Chimiak & Zook is a project by Emily Chimiak (vocals, violin) and T. A. Zook (guitar). The project’s objective is to set some of Emily Chimiak’s French great-grandmother’s poetic musings to song, in French, as well as other, more contemporaneous works.
“La Cendre”, filmed by John Hallberg & Greg Hess was nominated for “Best Music Video” in the 2015 NOVA International Film Festival (http://www.novafilmfest.com/). More recently, our audio recording of this tune (“La Cendre”; https://goo.gl/MtYq78 ) was awarded an Honorable Mention in the Songwriters’ Association of Washington’s 32nd Mid-Atlantic Song Contest (http://www.saw.org/page-1859987).
“Giboulée” (https://vimeo.com/157677437), also by John Hallberg and Greg Hess, with dance by Dorianne Lumina Aillery, is an Official Selection for the 2016 NOVA International Film & Music Festival.
On August 29, 2015, we were invited to Barbara Januszkiewicz’s (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbara_Januszkiewicz; www.barbaraj.info/barbaraj.info/Works.html) Studio A in Clarendon VA (www.instudioa.com/). Ms. Januszkiewicz’s video trailer of this project is posted at www.youtube.com/watch?v=00t-beGXUlc. Here’s a link to free downloads of our performance: https://goo.gl/f6kucp.
Photograph by Barbara Januszkiewicz
The session was in support of a project by Ms. Januszkiewicz illustrating the relationship between visual art and music. From http://www.barbaraj.info/:
“Barbara Morrison Januszkiewicz is an American painter and filmmaker who is best known for her stylistic independence. However she has associations with the conceptual art and avant-garde schools. She specializes in watercolor painting in a hybrid style paintings that blur the line between drawing and painting-.
‘I take my influences from music, and strive to capture that sound frozen in my paintings. I find it intriguing that there is a vocabulary of words that applies to both music and visual art, from movement, patterns, perspectives and layering just to name a few. I started working in some collaborative ventures with musical performers and found that we were talking the same language. My expression here is based on reacting to the music and not just musical abstract notations. Knowing the difficulties of working with watercolors media, makes it more risky and yet offers that ability to capture the complexity and color of a song. Many artists like to paint live from models I prefer reacting live with my musical partners in such a manner.
Exploring the effects of jazz, blues, rock to adult contemporary has helped me express that moment to moment fusion of sound into a visual stimuli. Techniques I have developed from being a lifetime watercolorist is help me greatly to be able to know what I can control and what I cannot.’ ”
The project debuted at a September 20, 2013 performance by Artemis Robison and Daniel Berkman; excerpts of this performance are posted (for free download) at http://goo.gl/3qLpMJ. Below is a group portrait taken following the performance:
Photos by Jamal Ahmed taken during rehearsal sessions:
The recording of excerpts of the September 20 performance (http://goo.gl/3qLpMJ) has garnered over 900 “plays” in 14 countries (as of December 18, 2013) since it was posted on September 23, 2013 — not only in the US and Canada but also in Australia, India, the UK, France, Germany, Haiti, Israel, Brazil, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Japan and Spain.
Our sessions are punctuated by spontaneous improvisation, out of which we hope to create new tunes; here are some examples: