Ghost Light members Holly Bowling and Tom Hamilton will release their first album as a duo, Lacuna, on November 19 via Royal Potato Family, with six intimate performances starting on November 26 in New York City.
The music on Lacuna comes from one stream of consciousness – a completely improvised recording session at Hamilton’s studio The Ballroom in Philadelphia. Through a series of ambient excursions, Hamilton and Bowling showcased their powerful musical connection, as seen in a video excerpt from the recording session below.
The impetus for recording Lacuna came during the summer of 2020 while Bowling was isolated at her home in Northern California and Hamilton essentially lived in his Philadelphia studio. Bowling—pregnant with her first child at the time—embarked on a cross-country road trip to visit her family in Maine. On her way back home in September, she took a detour to visit Hamilton. The pair caught up, sat down at their instruments, Bowling on baby grand piano and Hamilton on acoustic guitar, and hit record.
It was all very organic. We hit save, she left, and we didn’t talk about it.Tom Hamilton
The music would sit on a hard drive, unheard, until Hamilton listened back in February 2021 and realized they had something special. The resulting 46 minutes of ambient instrumental improvisation became Lacuna. Recorded in one take with no overdubs, the pair had to reverse engineer the album, splitting the improvisation into eight tracks with names.
We were just playing to play. I was so intensely missing that spark and connection of playing music with someone else and having that back and forth. It was the happiest I had been in ages, even though the music sounds pretty dark in places, and it was definitely a very dark time. Tapping into that and then getting it out was cathartic.Holly Bowling
The title Lacuna came from one of the many books Bowling read during quarantine. She didn’t know what the word meant so she looked it up and found that the definition: “a gap, an unfilled space, or an intentional, extended passage in a musical work during which no notes are played.” It perfectly encapsulated the pandemic era and the sounds the pair had made while living through it. “I’ve felt more and more comfortable in those in-between spaces,” Bowling says. “That’s really where I’ve been wanting to spend my time, and with Lacuna, that’s the entire thing.”
Among the six shows are performances in New York City, Colorado and San Francisco, with additional dates planned for 2022. The first show is at (Le) Poisson Rouge in Greenwich Village on November 26, followed by a special performance on November 27 at The Ballroom, the studio where Lacuna was born. Tickets for are on sale now, while pre-order/pre-save for Lacuna on both vinyl and digital formats is available here.
Lacuna, Featuring Tom Hamilton & Holly Bowling Tour Dates
11/26 – New York, NY – (Le) Poisson Rouge
11/27 – Philadelphia, PA – The Ballroom
12/17 – Boulder, CO – Boulder Theater
12/18 – Beaver Creek, CO – Vilar Performing Arts Center
12/19 – Denver, CO – Ophelia’s Electric Soapbox (On Sale 9.24)
3/5/22 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel