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Musicians on Musicians: The Gloaming is Dream-Music

the gloaming
Photo: The Gloaming, who perform at Michigan Theater on October 7, 2015. Photo by Feargal Ward.

There’s something special about music recommendations from friends. Think about your favorite bands, musicians, artists. How many did you find through someone you know? Did you discover your new favorite track by tapping a headphone-wearing someone and asking, “Hey, what are you listening to?”

This happens to us all the time at UMS offices, colleague to colleague. We’re also lucky because we can sometimes ask artists the same question.

We opened our season with Shara Worden (My Brightest Diamond), and then we found out she’s a fan of The Gloaming. Here’s what she has to say about the group:

When pianist/producer Thomas Bartlett [founding member of The Gloaming] tells me he is creating something new, I show up. Whatever Bartlett does, I know it will always be thought provoking, challenging, and beautiful; The Gloaming is just that.

Another artist we admire is Sam Amidon. He’s a Nonesuch Records artist who grew up in Vermont with childhood friend and frequent collaborator Thomas Bartlett.  Amidon‘s latest release is Lily-O (Nonesuch, 2014), documenting his musical explorations with guitarist and composer Bill Frisell. The album was produced by Valgeir Sigurðsson (Björk, Bonnie “Prince” Billy, Feist). Mr. Amidon is a member of the Icelandic music collective/record label Bedroom Community. When asked to share with us what he personally admires in The Gloaming’s unique approach to contemporary Irish global music, Sam told us:

The Gloaming is dream-music. Not only do the songs and melodies and improvisations emerge and fade in a dreamlike manner, but the music itself seems to come from a trance-like state of deep listening that the five musicians practice. It is ensemble playing of the highest level in any genre. For me, it is also truly a dream made real, in the sense that as a kid, in my early teens, Martin’s fiddle playing was what I listened to while falling asleep and waking up, and in The Gloaming I now hearing him and the rest of the musicians surrounded by the piano playing of Thomas Bartlett, my childhood friend with whom I played and discovered music.

So we’re all listening to The Gloaming, and we can’t wait to host the group at Michigan Theater on October 7, 2015.

Have you got a band you love and which you discovered through a friend? Share your stories below.