Eric Mingus and Catherine Sikora are Clockwork Mercury, taking you on an expedition to where music and poetry become one and the same thing: Sonic expressionism in its purest form.
Clockwork Mercury plays very cool dark, smoky noir-jazz/blues combined with Beat poetry, with Eric Mingus’ bass and vocals and Catherine Sikora on tenor and soprano saxophone.
The duo takes its name from a line in the poem Silverfish by Irish poet Bernard O’Donoghue, and like the swirling flickering creatures in the poem this band’s music is almost impossible to pin down or put neatly into any stylistic box. With influences ranging from the blues and spirituals of the American music tradition to free improvisation, traditional Irish music and late twentieth century minimalism, the duo defies categorization, producing a blend of music and poetry which has been called “addictively haunting” (Peter Aaron, Village Voice, December 2007).
Clockwork Mercury came into being early in 2007, when Eric Mingus and Catherine Sikora first met and worked together. The two share a great love of poetry, and started informally working on a duo collaboration incorporating Eric’s poetry. Their first performance as a duo (at that time unnamed) took place at the Knitting Factory, and just two months later they went into the studio and recorded the album “Clockwork Mercury” in one very intense day at Wombat Studios in Brooklyn, New York. Things started moving quickly after this, with performances in New York city at many of the major venues for new and improvised music (including The Stone, Issue Project Room, Bowery Poetry Club), a live performance and interview on WAMC (Albany) and radio airplay in the US, France, Italy and South America, notably reaching number 3 on the chart of WMPG (Portsmouth, ME) in April 2008. With all of these achievements perhaps the most spiritually gratifying of all was when Catherine managed to get Bernard O’Donoghue’s address, and sent him a letter and a copy of the cd. The letter she received from him was beautiful and complimentary, Bernard saying he loved the recording, and that he had not focused on the phrase “clockwork mercury” before, and that the duo brought it to life. This is high praise from someone who had already provided so much inspiration for this band.
At present this duo is performing live and rehearsing, further developing their concept with a view to making a second album in the near future.