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Audio Leter

Gender: Female
Country: United States
About Audio Letter: The Past… In 1979, long before Seattle was known for Cobain and Cornell, vocalist/violinist Sharon Gannon and guitarist Sue Ann Harkey formed, as Gannon describes it, "a stream-of-consciousness experiment" which they dubbed Audio Letter. Although other musicians would drift in and out of their orbit, the duo remained a constant as their experimental nature allowed Gannon to incorporate her interests in alchemy, meditation, and Eastern philosophy into their work.

Relocating to New York in 1983, Gannon and Harkey became fixtures in the downtown experimental and world music scene, finding fellow musicians such as John Zorn, Fred Firth and Ikue More to be kindred spirits. Audio Letter’s wholly improvised gigs in East Village venues like Life Café and 8BC attracted a growing number of fans including legendary jazz trumpeter Don Cherry, drummer Denis Charles, and artist/musician David Life. Collaborations with Cherry, Charles, and Life resulted in It Is This, It Is Not This, Audio Letter’s first album, released in 1987.

The album garnered enthusiastic critical acclaim in the underground music world exemplified by future Rolling Stone critic Ann Powers who, then writing for The Rocket, described it as a "philosophical and musical stew different than any other aural communication in Seattle." However, the world had not yet awakened from the Reagan years and Audio Letter disbanded in 1988. Gannon and Harkey simply waited for the times to catch up to them.