On the right tracks

Pasatiempo - - Pasa Week -

and vo­cal­ist Mi­randa Scott are per­fec­tion­ists of the tallest or­der, and that can be an alien­at­ing state of mind. Just ask them. They’ll be the first to tell you the rea­son they usu­ally only per­form as a duo is be­cause it’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to find other mu­si­cians who want to fully com­mit to their song­writ­ing, record­ing, and per­for­mance pro­cesses, which be­gin rather or­gan­i­cally and end with bouts of ob­ses­sive re­fine­ment.

Since meet­ing about two years ago dur­ing West African dance classes at the Rai­l­yard Per­for­mance Cen­ter, Tu­ma­son and Scott have been ar­rang­ing and per­form­ing orig­i­nal songs as with lo­cal and far-flung mu­si­cians oc­ca­sion­ally float­ing into their or­bit for record­ing ses­sions and gigs.

At (doors open at 7), Evarus­nik — the name, pro­nounced ay-vah-ruse-neek, is a take on the sur­name of an Cze­choslo­vakian ma­tri­arch in Tu­ma­son’s fam­ily — re­turns to the (1611 Paseo de Per­alta, 982-8309) for a con­cert to cel­e­brate the re­lease of its de­but full-length al­bum, on Ra­panui Records. It was orig­i­nally con­ceived and recorded as a five-song EP that was pro­duced in just five days, and Tu­ma­son was not happy with the re­sults. “It sounded like to­tal [crap] if you ask me,” he told

Af­ter a lis­ten­ing ses­sion with one of Tu­ma­son’s friends and mu­si­cal touch­stones, Cal­i­for­nia-based multi-in­stru­men­tal­ist and con­trib­u­tor Greg El­lis, per­cus­sion­ist for psy-trance group Juno Re­ac­tor (El­lis’ work has ap­peared on the sound­tracks to and other films), Tu­ma­son and Scott went back to the draw­ing board — for 18 months.

Af­ter three main record­ing ses­sions — one in Taos at Tu­ma­son’s for­mer home stu­dio, one at the Mis­sion Bells stu­dio in San Fran­cisco, and one at The Elec­tric Com­pany, Santa Fe mu­si­cian/en­gi­neer Jon Ga­gan’s stu­dio — Tu­ma­son and Scott are fi­nally ready to re­lease the mind-blow­ing, 15-song

Solid guest mu­si­cians in­clud­ing Round Moun­tain’s Char and Robby Roth­schild, Ga­gan on up­right bass, and Gre­gory Gutin on ca­jón and mis­cel­la­neous per­cus­sion con­trib­ute to con­cept-al­bum feel. There are hints on it of what Scott and Tu­ma­son re­fer to as “mourn­ful, trampy old Amer­ica” — es­pe­cially on track five, “Onis the Laskan,” which is at www.mys­pace.com/evar­nusik (in un-mas­tered form) — but many of the songs also hint at ev­ery­thing from East­ern Euro­pean folk bal­ladry to Is­raeli pop, dirge­like Mid­dle East­ern mu­sic, and the alt-coun­try fla­vors of Ari­zona en­sem­ble Calex­ico. “The al­bum rep­re­sents a cul­mi­na­tion of the last decade of my mu­sic and life,” Tu­ma­son said. He wanted to tell the story of his trav­els and ex­pe­ri­ences from those years, and with this al­bum, he and Scott take lis­ten­ers on an emo­tion­ally charged sonic jour­ney that never fails to en­gage and im­press.

The epi­cen­ter of Evarus­nik’s hyp­notic charm is Tu­ma­son’s acous­tic in­stru­men­ta­tion and lyrical im­agery; Scott’s an­gelic, fado-in­flu­enced vo­cals; and the pair’s metic­u­lously styled har­monies. Those el­e­ments are the fo­cus of their Oct. 2 con­cert and up­com­ing per­for­mances in Cal­i­for­nia. The cre­ative in­ti­macy be­tween Scott and Tu­ma­son makes Evarus­nik one of the most unique and cap­ti­vat­ing bands in Santa Fe. Be­cause they per­form live so in­fre­quently (try squeez­ing a large pi­ano through the door of most lo­cal venues and you’ll un­der­stand why), I urge you to catch the show at the Rai­l­yard Per­for­mance Cen­ter. And I strongly rec­om­mend pick­ing up which re­leases on Oct. 10. Tick­ets for the show are $10 to $20 at the door.

— Rob De Walt

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