polyphonic tracks

Polyphonic tracks is the first album of cowbirds recorded with Nik Hummer. We are currently looking for a label.


« Music is sounds, sounds around us wether we’re in or out of concert halls.»  (Henry David Thoreau)


This album came from the desire to share our singing practice; one where songs and soundscapes are in a constant dialogue and feed each other; one where the tuning occurs on two levels; in between the voices themselves and together with the surrounding acoustic space – literal or suggested. polyphonic tracks présente, 2 Sicilian lamentations from the holy week and two monodies (a Corsican complain and a Sicilian lullaby). We recorded with light equipment; digital sound-device 744 with 2 or 4 microphones and at times with a magnetic tape recorder. A fictional field recording that took us from Vienna to Upper-Austria through fields, forests, churches, trains, a factory, a chapel and a construction-site and the recording studio. A cinematic experience in which voices act on different planes and depth, joined at times by other actors such as birds, bugs, engines, passengers… We sometimes “added” voices, melodies, drones… anchoring these songs in our “here and now”, sketching multiple perspectives, volumes, stories, places, ambiances.

Ownership is a very sensitive matter when it comes to people’s traditions and we dove into these songs with a deep respect to the keepers of these oral traditions. Is a song outside of its context still traditional? Is it important? For us as a form of expression with specific modes and metrics, these songs carry some secrets about humanity, about community, about philia – what bounds us together until death do us part, and this is what is important to us.

Clélia Colonna, Sept. 2017