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The Nanjoy Sessions: Cora Sone

In October 2017, Cora Sone recorded our debut EP at a small, hand-built cabin on the Nanjemoy River. This video is a peek into the process. It features two of my original songs: a clip of "Roses" and "White Hat." The recording was made entirely by us and a few close friends on borrowed equipment (in true DIY style). We covered the china cabinet in moving blankets, made a nest for my guitar amp in the back bedroom for isolation, and ate copious amounts of pancakes.

THE SONGSTER SERIES Presents: ABBY BECKER: hosted by BROOKS LONG

Feature / Interview with the Songster Series, hosted by Brooks Long at Creative Alliance Feb. 6, 2018. Video by Thomas Kessler. The clip includes my song "Little Bit Heart" and features Nellie Sorenson on the mandolin.

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About Abby

Baltimore City

Abby Becker's picture
Baltimore singer/songwriter, producer, poet, & multi-instrumentalist Abby Becker’s projects range from indie rock to cinematic chamber to avant garde theatrics. She credits her musical adventures to a diverse and unique musical childhood, one informed by the square dances and old-time music of her native West Virginia, her father’s professional experience with both Debussy and Chicago Blues, and her upbringing in community theater, including the radical Yiddish theater tradition. A classically... more

Cora Sone

Cora Sone is a light heavy band from Baltimore. The trio features singer-songwriter Abby Becker on guitar, Patrick McMinn on modular synth, bass and keys, and Sam Balcom on drums. They achieve a dreamy, glitched out, stuttering, and utterly unique sound by sending Becker’s lead vocals through the modular synth. The band started with a question: what happens when two people are playing one instrument at the same time? The result is a perennial sound experiment, a playful dialogue where nobody knows what’s going to happen next. This essential sense of possibility and disruption serves as a vehicle for songs about imminence, the ethics of love, and heartbreak in the face of the every day world. Cora Sone has appeared with lauded Baltimore artists including Eze Jackson, War on Women, Wume, and Haint Blue.

  • Cora Sone (self-titled)

    In April 2018, my band Cora Sone released our debut EP on fifty, limited-edition, hand painted cassette tapes. Conceived as a demo and recorded at a small cabin with a wood burning stove in Nanjemoy, Maryland this recording became much more than that. It was important that every aspect of the album have our unique stamp on it, from the ambience of the forgotten Wes Anderson fairy tale that is Nanjemoy to our painstaking mixing process to the album's release at the Mercury Theater transformed by a hanging lavender and gold rose petals.
  • Band Photo

    From left to right: Adam Scott Farkas (former drummer), Abby Becker, Patrick McMinn. Photo by Human Being Productions. I art directed this shoot.
  • EZE JACKSON + CORA SONE: The Black Friday Planned Parenthood Fundraiser @ Rituals, Baltimore, 2019

    We did a live collaboration with Eze Jackson to benefit Planned Parenthood Nov. 29, 2019. We had just about a week to pull this set together with some of his songs and some of ours and some blended together. Video by Thomas Kessler

Stop Making Sense: A Musical Benefit for Baltimore Harm Reduction Coalition

In November 2019, I produced and performed in a remount of the Talkings Heads classic 1983 concert film Stop Making Sense. With a core band, a different lead singer on each song, horn section, lights, projections, film, and staging this ambitious, two night show was not so much a restaging as a performance art piece. I put my heart into producing this show and was deeply involved in casting, artistic direction, promotion, and performance. It was my priority to cast a lineup that brought an unlikely, powerful group together and honor those artists by encouraging them to make the performance their own. Our team included rappers, punks, and Peabody grads, as well as dancers and theater techs. We sold out the Ottobar, raised over $4,000 for The Baltimore Harm Reduction Society, and produced a show BmoreArt called “a booster shot” for the city.

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    "Heaven" live at Stop Making Sense Photo by Brian O'Doherty
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    Photo by Brian O'Doherty
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    Photo by Brian O'Doherty
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    It was my concept to have two dancer's represent each half of David Byrne's iconic big suit. The design was brought to life by Kat Zotti. Pictured: Marissa O'Guinn Dahl and Blair Hagan. Photo by Quinton Randall.
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    Photo by Brian O'Doherty
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    Pictured: Amy Reid of Grl Pwr. Photo by Brian O'Doherty
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    Show Poster by Shannon Light Hadley
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    Feature in BmoreArt Nov. 13, 2019 || Music Director Rich Kolm and I were interviewed about the show. Abby Becker, one of the event’s main producers, notes parallels between the way Talking Heads was sort of a sponge for various musical styles and influences and the appealing expansiveness of Baltimore’s music scene. “They were art school kids who built a sort of funk band and hung out at CBGB’s with the punks,” Becker says. “The breadth of their influences make their music accessible to different kinds of people because they are completely untethered to genre.”
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    WTMD interview with Sam Sessa. Myself, Rich Kolm, and Landis Exandis appeared on The Baltimore Hit Parade.
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    Stop Making Sense: Photos appeared in Bmore Art Nov. 25th, 2019. "I was happy to buy a ticket to support the artists putting on Stop Making Sense—they all received a stipend—and to support a small organization doing valuable and life-saving work in this city.

The Baltimore Mixtape

The first ever Baltimore Mixtape Music and Arts Festival took place, May 4th - 5th, 2019 in Station North. This event, featuring over 60 acts, almost every single one of which is from Baltimore City and represented a glimpse into the rich diversity of musical genres and artistry our city has to offer. From hip hop to punk to country, we brought them together in a curated, mind blowing single weekend of celebration and inspiration. This was our love letter to the city; it's our way of holding up our community to say we are worthwhile. After the city shuttered, threatened, and drove the DIY world in Baltimore so far underground that we were effectively silenced, a lot of us wondered if that era was over. Even though I've been playing music in the city for years, I can't pretend to claim a particular scene as mine. But I was asked by a couple of friends who wanted to show that energy, that something-from-nothing spirit that is still thriving in the city and I said yes. I was deeply involved in booking and curating the diverse lineup, developing the concept, managing meetings and the production team, press (I wrote the copy, mission/vision, and press release for the festival), promotions, budgeting, permits / licensing, interfacing with venues, ticketing, logistics, stage managing, and performing. We managed to pay every single artist who took a risk playing this first-year event (despite heavy rain the second day) and year two is currently in the works.

Trucker Talk

Fondly known as every puppet's favorite band, Trucker Talk started as the house band for the episodic puppet show "The Motherload" and has gone on to score an international award-winning short film, collaborate with Light City artists large scale installations, and even play music without puppets. Loosely styled as an experimental chamber group or "chamber transport" Trucker Talk is the product of four fiersome artists having way too much fun. Our members are Jessica Keyes (saxophone/flute/synth), Greg Bowen (drums/keys at the same time), Rich Kolm (bass and yips) and Abby Becker (violin/vocal effects/vibraslap). Our original album Dreams and Nightmares, the story of a single night's sleep, is forthcoming.

  • Trucker Talk :: Pictures at an Exhibition (Abridged)

    An original, multimedia adaptation of Modest Mussordsky's "Pictures at an Exhibition"
  • The Elephant's Song, Excerpt

    Trucker Talk arranged and scored this international award-winning short film directed by Lynn Tomlinson. The music was written by Sam Saper, and we adapted for our instrumentation. The film has since garnered dozens of awards, including two for music. EXCERPT: "The Elephant's Song" tells the true and tragic tale of Old Bet, the first circus elephant in America, as recounted in song by her friend the old farm dog. Their story is portrayed in colorful, handcrafted animation, created frame by frame with clay-on-glass and oil pastel animation.
  • Neighborhood Lights at Brooklyn Park/Curtis Bay

    A collaboration with artist Maura Dwyer and the community of Brooklyn Park/Curtis Bay. Photo by Nicole Caracia
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    We wrote an original score to two different shadow puppet shows. Pictured is our show at Brooklyn/Curtis Bay. Photo by Nicole Caracia

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