Swansea Serenades Us at the Gordon House

The Portland band's latest video doubles as a tour through Frank Lloyd Wright's Gordon House.

By Kristin Belz April 8, 2013

Sometimes, it all comes together. Sometimes, you can kill two birds with one stone – and everyone comes out alive. Sometimes, you can watch a cool new music video for an up and coming Portland indie rock/chamber folk band and get a first rate video tour of Frank Lloyd Wright's only building in Oregon, the Gordon House, at the same time.

Swansea is an up and coming Portland trio made up of Rebecca Sanborn, Ji Tanzer, and Kyleen King. They share vocals and between the three of them cover drums, bass, guitar, viola, and keyboards (including the occasional toy piano). The Gordon House is, of course, the house that Wright built in Portland's western suburbs in 1964 – the house that was saved from demolition and moved to Silverton in 2001.

The toy piano makes an appearance in the very first frames of the "No Blame (Usonian Version)" video. Granted, the Gordon House, as one of Wright's "Usonian" series of modest homes for mainstream Americans, is not a large house, but it easily accommodates a full-size piano (there's even one on hand in the video). But I'm sure the dramatic Mr. Wright would have approved of the toy piano too. The camera glides through the house, capturing the musicians in various locations singing and playing their instruments. It's relaxed and classy music that feels at home in the house, and the band's mid-1960s apparel respectfully suits the space. 

The Swansea Usonian video serves as a reminder that the Gordon House is having a lecture and spring fundraiser here in Portland this Friday April 12. Larry Woodin, architect and President of the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy, will tell us about the latest Wright building to be heroically saved in his talk about "The Inside Story:  Saving the David and Gladys Wright House.”  

Swansea aren't planning to attend the lecture, but they will be playing live May 8, 2013 at Portland Community College, in conjunction with a public roundtable discussion on art and the music industry. May 17, 2013 they'll be live at the Mission Theater.

Find more information about the lecture and all things FLW in Oregon at the Gordon House website.

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