Querkus is an artrock / downtempo / electro- acoustic duo from Winnipeg, Canada; the sonic imagination of Karen Asmundson and Edgar Ozolins. They blend piano and guitar with electronics to create dark, blissful music.
The otherworldly sound of Querkus is difficult to put to words. Synth arpeggios and string arrangement spiral like nebulas. Piano and guitar play with light and dark to create an expansive horizon over a mysterious, unknown landscape. Lyrics often reverent to nature are borne on melodies that maintain an adamant hope that the world is still a beautiful place. It may break your heart or make you smile. This music is for the mind as well as the spirit.
A clear influence from classical music can be heard. This is music to focus on and replay to unfold its layers. Querkus centres around the duo of lead vocalist and pianist Karen Asmundson and guitarist/ producer Edgar Ozolins. The duo contrast and compliment each other just as the elements in their music do. Fascination with these elements has kept Karen and Edgar exploring music together for the past 10 years. They are also deeply rooted in the work necessary to create the music that they want -- both have been studying classical technique for years. The idea of roots can also be taken to another esoteric place that the duo reveres -- they both love trees to the point that the band was named in Latin for the Oak.
Querkus is at home in the world of visual art, often performing at grandiose events where cocktail gloves are essential and a kaleidoscope of martinis flow late into the night. This connection with art and film comes from a close involvement in music and audio production for local film productions. In 2006, Querkus took this film connection one step further by throwing a Winnipeg-based celebration of the 60th birthday of director David Lynch. Lynch himself endorsed the event. Shortly after, a Querkus track titled "Rubbing My Eyes" was added to a compilation CD that was given to Lynch by his own Foundation as a birthday gift.
Querkus released their first recording, an EP titled No Direction, in 2002 to a sold-out audience. The EP charted on college radio stations across Canada, which inspired Querkus to tour Ontario and Quebec later that year. A performance in Toronto was recorded and later released in 2003 as The Fire Behind Us -- a limited-print live album that also featured two studio tracks and a remix of No Direction track "October 16" by DJ/Producer Joe Silva.
Since the last release, Querkus has undergone a metamorphosis. The duo's music has evolved from being largely electronic to a true electro-acoustic hybrid. In fall of 2006 Querkus began recording a full length album. It has been a labour of love -- they have taken their time to ensure it turns out as they envisioned it. Many of Winnipeg's finest appear on this recording, including the Animata String Quartet, Steve Martens (drum kit) and Joshua Stanton (tabla). The duo handles the rest of the instruments and vocals. After four years of careful work, the release of this new album is set for January 9 2011.
Tune in again!