Having a new album released is always exciting.
Six albums in for A Hawk and a Hacksaw, it’s still just as fun.
“This one feels like it took a bit,” says Heather Trost. “I think we’re more happy with releasing it this year.”
The Albuquerque-based folk duo will release “Forest Bathing” on April 13. The pair will perform two shows – one in Corrales, one in Santa Fe – before heading overseas for a six-week tour.
The album is called “Forest Bathing,” or Shinrin-yoku, a term that means “taking in the forest atmosphere.”
It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine.
“Taking in the forest atmosphere” became the inspiration for A Hawk and A Hacksaw’s newest album.
Their forest bath of choice is the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.
The new album features 10 original compositions by Trost and Jeremy Barnes.
The opening track, “Alexandria,” features Barnes on the Persian santur, an ancient hammer-struck dulcimer, and Trost’s string and woodwind melodies.
The composition evokes the trading route between what is now Bulgaria and the wealthy cities of Istanbul and Alexandria.
“This album is sort of written in the same vein as our other albums,” Trost says. “This one does feel like there’s a little more inspiration from storytelling. It’s how places are connected to each other within culture.”
While the bulk of the music heard on this record is played by Barnes and Trost, they do have some incredible guest performances, namely the clarinet virtouso Cüneyt Sepetçi, from Istanbul, Hungarian cimbalom master Unger Balász, and closer to home, Chicago trumpeter Sam Johnson, Deerhoof’s John Dieterich, and Noah Martinez of the band Lone Piñon.