Missing Parts cropThe Missing Parts will be playing again at the Arizona Senior Academy Tuesday (July 30) in a midday concert.  They are a Tucson-based acoustic, instrumental trio, formed in 2009.

Listeners have classified their music as everything from “chamber-core” to “alt-punk,” “string metal” to “Jew-grass.” While The Missing Parts can be a bit difficult to categorize, their sound is instantly recognizable. Their tunes borrow from and pay tribute to many folk traditions while ultimately serving as a bizarre field guide for the sonic traveller. The Missing Parts have been compared with Kronos Quartet, Ennio Morricone, Béla Bartók and Gogol Bordello, among others.

The band is comprised of Oliver Blaylock on violin, Brian Hullfish on cello and Paul Wright on acoustic guitar.

In the Fall of 2007, the members somehow happened to meet at Shot in The Dark Café in Tucson. They improvised together in the alley next door and liked the result. With Wright’s intensely percussive style of rhythm guitar, Hullfish’s cello and Blaylock’s classically-trained violin, the group creates vivid soundscapes, capable of conveying odd emotions and ideas.

The Missing Parts create the majority of their compositions by steadily gathering improvisational parts, and then collaboratively stitching these parts together and deciding how they move and feel, and what those parts want to become. The Missing Parts fully believe in the power of improvisation and collaboration.

A review of their second CD, Sueños, in Tucson Weekly, tried to describe their genre more precisely: “Yes, there’s a good deal of folk music on Sueños, but it’s not just folk music, not even just world-music-inspired folk music—far from it. Listen to a Missing Parts song, and you’ll find yourself transported from folk to klezmer to gypsy jazz to chamber music to classica … It also seems apparent that, though most of the songs are very tightly composed and performed, The Missing Parts still leave room for improvisation within them—another nod to their beginnings.”

The trio has collaborated with the singer/songwriter Cathy Rivers; the pyrotechnic/acrobatic performance troupe Flam Chen; and has shared bills with acts as wide-ranging as March Fourth Marching Band, The White Buffalo, the Bay Area-based trio Judgment Day, and Swedish hip hop/swing group Movits!

The Missing Parts have toured throughout the Rocky Mountains and along the West Coast since 2009 (playing such venues as The Fox Theater in Boulder, Colorado and The Upstage in Port Townsend, Washington).  After their Academy Village concert, which begins at 11:30 a.m., they will be going on to a gig in Taos, New Mexico.  They will have copies of their two CD’s, “Folk Music from an Undiscovered Country” and “Sueños,” for sale at the concert at $10 for one, $15 for both.

Submitted by Janet Kerans, Academy Village Volunteer

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The Missing Parts Play Folk Music Their Way: July 2013