Boxhead Ensemble

The Last Place to Go

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The Boxhead Ensemble is a collective of ever-changing musicians that provide the soundtrack for the film Dutch Harbor. Featured on this record are Will Oldham, of Palace fame, Edith Frost, Ken Vandermark and a host of others. Last Place to Go was recorded during the European tour of Dutch Harbor. The musicians provided improvised accompaniment to the film each night. The highlights of the tour recordings are collected on this disc. Most movie soundtracks lack unity and focus, but this album proves the opposite. Despite the fact that the songs are culled from a month's worth of recording, they are consistent and full of energy. The instrumentation ranges from cello to drums, sounding at times like classical music and at others mellow jazz and country. The film, a black and white documentary, explores the lives of Alaskan fishermen, and the music embodies the harsh but beautiful landscapes. At times, voice-over narrative's can be heard in the background making for some haunting moments. A wonderful guitar drone is the focus of "Coastal Boarder," and "Dust and Rain" begins with a woman's story of life at sea. The final track, "Far Gone/Big Sky" is a 16-minute piece that wanders between lilting melody and ominous space, the albums best piece. The improvised music on this record is intelligent and subtle, providing a consistent listen.

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time Stream
blue highlight denotes track pick