Linda Catlin Smith on Another Stamp

Linda catlin smith


Apartment House and Bozzini Quartet

Another Stamp at 105X2

Born in the United States and residing in Canada for over a quarter of a century, Linda catlin smith has become a staple on this country’s cultural radar. She was greeted and feted as one of the Canadian women. For example, she is only the second woman to win the Jules Léger Prize for Chamber Music and has a long association with the ArrayMusic ensemble, of which she was artistic director. Several recordings of his music have been released, but last year Dirt road won its critical praise and belated review in the United States, ending up on many reviewers’ “best of the year” lists (including mine). Posted by Another Timbre, Dirt road was just a taste of this label’s commitment to Canadian music. Another stamp recently released a set of five recordings in their Canadian Composers series (another set of five is expected later this year). Catlin Smith figures prominently, with the double disc vagabond serving as volume 1 in the series. Other composers include Martin Arnold, Isiah Ceccarelli, Chlyoko Szlavnics, and Marc Sabat.

Drifter program is executed by two groups of rooms: Apartment House and Bozzini Quartet. The “drift” in question is not the itinerant hitchhiking, but rather the calm tempo routes frequently chosen by Catlin Smith. The piano trio Far from the shore, played here by Philip Thomas, Anton Lukiszevieze and Mira Benjamin, is an example. Slow and smooth music for the trio, often reminiscent of Morton Feldman’s approach (one Catlin Smith recognizes as a distinctive influence on his work) alongside passages of colorful piano chords. The spectrum passes from inexorably repeated constrained sets of pitches, to chromatic counterpoint, to whole washes of sound. The intuitive sensitivity that Catlin Smith claims as his approach in preference to any dogmatic systematization clearly allows him to move on an ever-changing musical terrain, while retaining an organic sense of each piece. How does she deal with this? An interview in the booklet accompanying the ensemble of Canadian composers quotes her as: “Listening. Lots of listening. You could do worse as a songwriter in any style of listening as intently as Catlin Smith does.

Cantelina (2013) for viola and vibraphone, played by Emma Richards and Simon Limbrick, presents another interest of the composer, that of heterogeneous instrumental chords. Here and in the Quintet with piano (2014), another of Catlin Smith’s predilections, exploring a closely related counterpoint in close register positions, is presented. The overlap in Cantilena is quite appealing (it’s a combination that should be explored by more composers and one that I’ll keep in my hip pocket) and it also affects when written roughly in the quintet. The title work is also for a seemingly difficult combination, piano and classical guitar, performed by Philippe thomas and Diego Castro Magazine, but Catlin Smith’s soft touches of coloristic harmony and uneven ostinatos also work wonderfully in this duo setting. My Who Trembled (1999), played by Thomas, Benjamin and Limbrick, has a pulse piano part which is joined by a sustained violin and bowed percussion. An interesting notation device is used: rather than writing down all the notes and rhythms, the composer specifies that the musicians silently read a poem by Rimbaud and use his rhythms of speech to shape the musical work (for example, the percussionist draws his attack points from stressed French syllables).

Bozzini Quartet appears in two string quartets by Catlin Smith. Folkestone (1999) pits a persistent violin line against articulated, syncopated slow chord blocks played by the other three members (these have an almost accordion quality in their spacing). Gradually, other lines emerge from the texture, the cello playing a poignant solo dissonant with the rest of the harmony. The chord passages begin to disperse, bringing the place of activity closer to the sustained sound of the violin. flautando melody. The mid-register lines now break free and the chords move in double time for a brief stretch before giving way to widely spaced and slowly articulated harmonies again. This alternation of patterns includes still other elements to introduce: pizzicatos, duets, flashes of brilliance in harmonic fourths and a bass melody for cello made really heavy by the registers against which it was balanced before. Check-in over 32 minutes, Folkestone is a substantial and utterly captivating composition. Gondola involves quartet members coming in and out in unison and a gentle rocking boat rhythm that Catlin Smith describes as: in the water. “

Evocative images for a truly evocative musical creation. vagabond is an album (a double album moreover) to be savored.

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Review: Timber Timbre tackles the madness of 2016

2016 was the year of the unexpected. Frank Ocean came out of the desert. Brangelina broke up. Donald Trump won the election. Timber Timbre is inspired by these bizarre turns Sincerely, Future Pollution, a melancholy but satisfying prediction of the future.

“2016 was a very difficult time to watch,” lead singer Taylor Kirk said in the album announcement. “I hate to admit that I normally express more sensitivity than political concern, but I think the tone and the result on the record is absolute chaos and confusion. When we were recording, the premonition was that the events we saw unfold were an elaborate hoax. But the mockery of our food system has spawned a lot of dark and dystopian thoughts and ideas. And then it all happened, while everyone was on Instagram. The sewers overflowed.

Interestingly, the opening track, “Velvet Gloves & Spit” provides no prelude to the angst of the rest of the release, choosing instead a sophisticated composition of reed instruments and layered rhythms. The song still maintains the album’s urgent message but departs from the main style of the release as Kirk’s powerful voice is used strategically to evoke some positivity.

Judging by the title of the album, it’s clear the band want their listeners to pay more attention to their world. Otherwise, desperation is imminent. Sincerely, Future Pollution is a dismal twist on folk rock music whose eerie instrumentals capture the dark themes of the release. “It’s all fleshed out, fleshed out and forgotten now,” Kirk sings on “Sewer Blues,” highlighting the regret his listeners presumably felt when they saw the consequences of political apathy come into play.

A multitude of strange juxtapositions are present in the lyrics of the group. Fuzzy bass guitars season Kirk’s voice, as the band come together to maliciously perform desperate harmonies. The group presents a jazzy soul and refreshing rhythm on “Bleu Nuit”, which manages to stand out on such an atmospheric album with a robotic effect used on vocals. Kirk utters such dismal lyrics to amplify their effect, scaring his listeners with every serious word.

Songs like “Western Questions” show ambition with an impressive, reverberating guitar solo that allows the track to quickly transition from feelings of true depression to cautious youth.

Timber Timbre’s music oscillates between bloody, free-spirited psychedelic pop and dark, twisted Gothic rock. Sometimes the structure of the music seems to be derived from well-known rock bands of the 1970s, borrowing the swinging funk of Electric Light Orchestra on tracks like “Grifting”, while mimicking the futuristic and heavily synthesized arrangements of Pink Floyd. The dark side of the moon for the majority of the 40 minute outing.

Each song finds its own identity, following a musical structure that incorporates its own playful decomposition. “Skin Tone” is a sharp display of sweet but sinister music. A variety of synths come together to form a sweet and lovely melody.

The band, known for their dreary, sometimes even ominous sound, have always shown a willingness to step into uncharted musical territory, but some moments on this album are familiar. Kirk’s husky voice, sounding like a cross between Edward Sharpe and Andrew VanWyngarden, contributes to the downtempo of the album’s emotional track. In its most flattering moments, it’s complimentary, even entertaining, and at worst, it’s slow, stopping the ardor behind the music. However, Sincerely, Future Pollution is an impressive example of the band’s refined talent in creating depressing yet very lively music.

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Album review: Timber Timbre – Regards, Future Pollution / Releases / Releases // Drowned in sound

Montreal, Canada quartet Wood stamp have been quietly perfecting their craft for over a decade now. The Quebec group has always been notoriously elusive, often categorized as “something between blues and folk,” but they’ve always been surprisingly original and perhaps more importantly, cinematic. This has been shown from their soundtrack work over the years, featuring on breaking Bad and The good woman, besides having a few Polaris Prize nominations to boot, but they never really succeeded outside of their native Canada.

Whether this is their sixth album Sincerely, Future Pollution The answer to that remains to be seen, but there’s no doubt the cold confidence that comes from the sound of Timber Timbre at this point. Truly… is an odd record in that it looks like a relic from an earlier era, using 80s synths and drum machines, the industrialism of Nine Inch Nails’ debut on the album’s title track and structures and references to almost Lynchian songs, but his post is very relevant to 2017: “Sewers overflowed, as everyone was on Instagram“.

Despite its false pastiche, Truly… is a angry album. This may in part seem like a novelty in his use of lounge jazz (“Floating Cathedral”), but singer Taylor Kirk’s poetic, mostly spoken performance shows how our generation might let our societal decline happen. It’s fascinating how quickly North Americans reacted to America’s populist shift to the right – Father John Misty’s new album Pure comedy promises pretty much the same – as if there were a few musicians and performers who saw it coming a mile and a half away. Back then, we used punk music as an outlet to challenge these societal declines, but punk no longer has quite the same strength it once had in a broader public perspective.

Instead, appropriately enough, we have a post-modern take on a genre and style made famous during one of America’s most conservative eras, Reagan’s’ 80s. The beautifully sensual “Western Questions” sums up this rage masked as a tribute perfectly, as Kirk wonders how a hideous campaign could quite take place in Western society these days, eager to “Mud to enter”.

Not all on Truly… is just as overtly angry as this song, but the entire album is bathed in a dark, seedy undertow in its revisionist synths and cinematic reach. The ‘Velvet Gloves & Spit’ opener, for example, is a beautifully touching piece, but as the title suggests, the beauty of a pair of Velvet Gloves alongside the spit image suggests that all is not not just in the world created here.

In fgeneral, Truly… feels distinctly familiar, but it’s an uncomfortable familiarity, a warning that there is an obscurity that points to the past (thematically, anyway). Everything does not quite work; as fun as the deceptively optimistic “Grifting” is, it’s a bit too close to David Bowie’s “Fame” to really go unnoticed. That said, it doesn’t seem out of place in this album’s sinister use of drifting touches and grooves over its 40 minutes of runtime, and for that matter, if Kirk longs for someone in his performance, Bowie is a pretty high benchmark from which to press.

Musically, Truly… is full of interesting little flourishes and unexpected twists that, as mentioned above, are reminiscent of a David Lynch movie. Drummer Olivier Fairfield intentionally underestimates his hand, weaving in funky embellishments here and there without ever exaggerating the mark, while bass dutifully follows. ‘Moment’, for example, after a few minutes of rather breezy opening, suddenly becomes a guitar monster, however, it doesn’t take center stage on the rhythm section, which simply and grimly keeps its rhythm.

Kirk is an attractive singer and lyricist, posing puzzles before undermining them with their sad and inevitable conclusions; neither does its performance reach upper territory, instead inviting the listener to the dystopian world the group has created. ‘Sewer Blues’ is at the album’s dark heart and sees Kirk at his saddest, with the creepy chorus “I will come back to you / I will come back through you” channel his inner Nick Cave.

In the instrumental moments of the album, we have a vision of Ridley Scott Blade runner, a film that will take place in just two years and set in a dystopian metropolitan nightmare, much like the artwork for the album. There is surely a lot to be said over the next few years as we come to understand them in North American and hopefully British music in relation to the political advances in each region. Here, Canadians still too close for comfort look at themselves and just across the border, and predict an all-too-possible nightmare scenario. How prophetic it will remain to be seen, but this 2017 take on ’80s cinematic synth-pop is an unexpected joy in which to savor the looming political mud that approaches.


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Stream Timber Timbre’s next album, “Sincerely, Future Pollution”: NPR

Stream the group’s sixth album ahead of its release next Friday

Note: NPR’s First Listen audio stops after the album is released. However, you can still listen with the Spotify or Apple Music playlist at the bottom of the page.

Wood stamp: Sincerely, Future Pollution

Courtesy of the artist

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When Taylor Kirk and his Timber Timbre acolytes left for France a year ago to record their latest album, Sincerely, Future Pollution, they imagined a sound that you could dance to, that deserved to be celebrated. For more than a decade, the Montreal group – led by Kirk, who does much of the writing and recording – explored the gnarled and dark corners of rock, evolving from beams of sun-bleached cabin (Wood stamp) to 70s country music (Hot dreams). None of it was exactly what made you tremble, other than a narcotized swinging in the corner of a plywood bar. Sincerely, Future Pollution neither is it. But this might not be the time to dance.

“I got the idea that we could do something fun. Which… we can’t,” Kirk laughed in a measured whisper from a phone in his rehearsal room in the east. Montreal.

Instead of, Sincerely, Future Pollution is another window into Kirk’s gently clouded sensibility, this time filtered through holistic collaborations with the supporting cast of Timber Timbre, keyboardist Mathieu Charbonneau and guitarist / bassist Simon Trottier. The trip is accompanied by a multitude of electronic prototypes that the trio found in this French studio where they recorded their sixth album. “We were using a palette that I didn’t think was ours,” Kirk said. These unknown instruments give the album a Reaganist patina, a vintage sound that seems too relevant these days.

Sincerely, Future Pollution deals more directly with this discomfort on “Western Questions”, which opens with a fast guitar melody before sinking into a burlesque swoon. Kirk exhales: “International witness protection / By mass migration / Imminent land surrender. Tucked away safely / At the counter of a luxury liner / With a noose in his hand.” It’s evocative of urban failure and our modern dilemma of smooth disbelief. It ends, improbably, with a festive drum bridge worthy of Phil Collins and a guitar hook as indelible and catchy as Hall & Oates could hope.

“Moment” is perhaps the most beautiful and touching love song that Timber Timbre – a band that has always had a knack for picking up frustrated lamentations for those who are not shared – has ever written. It opens, after a wash of those chronologically frozen synths, with a buried bass and a questioning drum line, while Kirk speaks quietly: “Timing’s off / And all is lost / And I know it. / The essences disappear / And with each dose the price / Of a memory. ” The frustration of feeling unworthy, of loving what you have in your hands despite this shame, is shattered by the end of the song, a perpendicular tantrum ragged with sheer frustration. (This character in “Moment,” questioning what he deserves, his agency, and the means to keep or throw him away, is an ongoing presence in Kirk’s work.)

Sincerely, Future Pollution is a document stirred for surreal times. Where Timber Timbre previously attracted us in his stealthy visions of the winter woods or 16mm strip clubs, this time Kirk is drawn to us. The group seems, understandably, to be wary of the overthrow.

Sincerely, Future Pollution released on April 7 City slang records.

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The Girl Stamp

Aapki awaaz lecture ke liye bahut adapted hai “which, roughly translated, would mean that your voice is eminently suited to song reading. We hear this statement from time to time, especially in the ever popular reality shows where famous judges pontificate against the background of the starry-eyed competitors.

What are the characteristics of voice and musical sensitivity that make a playback singer successful? Have they remained unchanged during the decades in which film music dominated the musical tastes of the masses? I guess the answer to this question should come from the music pundits of the film industry, but I’m trying to present the humble observations of an outsider.

While the history of playback singing in Indian films is still a few decades before it reaches the 100-year mark, we have a record of approximately 82 years of film music to study and analyze.

The archetype of the playback voice to which our judges refer today has nothing to do with the voices of singers in the early days of talking cinema. Judging by the repertoire presented by contestants in most television shows, few mimic the singing styles of the legendary Kundan Lal Saigal, or Khurshid and Suraiya. It can be said that the benchmark for vocal playback is firmly rooted in the era that saw the rise of big playback stars like Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha bhosle, Mukesh, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar, among others. In a sense, it was the voices that set the standards and parameters used today to assess whether or not a singer’s voice is suitable for reproduction.

What are these parameters?

The only quality common to all these voices is their ability to assume the identity of different actors staging various situations in the story of the same film. They are therefore voices that express and represent a myriad of emotions and responses. An actor in an Indian film sings and dances in every conceivable situation – in joy, in sorrow, in the throes of love, lust, on the streets, on the rooftops, just about anywhere . And the off-screen sung voice of the playback singer becomes for the duration of the pieces the sung voice on the actor’s screen. Lata Mangeshkar’s voice, while retaining her unique identity, becomes the voice of Waheeda Rehman as she sings Rangeela Re in Prem Pujari, or Aaj Phir Jeene Ki Tamanna Hai in Guide. And the same voice becomes the voice of a pious Meena Kumari when she sings Lau Lagaati Geet Gaati in Bhabhi Ki Chudiyan. This ability to subsume one’s own identity into that of the actor is an essential quality to make a good playback singer.

Most of the female singers in the Indian film industry have light, high-pitched voices. The throaty, heavier female voices have, for the most part, not found success in the past five-six decades of film music. The reasons for this could be multiple. The standards set by Lata Mangeshkar and her brilliant star sister Asha Bhosle, both gifted with high, expressive vocals of enormous reach and the ability to negotiate the most complex melodies, shapes and styles effortlessly, have influenced so much the following generations of playback singers. that they consciously modeled their voices on the Mangeshkar siblings. The inclusion of singer-songwriter duets also required voices comfortable singing in tones that allowed the singer’s voice to appear more delicate and feminine in contrast. You couldn’t have a Big Mama voice in a duet, reducing the male singer’s voice to a puny shadow.

In addition, the orchestration of movie songs often used instruments that sounded best in the higher tones. It could, of course, be argued that an accomplished composer could create a duet for a heavy, husky female voice and a regular male voice, and that an imaginative arranger could score the instrumentation accordingly, but that’s a challenge. that composers of film music have to address. refused to take. The archetype of the girlish voice is so deeply ingrained in film music that even when actors like Tanuja, with her husky, smoky voice, Rani Mukerji, with her sandpaper stamp, or the surly Hema Malini sing to the screen, reading to them is still in the clear, ringing voice that has come to represent aural femininity. The good girls of Indian cinema could only be endowed with clear and pure voices. It was only the vigorous vampire whose voice could thicken with vice.

But times are changing and so are perceptions. The scorching number is no longer just for the siren or the trail. Today’s successful actresses in leading roles have to pack an item number, and as a result, successful playback singers have to dub a generous portion of steamy item numbers. The voices are still high-pitched, but more feminine. Instead, they practice ooh and aah, in a cheeky or seductive way.

Comments on the male of the species are reserved for my next column.

This is the second in a series of Shubha Mudgal chronicles on Hindi film music.

Read also | The previous columns of Shubha’s living room

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New Year’s Eve with Stamps and Consider The Source in Red Square

New York natives, Timbre Coup and Consider the Source gather to celebrate the New Year with a New Years Eve extravaganza at Red Square in Albany, NY on Monday, December 31, 2012. Tickets can be purchased in advance for $ 15 or $ 20. at the door and are available here. For more information, visit the Red Square website website. Red Square is located at 388 Broadway, Albany, NY. The phone is (518) 465-0444. Doors open at 8:00 p.m. Timbre Coup has become a cohesive force to be reckoned with. Often compared to bands like King Crimson and Umphrey’s McGee, this prog (or “improg”) band also has a very dancey side to it. “We want people to pay attention to the details and complexity of our songs, but we love to make people dance. Said drummer Matt Pickering. Progressive rock mixed with madness, Composition mixed with absinthe, Atonal meets resolution, Aggression combined with submission, Mayo meets Ketchup, TROPICAL SUNBURN IN A GOOD WAY. For more information, visit the official Timbre Coup website website. Sci-Fi Middle Eastern Funk, Consider the Source has a sound that is a mix of Middle Eastern scales, psychedelic jams, and a hard rock rhythm section. Consider The Source’s new album, That’s What’s Up, which speaks to the core beliefs and values ​​of band members regarding their art and expression. They continue to forge new sounds and unique song structures, fusing alien time signatures with exotic rhythms and refining a form of dialogue-based improvisation where rhythms are words, notes are feelings and dynamics convey. intensity. The trio have taken this music around the world, driven by an intrepid desire to be themselves and deliver their sound as honestly as possible in the sheer rawness of the “moment”. For more information, visit the official website of the source website.

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Arianna String Quartet Presents “Charming Tone, Refined Musicality” at the Opening of the Fontana Summer Festival (review)

The Arianna String Quartet

Fontana Chamber Arts Summer Festival Calendar

Crybaby Concert: Ropes and stuffed animals

Saturday July 14, 2012 | 11h00 | Epic Theater, Downtown Kalamazoo

Intimate letters

Saturday July 14, 2012 | 7:30 p.m. | Kalamazoo Natural Center

A tribute to Neill

Tuesday July 17th, 2012 | 7:30 p.m. | Kalamazoo Natural Center


Saturday July 20, 2012 | 7:30 p.m. & 9:30 p.m. | Wellspring Theater, downtown Kalamazoo

Crybaby Concert: Jazz & Jumpers

Saturday July 21, 2011 | 11h00 | Epic Theater, Downtown Kalamazoo

London call

Tuesday July 24, 2012 | 7:30 p.m. | Kalamazoo Natural Center

Crybaby Concert: Brass & Bibs

Saturday July 28, 2012 | 11h00 | Epic Theater, Downtown Kalamazoo

Festival finale

Saturday July 28, 2012 | 7:30 p.m. | Kalamazoo Natural Center


A busy audience at the Kalamazoo Nature Center auditorium hosted Thursday night’s launch by


The Arianna String Quartet, currently in residence at the University of Missouri-St. Louis – composed of violinists John McGrosso and Julia Sakharova, violist Joanna Mendoza and cellist Kurt Baldwin. Each one testified to a nice timbre and a refined musicality.

Playing with their characteristic verve, the group performed two contrasting works by famous composers not particularly known as giants of the string quartet repertoire. However, heard live, in “prisoner-free” mode as here, the quartets of Tchaikovsky and Debussy aroused inordinate interest and pleasure.

The opening was Debussy’s astonishing String Quartet in G minor, op. 10 (1893) – his only work in this genre. Players were clearly inspired by the fresh music of Debussy, freeing up Debussy’s individual voice to be heard at its best. The cascading notes remained in the foreground near the beginning, capturing the intoxicating momentum of the passionate score.

The crisp plucked strings stood out in the second movement, with McGrosso’s main melody keenly declaring on the accompanying pizzicatos. The best blend of the evening was heard in the third movement, when luscious harmonies seemed to rise like an alloy mist. Here, too intense a passion was expressed by the magical harmonization of different instrumental combinations.

Debussy found his truest voice in the final movement. There, players broke away from a ladder-like format, breaking free-fall through a myriad of keys, but bound by no tonic keys. The effect was uplifting and liberating. The enthusiastic reactions of the audience validated the success of the group’s performance.

Of Tchaikovsky’s three string quartets, the last, No. 3 in E flat minor, op. 30 (1876), left the deepest mark. Although the composer was not experimental, he showed no fear of dissonance at the start of the third movement – the best performed section of all to my ears.

By playing with mutes, the instrumentalists localized Tchaikovsky’s Russian tonal language. The cello established a steady rhythm as beautiful Russo echoes filtered through the melodies above.

The third movement, “Andante funebre”, turned out to be an alluring, melodically and harmonious climax, proving to be the most glorious of all. Elsewhere, Tchaikovsky’s play might seem a bit weary, pointed out by urgent McGrosso, both literally and figuratively. Yet the brilliance of the work has never been obscured.

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Wood designs show just the right stamp

A COMMUNITY center in north Melbourne, a seaside resort in Tasmania and a humble Victorian country house were among the six winning projects of the 2011 Intergrain Timber Vision Awards, announced last week.

The awards celebrate the role wood plays in today’s Australian architecture and design.

Weian Lim, 26, of Matt Gibson Architecture + Design, won the first Young Architect category for his work on the design team for this house in Armadale.

In the commercial categories, the winner for the best commercial exterior was Creeds Farm Living and Learning Center in North Epping by Tandem Design Studio, and the best commercial interior was awarded to Saffire in Coles Bay in Tasmania by Circa Architecture.

In the residential categories, Hills Plains House in Metcalfe in Victoria by Wolveridge Architects was named Best Residential Exterior, and Queenscliff Residence by John Wardle Architects won the title of Best Residential Interior.

Creeds Farm Living and Learning Center in North Epping.

Creeds Farm Living and Learning Center in North Epping.Credit:Sonia Mangiapane

Weian Lim, 26, of Matt Gibson Architecture + Design, won the first Young Architect category for his contribution to the design team for a residence in the Melbourne suburb of Armadale.

The jury, which included architects Nigel Bertram and Susi Leeton, and Jason Anderson of DuluxGroup, said each project was distinctly different.

However, “a winning force shared by all was the thoughtful way in which wood was incorporated into each design to add value and showcase the versatility of the material.”

Among the winners in the commercial category, Mr. Bertram said the pragmatic design of the Creeds Farm sustainable living and learning center and the intricate geometry of the luxurious Saffire complex showed that wood could be used effectively at any scale. .

Queenscliff Resience by John Wardle Architects.

Queenscliff Resience by John Wardle Architects.

Among the residential projects, Ms Leeton said: ‘We have been moved by the subtlety and honesty of Hills Plains House, while Queenscliff Residence was to us a model example of how complementary materials can be combined to create a harmony.

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Dark Comedy, Spooky Blues: NPR

Zombies and magpies aren’t the only things to discover in Timber Timbre’s playful and spooky “Lonesome Hunter”.

/ Laura Ramsey

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/ Laura Ramsey

Zombies and magpies aren’t the only things to discover in Timber Timbre’s playful and spooky “Lonesome Hunter”.

/ Laura Ramsey

Song: “Lonely Hunter”

Artist: Timber Timbre

CD: Creep on Creepin ‘On

Genre: Rock

Few contemporary indie-rock bands are more in touch with their creepy side than Timber Timbre. Armed with old tape recorders for the making of their latest album, the band carefully tweaked the vocals and instrumentation to give the record a distinctly spooky blues sound, even going so far as to schedule a night in their recording schedule to drop a few. good shouts. .

Inspired by the title of a Carson McCullers novel, “Lonesome Hunter” opens with a howling violin and a barrage of disturbing scenarios, presented in Taylor Kirk’s echoing baritone. But there’s more to the song than its haunting effects, sinister lyrical references, and ghoulish voice. Under Kirk’s spell, zombies and witchcraft become metaphors for complex human emotions like love and desire.

But, to answer the song’s disturbing question, he is not blackbirds forever more. There’s a lightness that lurks just below the surface, waiting to be exhumed – just listen to this playful piano melody. It’s hard not to laugh with the title of Timber Timbre’s latest album, Creep on Creepin ‘On, and that’s exactly what Kirk and company had in mind.

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Timber Timbre: Creep On Creepin ‘On Album Review

Timber Timbre frontman Taylor Kirk has style, there’s no doubt about it. His rich croon carries a bit of Elvis Presley’s curly-lip sneer and touches of Nick Cave’s down-to-earth growl, and his dark retro-rock tunes are understated and slender; if David Lynch ever led a “Mad Men,” Kirk and his company could easily provide the sheet music. The latest from Timber Timbre, Creep On Creepin ‘On, is a dapper doo-wop and blues ensemble with a dark vibe, but with a style of its own.

Creep enabledThe stark, dark swing of is almost as distinctive as Kirk’s voice. With its emphasis on empty space and its penchant for acoustic instruments, there is a twisted proto-rock’n’roll feel, like the Everly Brothers if Susie had never woken up. There is also a grizzly-like balance between space and swivel parts, although Creep enabledthe tone of is much darker than that of Veckatimest. These songs blend and sway past the strings, and the saxophones (the latter from current sideman Colin Stetson) inevitably begin to swarm, sending bold streaks of color through the black and white filter of Kirk’s night creep.

Strange and surprising, these bursts of cacophony offer an improbable counterpoint to the stripped tunes of Timber Timbre. While they are meant to accentuate the desperation at the heart of these songs, the two sides clash as often as they complement each other, with the imposing and loud arrangements sometimes overpowering Kirk’s melodies. But when it all comes together, it’s mind-blowing; climax “Woman” begins with her honking, downgrades into an insistent croon, then ascends again to close, moving smoothly through her extremely disparate sounds. But an ardent ballad like “Lonesome Hunter” would have gone very well without the 30 seconds of orchestral madness which close it; The same goes for the din that ends “Do I Have Power” or the instrumental midsection coming out of nowhere from the “Bad Ritual” opener.

At their strongest, these dissonant explosions nearly oust Kirk from his own record; too bad, because his biased positions on the romantic obsession are a worthy focal point. While Timber Timbre is to be commended for trying to bring these disparate sounds together, they would fare better with fewer instrumental freakouts, leaving more room for Kirk’s twisted love stories gone awry. As elegant as Kirk’s songs may be, they are not always well suited by Creep enabledcontrasting patterns.

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