A Hawk and A Hacksaw began in 2000 in the small town of Saumur, France. Initially a solo vehicle for Neutral Milk Hotel drummer Jeremy Barnes, the main impetus of the project was to focus on the gray areas in borders of music and geography. The first album was released in 2002 by Cloud Recordings. Barnes met violinist Heather Trost in 2004 and the band became a duo. The pair has since released six albums, and toured extensively around the world. They have learned from and collaborated with some of the great.
In the past few years, the band has focused on recording, composing the soundtrack to a hit Albanian TV show called Skanderbeg and the video game Forest of Sleep. They also recently completed a score for a new short by critically acclaimed film maker Peter Strickland (Berberian Sound Studio, The Duke of Burgundy). They were also featured, along with Bartók and Ligeti, for an evening of Eastern European art-music at Queen Elizabeth Hall in London. The BBC Concert Orchestra played AHAAH’s original compositions and folk arrangements along with the band.
Forest Bathing, the new album, features ten original compositions. The Persian Santur, an ancient type of dulcimer struck by sticks, and played by Barnes, is a feature component along with Trost’s soaring and diving violin. The duo play nearly every instrument, but have some wonderful guest musicians on a few tracks- Turkish clarinetist Cüneyt Sepetçi, Hungarian cimbalom master Unger Balász, Chicago trumpeter Sam Johnson, who often tours with the group, Deerhoof guitarist John Dieterich, and New Mexico bassist Noah Martinez of the band Lone Piñon.