally from Colorado, she lives between the US and her adopted Spain and she has performed around the world at venues such as Cafe Oto, Issue Project Room, Zebulon, MoMA PS1, Constellation, Museu Nacional de Arte Contemporanea, ODA, Tangier American Legation Museum, Paradiso, Tonic, Arkaoda, Chicago Cultural Center, Les Instants Chavires, Beirut Art Center, Teatro Fondamenta Nuove, EMPAC, Trans-Pecos, Barbican, Monasterio de Santa Maria de las Cuevas, Troubadour, Andy Warhol Museum, ZDB, Palazzo Biscari, Trinosophes, Musee national Eugene Delacroix, Brown’s Diner.
Some past festival appearances include Le Guess Who?, London Contemporary Music Festival, Donau, ArthurFest, Liverpool Biennal, ATP, Copenhagen Jazz Festival, Etcetera, KRAAK, Million Tongues, Counterflows, Stockholm New Music Festival, Suoni per il Populi, Incubate, Green Man, Platform, Serralves, Mimi. Her music appears in film and television (appearing onscreen for a tiny cameo, in the 2021 HBO Perry Mason remake, which featured several traditional songs she recorded with the Victor Herrero Band.)
For her austere newest offering Domestic Sphere sees Josephine performs solely with her electric guitar and then subverts the usual range of her voice to embody other frequencies and sounds beyond the surface layer of the songs (out April 2023) .
Godmother (Fire) and Spellbinder (Takuroku) are two recent solo records that brought front and center for the first time Josephine’s own synth arrangements. Mystery Meet and What is it that ever was? , collections of improvised song experiments released as CD-R’s in 2006, are now available in their first vinyl pressings on Feeding Tube records.
“In its unusual futurist folk aesthetic, Godmother is akin to a Tarkovsky film, and is a thrilling polished return on Foster’s earlier experimental promise.” -The Wire
GRAY/SMITH is a band, founded by Keith Connolly and Rob Smith in NYC in 2020. A pursuit of song form, borne out in studio circumstance, cultivated to taste.
A petroleum-based hard-lullaby sound.
Kath Bloom is some kind of legend. She comes from a special place where country, blues and folk are made beautifully translucent and emotive. Highly regarded but a bit of a mystery. The Connecticut based singer/songwriter has a special gift - her almost supernaturally beautiful, wavering soprano is one that has to be heard, she has a clear transparent moonlight tone combined with an earthly raw quality that can silence a room.
Kath made some very very limited edition albums in the 70’s and 80’s with the amazing (and equally dreamlike) guitarist Loren Mazzacane Connors, full of songs that float and melt into the ether. Impossibly beautiful. However, music was put on the back burner as life changed and she raised a family, trained ‘problem horses’ and taught special music programs to kids. Just as she was starting to write and release CDs again, Richard Linklater decided to use her song “Come Here” in his 1995 film “Before Sunrise”. Life altered - not much - but the public consciousness was rightfully tweaked. Slowly her old recordings and new material have been seeping back into the world. This includes a special tribute album by artists such as Josephine Foster, Bill Callahan, Devendra Banhart, Meg Baird and Scout Nibblet. Since 2017 she has been recording and performing with New Haven, CT based guitarist David Shapiro.
Shaki Presents is super excited to host this concert. Josephine Foster and Shaki have been having shows together in New Haven for over 10 years!
Doors at 3pm, music at 4pm.
$12 advance/$15 day of show