Bright Red Paper
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Bright Red Paper

Band Alternative Rock


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Hearing Red"

Funny story: A twentysomething indie-rocker is walking down the street one spring day in 2005 and runs into a schoolteacher from the sticks with a curiosity for urban music and a history as a classically trained cellist. Conversation ensues. Neither has an outlet for their music, it turns out. While both maintain a hard-wired personal musical history, they both cast a wistful gaze toward the other's craft. The indie-rocker, Dan Enberg, has a bright red house (with two bright red cars parked in front) and a serious soft spot for post-rock, chamber-core and whatever else critics have tagged the grand instrumental sessions that have occurred in the past 10 years between chamber orchestration and rock music. In Enberg's house the pair jams, writes, collides. Two more members enter the fold, both schooled musicians: one in jazz and the other in beats. And out of Enberg's bright-red world, Bright Red Paper is born.

Then Bright Red Paper has some trouble fitting in. Without a definable scene for its instrumental orchestrations, the band slinks around town opening for bar-metal bands, playing 20-seat coffee shops and pizzerias, ending up in every "what the hell?" lineup or venue imaginable. This band is unique.

I'm not going to pretend I'm letting you in on a secret. Tightly constructed post-rock à la Dirty Three or Explosions in the Sky is nothing new outside of Portland. But within Portland Bright Red Paper is an anomaly, and since the band emerged last May, the city is starting to latch on like the genre's classic provocateurs Godspeed You Black Emperor! never existed. Since that Montreal band lit post-rock's dark blue flames way back in 1994, the genre's trajectory has been an ugly test case of selling out and copycatism. Yet, save for Enberg, the members of BRP—cellist Douglas Jenkins, drummer Eben Dickinson and bassist Arcellus Sykes—all profess oblivion to their role in a genre that critics, other than me, have pronounced dead.

Sitting in the midst of their evening practice on a recent Thursday, between two giant white plaster wolves, utterly hypnotized by the blur of Jenkins' bow and completely floored by the sense that I was between the tensed jaws of a steel compositional trap, I couldn't have been happier that I wasn't one of those who made the claim.

Earlier in the evening, the band members join me for a prepractice bullshit session, and the innocence of the style's birth could not be more clear. This is a band unburdened by the baggage of a rock band and fueled by talent and diversity in style. The conversation ranges from the jazz scene in Chicago (where Jenkins lived while earning his master's in cello) and underground hip-hop (Zion I) to Top-40 artists (Beyoncé). Eventually the subject of gloom arrives, the darkness that lurks in Bright Red Paper and generally lays upon post-rock like a dark-blue photo filter. And I'm waiting for the anarchist rant, the funeral tale, still not quite understanding that the minor keys create beauty before they create sadness. And so, Enberg thinks for a moment and says, "No, we're really all pretty happy people." And for a band whose future looks this bright, they have every reason to be. - Willamette Week Portland

"Bowing To The Pressure"

Lebanon — Douglas Jenkins has only himself to blame for ending up with such a bright, tenacious bunch of students. After all, if he hadn’t come up with the creative idea of working his cello into the lesson plan, then his students might have gotten bored and apathetic a long time ago.

Instead, his kids are so attentive, smart and resourceful that they’ve somehow convinced their teacher to bring his Portland-based post-rock ensemble, Bright Red Paper, to Lebanon’s all-ages Club Hipnotiq for a taste of what he does with his free time.

For a town most likely unfamiliar with the term post rock, Lebanon is in for a serious treat. Just in case Jenkins has failed to properly prepare his students for what awaits them, the following mini-lesson on the group’s sound and the nature of post-rock should serve them well.

On the group’s self-titled debut CD, Jenkins, Arcellus Sykes (bass), Eben Dickinson (drums) and Daniel Enberg (guitar, vocals) create an intoxicating blend of chamber music, rock, improvisation, haunting melodies and head-bobbing beats that would feel at home in the post-rock Mecca of Montreal, Canada.

For those to whom the phrase post-rock is as foreign and nebulous as the ending to the movie “Cache,” it’s a critic-created term that denotes the largely instrumental output of such bands as Godspeed! You Black Emperor, Mogwai, Mono and Explosions in the Sky, who soundtracked 2004’s football drama “Friday Night Lights.”

Much of post-rock is marked by a melancholy tone mixing slowed-down drum beats that often build along with the rest of the instruments toward some sort of meltdown, either of tempo or volume.

On “Bright Red Paper,” Jenkins and company prove themselves potent practitioners of this form, moving from the ethereal celestial soup of “D is for Dead Sea,” with its bright, chiming guitars offsetting low, guttural cello lines, to the manic build of “A World Collapsed” which combines elements of post-rock with the kind of sad, nautical songs Australia’s Dirty Three excel at. The guitar is fed through a variety of effects, ultimately ending up in a backward loop as the drumming intensifies along with the raw, emotive tones of the cello.

Elsewhere, surf, Middle Eastern music, progressive rock and dub production techniques all find their way into the mix. Which is all just a very technical way of saying that the music of Bright Red Paper is as beautiful as it is diverse in its influences and choices of direction.

Don’t worry if you don’t know what to call it. Just sit back, relax and enjoy.

Thus endeth the lesson kids, except for one last request. Corvallis has two fine high schools and a multitude of bright, eager students. When you’re done with Jenkins, perhaps you could see fit to send him west so he could offer us the same creative lesson plan he’s been kind enough to provide in Lebanon.

Or at the very least, could you convince him to bring Bright Red Paper to Corvallis for me? Please?

--Jake Tenpas - Corvallis Gazette-Times

"Setting Fire to Sound (cover story)"

Setting fire to sound

Bright Red Paper brings volatile mix to Corvallis for two performances

By Jake TenPas
The Entertainer

Douglas Jenkins is stomping through the snow that’s recently blanketed the valley when I call him to talk about the group’s upcoming gigs at Oregon State University’s Music a la Carte concert series and, later that same night, Bombs Away Cafe.

Like the weather of Oregon, which can turn on a dime from sun to rain — and occasionally to the ice and snow that’s now afflicting or blessing us, depending on your perspective — the music of Bright Red Paper can change from a cool evening breeze in summer to gale-force winds across a glacier with very little warning.

Jenkins mans the cello for Bright Red Paper, which also counts guitar, bass, drums and the human voice among its arsenal of sounds. He first came together with guitarist and songwriter Daniel Enberg a few years back at the University of Oregon, where the duo began folding the sonic origami that would become their band.

Named after a line about New Year’s Eve selected nearly at random from a Henry Miller novel, the group’s music invokes images of birth and death simultaneously, fusing the two concepts together into one constantly fluctuating soundscape that can be molded to fit the members’ every whim.

“Music is communication and should be a dialogue,” Jenkins says, and he backs it up by engaging in a four-way conversation with Enberg, bassist Arcellus Sykes and drummer Eben Dickinson every time he climbs on stage. While all four of the musicians listen to a wide range of music, each brings his own particular interests to bear on Bright Red Paper’s genre-dodging sound.

Enberg grew up listening to Modest Mouse and Pavement before discovering the haunting strains of post-rock groups such as Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed! You Black Emperor.

Jenkins, on the other hand, is a classically trained musician with a background in classical and chamber music.

Sykes is obsessed with jazz, and has a special love for the pioneering fusion music that Miles Davis and others blazed in the late ’60s and early ’70s.

Round those palates out with that of percussionist Dickinson, who’s toured with bands peddling everything from reggae to jazz to surf music, and you get a quartet of musicians each pulling in their own direction and finding a balance somewhere in between.

“We have so many weird influences we keep drawing on,” Jenkins says. “Our songwriting process is so strange. It’s almost violent.”

The very fact that Bright Red Paper will play both Music a la Carte, a series that leans toward the more subdued tones of chamber music and jazz, and the stage at Bombs Away, which has been rocked by Stairway Denied, The Hounds and others, is a testament to the all-encompassing range of their output.

On their self-titled first album, the group created a dynamic that could loosely be grouped with the post-rock movement, but that nevertheless moved in directions all its own, whether with hand-percussion flourishes, bits of slap bass or just with the occasional flash of humor.

Throughout, however, the dusky ebb and flow of Jenkins’ strings collided with Enberg’s chiming guitar and the pulsing, lockstep precision of the rhythm section to build toward the kind of meltdowns that made Godspeed! and Mogwai huge live attractions in the first place.

Now, in the aftermath of that movement, as groups such as This Will Destroy You pop up, essentially channeling the sound of Explosions, Bright Red Paper is continuing to evolve, continuing to redefine the boundaries of their music and continuing to prove that no one musical label can contain them.

Currently in the works is a live album the group recorded Nov. 16 at Mississippi Studios in Portland and a new studio album they expect to be released around June. Made up of longer, epic pieces and shorter, impressionistic pieces, the album promises to be a significant departure from their last.

But perhaps the biggest change to the group’s sound in recent months is the addition of vocalist Anna Byers, whom Enberg met while working at Andina, a Portland-based Peruvian restaurant owned by a Corvallis family.

Byers has been singing with the group since November, and despite my concerns that a second classically trained musician might upset the delicate balance of Bright Red Paper’s music, Jenkins assures me that “she’s a pretty natural fit. She’s very intuitive.”

“Her voice has got a lot of different textures,” he says, adding that it won’t come as much of a surprise to fans of the band’s vocal-free output. “It’s like an instrument. She never seems to totally take over, which is good.”

Listening to a live track Jenkins sent me to get an idea of where the band is headed — as if any one destination could be pinpointed — it’s evident that the band is maintaining its identity even as it questions what that identity is.

The song begins with guitar arpeggios and - Corvallis Gazette-Times

"Q&A With Doug Jenkins"

[cello-centric] Portland chamber-rock quintet Bright Red Paper looked a bit shaky earlier in the fall, when the pull of an interesting collaboration almost had cellist Douglas Jenkins packing for a move to the Midwest. And, considering Portland’s growing ‘Cult of Cello,’ the loss of this prominent player would have been all the greater. Last week, WW chatted with Jenkins about the future of Bright Red Paper, his own future in our city’s music community and ditching his day job as a high-school teacher in the name of the greater cello cause.

WW: What’s happening with Bright Red Paper? Things seem quiet since the tour….

Doug Jenkins: We’ve been trying to stay off the radar for a few months to try some new things. We went into analysis paralysis after our tour, but found inspiration again a month or two ago. This show on the 16th will have a few surprises…most exciting is Anna Byers—she’s singing with us on a few songs. She is exactly what we have been looking for in a singer: melodic as opposed to harmonic, musical more than lyrical. Her voice blends like a fifth instrument.

Are you keeping busy outside of Bright Red Paper?

Yes. The projects I’m excited about are 2% Majesty, who are now in Chicago (but we recorded a bit and played a few shows together this year), and Musee Mecanique—Sean Ogilvie of Tristeza’s new band—with whom I recorded cello for a couple of songs; I’ll be onstage with them as much as they want me for their Portland shows. Also, the Cello Project, which is a multi-genre collaboration of mostly Portland cellists. Tony Rogers of the Ahs pretty much started it…Skip vonKuske of Vagabond Opera, Jenette Mackie of Polly Panic, Gideon Freudmann and a whole bunch of other really talented folks.

Are you still considering a move away from Oregon?

I’m a vagabond. I hate stagnation. I was going to move with 2% Majesty to Chicago…but the fact is that Bright Red Paper is keeping me here. I actually today put in notice at my day job in Lebanon so I can live in Portland full-time and devote myself to this next album. So, if you know anyone who wants cello lessons, I’m available!

Bright Red Paper plays with Zoe Keating Saturday, Dec. 16, at Mississippi Studios. 10 pm. $6. 21+.
- Willamette Week, Portland

"Up and Coming"


(Towne Lounge, 714 SW 20th Pl) Bright Red Paper could end up dominating Portland in a huge way. It's easy to get sucked in by their cello-driven, lengthy tunes with intricate, repetition-in-a-good-way grooves. Newly added singer Anna Byers adds yet another melody over the top of already tightly woven songs, further complicating things, making them interesting. Openers and fellow cello aficionados Strangers Die Every Day add violin to their mix in order to create menacing, rumbling soundscapes. An interesting bill that will certainly benefit from the small space of the Towne Lounge. JW - Portland Mercury

"The Blood Runs Red"

By Melissa Bearns
February 9, 2006

Recently Eugene has been a hotspot for a new, evolving style of music characterized by one instrument: the cello. Whether it's Matt Haimovitz performing Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" or Rasputina drenching us in a torrent of strange, dark, metal-influenced cello rock, the hauntingly human voice of the instrument is the one connection in this new hybrid that bridges classical and rock, forming a whole new genre.

This Sunday, Portland-based Bright Red Paper performs a free show at Cozmic Pizza. If you haven't caught the previously mentioned concerts, now is your chance to hear some of the most beautifully atmospheric music being played today. BRP is at once ethereal, intensely melodic and emotional, building and flowing, like a piece of paper swirling and diving in an updraft.

"I just love this instrument so much," says cellist Doug Jenkins. "I don't play anything else anymore. I think a lot of the way I connect with it is because it's so human on every level. It's human in the way you play it, you feel like you're dancing with it. Its voice is human."

This is the music of barren landscapes, of snow falling through trees, of wind slipping across open plains. It is vast and mind-blowingly expansive, dark and rich. The songs evolve from hours of improvisation until themes emerge, the lilting melodies that take you on a slow ride, that climb heavenward then fall like a feather floating down. "We carve those themes into a structure," says Jenkins. "Some of our songs are pretty big compositionally."

Melodies intertwine, as bassist Arcellis Sykes works a subtle combination of song and rhythm behind guitarist Daniel Enberg's sparse, balanced playing. Drummer Eben Dickinson weaves beats and silence into and around them, but it's Jenkins' cello that pulls it all together, a bright ray of light curving through the shadows.

Off their first, self-titled album, songs like "D is for Dead Sea" (which you can download at have a yearning quality. There is peace in the rise and fall of build-up, tension, then resolution.

They've only been together about a year but BRP is already packing the crowds in to hip Portland venues including Tonic Lounge. "If we're playing in a smaller place like a coffee shop or a wine bar, we'll play two long sets," Jenkins says. "We sit facing each other and really listen and improvise. Playing at bigger places, we play a shorter set that's really loud and fun. One is more of a mind game, really thinking and trying to do things that are texturally beautiful. One is playing with contrast and volume to get texture." - Eugene Weekly

"Bright Red Paper"

Bright Red Paper, Viola Viedma

Towne Lounge | 714 SW 20th Place, 241-8696 [map]
[INSTRUMENTAL INDIE ROCK] The Portland quartet Bright Red Paper self-effacingly describes itself as "pretentious cello music...with none of the pretension!" That statement does seem to fit the lush instrumental sounds that classically trained cellist Douglas Jenkins and company create on their self-titled debut, which echoes the eviscerating and epic sounds of Dirty Three, Explosions in the Sky and Godspeed You! Black Emperor. Bright Red Paper's collective experience in indie-rock, classical, jazz and surf combine to form an expressive whole that both soars and sears at all the right moments. DAVE CLIFFORD. Towne Lounge. 9:30 pm. $5. 21+. - Willamette Week, Portland, Oregon

"Swoon Songs"

Several modern acts have bridged the divide between chamber music and rock by wedging electric bass or lead guitar into a lineup of typically classical instruments. Portland's take on the sub-genre comes courtesy of Bright Red Paper (pictured), a quartet which often mirrors the cello-driven Rasputina. Generally melancholy in tone and tempo, Bright Red Paper's combination of cello, drums, electric bass and guitar builds to a dangerous gallop, a break likely to flood the mind's eye with dramatic scenes. The music is hypnotizing, and a good match for the chamber-centric opening trio Viola Viedma. 10 p.m. Friday, Towne Lounge, 714 S.W. 20th Place; $5; 503-241-8696. - The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon

"Bright Red Paper Classical setup ushers in a sonic surprise"

Bright Red Paper Classical setup ushers in a sonic surprise
Local Band: Bright Red Paper
By BARBARA MITCHELL Issue date: Fri, Apr 7, 2006
The Tribune “Eclectic” and “mesmerizing” are two words that tend to get abused when describing music, so let’s label Bright Red Paper “enchanting.” This local four-piece makes music to daydream to — mostly instrumental compositions featuring guitar, cello, bass and drums that are intoxicating and utterly seductive.
The band bills itself as “pretentious cello music” with none of the pretension‚ and that sense of playfulness permeates the music.
Bright Red Paper’s debut album wanders through wistful territory and flirts with longing without being dragged down by the weight of its own seriousness. That might have something to do with the fact that in addition to a classically trained cellist and jazz-loving five-string bassist, the band’s players include a guitarist raised on indie rock and a drummer whose background includes time in surf and reggae bands.
The band is celebrating the release of a new recording, made available for the first time at its show tonight. If the new songs are even a fraction as beautiful and interesting as previous material, it’s an opportunity you don’t want to miss.
— Barbara Mitchell
10 p.m. SATURDAY, April 8, Mississippi Studios, 3939 N. Mississippi Ave., 503-288-3895, $5 - Portland Tribune

"Bright Red Paper (espanol)"

Para no rese�ar discos obvios, seguir� poniendo esas bandas desconocidas que merecen ser escuchadas (claro, eso es s�lo mi opini�n).

Hoy, desde Oregon, llega Bright Red Paper, banda instrumental de post-rock que lanz� su disco hom�nimo por su cuenta y es posible comprarlo s�lo en su p�gina oficial y en CD Baby por un precio que es casi un regalo.

Cuando uno lee que es otra banda de post-rock pues ya s�lo queda esperar clones de Mogwai, Explosions in the Sky o Godspeed You! Black Emperor; la bella sorpresa con Bright Red Paper es que tienen sonido propio, �nico y, cl�sico en este g�nero, hermoso.

Es el resultado de mezclar m�sicos tan dispares como ex-integrantes de bandas de rock, surf, jazz y un cellista con preparaci�n acad�mica; cabe destacar el trabajo que el bajista realiza, simplemente soberbio, dando un toque funky a la m�sica, sumado a eso est�n las percusiones casi tribales que por momentos destellan aqu� y all�.

Tienen dejos de Rachel's y A Silver Mt. Zion, pero estremecen por voz propia. El gran problema del �lbum es que est� bien producido pero hasta ah�, causa de su total independencia, pero a veces la producci�n no termina de cuajar y los instrumentos suenan sobrepuestos, no siempre y no demasiado, eso se puede mejorar contando con un mayor presupuesto, por supuesto.

El �lbum abre sin dar tiempo a reaccionar con "Dis for Dead Sea", el cello de pronto remite a oriente y el bajeo es �nico, aunque discreto. La l�nea de bajo del siguiente track es m�s gorda y m�s marcada, "A World Collapsed" mantiene ese protagonismo del cello pero el bajo evoluciona de forma casi jazzera. Ambas composiciones mantienen armon�as hermosas y ambientales, cambian y se transforman en si mismas, logran su cl�max teatral y se desvanecen.

La siguiente canci�n, "C Sharp Minor", es la m�s corta y tranquila del plato, aunque m�s tr�gica, y la cumbre coronada por el cello es indescriptiblemente hermosa. En "Typewriter" todo comienza en calma, pero es aqu� donde nos damos cuenta de la capacidad del bajista, y de como logra meter elementos tan funk, como lo es el slap y el contratiempo, a una melod�a hermosa en donde el cello nunca pierde protagonismo. "Western Waves Crashing" se encarga de cerrar un viaje tan hermoso e intenso, posiblemente la pieza menos lograda, aunque bella igualmente, su defecto es que afloja a la mitad de sus casi 9 minutos de duraci�n, pero retoma el camino hac�a el final y cierra de forma perfecta, es la �nica con voces, aunque breves, inclu�das.

Bright Red Paper brilla con la misma intensidad que el rojo del papel que les da nombre, se arriesgan a fusionar ritmos logrando que el g�nero tome nuevos br�os. Un viaje hermoso. - Ash Cities


Self-titled, independently released EP (mixed by Larry Crane) available in many record stores, iTunes, and on CD Baby. Live album due out Spring 2007. LP due out Summer 2007.


Feeling a bit camera shy


"Bright Red Paper could end up dominating Portland in a huge way. It's easy to get sucked in by their cello-driven, lengthy tunes with intricate, repetition-in-a-good-way grooves." -- Jim Withington. The Portland Mercury.

"Bright Red Paper is an anomaly... This is a band unburdened by the baggage of a rock band and fueled by talent and diversity in style." -- Michael Byrne. Willamette Week.

In the year and a half since Portland, Oregon's, Bright Red Paper released their self-titled EP, the band has toured the country making waves wherever they have gone, playing a wide variety of venues, from festivals and hipster bars, to wine bars, university lecture halls, strip clubs, retirement homes, biker bars...

All of this variation has led the band to develop into a cohesive and intuitive musical unit. Picking up Anna Byers along the way (in November 2006) the band, which was mostly instrumental before her appearance, took the material they had planned for their LP (some of it already mixed and mastered), and put it back into the musical blender that has churned out their uniquely developed music.

For a band which produces music that flows so naturally, Bright Red Paper has an unequivocably complicated process of songwriting for a rock group. Imagine a guitarist obsessed with NW indie rock, a classically trained cellist, a technophile jazz-funk bassist, and a drummer who has toured with punk acts, trying to improvise with each other. In the process the group creates a musical melting pot. "It's a process of pure collaboration," says cellist Douglas Jenkins, who has always called this group, "the most democratic musical experience I've ever been a part of." From the very beginning the group would improvise on themes and structures -- often for months -- finding little bits of inspired music in their improvisations, and saving them up for a day when the ideas naturally gel into larger forms that can be debated and carved into the songs they present to the public.

Now imagine Anna joining this process -- a classically trained vocalist whose voice is pure beauty, adding more melodic play than semantic interference. Add to the mixture Anna's stage presence reminiscent of Nico but with a timeless soul and you have Bright Red Paper: A unique collaboration of multi-genre musicians, not emulating each other, but merging with one another in the truest sense.

Bright Red Paper is currently in the studio recording their LP for a summer release. A live album is due out in May 2007.

Performance History

Bright Red Paper played their first live show May 5, 2005, and since then have come to play in a wildly diverse assortment of halls in the Pacific Northwest and across the US to critical acclaim. Some spots the band has played:

In Portland, Oregon

* The Doug Fir Lounge, Portland
* The Make-Out Room, San Fran
* The Knitting Factory, Hollywood
* The Crocodile Cafe, Seattle
* The New Music West Festival, Vancouver B.C.
* The Main Stage of the Sweet Pea Festival. Bozeman, MT
* The Oregon Country Faire
* The Hi-Dive. Denver, CO
* The Redstone Room. Davenport, IA
* The South Union Arts Center. Chicago, IL
* The Acadia Cafe. Minneapolis, MN
* The Campuses of the University of Oregon, Lewis and Clark College, Oregon State University and The University of California at Davis.

And venues of honorable mention where the band has played: retirement homes in two states; a strip club; farmers markets; a smattering of martini bars, biker bars, hippy bars and hipster bars; a blues bar in Montana where we were coerced into covering "Stand By Me"; an all-ages techno-dance club (which was packed, by the way). And a concert-lecture at a prominent state university's music department.