Avant Classical Collective The Colorist Orchestra And Howe Gelb Release ‘Not On The Map’

[Cover photo credit to Randall Nyhoff]

The Colorist Orchestra and Howe Gelb (Giant Sand) ft. Pieta Brown have released their new LP, Not On The Map, via Dangerbird Records. Alongside the release, they have shared live videos of each track off the release, performed Live at The AB. If you’re not familiar, the Colorist Orchestra is an “avant classical music collective” led by Aarich Jespers and Kobe Proesmans, that uses traditional and bespoke instruments in unorthodox ways to remix the repertoire of a particular invited artist.

The Colorist Orchestra introduces the new collection:

“The Colorist Orchestra is very proud to present you the musical journey Not On The Map which echoes both comfort and hope in these turbulent times. Our collaboration with Howe Gelb is full of unforgettable stories, hilarious anecdotes, friendship, poetry and crazy surprises. An exciting puzzle of which Pieta Brown also forms a beautiful part on this record.”

Over a 30+ year career beginning with his indie collective Giant Sand, Howe Gelb has demonstrated a history of experimentation and reinvention. Jespers explains their approach to Gelb’s music:

“Inspired by an old Giant Sand song, we prepared and recorded almost all the parts for ‘More Exes’ before we had a vocal take. So, we basically worked on the arrangement as an instrumental track, which explains the many layers in melodies and textures. We wanted to impress Howe with our full color sound to get him on board.”

Once the project was underway, the scope expanded with the addition of Folk singer and songwriter Pieta Brown at Gelb’s request, and soon there were new lyrics for “More Exes” and new melodies to explore.

Based in Antwerp with eight members including Jespers and Proesmans, who are percussionists, TCO likes making sounds “at different tones and frequencies with things that are not actually instruments” as well as instruments they’ve made or altered.

Best-known for their 2016 collaboration, The Colorist and Emiliana Torrini, The Colorist Orchestra has also toured and recorded with Sumie, Cibelle, Gabriel Rios, and Lisa Hannigan. Until now, all of The Colorist Orchestra’s previous releases were built around arranged live performances of songs from their collaborator’s catalog, but Not On The Map is entirely new material.

The Colorist Orchestra is touring on the following dates and locations:

Sat 11/6 – Netherlands, Groningen – Take Root Festival
Mon 11/8 – Belgium, Gent – NT Gent (40 jaar Democrazy)
Tue 11/9 – Netherlands, Amsterdam – Paradiso
Fri 11/12 – Belgium, Kortrijk – Sonic City (TBC)
Sat 11/13 – Belgium, Antwerp – De Roma
Sun 11/14 – France, Lyon – Opera
Tue 11/16 – Belgium, Brussels – AB