The project is intended as a vehicle for experimentation, with the conceptual vocabulary of American Minimalism explored and expanded on by a rotating cast of musicians from around the globe. The resultant music is an elongated greeting and ode to Thor’s community, his woodworking shop, and the instruments his hands shape and bring to life.
From the core trio of Harris (sundry percussion and wind instruments including some of his own devising), Peggy Ghorbani (marimba) and Sarah “Goat” Gautier (marimba, vibraphone, xylophone, organ, voice, mellotron, piano), the line-up of Thor & Friends expands and contracts with the flux of compositional and improvisational contexts. The range of tonal color depends on what instrumentalists are present or absent from the process at any given time. They can perform purely acoustic or shaded with hues of electronic instrumentation, as a stripped-down trio or a large ensemble.
The Subversive Nature of Kindness is the second Thor & Friends album on Living Music Duplication, the label run by New Mexico duo A Hawk & A Hacksaw, whose founding member Jeremy Barnes produced the record. It is hoped that the melodic meditations offered up on The Subversive Nature of Kindness will “ease some of the terror of living in these uncertain times.”