Sean Connaughty is a visual artist and musician in
the Minneapolis area. His paintings have been exhibited locally and internationally.
Sean Connaughty is a seminal member of the groundbreaking improv groups
"Salamander" and "The Vortex Navigation Company" which released multiple
cds on the independent australian label; Camera Obscura. Camera
Connaughty recorded the bulk of his debut solo release "Blacklock" in the summer of 2003 during an artist residency at the Blacklock Nature Sanctuary. Recorded mainly in a pole barn situated on 600 acres of land, "Blacklock" is a spare acoustic album of improvised singing along with a few composed tunes and a cover of "Avalanche", a Leonard Cohen song. Only about 50 copies were made. They were all given away at the opening of a solo show of Connaughty's paintings at the Soo Visual Arts Center. The pattern continues in "FIVE HANDS TALL" The new cd from the Mutant Music label. Connaughty sits down in front of his four track in his living room and starts playing, with no preconceived idea. Sometimes he has a basic chord structure, or simply a key in mind. "The music is simple to allow me to concentrate on the formulation of lyrics. A timing and a rythym are established and I start singing." Sticking with his belief that something happens during improvisation that can't be replicated, his new album "FIVE HANDS TALL" is all improvised. The initial vocal and acoustic guitar tracks were recorded at home and then Dave Onnen, owner of the Mutant Music label, along with Connaughty, recorded overdubs in his living room, bringing in various musicians and vocalists to embellish the initial tracks.
Bizarre narratives emerge, and we are drawn into a shifting and strangely coherent world. Characters emerge. The enigmatic Mr. Whitaker, an everpresent figure that seems to be the equivalent of Jesus, or a nagging conscience. Glory, a woman, also may represent the dynasty of america. Glory, for the first time encounters an enemy that is insidious enough to undermine her maverick beauty, by capturing her in her most vulnerable place, The Mall. Aliens adorn the landscape, and the burnt scent of apocalyptic american folk music pervades "FIVE HANDS TALL" . Connaughty's vocal style is honest and uninhibited.