NOVEMBER 20, 2001

Amulet Records To Release Billy Martin's Black Elk Speaks

On November 23, percussionist Billy Martin will release his solo percussion opus Black Elk Speaks through his own Amulet Records label. Black Elk Speaks is based on the book of the same name, a self-told chronicle of the Oglala Sioux warrior and medicine man Black Elk. The collection of modern/avant-garde solo percussion compositions, recorded and produced by Martin, was inspired by Black Elk's spirit, visions, and stories. Said Martin about the inspiration of the project: "When I started reading the book, all my current solo work had fallen into place with the feeling I was getting from Black Elk's description of our world." All 22 tracks on Black Elk Speaks are solo performances by Martin, with the exception of "Stridulations" - performed by the Komodo Whirligig Orchestra.

Black Elk Speaks will be a very limited edition release, with only 900 copies printed; each hand-numbered and signed by Billy Martin. The album will be available exclusively through the Amulet Records website, and at live performances by Martin's celebrated jazz trio, Medeski Martin & Wood.

Martin recorded the music on Black Elk Speaks over the course of several years and in various locations, including his own apartment and MMW's Brooklyn studio, Shacklyn. He utilized an eclectic variety of percussion instruments, including traditional drum kit, Chinese gongs, Japanese temple blocks, African mbiras, antique concert drums and Brazilian agogo bells.

Black Elk Speaks is Billy Martin's second solo release on Amulet Records. In 2001 he released illy B Eats, an album of live percussion beats and samples for use by DJs.

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