Everything begins with a spark, whether in the fiery literal sense, or in the flash of creativity that spawns a lasting work of art. It’s entirely appropriate, then, that “Spark” is the first release by ABNA BON, a collaboration between two musicians—one Canadian, and one American—born out of a mutual desire to push their individual styles to their furthest limits.
The fact that Bob Guido and Anna Donahoo met at all is a testament to the forward-thinking attitude at the heart of their partnership. In late 2013, Donahoo posted a bare-bones performance video made in her bedroom in Houston, Texas to an ambient music Facebook group that both belonged to. It was one of her early experiments with ambient sounds, after several years of playing with various Houston pop and rock acts. Guido, a southern Ontario-based writer/producer who had been working closely with veteran British producer Warne Livesey, found Donahoo’s video and immediately recognized a kindred soul, despite the geographical distance separating them.
After establishing communication, arrangements were made for a formal meeting in Houston in the spring of 2014. They found a room containing a grand piano, and with Donahoo playing her electric guitar through an assemblage of effects pedals, they composed the foundation of what would become “Spark” within 15 minutes. The song was later recorded back in Ontario with drummer Jonny Sauder and cellist Bruce Morritt. The final mix was handled by longtime Sigur Rós producer Ken Thomas, and mastered by Grammy Award-winning (for Gotye) engineer William Bowden at his Tasmanian studio.
Now set for release on August 20, 2015 as the first taste of their forthcoming EP, “Spark” is an intricate, yet thoroughly intoxicating piece that indeed comes across as the first indication of a potentially long and fruitful partnership. Although under three-and-a-half minutes, the song interweaves a treasure trove of melodic ideas, driven by ethereal guitar textures and Guido’s violin, building to a heart-swelling crescendo of voices and percussion.
ABNA BON has lit the spark. Be prepared to alter your perception.