Over the past year, Sayles Great Space has become a popular venue for musicians to show off their talents in an informal setting. Organized through the Student Activities Office, Live at Sayles! takes place from noon to 1:00 p.m. every other Thursday. Held during each term, the acoustic music series features professional musicians from around Minnesota, as well as an open mike event for Carleton students and staff.
The Voice talked with the members of Schrödinger’s Finch—Briannon Carlsen ’17 (Ketchum, Okla.), Mairead Koehler ’17 (Rockville Centre, N.Y.), and Josh Ruebeck ’17 (Easton, Pa.)—after their open mike set during the second week of winter term. They’d been singing as a trio for a couple weeks.
How did your group form?
Ruebeck: Briannon and I found out we both like the Everly Brothers. You don’t meet a lot of people who listen to the Everly Brothers. They were a huge inspiration for the musicians who are our main influences, including the folk singers of the 60s and 70s. Peter, Paul, and Mary were our starting point for figuring out a style of harmonies.
Carlsen: We decided we needed a third voice, so we found Mairead.
Koehler: They found my SoundCloud and stalked me on the Internet. I’ve been covering songs and posting them online for a few years now, just for fun.
What kinds of songs do you sing?
Ruebeck: Our genre is best described as folk, but we draw from all sorts of music. In this set we sang “Come On Up to the House” (Tom Waits), “Helplessly Hoping” (Crosby, Stills & Nash), “Arkansas Bones” (Briannon Carlsen), and “The Parting Glass” (Irish traditional).
Carlsen: We also want to write original songs. I wrote the lyrics and music to “Arkansas Bones,” which reflects the struggles of growing up in a family working hard to make ends meet.
Is there a story behind your name?
Ruebeck: We tried out every adjective and noun we could think of and ended up with Schrödinger’s Finch. It has nothing whatsoever to do with Schrödinger’s Cat.
Carlsen: It’s subject to change!
Web Extra: Listen to Schrödinger’s Finch.