Rivulets and Violets
Official Web Site
Rivulets and Violets Bibliography: (click on each album cover to view tracks and Rivulets and Violets lyrics)
Rivulets and Violets Biography
After almost 4 years of work, Rivulets and Violets new album "Promise" is finally here. Rivulets create lush, atmospheric musical soundscapes using rich instrumentation and exceptional songwriting. Dreamy female vocals and lyrics that are full of reverence and awe build perfectly on this musical foundation to create an incredible album that is sure to appeal to fans of Sixpence None The Richer, the Cocteau Twins, and the Sundays. But the release of "Promise" is only the most recent chapter in the Rivulets story, which started several years ago.
In 1994 Masaki, one of the primary songwriters for Rivulets, was playing guitar in various San Francisco based bands. At this time Rivulets was a studio only affair. Consisting of Masaki, Mark Blasquez and Nicki Wilson, the band released their first album, which was self-titled, on Eden Records. The album was primarily instrumental, and proved to be a critics favorite. But by 1995 Masaki was involved full time with another band, Dime Store Prophets.
The Dime Store Prophets schedule kept Masaki from focusing on Rivulets for a number of years. And for good reason, their hectic touring schedule took them all over the US several times and to Europe twice. Their 2 full-length albums: 1995's "Love Is Against The Grain", and 1997's "Fantastic Distraction", received critical acclaim, as the songwriting team of Masaki and Justin Stevens proved to be a powerful creative force. Dime Store was voted by BAM magazine to be one of the Bay Areas best local bands, and they were able to share the stage with a diverse selection of bands including: Sixpence None The Richer, Chris Isaak, Better Than Ezra, The Stray Cats, X, Mudhoney and many others. Masaki also met Jen Hollingsworth at a Dime Store show in Seattle; Jen would later become one of the vocalists and songwriters for Rivulets. By 1998 Dime Store decided to disband, leaving behind 2 great albums, and possibly leaving Masaki more time to concentrate on Rivulets.
But Masaki did not find himself with an excess of time to work on his own band; instead he found that his skills as a producer and studio engineer were in great demand. He began focusing on producing records in 1998, working with a number of bands including Five Iron Frenzy, The W' s, Dryve, The Echoing Green, and others. Masaki also played violin, which was actually his first instrument, on albums by Dime Store and Dryve. When he wasn't producing records he would concentrate on Rivulets, which by this time included Masaki and Jen as the chief songwriters, and Sam Hernandez (formerly of Dime Store Prophets) on bass. In addition, Robyn Spitzer and Mindy Verdecchio joined the band as vocalists. With these musicians Masaki began working in earnest on the Rivulets album whenever he was not busy producing other bands. It became his labor of love, and by early 2000 the new Rivulets and Violets album, "Promise", was finished.
The addition of 3 female vocalists and new collaborations between Masaki and Jen has changed the overall sound of Rivulets quite a bit. As Masaki says, "I always wanted to have vocals more incorporated with the music. The first record was very experimental for me, and the vocals were an afterthought. The writing process for "Promise" was very different with Jen being a songwriter and lyricist, she helped to bring in the idea of vocals." Indeed, building on a strong musical foundation of drums, bass, guitar and violin are gorgeous vocal harmonies which brilliantly illuminate the album with a message of hope and love, of adoration and devotion, of peace, and of promise.