Allyson Makuch has always immersed herself in art. She’s a fifth-generation oil painter, was professionally trained in Italian opera, and played in several bluegrass bands. But her songwriting, which began 15 years ago when she first picked up a guitar, was a private part of her life.
That is, until she met multi-instrumentalist Rory Cloud, who comes from a family of musicians, and has been playing guitar for 26 years, specializing in everything from jazz to Americana to hip-hop. He encouraged Makuch to get her songs out, and to not feel constrained by pre-defined genre lines.
“He showed me that even though I’m playing an acoustic guitar, I can be free on the instrument and make the songs I want to make without feeling like I have to prescribe to any particular style,” Makuch says.
The two started working together as Echoes and Artifacts a few years ago, playing Makuch’s songs with Cloud providing musical accompaniment. It’s a clear collaboration, as the communication between them has molded the songs into the deeply intimate acoustic expressions they are today, with elements of blues, jazz, folk and country intermingling and tearing through the deepest, most vulnerable emotions that bubble up into their gorgeous vocal harmony work.
The project continues to evolve, with this show (and many more like it to come) being a multimedia event with artwork by Makuch up on the wall (oil paintings, prints of illustrations, block prints, fiber arts, garments, prose), and with them discussing—even singing about—the works during the show.
“It’s like one tangle. This exhibition is a representation of how we understand art. The exhibition is sort of about childhood, growing up and grappling with the arts, the world and the environment,” Makuch says.
The twosome are recording their debut album, which they hope to release later in the year.
8pm. Saturday, Feb. 8, Lille Aeske, 13160 Hwy 9, Boulder Creek. $20/adv, $25/door. 703-4183.