“Io” By The Ether Room

The Ether Room was the name of the project vocalist Elizabeth Felico and I collaborated on in 2012. The project was a highly improvisational-based music creation process, where many times Elli had no idea what she was going to sing before we would start, and I had no idea where the music would end up when I began. The way our writing process worked at that time was based entirely off building live loops with my baritone guitar, drum machines, and the loop pedal I used during my days with Jungle Maps. Elli would then sing whatever came out as she heard the music develop.

Many days Elli and I would meet at her house in capital hill in Seattle, set up the equipment, turn on the recorder, and just go, creating as many song ideas and melodies that we could think of on the spot. This project was definitely influenced by Ginsberg’s philosophy of “first thought, best thought“, so many times the songs weren’t concerned with lyrical content, structured harmony, or any type of specific song structure.

Io was a mixture between song elements I had developed several years previous to meeting Elli, and elements that Elli and I worked out together. During the process I would try and squeeze out as many different tones and sounds out of my baritone guitar to make the loops as dynamic as possible by utilizing guitar harmonics, bowed guitar, picking, and fingerstyle guitar.  The vocal layers that Eli recorded here on “Io” at Houdini’s Tree studios with producer Dave Green were entirely improvised.

Photos by Joe McDaniel

Art by Marvin Meraz Chavez