Polyorchard on IndyWeek’s best of 2015 list

Polyorchard’s Color Theory in Black and White made IndyWeek’s list of the Triangle’s Best albums of 2015.

From Grayson Currin:

Polyorchard was born a collective. Founded by upright bassist David Menestres, the always-evolving, forever-improvising ensemble could sprawl into a big lineup or shrink into modest formats. For Polyorchard’s debut, Menestres anchored two distinct trios—a “Black” trio with viola and cello and a “White” trio with trombone and saxophone. The string-based group is more prone to dig deep into ideas, as when they explore every millimeter of a textural drone late in “Black 1.” With horns, though, Menestres’ crew grows only more conversant and communicative. “White 4,” for instance, is a low and slow fireside circle, while “White 5” suggests a gaggle of chattering birds, sending signals to one another across an otherwise blank space.

Read the full list here.

Buy/stream the album in full here.


Color Theory in Black and White

Polyorchard - Color Theory in Black and White - booklet - page 1


In the two and a half years of Polyorchard’s existence the band has blazed a trail across the territories of modern music performing their own compositions (spontaneous or otherwise), collaborating with Merzbow, paying tribute to Sun Ra on his 100th arrival day, and performing Terry Riley’s In C on the 50th anniversary of its premier. Polyorchard is a flexible fighting unit morphing to fit the battle of the day in formations ranging from small scale trios to the sprawling madness of a double dectet. Polyorchard has shared bills with artists as diverse as Duane Pitre, thingNY, Ken Vandermark/Nate Wooley duo, Michael Pisaro & Greg Stuart, Jon Mueller, and Half Japanese. Plans for 2015 include collaborating with Olivia Block, exploring the late work of John Coltrane, and further work with balloons.

Over one beautiful weekend in late September 2014 Polyorchard laid down it’s first studio recordings. Color Theory in Black and White represents two aspects of the trio personality. The first trio on the album is a string trio of Chris Eubank on cello, Dan Ruccia on viola, and David Menestres on bass. The back half of the album is occupied by the trio of Jeb Bishop on trombone, Laurent Estoppey on saxophones, and David Menestres on bass.

Color Theory in Black and White was recorded in glorious binaural sound by Dan Lilley and mastered by Andrew Weathers. Listen at maximum volume in front of your best speakers or get lost deep in the sound of your favorite headphones.

Chris Eubank (cello)
David Menestres (bass)
Dan Ruccia (viola)

Jeb Bishop (trombone)
Laurent Estoppey (sax)
David Menestres (bass)

All music by Polyorchard ©2015

Binaural recording by Dan Lilley at The Store, Raleigh, NC September 27-28, 2014

Mastering by Andrew Weathers, Oakland, CA October 2014

Design by Lincoln Hancock

Liner notes by Emily Leon

Downloads & limited edition 2xCDr boxsets available at polyorchard.bandcamp.com

Hello In There

Raw audio from the July 28, 2014 New Directions in Appalachian Music show

John Prine’s Hello In There:


The band:

Jeb Bishop – trombone
Eugene Chadbourne – guitar, vocals
Dave Doyle – french horn
Chris Eubank – cello
Jimmy GIlmore – guitar
David Menestres – bass
Carrie Shull – oboe
Ken Ray Wilemon – drums

“Between Know and Then”

Polyorchard performing “Between Know and Then” at Neptune’s Parlour May 22, 2014 on the occasion of Sun Ra’s 100th arrival day

Jason Bivins – guitar
Sara Bloo – voice, percussion
Chris Eubank – cello, electronics
Jamie Keesecker – french horn
Bill McConaghy – trumpet
David Menestres – bass
Ken Moshesh – percussion
Carrie Shull – oboe, electronics
Julianna Thomas – projections

recorded by Dan Schram

Insect & Western Party Hits the Trail

Thanks to everyone who supported the trials and tribulations of the Insect & Western Party residency at Neptune’s Parlour this summer. This list is probably not anywhere near complete but here it is:

Paul, Cheetie, and everyone else at Neptune’s.

Lincoln Hancock for the excellent poster design (holler at me if you are interested in a poster, still have a few left).

The band: Eugene Chadbourne, Jeb Bishop, Dave Doyle, Chris Eubank, Dan Ruccia, Carrie Shull, and me.

Dan Schram and Jeb Bishop for the recordings.

The audience!

And everyone who helped spread the word.

The Insect & Western Party Live at Neptune’s is available for purchase from Eugene Chadbourne in his custom hand made packaging (fly swatters and insects probably not included). “Bugs” produced July 27, 2013 on the occasion of Bugs Bunny’s 73rd birthday.

Check out a couple of videos from July 15th here.


Now we just need to find someone to give it a proper vinyl release.