Rachel Grimes, Helen Money & Jacob Duncan

I’m very excited to be apart of the amazing musical compositions and conversations  of Rachel Grimes, along with cellist Helen Money for two March shows. The trio will perform new arrangements, including Compound Leaves, March 27th ( The Green Building, Louisville, KY) and 30th (BIG EARS FESTIVAL, Knoxville, TN).

Click here for info on Louisville, Ky show

Rachel Grimes is heralded “one of American independent music’s few truly inspired technicians” by WIRE magazine and included among NPR’s 100 Composers under 40, Rachel Grimes is a pianist, composer, and arranger based in Kentucky.  Rachel has toured the US and Europe extensively as a solo pianist, and as a collaborator with chamber ensembles astrïd (Rune Grammofon), Amsterdam Sinfonietta trio, and Orchestra Kandinskij among others.  She has shared the stage with many kindred spirits such as Nils Frahm, On Filmore, Shannon Wright, the Frames, Matmos, PJ Harvey, Nina Nastasia, Helen Money, and Dustin O’Halloran, and has performed at some of the world’s most diverse music and art festivals including All Tomorrow’s Parties (curated by Shellac), CrossLinx in Netherlands and Approximation Festival in Germany. Grimes may be most widely recognized as the composer and pianist in the influential post-rock chamber ensemble, Rachel’s, with whom she toured and released six albums including the celebrated Music for Egon Schiele and systems/layers (Quarterstick/Touch and Go). She is also a member of Louisville band, King’s Daughters & Sons (Chemikal Underground).

Alison Chesley (aka Helen Money) is a cellist who has become known for her adventurous sound, bold compositions, and compelling stage performance. Called “A classical-cellist-turned-avant-metal virtuoso” by the Boston Phoenix, Chesley channels her sensibilities and experience as a rock musician through a classical instrument, altering both genres without apology. She has played on over 150 albums with artists such as Disturbed, Bob Mould, Mono, Anthrax, Broken Social Scene, Russian Circles, and Archer Prewitt among others.

Helen Money, Jacob Duncan, Rachel Grimes in concert at Green Buildiing in Louisville, Ky March 27th & The Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Tn March 28-30

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Reflections and gratitude for a liberated year.

I certainly hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season. Lately, I have been thinking about this quote-

Love is our true destiny. We do not find the meaning of life by ourselves alone – we find it with another. -Merton


     For me, this means friends, family, and spirit, and this past year was full of these. Love is my religion. I heard Lee Konitz, one of my favorites say, “I don’t believe in this or that, because music is my religion”, and I get it. Music is the language of Love. Music can communicate, collaborate, and connects across genres, languages, age, political ideologies, sexual identities, borders, race, genders, and spiritual paths without judgement.

     Music, like Love, requires us to be authentic. It requires our ignorance and confidence. Last night I watched a 9 month old baby, that is just beginning to stand, go from the couch to the coffee table. She turned her head as much as she could, looked at the coffee table, and went for it. Of course, none of her limbs went with her and she fell. Her mother caught her. She got right back up, and did it again. She didn’t know that her limbs wouldn’t work immediately, but she felt that they would through taking chances. Now, that’s confidence. I have no idea what I am doing, but I realize Love through ignorance and confidence. I look at the coffee table, go for it, fall and get back up and try again. Another is always there to push, pull, catch, celebrate and prod. Sometimes, it’s the corner of the coffee table, and sometimes it’s accepting that I don’t even know who it is.  

      We are made to grow through each other. That’s why I love music. That is why I particularly love improvisational and jazz music. They are a constant falling, getting back up, and finding a path together. Music is a continuous undetermined present (in both senses of the word). We definitely need to be with each other in the present, to catch each other, push each other forward, and let each other fall when needed. I can’t find Love by myself, because love is already within me, around me, and connecting me to everyone through all time. I’m constantly and simultaneously in love and unwrapping it, although sometimes I need reminding. Feeling, seeing, touching, reading, hearing and holding art is my reminder to be in Love.

      Words are often hard for me to deal with, and this is probably one of the reasons that I play saxophone. There are so many conceptions that I didn’t get to choose. I think the reason music chose me, is that I needed this path to remind me of exploring nature, questioning why, and listening and loving with others, even when I don’t want to. Art is silence without preconceptions. Art is solitude, is unpredictable, exploratory, questioning and an easy place to get lost and found within, having no borders. Art is science, science is art. Art is the most beautiful thing that humans do in Love.

My path is to be present to Life in Love, in a non-conceptual way.


        Liberation Living Room was truly as fun as it looks, and I had NO idea what I was doing. I learned so much from, Greta Smith, Rizzy Duncan, Andrea Kiefer, Brian Lueken, Nora Christensen and Shawn Hennessey of the Squallis Puppeteers, Amy Seibert, Catlin Elliot, Chris Fitzgerald, Mike Hyman, Craig Wagner, Carly Johnson Brown, Chris Fortner, and Steve Good, Daniel Duncan, Janice Duncan, Mike Duncan, Will Oldham, Tyrone Cotton, Rachel Grimes, Ben Sollee, and Norah Jones. These humans are full of Love, and were constantly there this year to push, pull, prod, catch, and celebrate love and life! We definitely hit the corner of the table a few times, but I for one am proud of those bruises in this ultimate year of love and learning.

Liberation Living Room

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Exciting Times

I have just put up the beginnings of a website for Liberation Living Room. If you have time, check it out.


Also, Liberation prophecy’s new album, Invisible House, received a beautiful review from Nick Mondello at All About Jazz. Thanks Nick!!


All About Jazz Review

And, if you missed it, here’s the Downbeat review of Invisible House.

Downbeat Review

One last thing, I have to say that Saxquest, in St. Louis is awesome! Some of the nicest and most knowledgeable saxophone people I have met. If you get a chance, stop by. Tell them Jacob sent you their way!


I hope everyone in the States had a wonderful Thanksgiving!


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Liberation Living Room

Liberation Living Room is a web series for children, which features a live audience, improvisational and through-composed music, audience interviews of recognizable guest artists and puppets. It is the brainchild of Louisville composer and musician, Jacob Duncan. Duncan’s eclectic six piece ensemble, Liberation Prophecy, hosts each episode and accompanies a featured guest artist.


The professional crew of videographers, designer, sound engineer, puppeteers and house volunteers have already recorded five episodes in which everyone, including the guest artists, have donated their time. The guest artists for the episodes which are currently in post-production are Will Oldham, Rachel Grimes, Ben Sollee, Tyrone Cotton and Norah Jones.


Liberation Living Room seeks to empower children to embrace the values of community, collaboration, creativity and experimentation. Attendance is free for all live audience members, determined via raffle, and episodes will be streamed for free.

The show is young . . . [but], has already attracted some respected guests, among them Grimes, songwriters Tyrone Cotton and Will Oldham, and superstar Norah Jones. The children, however, are equally enthralled and thrilled at each recording, regardless of how well known the musicians might be. Equally as important, to attend the live show is an opportunity for the adults in the audience–rubbing elbows with puppets, seeing the highly professional production crew grinning and giddy behind their cameras and microphones–to catch that child-like spirit and really drink in the Liberation Living Room motto, ‘Everyone in this room is an artist. Don’t let anyone tell you different.’”

Liberation Living Room YouTube Channel


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“The Lazy Mist” off upcoming Liberation Prophecy album

This was a collaborative effort between myself and Joe Manning. I have a conversation with Mike Hyman (drums) at the end. Enjoy.

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original tune called “Ligeti Split” with two amazing musicians: Jason Tiemann-drums John Goldsby-bass

This was written for the son of György Ligeti, Lukas.

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We are not perfectly free until we live in pure hope. – Merton

Castle in the Sand.

All artists possess the courage to create. And every person is driven to find their place. Each path is sub-consciously given perimeters. The realization of these boundaries, the clarity, brings forth the spiritual. If a boy jumps into a shallow stream he can get hurt. But, if a boy knows the depths into which he will jump, the knowledge will lead his decision. We all search for conception, and debate about essence, the enduring element of a thing, not the actor, but their role. So, in music, it is not the musician, but the music that must be enduring. And that must present the questions. And that must be the vessel for existence, the reality as opposed to an appearance. We should not look to the artist, but their art for an impression.

      I wish to be surrounded by blossoming flowers, but yet even more, I wish to understand the stillness. The sound of morning dew dropping from a petal.

                                                                                                     Jacob Duncan

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