“Hummingbird in a Box” couldn’t be more different than talk-box guitar-hero stuff of yesterday — or even the Grammy-winning 2006 instrumental recording Fingerprints that also saw Peter Frampton collaborating with Gordon Kennedy.
Instead, this advance track from Frampton’s forthcoming EP Hummingbird in a Box boasts a delicate profundity, this Django Reinhardt-esque sense of both speed and precision. Frampton may not be the arena superstar he once was, but his playing has never had a deeper complexity.
Frampton sources of inspiration these days have become equally as compelling: Dancers with the Cincinnati Ballet helped spark this new project. Frampton learned that the group had choreographed a production using music from the terrific Fingerprints, along with “Not Forgotten” from 2003’s Now, and was so impressed that he offered to create new music for a future performance.
In April 2013, the Cincy Ballet presented two dance segments focusing on older music, and a third based on these new works from Frampton and Gordon — with Frampton playing live as accompaniment. The guitarist subsequently developed the compositions into the Hummingbird in a Box studio effort, due June 23, 2014 from RED Distribution. Cincinnati Ballet has since performed the Frampton suite again, this time in New York City to celebrate its 50th anniversary.