Tanakh is the name for music written and improvised by a collective of musicians; music that is focused towards beauty and experimentation within structure instead of towards a particular musical genre or style. In the last five years this revolving collective has included a large number of musicians headed up by principle songwriter Jesse Poe. Although currently residing in Florence, Italy, Poe comes from a background of American rural music. His great-grandfather wrote country ballads and his great aunts and uncle had a live radio program broadcast out of Indiana.
Besides his work as Tanakh, Poe has a folk-pop band called Poulos, with Tanakh bassist Michele Poulos, an ambient vocal-led improv project called Crevlyn, with Tanakh sound manipulator Ben Scott (Ting Ting Jahe), and is currently co-writing a new collection of songs with Umberto Trivella. He has produced a song on the new Jim White record, singing back up as well as playing a variety of instruments. He has also sung back up for the Anomoanon, sung back up and played electric guitar for Six Organs of Admittance, played percussion for Mick Turner’s Bonnevill project, played guitar and various instruments in Tiger Saw and various ethnic instruments for Koester as well as performing in other projects. Poe has also studied Karnac vocals and sitar for three years under Nirmal Bajekal, who appears on Tanakh’s Villa Claustrophobia release.
Poe has done film music for short independent films including Greater than 1/2. He has worked as a producer and an engineer both in the US and overseas and has published short stories, poems, and creative non-fiction in various magazines and journals. He is currently writing for Dream magazine (CA) and for a new Florentine publication due to begin circulation in March, and is teaching in Florence, Italy.
Besides Poe, the present core members of Tanakh include Michele Poulos, electric bass and backing vocals (Poulos, Songs Of Patrick Phelan), Curtis Fye, upright bass (Devil’s Workshop, Boots of Leather), Dan Calhoune, violin, Ben Scott, sound manipulation (Ting Ting Jahe, Crevlyn), Brian Jones, percusion (Brian Jones Wurlitzer Trio, Boots of Leather, Them against Them), Darius Jones, saxophone ( CUD, Birds in the Meadow, and Daniel Carter), Clarke Hedgepath, electric guitar (Richmond Latin Ballet), and Ayman Fanous, flamenco guitar and bazookee (Ayman has participated in a series of duets including Burn Nix, Elliot Sharp, Tomas Ulrich, etc.).
Others that have participated in the Tanakh collective include Pat Best (Pelt), Phil Murphy (Them Against Them, Broken Hips), Jeff Krones, Via Nuon (Bevel, Spence, Manishevitz), Tom Brickman (Broken Hips), Peter Neff (Tulsa Drone), Jim Thompson (Tulsa Drone, GWAR), Carter Thornton (Enos Slaughter, IZITITIZ), E-yage, Paul Watson (Them Against Them, Sparklehorse), Coby Batty (Bongwater, John Zorn, F.U.G.S.), Miguel Urbiztondo (Maki, Crooked Fingers), T.C. Deane, T.N. Roane, Brian Freeman, Nirmal Bajekal, Pam Edwards, Adam Meuse, David Lowery (Cracker, Camper Van Beethoven), Johnny Hickman (Cracker), Mic Turner (Dirty 3), Ned Oldham (Anomoanon, palace), Ben Chasny (Six Organs of Admittance, Comets on Fire), and Jessica Billey (Smog, Boxhead Ensemble).