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Sohre


Country of origin:

U.S.

Type of music generally:

Ambient pop with classical, world music, folk, and jazz touches.

Status:

Most recent release, Winter (2010)

See also:

Chris Sohre's site

Chris Sohre's CD Baby page

Comparisons:

I hear a touch of October Project and Renaissance in the arrangements. (neal)

Sohre's voice is enjoyable to listen to. She has a good command of the higher ranges, but can also drop down low, which is something that not all singers can do so well. I've heard some comparisons to October Project and Renaissance. I don't think she sounds either like Mary Fahl or Annie Haslam; however, like them she has a voice that stands out on its own. Sohre could be Happy Rhodes meets Enya. (Minus Enya's Celtic style; I can't think of a Mediterranean Enya, but the comparison works otherwise.) (billonline@adlerbooks.com)

Covers/own material:

Own, songs are co-written

General comments:

Sohre is Chris Sohre, a multi-instrumentalist who assembled an intriguing cast of musicians to assist in the multi-layered overdubbed tracks.
     The music is really tough to categorize. It's carefully constructed and crafted—a hint of classicism, a pinch of world music sounds, and a smattering of jazz touches. On several occasions I thought "chamber goth". (neal)

As other people have commented, Sohre's music is hard to classify. There's a strong classical music presence combined with folk music in Who Will Know, along with occasional sound effects. Her music is innovative and refreshing, but certainly not contrived. (billonline@adlerbooks.com)

Recommended first album:

Any

Recordings:

As Sohre:

As Chris Sohre:

  • Winter (2010)

who will know

Release info:

1994—Fleeting Echoes

Availability:

See Chris Sohre's site

Ecto priority:

Recommended

Group members:

Chris Sohre—mandolin, 6- & 12-string acoustic guitars, electric guitar with E-bow, vocals, percussion, organ, piano, claves, keyboard percussion, keyboards, Fx, bells, classical guitar, keyboard bass, tuned percussion, Strat

Guest artists:

Steven Miller—drums, Javanese rebana
Curtis Jackson—5-string fretless bass
Stephen Kent—didgeridoo
Amy Denio—accordion
Denny Stern—congas, shaker
Joseph Bichsel—cellos
Greg Powers—trombones
Tom Bain—cymbals, timpani, bells, programmed percussion, cabasa
Jami Sieber—electric cellos
Andy Zadrozny—6-string bass, acoustic bass
Eric Lyke—electric guitar
Jon Keliehor—percussion, congas
Tari Nelson-Zagar—acoustic bass
Ed Davis—violas
Matthew Weiss—violin
Nathan Bastuscheck—euphonium

Produced by:

Chris Sohre

Comments:

The disc made favorable impressions upon arrival, as it has a haunting photograph of a shadow figure in a circle of light illuminating what may be a subway station. A huge number of instruments make appearances on the album, including cellos, trombones, didgeridoo, accordion and euphonium. But the sound is never cluttered. There's a lot of space, but ample texture too.
     One song ("Pilot Light") sounds so much like something I know that I really wish I could put my finger on it. Every time it comes on I feel like I'm about to get it, but the comparison continues to elude me. It sounds a bit like October Project, but I'm sure that's not what I'm thinking of. Actually, I'd love for someone to get this and tell me if it reminds them of anything. I'm listening to it again now, and there is definitely a hint of the melodicism of October Project on this track, though Sohre doesn't have Mary Fahl's amazing voice. (This is the only song that strikes me as really October Project-like.)
     Song structures that might appeal to a Yes fan, but won't put off those of us who find Yes pretty unbearable.
     The album is full of striking guest contributions. The opening track features a tape of a Native American Pow Wow that opens up into fretless bass, mandolin, and acoustic and electric guitar with E-bow, which gives you a hint of the scope of the disc. The didgeridoo playing of Steven Kent (who apparently has an album of his own) frequently adds much more than a background rumbling, rising up in weird, swooping accents. I was really happy to see Jami Sieber adds her electric cello to a number of tracks. She doesn't disappoint at all, completely filling up a song with a chorus of cellos. Also present on a track is Amy Denio on accordion.
     hmmm, this seems to be more of a frustrating mish-mash of opinions than a coherent review. oh well. (neal)

The music and vocals are well balanced—each takes center stage at various times in the different songs. Musically it's quite complex, which makes listening to Who Will Know over and over again a treat—you may discover something new the next time.
     At first I felt that the Native American sounds on "Just Another Day" (the CD's first selection) were out of place, but the more I listened to "Just Another Day", the more I felt that the entire song—and CD—has a certain cohesiveness that stems from its uniqueness.
     One aspect of Who Will Know that I especially like is that while Sohre's songs are folky or new-agey in terms of their subject, her songs all are pretty energetic, and certainly not, what's a good way to put it, "la-la" sounding. She creates nature-moods (again for a lack of another way to put it) well. The words give you pleasant visual vistas without any sappiness. She's a very spirited musician. (billonline@adlerbooks.com)


Makria

Release info:

2000—Fleeting Echoes

Availability:

See Chris Sohre's site

Ecto priority:

If you're into ecto, you'll like this CD. (billonline@adlerbooks.com)

Group members:

Chris Sohre—12-string acoustic guitar, acoustic guitar, accordions, harmonium, organ, percussion, piano, clarinets, chant, flutes, e-bowed guitar, noises, recitative, sound fx, brushes, shaker, vocals

Guest artists:

Nikos Tourbis—drums, djembe
Simon McCarty—bougaragou, djembe, gutam
Carl Dexter—bass, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, loop arrangement, contrabass, el gtr fx, reverse cymbal, Catholic moment instigations
Jim McCarty—djembe, cowbell
Dimitris Kakos—bass, electric fretless bass, electric basses, guitar fx, electronic percussion, loops
Chad Quiest—acoustic guitar, electric guitar
Sophia Lazaridou—chant, "Jo" the car horn
Natasha Delipetkou—chant
Judy Olmstead—hurdy gurdy
Karen Gheorghiu—English horn
Jim Eagan—drums
Joseph Bichsel—cello
Derek M. Johnson—cello
Kelly Smith—merdung
Alexandros Stavridis—saz

Produced by:

Carl Dexter, John Herchenrider, and Chris Sohre

Comments:

Chris Sohre's second album, Makria, is high-Ecto. It's pop with jazz, folk, and classical components, plus a few live-recorded sounds. Makria was recorded in Thessaloniki, Greece. The CD's cover shot has one of the most spectacular photos of the Parthenon. As with her first CD, there are strong world music influences. You can hear the Middle Eastern textures in many of her songs.
     Chris Sohre has a lovely, lush voice. Her style is original.
     Makria makes for good background music—and I'm not saying that in any negative way. Makria is simply a pleasant CD to have on while you're doing something else, but it certainly doesn't stop there. The music, while lyrical,is also complex, with interesting combinations of instruments and non-instrumental sounds. Many of the song's lyrics are poetic, ethereal and make you wonder about the world. (billonline@adlerbooks.com)

This is a hard one to pin down as far as a description goes. The vocals are ethereal, sometimes lively, sometimes sultry, and the music ranges from pop, ethereal, world, some progressive rock sounds with sometimes elements of all of these within one song. The first song is quite pop, but the rest of what follows to me is appealing. The disc is full of interesting vocals, percussion, accordion, and unpredictable songs. Definitely a disc that comes into more focus the more you listen to it. (Neile)


The Night Between

Release info:

2007—Fleeting Echoes

Availability:

Chris Sohre's website

Ecto priority:

Highly recommended

Group members:

Chris—piano, keyboards, percussion, loops, fx, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, accordion, concertina, 6 & 12 string guitars, hurdy gurdy, vocals

Guest artists:

Michael Moore—clarinet (1), alto saxophone (2, 4), bass clarinet (5)
Chad Quist—electric guitar (1, 2, 3, 5, 6)
Storm Watson—djembe, pota (1)
Carl Dexter—contrabass, acoustic guitar, loops (1), acoustic/electric guitars, dumbek (3), electric guitar, contrabass, harmonium (6), tamboura, contrabass (10)
Ernst Glerum—contrabass (2)
Steven Byron Bentley—drums (2, 3, 5)
Michael Manring—fretless bass (3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10)
Jim Eagan—drums (4, 7)
Marzhimal Ondar—jews harp, tuvan throat singing (8)
Harald Austbø—cello (9)
Fuchsia Dexter—girl's voice (10)
Storm Watson—acoustic & electric fiddles (10)
Simon McCarty—bougarabou, djembes (10)

Produced by:

Chris Sohre with Carl Dexter, Marty Eigenberger & John Herchenriider

Comments:

Sohre's third album is a graceful, seemingly effortless welding of world music, jazz and folk influences. Chris Sohre's vocals have an ethereal quality yet can be earthy and the myriad influences come out to play very once in a while. At times I'm thinking of Jane Siberry's fluid style especially when she amps up the jazz influences. Mostly it's just unique and lovely. It's an ecto record that all ectophiles should love. (stjarnell@yahoo.com)


Thanks to Bill Adler, Neal Copperman, and Anna Maria Stjärnell for work on this entry.

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DISCLAIMER: Comments and reviews in the Ectophiles' Guide are excerpted from the ecto mailing list or volunteered by members of the list. They are the opinions of music enthusiasts, not professional music critics.

Entry last updated 2014-03-28 17:02:32.
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