An extraneous and insomnia-curing romp through other projects:
The precursor to Six Organs of Admittance was Eta Corina, a duo with violinist Aolani Shirin. Aolani and Ben met in 4th grade but didn’t start playing music until their early 20s. This is the project most responsible for forming Ben’s acoustic style as Aolani would write complex pieces of music which the guitar was supposed to follow with counterpoint and unique rhythms. Due to Aolini’s participation in the hardcore/crust scene with her band Saké, Eta Corina found themselves playing for non-acoustic audiences, who affectionately dubbed the band’s genre, “classical crust.”
Concurrent with the beginnings of Six Organs was Tonal Shrine, a band formed with Utrillo Kushner (later drummer for Comets On Fire) and Tim Tsuda. Only a handful of shows were played and a cassette was released, which has since been reissued by Ethan Miller’s Silver Current label. The band practiced a brand of heavy deconstructed psych, best described by noting that Tim was into Sleep at the time and Ben was into Gasaneta.
Ben was introduced to David Tibet in 2004 by David Keenan, who wrote the history of Current 93, Coil and Nurse With Wound in his book England’s Hidden Reverse. Tibet asked Six Organs to open for Current 93 on occasion and eventually to join the band when long time guitarist Michael Cashmore left. Ben wrote five guitar pieces that would end up on the album Black Ships Ate The Sky and toured with the band from 2005 – 2007. His last show with Current 93 was at the Donaufestival in Austria in 2007. Playing guitar in Current 93 for that show were Stephen O’Malley, Keith Wood, Ben, Matt Sweeney, Andrew W.K. and Stephen Emmel. David Tibet wrote and performed a spoken word piece on the CD version of the Six Organs of Admittance release Manifestation. The words can be found on page 210 of David Tibet’s book of collected words, Sing Omega.
In 2005 Chasny joined Will Oldham and Matt Sweeney’s Superwolf band for a single European tour. Also in the band were Paul Oldham and Alex Neilson, who would later play drums in Six Organs for a few tours. For this tour, Ben’s guitar was cracked at the head from traveling across the Atlantic and needed extensive tuning before every song. The band stopped off and recorded some tracks at the BBC, one of which (“Buried Treasure,” a tune made popular by Kenny Rogers) made it’s way onto a Bonnie Prince Billy EP.
In the winter of 2006 Ben recorded a record with Elisa Ambrogio (Magik Markers) and Brian Sullivan (Mouthus) during a few nights in NYC and named the band Basalt Fingers. This record focused on thick guitar improvisation to which Brian added his trademark sludge production. The result was released on 3 Lobed records on LP.
The Goatflower project with Iambi Eras Logo was recorded in 2007. Often mistaken for a Six Organs project, this band featured Ben on electronics and Iambi on electric saz.
In 2012 Ben began playing in a duo with Massachusetts underground folk musician Dredd Foole. In 2013 they recorded a record for Feeding Tube Records entitled, Drunk With Insignificance.
2013 saw the beginnings of Coypu, a band made up of Ben and his associates from Turin, Italy: Paul Beauchamp (Blind Cave Salamander, Almagest!), Fabrizio Modonese Palumbo (Blind Cave Salamander, Almagest!, ( r ), Larsen) and Daniele “Lo Dev Alm” Pagliero. Recording at O.F.F. Studios in Turin, the band focuses on drifting instrumental psych, inspired by Popul Vuh, Ry Cooder and the like. Their first tour is planned for Europe in the autumn of 2013.