Wally Scharold - guitars, vocals, composition, sound design, conceptual design, text, video, producer
Rob Pumpelly - guitars, composition
Nat Hawkes - bass guitar, vocals
Carolyn Walter - piccolo, flute, clarinet, bass clarinet, alto saxophone, tenor saxophone
Jamison Smeltz - alto saxophone, baritone saxophone, vocals
Matt Guggemos - drums and percussion
Jarred McAdams - video, text, conceptual collaborator
In September of 2006 miRthkon independently released its debut recording, a 4-song EP entitled 'The Illusion of Joy' produced by band founder Wally Scharold and mixed by legendary Oakland art-rock engineer Dan Rathbun of Sleepytime Gorilla Museum. 'The Illusion of Joy' received extensive critical praise and caught the ears of the recently-formed Italian Avant-Prog label AltrOck Productions, home of avant-chamber-proggers Yugen. miRthkon is pleased to announce that AltrOck Productions will be releasing their first full-length CD 'VEHICLE' in May 2009!
Coinciding with their September 2006 release, miRthkon emerged from the shed to present their unique live show to enthusiastic audiences throughout the greater Bay Area and southern California. They have shared the stage with the likes of Flying Luttenbachers founder Weasel Walter, Upsilon Acrux, The Fuxedos, Juan Prophet Organization, Kids and Hearts, Research & Development, Brian Kenney Fresno, The Molecules, Inner Ear Brigade, Invincible Czars, Three Piece Combo, Hour of the Shipwreck, Goat Receiver, Darling Freakhead, Stolen Babies' Dominique Persi, Iran's 127, Mute Socialite, and many others.
Exisiting solely in rough form on scratched-up CD-R's and hard-drives for nearly a decade, miRthkon occasionally emerged as a live ensemble via one-off bands between 1997 and 2003 though it otherwise lay dormant as an imaginary band touring the mid of its founder, composer/guitarist/vocalist Wally Scharold. It wasn't until the fortuitious meeting with soon-to-be co-founder of the current lineup, composer/guitarist Rob Pumpelly, that things began to take shape and gain momentum.
In the early months of 2005 the core lineup was brought together for the first time, embarking on a nearly 2 year rehearsal phase before beginning an extensive gigging campaing throughout the greater Bay Area. Bassist, Nat Hawkes, drummer Dickie Ogden, and multi-reedist Carolyn Walter joined Schar and Pumpelly to make up the core of the group. Over 2 years 5 different multi-reedists filled out the horn section until the timely arrival of one Jamison Smeltz, multi-faceted saxoholic extraordinaire. In late 2007 miRthkon parted ways with drummer Dickie Ogden and the miRthkon family welcomed Matthew Guggemos, one of it's original members from the old days, back to the drum throne thus finalizing the current lineup.
In 2008, Scharold began an extensive conceptual collaboration with composer/writer/video artist Jarred McAdams. The two have created an elaborate video projection program to accompany live performances. In addition to that, Scharold and McAdams have spent several years crafting an elaborate mythology upon which the entire conceptual framework of miRthkon's body of work is built. The fruits of this collaboration will be evident in the conceptual grout filling in the cracks of the upcoming CD 'VEHICLE', to be released May 26th 2009.