Friday, October 25, 2013

Tim's new album

So, you might have noticed I used to blog a lot more.

Why did I cut back? I was waiting for a chance to share some good news. And it was a lot longer in coming than I thought it would be, so I just kept waiting.

But we're finally close to something good, so I'm going to write about it.

Fourteen months ago, Tim realized he needed to record a solo album. So, for a little over a year, every spare moment he has spent at the studio recording. Most of the songs were already written--he was performing a full-length live show, after all. Lots of them have been rewritten as he's worked, though.

There were several months where we spent long hours searching for someone who "got" the music enough to mix and master it for us. Tim, obviously, could hear it in his head. Somehow (not sure how this happened), I could hear what it was supposed to be. A very small handful of other people could hear what it was supposed to sound like, or at least when it wasn't hitting the mark. And nobody else could, including most of the sound engineers we sent it to. We tried getting songs mixed by several top-notch engineers, and the songs sounded great--but had been transformed into a different feel and sound than they were supposed to have. It quickly became apparent that the mixing engineers were all very talented, but somehow Tim was failing to convey to them exactly what he wanted the finished product to sound like. All the finished versions were shiny and pretty and poppy.

But that was a problem.

Because Tim wasn't writing an album of pop songs. It's an album of art songs.

With a lack of funds to pay engineers anyway, Tim took himself to the studio and learned how to do it himself. And he did so well that other engineers started telling him he should be taking clients--his mixing was superior. Even the mastering engineer he worked with said, when given a few tracks to master, that there wasn't very much for him to do. It all sounded great.

And now, 14 months and lots and lots of learning later, Tim's car broke down near the studio. So he walked on over there and worked all day, is spending the night, and will work all day tomorrow, and then it will be done. At least, the music will be. Then he has to get the songs mastered and the album mastered, and do the liner notes and CD cover design. But the music is done.

And it's really really good.

"The Funky Introvert" is an album of art songs--of lieder.  Truthfully, it's a song cycle, but Tim doesn't always perform them together live because the entire cycle is an hour long (and, when the companion album is finished--yes, it's half-way done, too--will be 2 hours long.).  Most people probably won't recognize them instantly as "art songs" because Tim is not a classical music nazi. He believes that all kinds of music have something to offer the world, so he's spent a decade studying every form of vocal music and has taken the best of all he's learned and incorporated it all into these songs.  There are elements of jazz, rock, pop, electronic, classical, etc. It is an exploration of the human voice, and the intersection between voice and technology (and, thematically, between humanity and technology). Technically, the songs are performed a cappella--there is nothing on the album except the human voice. But it doesn't sound like "Acapella" stylistically, and you'll swear you are hearing instruments.

We openly and frequently acknowledge that there is nothing truly "new" out there--that everything is part of a tradition, is derived from and influenced by something else. So I make no claims that you've never heard anything like this before. It's never true when people say that. But I will mention that one of the mixing engineers who listened to it said that, while there is nothing truly new out there, this is the closest he's ever heard to something that is truly unique.

It's an amazing piece of work, complex and layered and poetic and interesting. I can't wait until we have physical copies available that I can share.

For now, though, I'm thrilled that there's finally good news. The music is ready.

1 comment:

morelightthanburden said...

That's absolutely wonderful!! Can't wait to hear it!

Congratulations on completing such a long-desired and worked for set.

This is fantastic!