Moira Smiley & VOCO have created on their new album, Laughter Out of Tears (released September 15, 2014 on Whim Records), pulling together people from Australia, Europe, and all throughout North America.
Redefining harmony singing with the power & physicality of folksong, the avant-garde fearlessness of Béla Bartók and vaudevillian combo of cello, accordion & banjo.
Working with voices has always been Smiley’s joy. A virtuosic singer, she works with artists as varied as Paul Hillier, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, KITKA, Tim O’Brien, Solas and tUnE-yArDs, and has sung everything from Stockhausen and Stravinsky to traditional folk music – which remains her deepest love, to the level that she’s spent time as a song collector in the Balkans. She’s recorded Irish sean-nós on her solo record Rua, been featured on radio, television and films, taught at the University of Birmingham in England and several American universities, and been the recipient of an enviable list of grants and awards.
In 2006 Smiley formed VOCO, a five-piece group of singers and players, with an improvisational – and uniquely vocal – approach to American and Eastern European folk music, and Smiley’s polyphonic originals.
“The band is made up of spare ingredients,” she says. “There’s usually cello, always body percussion, and everyone sings, of course. I write for three or four voices in harmony, and I play banjo and accordion.”
Laughter Out of Tears continues a journey Smiley has begun with VOCO’s three previous releases.
Oj Jabuko (trad. Serbia) – moira smiley & VOCO (CA, USA)
A second track from Moira Smiley.