P.W. Elverum & Sun (record label owned by Phil Elverum of Mt. Eerie and The Microphones) is thrilled to announce the release of the long lost artifact known as Half-Eaten Guitar, the only full album ever recorded by the Swedish-Canadian musician/ sorcerer known as Wyrd Visions (also known as Colin Bergh of Toronto). Stream the newly remastered album in its entirety a week ahead of release over at Pitchfork.
This record seemingly emerged from a northern bog in 2006 and has dominated our attention ever since. Meanwhile the first pressing quickly sold out (by Blue Fog Recordings of Toronto) and the rest of North America somehow lived on undisturbed. Finally P.W. Elverum & Sun is bringing a new pressing into existence, newly mastered, freshly designed with embossed jackets and fancy printed sleeves and a free download. The album will be released on April 15, pre-order here.
Wyrd Visions is a Toronto-based band founded in 2005 whose sole permanent member isColin Bergh, performing live and in the studio with Matt Smith, Owen Pallett, Jennifer Castle and members of Grizzly Bear.
In 2005 Bergh was in a band called Awesome with Matt Smith, Paul Mortimer and Alex Snuka, focussed on improvised, minimal, repetitive and percussion-based music. The band arranged a show where each member would open with their own solo project, with the full band closing the night. This was the impetus for Bergh's own non-improvised music to coalesce into an actual project. Initially under the name Amazing, he played a few fragments of songs that would later become Half-Eaten Guitar, performing completely out of the view of the audience due to shyness, behind a curtain with a strobe light and fog machine. People liked it and after this first show Brian Taylor (Blue Fog Recordings) offered to release his record. The spring of 2005 brought another show and the start of recording of Half-Eaten Guitar in Matt Smith's room at 19 Major Street in Toronto.
Without a dedicated name for the project, his first choice was Wyrd Sisters, inspired not by the original play but specifically by the 1948 adaptation of Macbeth by Orson Welles, but it was already taken by a Canadian folk-singing all-girl group. He decided on Wyrd Visions, a closer description of the content of the music, a bleak inner psychic landscape of isolation, remoteness and solitude. (Wyrd is a concept from Old Norse and Anglo-Saxon cultures roughly corresponding to the ideas of fate or personal destiny. It carries connotations to the supernatural and portentous, and developed into the word weird.)
Half-Eaten Guitar was completed the following winter and released in the spring of 2006, in time for a tour with Final Fantasy (now Owen Pallett) and Grizzly Bear. Since then Wyrd Visions has shared stages with Earth, Om, Mount Eerie, Omar Souleyman, White Magic, Baby Dee, Thrones, Mick Barr, and many others, performing in Toronto, Montreal, New York (notably for Jeremy Laing's S/S 2007 presentation at New York Fashion Week), and the Pacific Northwest.
2010 saw the release of a split 12" single with Castlemusic titled My Boat/Voice of God
on Blue Fog Recordings. Aside from that recordings by Wyrd Visions are only quiet rumors. Half-Eaten Guitar remains an almost-lost masterpiece of the underground, finally reissued in 2014 by P.W. Elverum & Sun, ltd. of Anacortes, Wash.
Colin Bergh graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design with a degree of Graphic Design in 2009. Since then he has been working as an art director and graphic designer and is currently Creative Director of Bad Day, an arts and culture quarterly. He runs a weekly karaoke night in Toronto.