In February 2016, Shepherds of Cats performed extraordinary concert with Markus Wenninger that included premiere of Naturalinee 2 video scores by American composer Joe Pignato, video art by VJ Pietrushka and live archery. Priori to that event, the band met with Marcus in the studio over the weekend to record material for an album that awaited daylight until now. Marcus Wenninger is a German flutist and clarinettist, as well as didgeridoo and shakuhachi player and archer. Founder of The Nora Volkova Ensemble, he is orientated on unconventional and avategarde artistic collaborations. Using plethora of woodwind instruments, didgeridoo, cello, clavichord, darbuka, drum, gongs, singing bowls and daily objects, Marcus and Shepherds of Cats made improvised recordings which selection of found their way to this atmospheric album.
The year 2021 was significant on many levels. Shepherds of Cats spent a year improvising virtually. During one of the weekly rehearsals, this song came about completely by accident. This became our contribution to the collection of Christmas-themed music. We secretly hope that it will conquer the charts – as Last Christmas once did.
If we told you that this recording should be considered one long piece rather than 6 pieces, you would quite possibly accept this. But, similarly, if we said it is six independent pieces and not one long piece, you would probably accept it maybe even more readily, especially as it is separated into 6 different pieces. However, if one of us Shepherds says you should listen to it as one piece and another says you ought to listen to it as six different pieces, where does that leave you? But then again, don’t listen to us, listen to us.
That is not all! Vj Pietrushka created promotional videoclip of the album:
“Only a group as downright weird as Shepherds of Cats would be able to absorb a legendary free improvising trombonist directly into their sound. Over the course of an hour, the group, hunters of sound, unearth ethno futurist visions, chambered folk, raucous free jazz and passages of downright absurdity that in one instance contains a coughing fit. There is no group like them in Europe or the rest of the planet that use improvisation in such a bewitching fashion” – David McLean, Tombed Visions Records