Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Music Tapes :: Purim's Shadow

The Music Tapes ::
Purim's Shadows (The Dark Tours he World)
June 14th 2011
Merge Records

Click here to hold this.

Story of their last adventure.

The Music Tapes have released a new digital EP and a Kazoo. If you order the EP from the Merge store, they'll send you a Kazoo, a bonus track called "Hacidem," and a "special something made by Julian," the group's lead. They still use antique recording equipment to capture the bowed banjos, singing saws, harmoniums, and the seven foot tall metronome. The group is getting ready for the release of the twin full lengths that will be The Imaginary Symphony No. 3. The first part, called Mary's Voice, will be out soon. The tour that follows will be eagerly anticipated, because for their last tour they played in bedrooms all across the east coast singing lullabies for people as theu were about to go to sleep. You can read the Mango Nebula article about it here. The last time the mysterious Santa-like magicians were spotted, they were playing saws while people were riding a carousel somewhere near Boston. So whatever they come up with next should be amazing.

If you read the aforementioned article "Remember this Feeling That You're Feeling Right Now," then you may remember Julian's fluffy and contently listening dog, Rudolph. The digital booklet that comes with the album says "dedicated to Rudolph. I'll miss you forever."

This is a nice description from Merge::
"The Music Tapes, to me, is a sort of living dream that illustrates the continual process of how dreams become real. For example, when the 7-Foot-Tall Metronome sprang from my imagination, it was to be The Music Tapes’ primary rhythm instrument, and although it existed only as a drawing in a notebook, imagining it delighted and inspired me. My friends (Scott Spillane, Terry Rowlette, Robbie Cucchiaro, Laura Carter, Eric Harris, and others) saw the drawing and, in a flurry of excited activity, made it real. And thus the real world became different: it had a 7-foot-tall metronome in it.

Many of the basic tenants of The Music Tapes’ world are found on Purim’s Shadows, including the 7-Foot-Tall Metronome which provides the primary rhythm for “A Lightning’s Cheeks.” Also featured are the Orchestral Banjo and the Singing Saws. The Orchestral Banjo is played with a violin bow, producing a sound that I love very much; it’s like having at your command ghostly orchestras from crackly old records. And Saws, of course, sound to me like angels. This recording marks the first time a Singing Saw solo was encouraged (played) by someone other than me on a Music Tapes record: the solo at the end of “Night and Day” is the work of Ian Ludders, a great encourager of Saws, and I am honored to have had him play with us. Robbie Cucchiaro, The Music Tapes’ co-founding member, supplied horns and his signature euphonium. And finally, the most important contributors to this recording, and central to The Music Tapes’ sound, are the Webster Chicago wire recorder, RCA DX44 ribbon mic, and The Music Tapes’ array of antique and modern recording machinery and field recorders.

Without state-of-the-art machinery, The Music Tapes’ recordings would be next to impossible. But, of course, the past is where the future comes from. What often makes something new is not a loyal adherence to the trends and technologies of the moment but rather a loving interaction with the rich inheritance that makes our moment in time the most unique of all. All that has come before us has been left for us to find, dusty and often without any context to distract from its pure magic. It is my happiness to endeavor to make brand-new sorts of things in which all that I love most about the world will have a home, just as my friends meaningfully and lovingly set out to make a 7-foot-tall metronome exist, giving their love and friendship a large, loud wooden form that can march forward in time."

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