Arrival of the Masters

Friends,

I am so happy to announce that Wooden Rings has completed the recording, mixing, and mastering phase of our first full-length record, Heliocentric. We could not have done it without the never-ending support, care, and love of our close friends and family. We also had 50 amazing donors who chipped in to press our dreams into reality (thank you). The next steps include sending the masters and artwork to a record printing company that will take 10 weeks to carve it out into dead dinosaur disks. We should be performing and releasing the record in the winter hoping that the music con offer us some warmth.

Honestly, listening to the Sides A and B of this record transports me back into myself – to sit with my ideas- all wrapped in memories. I thought I’d share:

I remember my house and my mother living in Haiti. The air, the kennepas, and flowers but most of all, I remember my grandparents. They created Heaven for us in their homes in the mountains. Both died during the writing of this record. I was able to fly to my grandfather’s funeral, thanks to my father. My grandmother died a couple of weeks ago but Haiti is so violent I could not travel to see her. They were our family’s last true grounding point to the country my mother and I fled.

Fleeing leaves you lost and empty. As a boy I was so unsure of myself because I knew deep down, I didn’t belong. I missed and needed my family and I didn’t realize it. Nobody told me what was missing was my people scattered across the globe. Even now, I see my mother once a year and my father, less. This lack drove me to build family early, have a child young, and marry twice. I had no idea why I needed to do what I was doing. Some of these songs explore that plainly. This is the most important thing I’ve learned from playing in Wooden Rings since 2012.

Continuing to listen, I remember how much I loved my ex-wife and how amazing and beautiful she is. I believed in her more than anyone. Knowing how bad things had got between us, I am also reminded of how selfish and insecure I was and how I couldn’t be any better than I was. We were like two kimono dragons in house, two Qilins. I remember my daughter growing taller into the world with my cooking, challenging my conversations at the table, and testing herself carefully, listening to it all.

I remember how hopeless I felt working as a teacher, giving everything I had to others all day, with so little to bring home or share. I was good at it. My students flourished. Some died- shot. I attended only one funeral and decided, one would be all I was going to give. Writing this music was a way I could survive all of those ideas so I didn’t have to forget the memories. Those I could enjoy without being hurt by them over and over. Those I could keep without being poisoned.

The year is almost over and I’m so glad that I get to walk into winter with some Haitian sun, peaceful doves, my mother’s face, and some sugarcane rind to keep me warm.

-Ramah

Last Day to Donate

We reached our goal and exceeded our expectations for our campaign with 3Arts Foundation to fund our first full-length vinyl record, Heliocentric!

We can’t thank our friends and family enough for their generosity and care. Check out our donor page and give them hugs at random when you wee them.

In other news: We complete our final vocals in two weeks and give the project away to mix and master at Coda|Room Audio. Once that’s done, we shop around for a company to press our vinyl and argue over the album art. I can’t wait!

Lastly, we are in the process of booking shows all over the midwest. If you know a place that we should play or live somewhere we should visit, especially if we can crash on your couch, hit us up via email.

Keith & Josh

Ramah here,

It can’t be overstated how much the creativity and technical prowess of Joshua Torrey and Keith Bjorklund have brought to some of these tracks. Keith plays oboe, a rare instrument to see on stage with a four piece back playing some diet form of rock. But when I close my eyes I hear lines that fit the instrument perfectly and lines that Keith effortlessly draw in and masterfully pushes out.

Josh Torrey not only brings the chops and tone on the trombone but also has an excellent ear. I could sing parts out to Josh, he would transcribe them and arrange them with clarity. I really could not make the work, the way I hear it with out these two guys.

We are only 10% away from our goal and really need your help! With this money we commit our music to vinyl and pay our Grammy Award winning engineer.

Please support our work and listen to the story of our album at https://3arts.org/projects/heliocentric

Meet Josh joshtorrey.com/

Meet Keith keithbjorklund.com/

In June

This image was captured from a music video Wooden Rings is producing for a song called, In June. The lyrics start us in the dark winter apartment in Chicago. It’s the type of winter that holds you hostage in your apartment, studying the drab walls, drinking too much, sick from cabin fever.

In that state, my mind is hypersensitive to sounds, like the sharp cracks and resonant metal screams of radiators in the lead-draped apartments I could afford. They found their way on this record. The music then shifts into nostalgia- longing for the tropics, vivid fruit and loving family, for the warm sun and the god in my grandfather’s garden. When my grandfather passed away, I was able to go home and taste it all again, laying him to rest.

This song will open our first new full length record, Heliocentric. Help us press it to vinyl bust supporting up here and sharing this post with friends and family. https://3arts.org/projects/heliocentric/

Thanks for making the leap,

Ramah Jihan

“Hot House Flowers”

My goodness. I am completely blushing over what some of my collaborators has to say about the music that we make. These guys are damn good engineers with world-class skill. I don’t recommend then to just anyone. I recommend them to the very best artists I know. Consider donating to the record we’ve made together and when it gets pressed to vinyl, we can all rest easy knowing we did it right.  

Donate Today

   
https://3arts.org/projects/heliocentric
 

Wooden Rings|Heliocentric: Fundraiser with 3Arts Foundation

Dear friends and family,

We are excited to announce that Wooden Rings is partnering with 3Arts to complete our first full-length album, Heliocentric.

We ask you to please help us bring this album to light by donating to our campaign. We are attempting to raise $3333 by August 15th to commit Heliocentric to vinyl and make it ubiquitous on streaming platforms. If you can help us meet our goal, the 3Arts Foundation has agreed to cover the rest of the costs.

Those who know us well understand that our bone marrow has been woven into the art on this record. We believe that our sacrifices will make this release not only meaningful to us but to our listeners as well. With this work our aim is to connect with a broader audience without sacrificing the complexity and emotional range that make Wooden Rings so impactful.

Please help spread the word by liking and sharing our posts with your friends, family, and music-loving communities.

  Thank you for supporting us,
Ramah, Liz, Sasha, Nathan
Donation Link: https://3arts.org/projects/heliocentric

“A Bell” by Wooden Rings

Wooden Rings will be performing on November 17th at Catcus Club in Milwaukee and was recently written up in Deli Magazine.
Wooden Rings has released a new track called “A Bell”. This is the group lead by songwriter, guitar player, and vocalist Ramah Jihan Malebranche with Nathan Staley on Drums, Alex Brescanu on Bass/Vocals, and Elizabeth Arakaki Vocals/Glockenspiel). This is their first single since 2016 and it focuses on our inability to take things back and unring that bell. The track was produced by Malebranche on the front end and the magical (we are not kidding about that) “Studio” James Auwarter on the edit and mix at Coda Room Audio, Chicago, IL.   The challenge behind the edit was blend two different takes from different rooms, at different tempos, with two different sets of instruments together into a whole. Other performers on the first take include John Ozaksut on Bass, Joshua Torrey on Trombone, Keith Bjorklund on Oboe  Peter Burger V smoking that electric guitar. If you live near Milwaukee, you have to come out and hear us.  Everyone that knew us describes Wooden Rings as chamber pop.  Come see how they are evolving beyond that label, swimming in more amplified waters.

Lamp Light Music Festival

We played Lamplight Festival years ago when it was just starting out and the energy is right- think with creativity with  positivism. Don’t just come for Wooden Rings, these bands are all are great!
The idea for Lamp Light was born in a warm living room in Eastown in 2012. After six years of nurturing, learning, and growing, we have collectively decided that it is time for Lamp Light’s next chapter. We are brimming with excitement as we welcome you to join us for the seventh year of Lamp Light, with this year’s main stage at the historic Wealthy Theatre. The decision for the festival to transition out of residential homes and into a public space came after many conversations surrounding the festival’s sustainability and goals to be inclusive of more communities.
We are working hard to have a release ready for you!
Music by: Sugar Candy Mountain • Ryley Walker + Bill MacKay • Cabildo • Dos Santos • Bong Wish • Last Gasp Collective • Wooden Rings • Yolonda Lavender • Turtledoves • Meadow Maker • Hoom • Van Rios • Madelyn Grant • Dave Kevin Adam (DKA) • Wisp • Los Gold Fires • Saltbreaker • Seth Beck • Sofie Jane• Maddie Jackson • Breathe Owl Breathe • And more!    
Lamp Light Music Festival 2018 – Teaser

Chicago Songwriters Alliance at Cafe Mustache

Tuesday Oct 16 9pm Chicago Songwriters Alliance at Cafe Mustache in Logan Square It’s not everyday that songwriters get to sit down in a cozy café and listen to one another’s work. I am prepared to share and be honest with listeners about the lyrics and emotions behind the music I write. The conversation after the song has settled is often the most rewarding and revealing on both sides. I appreciate the Chicago Songwriters Alliance for making these moments possible and look forward to the other writer’s thoughts and music as well. Join us. John Gargiulo, Sara Leginsky, Chris Rawlins, Ramah Jihan Malebranche and Christopher DeArcangelis. https://www.facebook.com/events/321684161929193/

Dinner with Wooden Rings

If you have ever had dinner at Uncommon Ground, you know you’re in for a treat. This is a farm to table restaurant in Edgewater with the only certified organic rooftop farm in the country. One of my favorite parts about this spot is the listening room. Uncommon Ground has a reputation for providing a quality platform for singer-songwriters, jazz musicians, and all sorts of genre bending projects leaning on the softer side.

We want to invite you, your family, and your friends to come have dinner with us at Uncommon Ground on Devon later this month, June 22nd from 8:00pm-10pm. We have some new music for you and some newer takes our favorite tunes. For those that haven’t seen Wooden Rings since before our year long hiatus, we have a couple new members and are stripping back down to our essence – just with some happier songs.

$15 – CLICK HERE TO RESERVE YOUR SEAT IN THE MUSIC ROOM

As an appetizer, Danny Kulasik will be opening the show with some wild, mind-opening guitar ideas. Mán Cub, will then take the stage and sing his heart-out. We will also have some “cool” Wooden Rings TShirts.

Note You have to Reserve Your Table at Uncommon Ground in advance. If you love us, just do it now. If you don’t yet know us, don’t wait, because they do fill up.

Wooden Rings at The Burlington 7.3.16

Wooden Rings and Spocket team up to support Carshdive‘s CD Release of, “Rock 21,” at The Burlington.   This show is going to be pretty eclectic- we even have a comedian coming!  Wooden Rings bring the heart and lyrical songwriting, Spocket brings the heady, technical fusion, and Crashdive rocks out.  Everyone leaves The Burlington happy the night before the fireworks.  Wooden Rings can’t wait to show you a couple new songs and a fancy new keyboard player named Sarah Eide, who bring even more richness to a nice thick harmony soup #Bringabowl   Sunday, July 3rd 2016 The show starts at 8:00pm  and Hosted by Daryl Moon
  • Wooden Rings 9:00pm
  • Crashdive 10:00PM
  • Spocket 11:00pm
The Burlington

Logan Square 3425 W. Fullerton Ave.60647

Chicago, IL, US(773) 384-3243

 

Wooden Rings Open for Aidan Knight

We are honored to open for this great songwriter in a great sounding room. Just can’t wait to pair up for this. Please come out and enjoy your spring and spring break with us! AIDAN KNIGHT Wooden Rings, The Regular WEDNESDAY, APR. 20TH Doors: 8:00 pm / Show: 9:00 pm This event is 21 and over Tickets $10.00 – $12.00 https://www.ticketfly.com/purchase/event/1082653?_ga=1.129402244.988200621.1460927269 Aidan Knight- https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=6&v=BLBXPaNSZpw Wooden Rings- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1L1VXiuQbrA Beat Kitchen 2100 West Belmont 60618 Chicago, IL, US www.beatkitchen.com/

New Belgium Brewery: Lost In The Woods – Chicago

Join us this February in celebrating the release of two beloved sour beer vintages: La Folie, the award-winning sour brown ale that launched New Belgium’s wood beer program back in 1997, and Transatlantique Kriek, a wood-aged sour cherry ale brewed in collaboration with Belgium’s Oud Beersel. New Belgium’s Sour Beer program is one of the first and the largest in the United States. La Folie initially rolled out in 1997 with a gold medal at GABF and has since been an anchor for our Sour Beer Program. Every year, Eric Salazar, our Wood Cellar Manager, and Lauren Salazar, our Sour Beer Blender, coordinate a blending of various foeders to make a 100% sour brown ale. Each Year is different, ages well, and will leave you puckering for more. Tickets: CLICK HERE When From: Feb 6, 2016, 05:00 PM To: Feb 6, 2016, 08:00 PM Where Studio Monarchy at 656 W Hubbard St, Chicago, Illinois United States

Wooden Rings in the Chicago Tribune

Wooden Rings cycling through emotions with haunting off-kilter pop

By Britt Julious Chicago Tribune

The eerie, methodical construction of Wooden Rings’ music sounds characteristically Chicago. This lush, multilayered brand of chamber pop might not be the most popular sound in town, but its roots can be found in acts who’ve grabbed national and international acclaim.

The first that comes to mind is the quiet and composed Andrew Bird but comparisons tend to reduce the vision of the artist. And in Wooden Rings, the brainchild of Ramah Jihan Malebranche, the vision is precise and haunting in its beauty and strength.

Born in Haiti but raised on and off here and his homeland, Malebranche’s music sounds pulled from a variety of different sources and ideas, all flowing together to create off-kilter pop that bends and weaves rather than pushing straight from verse to chorus. Malebranche’s clear vision can be heard throughout his songs.

On the 2013 “Twisted & Tangled” EP, the lonesome, contemplative lyrics of Malebranche couple lovingly with eerie, piercing wind instruments and flourishes of steady guitar. The songs are as classic as any other — about the trajectory of an old relationship — but the construction and unique instrumentation elevates the music to something much more interesting, even profound in its beauty. More than anything, Malebranche writes with heart — a heavy one — making his music the kind that sticks with you long after you hear it. That he hasn’t found more acclaim feels like a fluke, yet something that can be rectified with just the right push.

Malebranche’s new project is “Heliocentric,” a reflection of his current personal and professional state of mind. “I just realized I can’t keep singing about this music and my struggles getting over this relationship,” he said. For one, he is married to someone new.

Heliocentric means sun-centered, so this new material touches on this dark and desolate season and how Malebranche’s need for the sun trickles down to his personal friendships and relationships.

“I was originally born on an island in the Caribbean, and so every winter I go through this cycle of really missing that and needing to see color and needing physical contact and reassurance. Just this whole cycle of emotions,” Malebranche said about his new material. “There is a seasonal tilt to the way I feel and how rigid I am. Our winters in Chicago have become very severe and almost knee-jerk winters. They’re not as smooth as they used to be. I have a feeling I’m not alone in this.”

From a professional standpoint, Malebranche defines the new material as a better reflection of the band’s lineup: Peter Burger V, Jon Ozaksut and Nathan Staley, with occasional assistance from Joshua Torrey, Andrew Zelm and Keith Bjorklund.

The songwriting process is more collaborative, pulling not just from the psyche of Malebranche but from band members as well. But more than that, the work reflects a new outlook for Malebranche. No longer is he creating the sort of affectingly somber chamber pop that reflects on his past love. He’s moved on and so the music must as well. What that means remains to be heard as the project is still evolving. Hopefully it won’t strip Wooden Rings of what makes its sound so compelling: a strong vision and endless amounts of heart.

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Britt Julious is a freelancer. onthetown@tribpub.com Twitter @chitribent

When: 9 p.m. Tuesday Where: Hideout, 1354 W. Wabansia Ave.

Tickets: $8 (21+); 773-227-4433 or www.hideoutchicago.com Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

Grandbar Whiskey Lounge

Hand Practices and our pals in Wooden Rings will be representing Chicago at GrandBar on Friday, October 2nd at probably sometime around 8:00pm in a rock and roll show featuring touring bands from each coast. In one corner, from San Francisco, weighing in at 475 lbs, EagleWolfSnake and in the other, from NYC, at a combined weight of 625 lbs, Wake the Sun. This show may or may not be sponsored by Jameson. We don’t know. That might mean there will be drink specials, but if not, Grandbar’s drink prices are as reasonable as their event calendar is mysterious- but hey, that’s rock and roll, right? But bring money because it’ll cost something, and if that something is not a single digit number, I will eat my hat. Going out on a limb, I’d say $7.00 for the east, west, and third coast entertainment. Pretty good deal woodenringsmusic.com

Feed Culture & Arts Center, Kankakee

 

Wooden Rings will be performing with the very nimble jug/folk band, Bones Jugs N Harmony at Feed Arts & Cultural Center in Kankakee, IL on Friday, August 21st at 8:00pm.

Bones Jugs N Harmony is like Frank Zappa un in some Spike Jones, spiced with Looney Tunes playing Nintendo. It’s a ragtime-jugband-calypso-shake-up from Urbana, IL. Wackadoodles.

Openning we have the Kinder Sister. You can hear their vocal amazingness at thekindredsisters.com Kindred+(12+of+21)  

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Feed Arts & Cultural Center 259 S Schuyler Avenue Kankakee, IL 60901 (815) 496-0278
feedarts.org

Feed Arts & Cultural Center, a not-for-profit 501 (c)3 organization, provides an environment for visual and performing artists of all levels and ages to pursue their work and to broaden their knowledge of the role of art in contemporary society. The mission of Feed is to encourage and nurture emerging and established artists and to increase the appreciation and understanding of the arts within the Kankakeeland communities through classes, workshops, outreach, exhibitions, lectures, film screenings and other cultural events. It is our ultimate hope that Feed can provide a space where people from various backgrounds and worldviews can come together to find common ground and a vision of friendship, solidarity, and empowerment in the community.

   

bone

www.bonesjugs.com

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