Introducing the Arco Sessions

Eric Christenson

Music students, musicians, photographers, videographers and sound guys all meet for an hour or two in a studio to record. And then they part ways. That’s idea behind The Arco Sessions, a super-collaboration headed up by Davy Sumner, a UWEC Composition student and drummer: Make art in a fleeting moment.

The way it works is Sumner puts together an ensemble of (usually) music students to rehearse the instrumentation of a song by a touring band or artist coming through town ...

The way it works is Sumner puts together an ensemble of (usually) music students to rehearse the instrumentation of a song by a touring band or artist coming through town. Then the ensemble and singer meet up in Jaime Hansen’s Eau Claire studio and record the orchestrated version of the song. Thus, it’s named “Arco,” which means “to be played with a bow.”

“It’s a huge amount of organizing,” Sumner said. “I knew what I wanted to do with the music part of it, but outside of that, I knew that I’d need a lot of help.”

A film/photo team put together by local filmmaker Peter Eaton takes gorgeous video and photos of the in-studio performance, which all goes online shortly after via V1’s own Thom Fountain.

Released last week, the pioneer Arco Session featured the music of Kalispell and we’ll be seeing an S. Carey session soon enough, but Sumner said he wants the sessions to be more widespread than localized, even including genres like hip hop, opera and spoken word.

But what makes it special is the brevity.

“They’re stopping through Eau Claire on tour and none of us will have met then, until we get to the studio,” Sumner said. “We’re together for two hours and then that’s it.”

Watch the first Arco Session (with Kalispell) below or visit ArcoSessions.com for more information.

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