Posted on | November 4, 2011 | No Comments
Songs for Persephone is available now in different formats on Ramseur Records! Limited Edition Art Boxes and an Interactive Memory Box that include extra music and video can be purchased below. In addition, artist Simon Draper and his artist collective Habitat for Artists are creating unique limited edition artwork packages inspired by the music from Songs for Persephone. Each work is a unique response by an artist to the music. Download versions and CDs are also available. You can find our music on ITunes, Amazon, EMusic and Spotify
The Interactive Memory Box includes the CD, extra music/video downloads and future updates. By an interactive process, each Art Box will be made for you personally by Mimi Goese, incorporating your story with the story from the song “A Lovely Goodbye.”
Unique art box package by HFA artist Richard Bruce
Unique art box package by HFA artists Jane2
Unique art box package by HFA artist Carol Flaitz
Posted on | February 1, 2012 | No Comments
What a spectacular, gorgeous find. Emotional and symphonic, the music on this recording is from lower Hudson Valley duo Mimi Goese and Ben Neill’s multimedia musical theater performance “Persephone,” which premiered at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and is based on fragments of the works of Berlioz, Schumann, Bruckner, Grieg, Donizetti, Gabrieli, Beethoven, and Strauss. The result is a performance-art lover’s dream come true. Goese (vocals) and Neill (“mutantrumpet,” electronics) are joined by cello, drums and bass as they navigate the romantic and abstract, both musically and lyrically, from the very first moments of this record.
A bit reminiscent of Jane Siberry, Goese belts out a hypnotic refrain on lush opener “Roma” (“For all the love, we all need a little kindness now and then”) amid swirls of compelling strings and keys and Neill’s electronica and invention, the mutantrumpet. The larger-than-life “If You Lie Awake” begins with a sonorous bang, launching into a neoclassical piece of epic proportions in which Goese’s vox border on haunting as she repeats the breathy line “Don’t let go.” Mid-album track “Elegy” has a downtempo and dramatic trip-hop feel. Listen to this record with headphones, because there are a lot of subtle nuances in the layers that should not be missed. Anyone who appreciates art rock or stylistically complex bands such as Cocteau Twins, Dead Can Dance, or Portishead should not pass this one by. It could very well be your new favorite record; I know it’s mine. Mimigoeseandbenneill.com.
Posted on | November 20, 2011 | No Comments
Posted on | October 19, 2011 | No Comments
With our upcoming performance on the Moogfest only a week away, I spent some time recalling my experiences with the late great Mr. Moog…
BEN NEILL – BOB MOOG DIARY
My relationship with Robert Moog began in 1982 thanks to a small ad in the back of Keyboard Magazine for Big Briar, Inc. In fine print it described how Robert Moog was accepting custom projects at a new company based in Asheville, NC. At that time I was just beginning to develop ideas for the mutantrumpet, my self-designed instrument which has been at the center of my work as a composer and performer ever since. I had just moved to New York from Ohio and had begun developing my first compositions. My conception of the mutantrumpet was always to have a strong electronic component, which I was already doing by connecting it to a Korg MS-10 synthesizer. The MS-10 had a patch panel which allowed me to insert an audio input from the mutantrumpet that could generate controls for the synthesizer. However, the prospect of an electronic system that could be integrated more fully with my expanded, multi-belled acoustic instrument was highly appealing. And the idea of having it built by the illustrious Moog was even more exciting.
As a result of the ad I contacted Moog in early 1983, first writing him a letter outlining my ideas for the mutantrumpet. Not long after that I visited with him for the first time at his circular mountain home in Leicester, NC, about three hours from my hometown of East Bend, NC, where I spent my first 18 years. To get to the house you literally had to drive through a cornfield; I can still remember the anticipation and astonishment to find Moog’s ultra-modern house and the adjacent workshop where he was working on a variety of projects in this remote corner of North Carolina.
Posted on | October 8, 2011 | No Comments
Our record was reviewed in Neu Futur Magazine this month
Mimi Goese and Ben Neill – Songs For Persephone (CD)
Posted by James McQuiston on October 1st, 2011
The interplay that is created by Goese and Neill on their Songs For Persephone ensures that the CD will remain in a purchaser’s player for months to come. This is not noticed only in the instrumental side of things, but also through the whole effort that follows from the disc’s initial track, Roma. The stylistic choices that are made during Songs For Persephone are nothing less than inspired; blending together disparate genres like 80s new wave and the deepest, darkest sides of indie rock, it is not surprising that tracks like “A Lovely Goodbye” stick with listeners long after the disc finishes.
What may strike listeners the most would have to be the differential threads weaved through the album. Rather than having different trends and topics that follow through the course of an album, Goese and Neill make different collections of songs shine in a slightly different context than one would have if they listened to the entirety of the album.
The final trilogy of songs – New Green, Cusp, and World’s End – create a miniature epic that stands out in stark contrast to the rest of the tracks encountered during Songs For Persephone. The duo may not be on the tip of everyone’s tongue, but what issues forth from Songs For Persephone could just be the most compelling music that I have heard this year. Pick this disc up at any well stocked indie rock store, or see which of your favorite online retailers carry copies of the release.
Top Tracks: Roma, Stargazer
Posted on | October 5, 2011 | No Comments
Our release show at the Cooper Square Hotel last week was a blast! Thanks to all who came out, you can see some pictures of the night here
Posted on | September 21, 2011 | No Comments
Our release show at the Cooper Hotel Penthouse in NYC is next Tuesday, September 27, at 7:30 PM. We’ll be playing live with Marlan Barry on cello and bass and Theo Metz on drums. DJ Birds in Buildings from Beacon, NY will be spinning IDM and electronica before and after our set. Hope to see you there! Click here for tickets and more information
Posted on | September 16, 2011 | No Comments
Read an interview of Mimi and Ben in Sequenza 21, an online contemporary classical music magazine, here.
Posted on | September 14, 2011 | No Comments
Mimi Goese & Ben Neill’s “Songs for Persephone”
“Songs for Persephone,” Mimi Goese & Ben Neill (Ramseur)
“Songs for Persephone” is high-concept music teased at by the cover photo of a split pomegranate, the fruit that bound the Greek goddess Persephone to Hades. The performance-art release, compiled by Mimi Goese & Ben Neill from their multimedia musical theater piece “Persephone,” reflects classical music and the 19th century Romantic era. Lyrically, vocalist Goese explores existence in the mundane, her words adrift in abstract observations.
The good news is listeners don’t have to have degrees in philosophy, music history or mythology to appreciate this bewitching project.
Goese is one of those rarefied singers with cult-following potential, her associations with Hugo Largo and Hector Zazou leading to “Songs for Persephone,” where she echoes 1990s-era Jane Siberry. Her breathtaking, arching refrain “For all the love” on opener “Roma” is icon-making stuff, followed by the wrenching kicker, “We all need a little kindness now and then.”
Instrumentalist Neill — working with guest cellists, a drummer and a bass player — creates an air of electronic chill and glitchy distractions in his programming, and he layers in his own “mutantrumpet,” an electronic-acoustic hybrid whose tone is both lonely and surreal.
Goese’s metaphysical mission is delineated on “Cusp”: “I rove the universe collecting thoughts and memories,” her gorgeous and clear voice leading her to consider deeper meaning in the stealthy ways of a river on the pulsing “Resonata,” to contemplate an out-of-context keepsake box pulled from a fire on “A Lovely Goodbye” and to mourn a dying sparrow on the moving “Elegy.”
If you open your mind to Goese and Neill, they’ll likely open your heart.
Rating (five possible): 4
Posted on | September 10, 2011 | No Comments
Mimi and Ben will perform John Cage’s 4’33″ on Monday, August 29 at WAAM in Woodstock. The piece was originally performed in Woodstock on August 29, 1952. They will also perform a song from the forthcoming Songs for Persephone CD. See more details here: 4’33″ an alphabetical press releasekeep looking »