Infinite Partials
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Infinite Partials

Band Folk Acoustic


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Music Review (Austin Chronicle). 09/26/08"

(N.B.: Infinite Partials is glad to have received this review. It is obvious to us that the reviewer had an obvious "chip" on her shoulder, perhaps spurred on by the venue used for the recording. Please take her comments with a healthy dose of salt.)

Infinite Partials singer-songwriter Grant Hudson defines his act's sound as "folk-fusion." Apart from the use of djembe, it's unclear where the "fusion" comes from but not the folk. Fitting, then, that End of Begin was recorded in the sanctuary of First Baptist Church, as there's an evangelical-cum-coffee shop earnestness in Hudson's densely packed lyrics, which obliquely reference Protestant come-to-Jesus rhetoric (particularly "Texas Song") thinly veiled enough to escape a secular audience. Musically, not a wrong note sounds. Arrangements are gorgeous, the violins, marimba, and djembe blending beautifully to produce a richly layered sound of which the Austin sextet should be proud and which helps temper the feel that Hudson and company would probably be right at home providing the music on any given Sunday morning at your local God shack.

Source: - Melanie Haupt, Austin Chronicle

"End of Begin (Austin Sound). 10/30/08"

Infinite Partials’ debut album End of Begin is an evolution of extant sound rising from Appalachia, classical concert halls, folk, world, and even the tiniest measure of ginger ale acoustic pop. It is a warmly alluring and exceptionally well-produced album that lights upon selections from any person’s musical memoirs. Maybe Andrew Noble’s mandolin chews up the musical jargon dictionary. Perhaps Andy Strietelmeier and his violin slice through expectations. Jesse Jones’ djembe and Andrew Davis’ cello certainly rebuff the advances of critical tarts. You can practically feel the sunlight streaming through the windows and the soft reverberations flow through and fill the room; as a producer, Stephen Orsak should be proud.

Yet while the music rises above one’s expectations, it is the Frenchman-wave of Grant Hudson’s literally abstract songwriting and musical direction that remind me of the moonflower, Ipomoea alba. “Fear of Death,” starting off with a melancholy viola and then opening into a world of probing cello and romantic percussion becomes both richer and more compelling at each listening. “When I held you in my arms, the fear of death released my memory…/ these questions that I ask myself are meaningless / my own denial is the only thing keeping me away / … / but I can’t abide by all of the rules I’ve put on myself.”

No matter how many times I hear the album, each time I am rewarded by beholding something different. Such is the grace one finds when listening to music that is not afraid to play hide-and-seek in the dark. “Watch yer Back,” a bounding number that I’ve seen people salsa to, asks, in the midst of a gorgeously constructed dueling viola and violin: “the shackles of my imagined past grow out of me like grapevine / son, why don’t you watch your back? / this machine that I have invested my faith in is sucking me dry.”

Speaking to the technical aspects I will simply say this: if you can find an imperfect note from the sextet among the eleven tracks during those 61 minutes, I will give you $10 and let you call me Queequeg for an entire evening. Like all good love affairs, a grounding in classical training when combined with a primal need to explore, fuses a multitude of elements and sentiments into a spectacularly integrated sound species.

The quieter side of the album is no less imaginative. “Trying to Transcend” lingers over and incorporates religion, existentialism, and LSD. Ultimately, there is great promise in Infinite Partials and their music. Currently they stand alone in the type of music they create—defying traditional genre classifications. It seems shallow to speak strictly of harmonies, melodies, and themes in the case of End of Begin; it seems more appropriate to reflect on the colors and creations we cobble together when left to dig though our histories. But that is where they will likely shine, continuing to create new stained glass from older fractured materials.

- Zoe Nicol, Austin Sound

"Interview (Nü Magazine). 06/03/08"

Sitting with the members of Infinite Partials and discussing their music was an insightful look into their creative process and musical philosophy. The band was really excited to get to talk with me. They had just finished a set at Quacks Bakery and Café where I had the chance to see them perform live. We sat down to talk in a relaxed setting, the band members cooling off after a very physically active performance. Infinite Partials is a large band with a large polished sound and watching them play together is a captivating experience. The six band members gather together and hold up their equipment, most of which is stringed, and begin to slowly create a meticulously harmonious landscape. Their music can be described as upbeat and joyful due to their gospel influences, but a few songs into the set they begin to build the instruments to a complex intensity that really grabs your attention and holds you in the ebb and flow of their sound. By the last few songs of the set the band members were sweating and playing into a frenzy of physical expression. The band members were obviously really enjoying themselves and their enthusiasm and love for what they were creating spread to the audience as well, the room quickly silenced, people giving their full attention to the show.

The band consists of vocalist/ guitarist Grant Hudson, vocalist/percussionist Amy Downing, Jesse Jones on the Djembe (pronounced JEM-Bay, a skin covered hand drum that originated in West Africa), Andy Strietelmeier on the violin, Andrew Nobel on the viola and mandolin, and Andrew Davis “playing the bass” on the cello. The group formed about two years ago when Grant Hudson saw Andrew Nobel and Andrew Davis playing with a violinist at the Fusebox festival at the Blue Theater. Hudson loved their sound and asked them both if they were interested in working together, and eventually the group became Infinite Partials. The groups name is a reference to both ideas in musical theory and the individual’s place in theology and quantum physics. Each person or note has vibrations that are individual aspects that add to a complex reality that contributes a larger picture.

The complexity of the music is an aspect that is quite striking; after hearing them live I was not surprised to learn that several members of the band are classically trained with master’s degrees at UT. There’s a lot going on, but the group does a good job of working together to create a tight lattice of sound on a symphonic level, something that they admit is their greatest challenge and takes a lot of focus. “We get a little bored if things get too simple,” says Andrew Nobel. Their desire to challenge themselves but to also tone it down and fine tune to a more precise sound– to bridge the simplicity of modern pop and metal inspired bass lines with classical orchestration to create a new type of gospel inspired folk is another aspect that sets them apart. They are trying to create something new with influences as varied as Willie Nelson, Bella Bartok, the Grateful Dead and Metallica. They don’t, however, sound like any of these performers and explained “We don’t come from any particular folk background, we come from these secondary readings of folk, and so it’s really a third reading of all of those things filtered together.” Hudson describes it as “Folk-fusion”, a term to classify the sound in a generic way without constantly having to list all the influences.

Like many artists, a great deal of their lyrics stem from the consistent struggle of defining the self in modern times. With our current political and environmental climate, a desire to find peace and have spirituality or faith in such turbulent times is popular theme, and Infinite Partials looks to their surroundings and beliefs for inspiration. The CD release party of their first album, End of Begin, was on May 31st at Okay Mountain Gallery with music also by Steve Bemal, Alex Dupree and The Trapdoor Band. Freelance independent producer/experimental electronic musician Stephen Orsak produced their first album, recording half at his house and the strings and vocals in a local church, going for a larger, cooler sound aesthetic with the acoustics of the building. You can also find Infinite Partials online at where you can find a few songs to listen to and a list of other upcoming shows.

Source: - Linda Wandt, Nü Magazine

"Capsule Review (Austinist). 08/06/08"

Given Infinite Partials' math-y name and the album's chilly artwork and vaguely menacing song titles ("Almost Gone," "What They Want"), we half-expected this to be an exercise in chilly electro-glitch-ambient-whatever. Come to find out, End Of Begin is in fact an exercise in world-beat cafe folk, courtesy of singer-guitarist Grant Hudson and producer-engineer Stephen Orsak. Primarily recorded at the First Baptist Church of Austin, the album is a little long on new age sentiments but includes some evocative arrangements for mandolin, cello, and harp, and excellent musicianship from a half-dozen session players. End Of Begin also features excellent artwork by E.E. O'Brien reminiscent of Stanley Donwood's work for OK Computer.

Source: - Matthew DeWitt, The Austinist

"Blog: Ambassadors of ... Love! 07/14/08"

Infinite Partials, the brainchild of poet Grant Hudson and his singer-actress wife Amy Downing, is a folk-rock band built around Hudson's acoustic guitar and a percussionist (currently Jesse Jones) and enhanced with the THREE Andrews -- Noble on viola and sometimes mandolin, Strietelmeier on violin, and Davis ..o. The new record was aided greatly by the genius of Stephen Orsak (who produced Suzanna Choffel's last record) and also features Chris Sebastian on congas, Lindsey Verrill on bass viol and fretless bass, Megan Metheny on harp, and Orsak in various ways.

The band is on hiatus through the summer (too many players are traveling), but look for a bigtime CD release in September -- yes, there WAS an event of sorts on May 31st, purists! The band takes its name from Pythagoras:"The universe itself is one great string,vibrating simultaneously as a whole and as an infinite series of partials." The spiritual quest here is outright and open -- indeed, some of the songs were recorded at Austin's First Baptist Church.

Flanfire has long been a passionate fan of Hudson's explorations into deep waters. "Watch Yer Back" tells of the conflict between a father invested in the system and a son who seems oblivious to the need for carefulness -- remember, these songs are filled with strings solos and LOTS of words! A quick look at the cover art makes the point even better -- an entire city supported by the roots of a chopped down tree.

"Trying to Transcend" emerges out of a forest in the night with a question, how to make amends with a past I cannot defend? This is a beautiful song .. I'm looking over the edge, all my choices come to a hedge...." "Texas Song" speaks of the frustration of responsibility -- "I will block out my left brain, I will stand out in the rain ... I will call on all my pain .. but I cannot let that go on, there's a chance that I am wrong ...." and so it is easier just to "drift along, sing that same old Texas song."

"Almost Gone" opens with an instrumental quiet reflection that morphs into a story of two brothers, one of whom has run away, the other who wants to welcome the wanderer back with open arms. "We are there to help you though you act like you're alone .. You push us away.." How do we help those with mental (or spiritual?) illness to come out of the shadows? "End of Begin" is bass and cello driven but with a haunting fiddle solo -- speaks of a "dead city" and of "every day the end gets closer ... but your heartbeat brings me courage and makes a dream of reality," as our protagonist realizes there is no beginning and no end, "I am all I have to be." Musically, I feel like I am out on an open prairie in a schooner traveling west.

"Fear of Death" should of course be a dirge -- and it indeed begins with a long moan -- and then high tension ... as "lost in myself" our writer is "convinced I am alone on a spiritual plane ..." until "when I held you in my arms, the fear of death/love releases my memories of now..." And thus, "our only choice is to love each other .. and see all the ways as one in the same..." Which leads to "Eternity," with the mandolin pushing the music along and then the fiddle ... and finally the lyric ... "the end is laid before me and I turn around and face myself." And the promise -- that "we will fall asleep .... and wake into eternity." So why worry? This is just GORGEOUS!

"Scout" is a waltz, the backdrop for the lament of one who is "too fast to second and too slow to third, got nothing to say and I never was heard, got nothing coming to me and I'm too tired to give, My life is a joke, I've no reason to live." Here the lovely voice of Amy Downing is heard in a solo -- as she sings about "the purr of an engine that never goes cold." Does he realize?

"What They Want" opens with an eerie sequence that leads to the dark theme here -- "I pull myself in all directions" to give them what they want, but "I'm lost in the end, I run away." "Paranoid creations of the thoughts inside their heads bring strength to my resistance of their useless fulfillment, so I lay my body down and let them ravage me..." And so the question, If I die for you, "Will you resurrect me to let me represent you in the sky?" Is this about Jesus or just an average Joe caught up in the web of a loveless world? The answer is clear -- if we pledge allegiance to political sorcery, then we have made ourselves enemies of a kingdom of love. Grant here seems to be urging us to eschew temporal quick fix solutions to world problems and focus instead on changing hearts, beginning with our own.

The next song is a plea to the Lord to "Hang onto My Soul" -- this is almost old-style spiritual folk music, but with the strings, everything is new. In live sets, songs like these get the crowd going, and sometimes the shows can move into pure joy as everybody starts singing. And maybe even dancing. The finale is "World Soul," which opens here with a harpist ... and is the band's plea to "let me live free of the fear of my end ... let me paint the present with all the colors of the light... and let me begin to let your voice in and be." There is a message here -- that people who are truly free cannot be held captive by those who seek their own power and by inference that love is the strongest bond and the surest way to bring down tyrants.

Source: - Duggan Flanakin, Myspace Blogger


2006 : Demo LP
2008 : End of Begin



Infinite Partials, founded in 2005, is a self described folk-fusion string band. They attempt in all of their music to fuse their classical, bluegrass, latin, metal, and jazz (just to name a few) passions with their folk-rock-country roots. Shows range from energetic and uplifting numbers (including danceable ones) to quiet and haunting pieces. Infinite Partials released their first full-length album in May 2008, produced by local sound engineer Stephen Orsak. They are currently recording their second album with Stephen.

Infinite Partials began in the mind of Grant Hudson, singer, guitarist, songwriter, and local Austin musician. Grant was born and raised in Austin, Texas, where the culturally and musically diverse landscape led him to develop very broad musical tastes. He inevitably began to make his own music, creating a polymorphous musical style all his own. He spent much of his musical career as a solo artist, writing complex lyrics that grapple with our deepest and most basic fears, desires, and internal conflicts, accompanied by his own music that evokes feelings of hope and loss, joy and anxiety.

Grant had always sought out other eclectic and emotive players to collaborate with. After years of failed experiments with the traditional line-up of drums and bass, he set his sights onto something different. He was lucky one early summer evening in 2005 when he met two string players, violist Andrew Noble and cellist Andrew Davis, who happened to be playing improvised string music at a party at the Blue Theater in east Austin. They exchanged numbers, and, a few months later, the Andrews agreed to give Grant's music a try. The three started jamming regularly.

Soon thereafter the band was joined by a third string player, violinist Andy Strietelmeier. Andy was a mutual friend and teaching colleague of the original Andrews who happened to live across the street from the band rehearsal space. In rehearsals, Andy quickly picked out fresh tunes and catchy rhythms which invigorated and complemented the performances of their improvisations, in addition to allowing for varied and extended solos not possible before.

Andrew Noble, originally "just" the viola player, began to pick up the mandolin every now and again, collaborating with Grant and the rest of the band to write new songs. His mandolin creations quickly gave the band's sound a heightened sense of urgency and increased aggression.

The quartet played monthly gigs in town, most of which were at the Flying Tomato Pizza Kitchen in the upper-class suburb of Westlake. There was no amplification allowed at this particular venue, so the band was forced to learn how to create a balanced and powerful all-acoustic sound. After several discussions and meetings, the band decided to record a demo consisting of four of their original compositions. New gigs soon followed in well-known Austin live music venues such as Momo's, the Hole in the Wall, Ruta Maya, the Parlor, and Flipnotic's. They also played frequent shows at smaller coffee houses, restaurants, and bars, as well as private houses, weddings, and the occasional toy store.

THE DEBUT EP - End of Begin:
Grant knew Stephen Orsak through his old friend Suzanna Choffel, as Stephen was the producer of her debut album, Shudders and Rings. He has also since recorded albums for local Austin Bands the Silver Pines and Some Say Leland. Stephen is an intuitive and experienced engineer who understands many of the thoughts and ideas this band seeks to create. The recording sessions for End of Begin were in large spaces with high ceilings and in small, cozy living rooms, and have incorporated harp, bass, xylophone, trap set, piano, electric guitar, and digital effects into the sound of Infinite Partials’ core instrumentation.

For their second album, Infinite Partials is seeking a more stripped-down and intimate sound, using only the core players and recording in sonically warmer settings. They have also begun to experiment with four part male vocals. The compositions have evolved from the first album, as all four members have begun to contribute to the composition process. It may be appropriate to consider this the first true Infinite Partials album, as it represents the final synthesis and distillation of the quartet's 4 year history.