Elisa Thorn’s HUE is a trio from Vancouver features, James Meger on bass and Justin Devries on drums. The group developed from Thorn’s Painting Project, in which she used paintings by her father, Bruce Thorn, as inspiration for composition and improvisation. As he explains in his own artist statement, he is “working to create a vision that is improvisational, intuitive, contemporary & universal, ” using “abstraction as a mode to reflect upon social and natural environments to create a journey of exploration and invention rather than a predetermined statement.” In line with his vision, Elisa created music that explores colour, movement and abstraction. The intimate trio setting leaves space to highlight the intricate and diverse sonic possibilities of the harp.
HUE released their sophomore album, Flowers For You Heart, in May 2019. It tackles two artistic objectives: firstly, how to create music that is both abstract and accessible; and secondly, how to lead a band with harp in a way does not compromise sensitivity with it’s boldness, or aesthetic beauty with it’s curiosity. Combining influences of post-rock, jazz, and indie music, this music isn’t quite like anything you’ve heard before.
With the support of Canada Arts Council and Creative BC, HUE has been in collaboration with vocalist Laura Swankey (Toronto), who is known for her versatility, creativity, vocal aptitude and open mindedness. She has worked with artists such Juno award-winner Mike Murley, Mark Feldman, Poet Laureate Dennis Lee, Christine Duncan and Ralph Alessi, and premiered works by Juliet Palmer, Elio Villafranca and Mike McCormick. They released a reimagining of Flowers for Your Heart, called The Other Side, with Swankey in 2019.