Reflections In A Rear View Mirror
"This is an anthology, a selection of old and new. It's a collection of the past but moving forward. It's past and future."
Dark Arts is one of those bands that for some reason got lost in the shuffle. It was founded in Columbus, Ohio, by a man named Bob Katt, the "cool, older guy" who went to all the concerts in town and had been in a bunch of other bands. Initially there were five members: in '83 there was Bob on bass and percussion, singer Sue Ann Mason, drummer Dave Green, Bill Bruner on guitar and Stephanie Payne on keyboard. Katt is the one who brought everyone together and came up with the name: they were the 'art' band and they were 'dark'. Keyboard player Stephanie Payne, just like Katt, was also present at every musical happening. Young and eager, she would turn out to be the motor and musical mastermind of the group. When she decided to move to Los Angeles, California, Sue-Ann and new member Larry Altvater decided to tag along. By the time they made their first full album, on Phil Druckers (Savage Republic and 17 Pygmies) label Nate Starkman and Son, they had split up. Payne decided to move on and continued the band by herself, ever finding new musicians.
After the move to L.A., Dark Arts was featured on the compilation The October Country (1987), issued on Phil Druckers label as well. Because of her work in the music industry and through Drucker, Payne encountered a lot of gifted musicians. She met most of the people on Reflections in a rear view mirror through Phil or because of her work in record stores and for indie distribution companies. In 1991, Carnival of Lost Souls (Nate Starkman and Son) was mastered by Biff Sanders and with him she later on created the 7" Jola Dool (1995), self-issued on School for Barbarians. Four years later Something Once Whispered to Cava - Cava referring to Payne's cat - came out on Falçata-Galia.
For the release concert of the Cava album, she gathered a live band around her. Payne played the dulcimer, piano, percussion, flute and melodica (amongst other sound-making objects), Sharon Berman accordion, ballophone, recorder and drums and Juan Wijngaard worked his self made hurdy gurdy, the recorder, mouth harp and percussion. During those living-room jam sessions, Dark Arts' most recent work came about.
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