1.Black Dog (Led Zeppelin) 5:02
2.Moanin’ at Midnight (Howlin’ Wolf) 3:04
3.Little Wing (Jimi Hendrix) 3:29
4.Summertime (Janis Joplin) 4:54
5.Epitaph (King Crimson) 8:37
6.Wish You Were Here (Pink Floyd) 7:03
7.Louisiana Blues (Muddy Waters) 2:55
8.Lithium (Nirvana) 4:17
9.Back in Black (AC/DC) 4:46
10.Kashmir (Led Zeppelin) 7:13
The first time I heard Janis Joplin I felt shaken to the core. Somehow her unique, raw expression snuck its way into the inner shrine where until then only the likes of Bach and Schubert were allowed to enter. It felt so sacrilegious that I was giddy with guilt. Just imagine a young acolyte of any dogma, experiencing her first transgression…
The cello, the earliest serious choice of my life, destined me for years to be an outsider in Janis Joplin’s world. Her place in the blues and rock and roll, and the blur of electric guitars, percussion and bass – that world seemed barred to me, a classical cellist.
With time, as I forayed into different sound worlds, developed my personal vocabulary, and “unburdened” myself from the weight of the classical tradition, a whole new universe emerged. It made it possible for me to take on, with my cello, the voices of Joplin and Hendrix and Muddy and Page and Plant.
My “uncovers” are riffs on songs that are in a way both familiar and different – a journey into the inner layers, untouched surfaces, nameless colors, dazed images.
Much like with classical masterpieces, we tend to develop expectations about how a certain legendary rock piece should be performed. Attempts to vary considerably from the original are often perceived, almost unconsciously, as offensive. But whether one likes it or not, no one expects a multi-cello track to sound exactly like the original. That is my privilege as an outsider.
And so, with one beautiful cello and carefully used technology, I approach every song like an open canvas – constructing each layer of sound, rhythm, harmony, color and melody – building and experimenting until it feels right. The cello takes on many voices in this album; what might appear to sound like a wailing electric guitar is in fact my centuries-old acoustic cello processed through a distortion pedal and re-amped. The only additional instruments are drums and bass -performed by a roster of great musician friends.
We recorded Uncovered in between tours, over a period of two years at Area 52 studios in the Catskills Mountains of New York – diving in one song at a time. Winters and summers came and went, and I grew to love those long drives from New York City up the I-87 North.
My two remarkable collaborators were Evan Ziporyn – my co-producer and arranger extraordinaire, and Dave Cook – my longtime sound designer and the album engineer. This album is theirs as much as it is mine.
All tracks recorded by Maya Beiser, cello
All tracks arranged by Evan Ziporyn
Glenn Kotche, drums (Black Dog, Lithium)
Jherek Bischoff, acoustic and electric bass (Black Dog, Lithium)
Hubert Zemler, drums (Back in Black, Little Wing)
Evan Ziporyn, clarinet and bass clarinet (Epitaph)
Otto Briner, electric bass (Back in Black, Lithium)
Dave Cook, electric bass (Lithium)
Blake Newman, acoustic bass (Wish You Were Here)
Ryan Meyer, calabash (Louisiana Blues, Moanin’ at Midnight)
Produced by: Maya Beiser and Evan Ziporyn
Engineered by: Dave Cook
Mastered by: Scott Hull
Recorded at Area 52 Studios, Saugerties, NY
Mixed at Dreamland Studios, Woodstock, NY
Mastered at Masterdisk, New York, NY
Album photos by: ioulex
Album design by: Yeliz Secerli
Album publicity by: Christina Jensen PR
(J.Page, R.Plant, J.P. Jones) WB Music Corp.
Flames of Albion Music
Moanin’ at Midnight
(Chester Burnett) BMG Platinum Songs / Arc Music
(Jimi Hendrix) Experience Hendrix, LLC
(Dubose Heywood, Ira Gershwin, George Gershwin)
Chappell & Co.
(Fripp, Giles, Lake, McDonald, Sinfield) EG-Music LTD
Wish You Were Here
(Waters, Gilmour) Warner Tamerlane Pub. Corp.
Muziekuitgeverij Artemis BV / Pink Floyd Music Publishers
(Muddy Waters) Bug Music / Watertoons Music
(Kurt Cobain) BMG The End of Music / Primary Wave Tunes
Back in Black
(A. Young, M. Young, B. Johnson) J. Albert & Son (Int.) PTY. LTD
(J. Bonham, J. Page, R. Plant) WB Music Corp. / Flames of Albion Music
innova is supported by an endowment
from the McKnight Foundation.
Philip Blackburn, director, Chris Campbell, manager
Steve McPherson, publicist
Also by Maya Beiser on innova:
Provenance (innova 778)