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Ivory Circle

August 15, 2013

ivorycircle

Singer-songwriter Connie Hong writes the kind of songs that beg to serve as the closing overture for an epic and heartfelt movie that both destroys and uplifts you, her ballads simultaneously adding weight and whimsy to the scene where the star-crossed lovers run through the subway platform, finally finding one another and embracing; or that climactic moment when the heroine takes flight, leaving her tortured past behind (as indicated by the passing skyline through her car windshield).

Formerly a middle a school choir teacher in suburban Aurora, Colorado, Hong regularly composed music during lunch her breaks and rehearsed them (to her students’ delight) for her classes.  After leaving the classroom to create and perform full-time, Hong teamed up with local Denver bands Consider the Raven and Reviving Cecelia before starting Ivory Circle as a stripped down solo project with longtime friend and producer Chris Beeble (of the Say So).

On their acoustic debut EP Entropy, Ivory Circle has crafted five lush and beautiful movements that arouse the listener to emotion despite the simplicity of ingredients: Entropy features the classically-trained Hong on piano and vocals, with Beeble adding sparse and poignant accompaniment.  One of the highlights is the opening cut “Pretend,” a song both heartwarming and gut-wrenching in which Hong’s delicate vocals convey a story of love, loss, death, reincarnation, and (I think) murder.  Another is “Scarlet Letter Girl,” a lilting minuet (waltz?) that exemplifies Hong’s dynamic vocal range.  Entropy is a planned preface to a (highly anticipated) future full-length album.

1. What is your hometown?

Chris

Arvada, CO

Connie

Aurora, Colorado. I was born in South Korea but eventually moved to the states and have lived in Colorado most of my life.

2. With what fictional character do you most identify?

Chris

Obi-Wan Kenobi. I’ve always been a huge Star Wars nerd and his flawed and fierce passion in his younger years is something I’ve always related with, and his wisdom and retrospective counsel later on is something I hope for.

Connie

Amelie.

3. In the movie of your life, cast an actor to play you.

Chris

My friends would laugh at this, but definitely Ewan McGregor. I’ve always had a weird man crush on him, but mainly just because I think he’s such a great actor. Also, most people dear to me would characterize me as a fairly “intense” and “emotional” person. If I’m happy, you know it. And if I’m pissed, you most certainly know it. I think he would do a great job capturing my sometimes unstable passion and emotions.

Connie

Philip Seymour Hoffman. I’d love to see that.

4. What work of art speaks to your soul?

Chris

I feel like any given day I could answer that question differently. I’m influenced by and enjoy all forms of art, and depending on my mood, different things speak to my soul. The last thing I can remember that truly moved me was the movie “Beasts Of The Southern Wild.” I remember watching that movie with my friends and at the end of it, we all declared “THAT was art.” Everything about that movie was beautiful: the cinematography, the acting, the score, the storyline… It was so good and I remember feeling so inspired to live at the end of it.

Connie

The Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds album

5. What books are you currently reading or recommending?

Chris

I unfortunately am in a little bit of a dryspell right now with reading, but the last thing I read wasThe Wise Man’s Fear, by Patrick Rothfuss and I highly recommend it. It’s the second book in his Kingkiller Chonicle series, and I can’t wait for the next one to come out.

Connie

I highly recommend reading East of Eden by Steinbeck. It’s one of my favorite books.

6. What song or album is currently in heavy rotation on your iPod?

Chris

Since I bought the record in February I have been listening to “Vessels” by Twenty One Pilots nonstop. It’s the best record I’ve heard in a long time. Unique style, great lyrics, and one of the best sounding records (props to Greg Wells)

Connie

Right now, it’s Migrant by The Dear Hunter.

7. What’s the last movie that made you cry?

Chris

Beasts of The Southern Wild

Connie

Frances Ha. I’m serious.

8. Cat person or dog person?

Chris

People actually like cats?

Connie

I’m a dog person almost to a fault. I have difficulty comprehending why someone wouldn’t love dogs.

9. What is more important, truth or kindness?

Chris

Kindness, purely because in order to be truly kind to someone, you often have to tell the truth. In my mind, there has to be truth for there to be kindness, but not the other way around.

Connie

There is truth in kindness…. So, kindness.

10. How do you define sin?

Chris

Anything that separates you from the person you were created to be and the Creator you were created to be with.

Connie

Separation from God

11. How do you define virtue?

Chris

Anything that brings you closer to the person you were created to be and the Creator you were created to be with.

Connie

Humility, courage, action, wisdom, strength—all the things that point towards our Creator and away from ourselves

12. Design your headstone: What does it say? What does it look like?

Chris

I’ve never wanted a headstone, as I’d honestly rather not take up the space when I’m gone. Not to sound cheesy, but I’d rather have my metaphorical headstone be written on the hearts of the people I cared about and told through their stories.

Connie

I don’t want a headstone. Just scatter my ashes and plant a tree or something.

Bonus Question: Who would you like to see answer these questions?

Chris

Dustin Kensrue of Thrice. I feel like his answers would be very wise…

Connie

Phil Spector– I’d be interested in hearing his answers to some of these

Connections:
Ivory Circle
@ivorycircle

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