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    Mother Falcon
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    The quietly beautiful music of Daniel Martin Moore was the calm before the storm Sunday night at the Brown Theatre. Moore performed songs from his new album, engulfed in a sea of instruments that were soon to be used by the 13 members of Mother Falcon and Ben Sollee. The show, part of the Speed Art Concert Series, kicks off a month-long national tour called the Fall Migration.

    Playing their first official show together, Sollee and Mother Falcon brought a lively, experimental quality to the performance that heightened the energy on stage and translated well to the audience, who had to use their own brand of creativity just to get to the Brown through the Iron Man Triathlon street closures. The show was split into sections that featured all the collaborators on stage together, Mother Falcon on their own, and a set in the middle with only Sollee and his drummer Jordan Ellis. The result was a wildly creative and eclectic jam that showcased the musicians' virtuosity and challenged notions of genre. Seeing a cello may conjure up certain expectations of what that sound is going to be, but Sollee is never predictable. He plays it like a Swiss Army Knife -- sometimes a guitar, a washboard, a drum -- coaxing melodies and textures from it that are unexpectedly satisfying in combination with his versatile singing style.

    Also upending expectations, the members of Mother Falcon create landscapes of orchestral sound, layering strings, horns, guitars, drums, keyboards, and vocals that shape-shift from avant-garde symphony to instantly catchy rock songs. In one of my favorite transitions, Mother Falcon rejoined Sollee on stage accompanied by the cadence of  drumsticks, maracas, and an assortment of percussive elements that included struck keyrings and paper-tearing. In the hands of the creatively attuned, just about anything can become music. 

    Daniel Martin Moore and his large ghost band.

    Ben Sollee with Mother Falcon

    Mother Falcon

    Photos courtesy of Lee Burchfield

    Selena Frye's picture

    About Selena Frye

    I'm a writer and editor living in Louisville since 1996. I'm originally from the Blue Ridge of Virginia.

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