Augmeanted is the #classicalrock duo of cousins Geoffrey Taylor (fiddle, mandolins) and Mary Overlie (vocals, piano). The music is elegantly simple in its composition and instrumentation, but listeners of our first album respond to what they call the power of that simplicity. For us, the music is a mix of lyrical meditations on moments that left us speechless and violin-driven improvisations that say what it is impossible to say.
Augmeanted’s musical influences are widely diverse. So much so that, if we weren’t family, we might not have found one another as musicians. Violinist Geoffrey Taylor improvises from his training in symphonic music, Appalachian fiddle tunes, and folk and acoustic music from around the world. In her other projects, Mary trends toward gospel-infused rock and soul, but for Augmeanted she’s dialed it back a wee bit, relying on her early fangirldom of 90s women who rocked (think Sarah McLachlan, Paula Cole.)
How did the group get started, where do you play/what do you do?
As cousins, we’re descended from an extensive, gifted line of musicians, but for various reasons, we didn’t get the chance to explore that heritage until now. A few years ago, we connected at a family gathering and realized we had a crazy ton of musical ideas that needed exploring. So we’re exploring them. Our first effort was for Mudsong’s (Mary’s band) CelloWoman, a songstory featuring Geoffrey’s chincello, about a woman who wakes up to find herself transformed into the body of a cello.
Right now, we’re focused on writing and recording. Performing when we can. Mary lives in northern Minnesota, and Geoffrey in Missoula, Montana, so the opportunities to perform are quite limited. But we have another project in development, and more tunes to craft together soon.
Yet, Geoffrey keeps a full schedule as a fiddler for several projects in Missoula including his vintage jazz sextet, Night Blooming Jasmine, and several other folk and country bands. He also plays with the regional symphony and gives private lessons in his studio.
Mary leads a double-life as a teacher and songwriter. During the school year, she’s wedded to her students, songwriting, and recording. In summer, she has more time for performing for Augmeanted, and her other project, Mudsong.
Your debut album, "Life, twice," takes its name from the Anais Nin quote, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” What does this quote mean to you, and how is it reflected in the album?
Every song in the album, including the violin-driven instrumentals, are records of moments where the boundaries of time snapped as they were being lived. The moment may have taken 90 seconds in real time, but in heart time, it was life-changing because of what it meant (Aug-MEANT-ed 😉). When you experience a moment like that, it’s hard not to document it in some way, like “What just happened?” Sometimes as people, we take a picture, we call someone to share it, but since Mary is a writer, she tends to write them down first.
Anything else we should know about the album?
Life, twice was recorded in part at Geoffrey’s home studio, but also at Supple Studios in Bemidji, MN. Supple Studios did the mixing as well. It’s pretty amazing what Troy Foss at Supple can do to bring forward the full, textured sound of the violin. His recording studio is a gem in Minnesota’s Northwoods and our sound wouldn’t be our sound without him.
What can we look forward to hearing at the album release concert?
We’ll be playing the full Catching Snowflakes Suite (the violin-driven improvisations) from the album, as well as a selection of the vocal tunes. There’s a possibility Geoffrey might preview a few pieces he’s been writing for solo 5-string fiddle, too.
"Life, Twice" Album Release Concert
Augmeanted invites listeners closer to the transcendent power of living music with their distinctive classical rock vibe, crafting tales and tunes cut free by the saw waves of their sound. Augmeanted’s debut album takes its name from this Anais Nin quote, “We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospection.” The 10-track record, produced at Bemidji’s Supple Studios, is a mix of vocally-driven meditations on moments that leave us speechless, and violin-driven improvisations that say what’s impossible to say.