Black Mountain Symphony, 9 p.m. Friday, Sept. 22, The Range.
Born out of a high school dream, Black Mountain Symphony will take the stage at The Range this week after producing eclectic melodies for nearly 12 years.
Black Mountain Symphony is made up of band members with diverse musical backgrounds and disciplines. Founders Bear and Annie Campo, a brother-and-sister duo, began the group in high school. With Annie classically trained on the violin and Bear classically trained on the piano, the siblings had the opportunity to pursue a classical route in the music world — but they chose the nomad life of a band instead.
Charlie Burgess, who plays guitar and the Native American flute for the band (in addition to providing vocals), said Black Mountain Symphony crafts its pieces with such grace because of its members with classical, heavy metal and folk backgrounds. Without the merge of different styles, Black Mountain Symphony would not be able to perform at the wide range it does.
“We have all these different influences, and we like all different kinds of music,” Burgess said. “The practice is somebody comes to the table with an idea — maybe it’s lyrics, maybe it’s a set of chords — and we sort of come together and flesh the whole thing out and fill it in as a group. Everybody writes individually, but we also write collectively.”
The harmonic merges of style didn’t come quickly to the group. With the pressure to stick to one style and genre, Black Mountain Symphony wavered between being one band or another, but after finding the right groove, the band now rejects a clear-cut style. The group labels its music as “progressive folk,” but each song and performance takes its listeners on a trek through styles.
“We like it all, and we want to play it all,” Burgess said. “When we first started, the jam bands thought we were too poppy and the punk scene thought we were too jammy. There was a little bit of an identity crisis for a little while … I don’t know if tastes have changed or whatever, people seem to respond to taking a journey through these different genres interpreted in a contemporary way.” •