- The Eiger
- Run Through My Hair
- High Life
- Did I Die
- You're Drifiting
- Heavenly Choir
- The Beginning Is Nigh
- August Morning Haze
Oneida came up with the idea for The Wedding in early 2001, and immediately began building the largest music box on the east coast of the United States. Built of plywood, salvaged marine pilings, industrial motor parts and over seventy saw blades, the hand-cranked behemoth was assembled in the warehouse loading dock that's also home to the Vale of Tears, Oneida's own recording studio. By hammering nails and spikes into the cylindrical pilings at carefully mapped intervals, and rotating the pilings through thickets of variably-tensioned saw blades, Oneida created and recorded unearthly tones and melodies; these were subsequently used as the basis for a series of melancholy, yearning songs that now see the light of day as The Wedding.
"Well, we just thought, 'What would the Left Banke have sounded like if they were a machine?'" says Kid Millions of the unusual compositional process. "I'm not sure we found out, but we made an interesting record."
"Yeah, throw in some serious random chance and our inability to build anything more advanced than twelfth century siege weaponry, and you've got a little medieval avant-garde orchestra in a box," adds Hanoi Jane.
After working for several years to complete the songs, the band added a number of complex, lush string arrangements. Brian Coughlin, leader of the NYC new music group Fireworks Ensemble, contributed his arranging talents and assembled a group of string players whom he felt were capable of understanding the unusual demands of the songs at hand. "Other than my version of Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring for Fireworks, no arranging task has pushed my skills and talents to such extremes as the music of Oneida," according to Coughlin. "The emotional complexity of the music is unmatched -- except maybe by the steel-drum version of 'Stairway to Heaven' I arranged for an amusement park," he laughs.
Other guests at The Wedding include Phil Manley of Trans Am, Adam Davison of Company (who also appeared on Oneida's recent EP Nice/Splittin' Peaches), Brad Truax of Home, and avant-garde piano wizard Emily Manzo.
"You know, we ended up working so hard on these songs that the original melodic sources are frequently buried or mixed out," notes Fat Bobby, "but folks shouldn't worry – we're thinking about releasing a wicked heavy dub record of the music box tracks sometime, called The Weeding."
(JAG065 released: 05/03/05)