||Machine Under Its Own Spell CD (2005) |
Corpus Callosum albums A Corpus Callosum show starts small: accordionist Dax Tran-Caffee approaches the stage alone. He squeezes a slow chantey from the yawning bellows of his accordion. He sings. One by one his band mates emerge from the crowd. Each member of Corpus Callosum carries a worn brown suitcase. The lilting solo ballad effloresces into full orchestration as the performers divest their suitcases of the instruments therein concealed.
Accordion is joined by bells, mandolin, ukulele, toy piano and scrap-metal percussion; Dax's voice is joined by four-part harmony. There are seven members of Corpus Callosum: Stephanie Bailey [flute, vocals, stilts, dance], Qarly Canant [ukulele, glass goblets, glockenspiel, autoharp, stilts, vocals], Stevie Hryciw [keys, bass, stylophone, percussion, sampler, vocals], Andrea Craver [mandolin, melodica, vocals], Jason Samaha [percussion, banjo], Dax Tran-Caffee [accordion, glass goblets, puppets, vocals] and Avery Burke [guitar, vocals]. By the end of their first song five of their number are on sage. Stephanie picks charily through the crowd on her tall stilts and hangs small blue lights from the ceiling. Avery has climbed a stool at the back of the room and glares from behind a megaphone, unnoticed.
The now soaring chantey ends abruptly. Jason hammers an ominous beat from a large steel spring. Avery screams into the megaphone. Corpus Callosum crashes into a Brecht /Weill cover with an original middle section-a dissonant take on Reich during which Avery twists violently on the floor. Throughout the performance, each member will take several parts calling for several instruments and sing harmonies. With Stevie's arrangements Corpus Callosum can effect the sound of a small orchestra. Dax, a puppeteer with an MFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, builds an eight foot long Spanish galleon from seemingly haphazard bits of cardboard. Stephanie, a dancer trained in Prague, twirls with a giant moth puppet. Qarly, a graduate of the Clown Conservatory in San Francisco, dons stilts. Andrea spins tender melodies on a mandolin older than blue grass.
In 2005 Corpus Callosum released an EP Machine Under its own Spell which reached #1 on KUIO, Id. and charted across the country. They have played with the Mountain Goats, Deerhoof, Xiu Xiu, Jason Webley, Azure Ray and Yo La Tengo to name a few. In 2007 they where granted a residency at SnowGhost studio, MT. They are now touring, recording and seeking record label representation.