The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra
Named for the historic Pine Barrens town of Friendship where the band first practiced together as a group, The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra is a collective of electronic and traditional instrumentalists composing the score to The Pine Barrens concurrently to the film's evolving editions. Ruins perform this score, also an evolving and partially improvised work, live at screenings, merging performance and documentary to create a completely unique experience transporting the audience into our interpretation of this fascinating and beautiful place.
The Ruins of Friendship Orchestra are:
Ben Warfield - synthesizer
Laura Baird - vocals, flute, banjo
Gretchen Lohse - viola
Jesse Sparhawk - harp, bass
John Pettit - guitar, trumpet, harmonium
Michael Dur - sequencer
Laura Baird is a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and recording engineer. Since 2001 she has performed and recorded as The Baird Sisters with her sister, Meg Baird. She enjoys crossing and blending genres like folk, pop, classical, and electronic, and frequently collaborates with other artists and musicians who work in and between these genres. Laura recently recorded Glenn Jones’ album, My Garden State (Thrill Jockey.) She is currently working on a solo full-length folk album. laurabaird.com/music
Jesse Sparhawk is a multiinstrumentalist, composer, and improviser whose instruments include harp, guitar, and electric bass. His harp study began at the age of 10 with then recently retired principal harpist of the New York Philharmonic, Myor Rosen, as well as with the head of the harp department of Eastman School of Music, Kathleen Bride. Sparhawk has over 40 recording credits to his name performing various instruments with many solo performers and groups, is a regular member of the psych/folk group Fern Knight, and has recorded and performed with acclaimed producer Tony Visconti. jessesparhawk.bandcamp.com/
A man of two worlds, Ben Warfield contributes to scientific research studying the biological effects of light on humans while pursuing the larger questions raised by those scientific journeys in the form of music and imagery. He strives to create crystalline compositional spaces to be inhabited by the listener.
When not writing NASA grants or tweaking monochromatic filters at the Light Research Lab in Philadelphia, Warfield can be found recording songs, editing videos for his projections, or wandering out into the night – shooting long-exposure photographs of terrestrial and astronomical phenomena.
Gretchen Lohse is a native Philadelphia singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist. As the front woman of Philadelphiapsychedelic folk rock band Yellow Humphrey, she dreams up rich, strange musical tapestries- part memoir and part tall tale- that are heavily influenced by folklore and silent films. Solo, she is barebones and delicate, her songs full of ghosts and unrequited love. gretchenlohse.bandcamp.com
John Pettit is a multi-instrumentalist and composer whose primary instruments include bass, trumpet, guitar, voice and keys. Since 2003 he has performed and recorded with over a dozen Philadelphia based acts and occasionally as a solo musician. Pettit draws inspiration from a variety of genres and disciplines including rock, electronic, jazz and experimental music. In recent years he has been a member of the avant rock ensemble Make A Rising and currently writes and performs with post-punk group Callowhill. callowhill.bandcamp.com
Michael Dur is a multi-instrumentalist with a history of playing with several Philadelphia bands. He plays trombone, guitar, and various synthesizers with the Ruins of Friendship Orchestra. As a computer programmer he enjoys creating music based on algorithms, and imbues his contributions with a focus on process.