Bell Monks is music for the fog on nights that stretch into dawns, combining simple humming lines with swirling textures.
“Combining the minimalism of Brian Eno’s ambient work with the gloomy songwriting of Low” – The Onion’s AV Club
Bell Monks was formed in 2005 by Jeff Herriott and Eric Sheffield as an outlet for a bunch of unused musical sketches that Jeff had lying around. Over the next 10 years, the band released a series of albums and EPs that reflect the band’s wide-ranging musical experiences, in particular their work with ambient, post-rock, and electronic and computer music. Most notably, Bell Monks undertook an ambitious project in 2011, in which they released a 2-track EP with accompanying video every month.
Outside of his work with Bell Monks, Jeff Herriott is a composer whose music focuses on sounds that gently shift and bend at the edges of perception. His works, which often include interaction between live performers and electronic sounds, have been described as “colorful…darkly atmospheric” (New York Times) and “incredibly soft, beautiful, and delicate” (Computer Music Journal).
In 2015, Jeff co-composed the score to the film Bone Tomahawk, starring Kurt Russell, with director S. Craig Zahler. Notably, the New York Times wrote, “Even the song that plays over the end credits — a frontier-ditty parody by Mr. Zahler and Jeff Herriott — is worth staying seated for.”
Jeff’s music has been supported by Commissions by the MATA Festival, Barlow Endowment for Music Composition, Jerome Composers Commissioning Program, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Recordings of Jeff’s music can be heard on Innova, Albany, Soundset, Parlour Tapes+, SEAMUS, UKM2, Lakeshore, Invada, and New Tertian labels. Jeff is also half of the metal band, Realmbuilder, who have released three albums through Sweden’s I Hate Records.
Eric Sheffield is a musician, maker, and collaborator focused on physical computing, interactive multimedia, and augmented non-traditional instruments. His Metal Mirror, a device combining the practices of found percussion, actuated instruments, and motion tracking, has been performed by percussionist Shane Jones at the Percussive Arts Society International Conference in 2014. His experience working with sensors, microprocessors, and embedded computing, gave a literal voice to the anthropomorphized house “Frank” in the installation Feral Pastures, which was exhibited in Taubman Gallery at the University of Michigan.
Eric’s work, including multiple collaborations with video artist Anna Weisling, has been performed and presented internationally, including the New York City Electroacoustic Music Festival, Sonic Arts Research Centre in Belfast, Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris, and Goldsmiths College in London. Eric is currently conducting research in experimental music and digital media at Louisiana State University as a doctoral student.
Eric is also bassist for the blues band The Organgrinders.