"Ms. Beglarian kayaked and bicycled the length of the Mississippi River [and] has translated her findings into music of sophisticated rusticity… [Her] earnest new Americana song cycle captures those swift currents as vividly as Mark Twain did. The works waft gracefully on her handsome folk croon and varied folk instrumentation as mysterious as their inspiration." -The New York Times
In the fall of 2009, I embarked on a four-month-long journey down the entire Mississippi River by kayak and bicycle. I immersed myself in local histories and the writings of those who had made similar journeys, including Mark Twain and Jonathan Raban. As I moved down the spine of my country, I kept a sonic journal about the people and places I encountered.
BRIM is a music and performance project inspired by my voyage, a collection of original compositions, adventurous arrangements of river-related songs, images, videos, and spoken-word readings. A personal response to the U.S. economic meltdown, BRIM is my own, unofficial WPA project.
You can visit RiverBlog to learn more about my journey and the music inspired by it.
The core configuration of BRIM is Ethel co-founder Mary Rowell (one of my fellow-travelers on the Mississippi) and me, singing and playing a variety of instruments including violin, viola, guitar, mandolin, and electric bass. BRIM is often joined by a wide range of guest musicians from loadbang and Guidonian Hand to the eight-piece amplified ensemble Newspeak and the vocal quintet Ekmeles.
Please send an email to discuss booking appearances. In addition to concert presentations, we are delighted to customize short- or long-term residencies, enlisting local residents, artists, and students as contributors and/or guest performers.
BRIM has released two of a limited edition series of four River Project EPs. Click the CD images below for streaming samples and to order while supplies last.
Listen to the broadcast of "Eve Beglarian's Huck Finn Adventure" on PRI's Studio 360 with Kurt Andersen.
Read an Interview with Eve Beglarian about the RiverProject's NYC debut, by Amanda MacBlane in Time Out New York
Listen to an interview with Eve Beglarian on Northwest Previews (KQAC, Portland, OR) as she considers what the Mississippi River taught her about life, art, American history, and community. (airdate: 13 Oct 2011)
"Eve Beglarian, composer, experimentalist and collaborator, has built a career translating other people’s obsessions into music... This time the obsession, the mighty Mississippi and its impact on American culture, is her own." -New York Times profile: 2 Sept 2009 • link • pdf
"Rivers used to be the main methods of navigation… If you [get to a river town] by car, you drive by Walmart and malls, but by river, you find the remnants of 19th, 18th, even 17th-century America."
"[The] enchanting, enthralling evening proceeded in [a] riverine fashion, flowing and turning, touching visual, sonic, literary destinations, characteristically embracing pop…classical, electric, electronic, acoustic territories and more." -Oregon ArtsWatch • link
"There's no sense in trying to label Beglarian's music... Often, the catalyst for [her] composition is a text or a sound to which she responds." -San Jose Mercury News profile: 11 Mar 2010 • pdf
"Beglarian's warmth, measured speech and apparent love of process [sound] something like what you'd get if Laurie Anderson and Steve Reich moved out to the country and started a folk group. Her narrated travelogue [is] populated with interesting characters, underlain with history and enriched with observations..." -The Oregonian: 24 Oct 2011 • link
"Eve Beglarian's 'Night Psalm' [is] an appealing meditation in which velvety descending arpeggios morph into a quietly rumbling harmonic haze." -New York Times review of two River Project pieces: 27 Aug 2011 • link • pdf