Ambient improvisational ensemble New Hermitage imagines a future in which the climate crisis has decimated the population of the Earth, and dangerously high levels of pollution have rendered the cities of the world uninhabitable. The surviving humans are forced to live in nomadic clans, wandering the sparse wilderness in constant struggle to claim what little natural resources remain. However, a few solitary people have returned to the cities. Armed with patience and tenderness, these new hermits balance technology with natural wisdom to work with nature to restore their environment. The music of New Hermitage is the soundtrack to their survival, incorporating what these individuals might hear among the crumbling cities they call home.
Inspired by the ethos of listening practices from Granelli and Pauline Oliveros, which seek to remove sonic hierarchy, New Hermitage dismantles systems of harmony, form, and orchestration within their music. The result is an indiscernible sound, the aggregate, constantly moving forward.
Based in Kjipuktuk, the unceded ancestral home and territory of the Mi’kma’ki people. (Halifax, Nova Scotia), New Hermitage has been an active member of the improvised music community on Canada’s East Coast, Quebec, and Ontario. New Hermitage has shared bills with artists such as Angel Bat Dawid, chick white, Id M Theftable, and Aquakultre. New Hermitage’s first studio album, Unearth, was released in 2020 to much critical acclaim. New Hermitage is Andrew MacKelvie, woodwinds; India Gailey, cello; Ross Burns, guitar; and Ellen Gibling, harp.
In addition to recording a new studio album in the spring of 2022, New Hermitage is currently engaged in collaboration with dancer/choreographer Rebecca Lazier and textile artist Janet Echelman in a project entitled Everywhere the Edges, which is set to debut in 2023.