Album Remarks & Appraisals:
Born in Waco, Texas, Jerry Hunt was a friend of Jack Ruby, a pianist in strip clubs, a student of the occult and the founder of his own mail order church at the age of 13. Jerry Hunt was also one of the great pioneers of live electronic music. Very much a modern-day shaman, he designed most of his own equipment and used it in unique ways to create backdrops for his magical performances that referred to, among many other things, exotic ritual, the esoteric traditions of Rosicrucianism, Aleister Crowley and modern science. The SongDrapes were some of Jerry's last and greatest creations, and feature vocalists Karen Finley, Shelley Hirsch and Mike Patton.
This intriguing release presents some of innovator Jerry Hunt's SongDrapes and Strings. "Strings" refers to Hunt's linear bits of transitional music that are open-ended and include an onomatopoeic influence. "SongDrapes" are the settings for vocal performance he created for his collaboration with performance artist Karen Finley, the Finley-Hunt Report, which was staged at New York City's Kitchen in 1992. This Tzadik release alternates instrumentals with readings, in all presenting seven SongDrapes -- three without their accompanying vocals -- and 12 Strings, some with vocals. Finley's performances are most powerful and transfixing, and are not for easily offended sensibilities. Also appearing are vocalists Shelley Hirsch, and on "Song Drape 7," Mike Patton. Jerry Hunt's soundscapes are unique, well-executed, and versatile. This posthumous release of a series of his works provides an important volume, be it introduction or addition, in the lineage of true originals. ~ Joslyn Layne