Saturday, November 14, 2009

Perks of Tim's Job

Tim's job has lots of perks. We get tickets to events. We get "paid" vacations to destinations people seek out (like Reno). For some reason, we frequently are given toys (usually the most bizarre ones because of moosebutter, but also lots and lots of stuffed animal "mascots").

One of my favorite perks, though, is what is happening right now. A handful of award-winning beatboxers  who also happen to have (to my taste) the best male voices in America today, are sitting around with a sound system experimenting. In my basement. So I get to hear the creation of awesome new things. I woke to the sound we've (me and Tim) been searching for 3 years for one of his groups that he's written dozens of songs for but we couldn't find the voices (until now!). And they just busted it out right as they walked in the door. They are experimenting with mic technique now, using the mics in different ways to get different sounds, creating on the spot a kind of ethereal sound, all improvised. Earlier, they busted out "Harder to Breathe" with no rehearsal and no instruments.

Did I mention that they have no instruments down there? Just voices, mics, a couple speakers and a subwoofer, and some guitar and voice effects boxes (including a looper/delay pedal).

In it's raw state down there, this is mind-blowingly awesome stuff. I can't even imagine when they polish it up. Those of you who have come to identify Tim's musical skills with Organic Vegetable sounds and Star Wars are going to be FLOORED when you see these new things coming out. It's a blend of classic rock, jazz, pop, and (of course, from Tim) choral music.

I call the guys "beatboxers" because that's what people recognize. They call themselves "vocal percussionists" because their approach isn't focused on "House" music. They can do the beatboxing we usually hear behind rap music. But they right now are doing jazz brushes, waaawaaas, brass instruments, and funky random sounds (some modified by guitar effects pedals). They are professional funny sound makers, I guess, but they weave it into beauty, into stuff that forces you to dance, into soul-searing melody.... And yes, they can SING. And, unlike most vocalists, these guys can sing convincingly in any genre. They're all classically trained, choir trained, and jazz trained. And you can request any song, any era, and they can sing it. If they don't know it, they'll make something up on the spot. (Earlier, they were doing madrigals, and just now they were mixing classical voice with rock background to very cool effect).

And Tim records the rehearsals. So I can listen anytime.

These are some of their public performances, but the stuff emanating from my basement right now puts these to shame:

I love Tim's job.

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