REIMAGINING THE STRING BAND
Acoustic Nomads emerges from the vibrant musical environments of Berklee College of Music and the Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival.
The members of the group are widely recognized as emerging artists in the acoustic music scene, but come from varied musical backgrounds. Traditional and Contemporary, Appalachian and Venezuelan, Brazilian and Jazz influences combine to give the ensemble a vibrant sound and broad appeal.
Acoustic Nomads has performed at The 2021 Freshgrass Band Competition (as finalists!), historic Club Passim in Camridge, and also at the Joe Val (2020) and Grey Fox (2019) Bluegrass Festivals.
In December 2020 they were awarded a grant through Club Passim's Iguana Music Fund to begin working on their debut full-length album, which they recorded in May 2021 at Great North Sound Society Studios in Parsonsfield, Maine.
A week of composing, arranging and performing resulted in the double-album The Abominable String Band, which will be released as two full-length albums, VOL.1 and VOL.2. in Fall 2021 and the Spring 2022.
The Abominable String Band VOL.1 is now available for purchase through Bandcamp, as well as streaming through all major platforms.
Bassist Noah Harrington first encountered mandolinist Ethan Setiawan at the 2015 Acoustic Music Seminar at the Savannah Music Festival, a prestigious musical gathering of acoustic music's up and coming talents. Harrington and Setiawan played together often over the next few years and formed a musical friendship.
In 2017, Harrington met and befriended Maurizio Fiore Salas in a Jazz Composition class at Berklee. The two enjoyed each other's music, playing, and company, and by 2018 were putting together joint concerts to feature their music together.
In 2018, Harrington returned to the SMF Acoustic Music Seminar, where he met and became close with cellist Parker Ousley and Canadian violinist Clara Chisholm. The three collaborated non-stop for a whole week in various musical formats, and became fast friends.
In Spring of 2019, Chisholm announced she was visiting Boston for a week and wanted to see her friends from AMS. Harrington proposed to Fiore Salas that they put together a weeklong series of concerts to feature original music and arrangements for a string band with Ousley and Chisholm on cello and violin, bolstered by Setiawan and accomplished guitarist João Perrusi on mandolin and guitar, respectively.
Despite being relative strangers, the musicians all threw themselves into the project. Upon Chisholm's arrival in Boston, a frenzied week of musical activity ensued, culminating in 3 concerts and one impromptu recording session with the help of sound engineer Alex Leiva. When Chisholm returned to Vancouver at the end of that week, Noah and Maurizio agreed to keep the project going once they graduated in 2019, bringing on violinist Sofia Chiarandini to fill the fiddle chair.
In early 2020 the group, at that time calling itself "Noah y Maurizio," released the album recorded in that frenzied initial week of collaboration. Acoustic Travelogue captured the initial musical chemistry and excitement of the group's formation, and was a remarkable first statement for the group, with glimmers of their future growth already present.
After performances at The Grey Fox and Joe Val Bluegrass Festivals, WBUR's Cityspace stage, The Boston Public Library's Rabb Hall, and historic Club Passim, the group was awarded the Iguana Music Fund Grant to begin recording their second album.
From May 20th-26th of 2021, Acoustic Nomads ventured north to Parsonsfield Maine, to Great North Sound Society studio. Acoustic Nomads had always been imagined as a collective, so Noah and Maurizio called on the members of the band to bring in compositions & arrangements of their own for the recording session. Ethan Setiawan also served as the sound engineer for the session, working with great skill to capture everything played in crystal clear quality.
For a whole week the band lived together, working 10+ hour days, eating home-baked bread and home-cooked meals, and collaborating just like they had during that first week of the group's formation in 2019. When the session wrapped, they had recorded 19 brand new works, all distinct from each other, but all infused with the vibrant energy of that creative marathon.
Acoustic Nomads called on talented graphic artist Kelly Chiarandini to design an album cover, and called skilled sound engineer Tano Brock to mix and master the first 10 tracks to coalesce into an album from the 2021 Great North Sound Session. In November of 2021 The Abominable Stringband Vol. 1 was released everywhere for streaming and purchase.
This was followed by a summer of performances around New England, including as top 3 finalists in the 2021 Freshgrass Band Competition!
The group plans to release The Abominable Stringband Vol. 2 on November 10th of 2022, so that all the musical fruits of this Herculean effort can be enjoyed by everyone. In the meantime, they will be updating this website and their other socials with information about how to stay engaged with Acoustic Nomads, and when to see us live in concert!