RELEASES NEW ALBUM
TODAY VIA GOOD CHILD MUSIC
INCLUDING NYC RELEASE SHOW AT ROCKWOOD MUSIC HALL
Brooklyn-born Berlin-based song writer Hans Bilger is excited to release his new solo album Meridian today via Good Child Music. Listen to the first single “Had It And Lost It” HERE, and hear the album’s second single “Mother Tongue” HERE. Hans will also be performing around the northeast next month to celebrate the album’s release. See below for the list of currently confirmed performances, with more to be announced soon.
“Meridian is many things at once,” Hans says. “It’s a solo piece, a community effort; a first shot and a kind of culmination. There are songs about faith, German, driving through Oregon, and a boy looking out a window. There are folk groups, bar bands, string quartets and jazz ensembles. There are flattops and Stratocasters, synths and pump organs, church balconies and distortion fields. There are words by me, my sister Ruby, my former Skype ESL student, and an anonymous college classmate. My sister Evangeline plays a giant cat.
WATCH THE “HAD IT AND LOST IT” VIDEO
HEAR “MOTHER TONGUE”
That may sound scattershot , but it’s varied by design. I think we’re each in the eye of a little tornado. We can name the objects flying by (“There’s a cow! That’s a house!”), but we’re not sure how or if they link. Songs can dissipate this incoherence. (“Wait a second…cow, house, grey dog…are we in Kansas?”) They help us see eye to eye.
Meridian was written over five years, one tune at a time. Most of the album was tracked at Good Child Music in Brooklyn from 2017-2019. “Intercession” and “Hank’s Song” were recorded at my family’s church. Mou ke ni (I know her as “CoCo”) wrote the “Catman” text, which began as a playful inclusion and ended up key to the album’s form. The remarkable Alessandra Roubini recorded, mixed, and co-produced the record—she shaped its tone and atmosphere. Lawson White mastered it and provided invaluable musical guidance. My dear friend Eli Greenhoe did the string arrangements. There were more than twenty-five performers, all told. Each lent something graceful and particular. The whole process has felt like watching a spider weave its web. At first the threads were obscure and interior. Now they’re public and sort of circular. They catch sunlight and flies.
The album’s title comes from “White Noise”: “Hemispheres and prime meridians […] humming with a secret vision.” A meridian is a through line. It touches many places, but ends where it began. That’s how this music works for me. I can’t wait for you to hear it.”
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Hans Bilger is a bassist, singer, songwriter and composer from Brooklyn, NY. After an early diet of country and bluegrass music provided by his family band, the Charismatic Megafauna, he pursued formal training in improvised and classical music. His mentors include the bassists Greg Cohen (Ornette Coleman, Tom Waits), Samuel Suggs (Concert Artists Guild), Paul Kowert (Punch Brothers), J.A. Granelli (Mr. Lucky), Axel Scherka (Staatskapelle Berlin), Kurt Muroki (Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center), and others.
Bilger moved to Austin, TX in 2016, where he quickly became a sought-after sideman and session bassist. Recent projects include recordings with Eli Greenhoe, Odell Fox, R.O. Shapiro, Jenner Fox, Micah Motenko, and Will Taylor. Last year, he was commissioned to compose the score for Cora Dance’s gifts, a site-specific work choreographed by Shannon Hummel. The work premiered in Brooklyn in January 2019.
Bilger is also fascinated by the natural world. While studying evolutionary biology at Yale University, he co-authored a study on musical structure in birdsong with the ornithologist Dr. Richard Prum and wrote Aviary, a piece that uses songbird songs as raw material for a series of improvisatory and through-composed movements. Last fall, he joined the labs of Drs. Julia Clarke and Michael Ryan at UT Austin to start a PhD on the evolution of vocal communication in birds and bats. His scientific work is supported by fellowships from the National Science Foundation, the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), and UT Austin. He is currently at work on Austin Menagerie (working title), a series of musical sketches based on Texas fauna.
Bilger currently lives in Berlin, Germany, where he splits his time between writing, performing, and CT-scanning bat larynges at the Museum für Naturkunde.
1. Catman 1
2. Had It and Lost It
5. Catman II
6. Calvary Boy
7. White Noise
8. The Gorge
9. Mother Tongue
10. Catman IV
11. Ordinary Crickets
12. Hanks’ Song
13. Excellent Crickets (Catman V)
10/14 – Best Video Film & Cultural Center – Hamden, CT
10/17 – Arts at the Armory Cafe – Somerville, MA
10/18 – House Show – Portland, ME
10/19 – Rockwood Music Hall, Stage 3 – New York, NY *
* – album release show with special extended band
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