When: Fri., Aug. 12, 9 p.m. 2011
On its beautiful second album, Fire Star (Under the Spire), Oakland duo Myrmyr uses violin, cello, harp, bells, percussion, electronics, and voice to create a delicate, enveloping resonance. On their impressive debut, 2009's The Amber Sea (Digitalis), multi-instrumentalists Marielle Jakobsons and Agnes Szelag enlisted guest musicians to flesh out rich orchestrations, but here they go it alone, relying heavily on live looping and only sparingly employing overdubs. Like its predecessor, the new album dissolves the lines between classical music, Scandinavian folk, texture-based experimentation, and ambience, and despite its gossamer atmospheres and unstructured feel it has some of the focus and directness of rock or pop. Moods and tone colors morph fluidly but briskly, so that the music never feels like it's simply drifting without purpose. A clear compositional logic shapes Myrmyr's frameworks and gestures, and it's audible in the careful interaction among instruments. For its Chicago debut the duo will perform two new compositions as well as "Golden Ashes," a piece from Fire Star in which thick, foreboding drones evaporate into a sorrowful melange of dulcimer, glockenspiel, cello, piano, and wordless vocals. —Peter Margasak A trio of Neil Jendon, Andre Foisy, and Mike Weis opens.