Tim Bracken, wtop.com
WASHINGTON – Since the mid-1990s, local musician Amy Domingues has used her strength as a cellist to augment the music of artists such as Ted Leo, Bob Mould, Fugazi, Mary Timony, Brandon Butler and other local musicians.
Domingues isn’t just a session musician. Over the past 12 years, she has been honing her skills as a songwriter with her solo project, Garland of Hours.
“The band has included many people over the years,” Domingues wrote in an email to WTOP.
“Right now, it’s me, my husband Stefan Bauschmid on drums and Mary Timony on guitar when she can fit it into her busy schedule!”
The band’s latest album, “Lucidia,” is part experimental-folk, part art-rock. The arrangements are sparse and elegant, and Domingues’s unconventional vocal style and confident playing are front and center.
“Garland of Hours’ sound gets called chamber pop much of the time,” Domingues says. “But I don’t feel these are really pop songs with a cello.”
The band’s songs are a bit more complex than what most would describe as pop. Domingues describes the band’s sound as “somewhat darker in tone.”
“Many of the songs have moments of improvisation, so you don’t hear the same thing each time you hear us live,” she says.
Domingues recently took a two-year break from rock music to study at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore.
“I studied historical performance,” she says. “Specifically for the cello and viola da gamba, a fretted seven-stringed bowed instrument popular in the 16th to 18th centuries.”
Today, Domingues mixes her conservatory skills with her love for performing in rock bands.
“There is a lot of freedom playing in a rock band, but certain kinds of classical and traditional music also offer opportunities for improvisation as well,” Domingues says. “So at this point they are equally stimulating and enjoyable to me.”
(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)