For more than a decade, the duo known as a Hawk and a Hacksaw have been exploring the traditional music of Eastern Europe from a distinctly American folk-pop perspective. Though the accordion player Jeremy Barnes was formerly the drummer in Neutral Milk Hotel, and the violinist and pianist Heather Trost played on Beirut’s first two records, their inspiration now comes mostly from places like Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria and Macedonia.
A Hawk and A Hacksaw return with new record ‘Forest Bathing’ this year, inspired by the Japanese medical term Shinrin-Yoku (translating as ‘taking in the forest atmosphere’). It was developed in Japan during the 1980s and has become a cornerstone of preventive health care and healing in Japanese medicine. Their forest bath of choice is the Valle De Oro National Wildlife Refuge in New Mexico.
The album features ten original compositions. The Persian Santur, an ancient type of dulcimer struck by sticks, and played by Barnes, is a feature component along with