hello, i have a few things to share:
first, some news – i’ve decided to leave the westerlies to focus more on my recording work and personal music. it’s been a beautiful 6.5 years with these boys, looking forward to playing two last shows with them in the pacific northwest: 5/23 in Seattle at The Royal Room and 5/27 in Twisp, WA at the Merc Playhouse.
i released a new album under my solo project name ‘twig twig’. you can check it out on bandcamp below or on the streams here.
i got to score a new 14 minute short film by the brilliant Andrew Ellis. in his words it is: A haunting short about inmates in the Arizona state-prison system working to break wild horses as they prepare for their own release.
i had the privilege of scoring two short documentaries about grant winners of the Vital Voices Global Leadership Awards. on these scores i had the chance to collaborate with a few wonderful musicians: on the Kiran Bir Sethi film I worked with vocalist Shilpa Ananth, for the Linah Khalifeh one I worked with oud-ist Hadi Eldebek and percussionist Ramzi Edlibi. these films were both directed and edited by the fantastic Riley Hooper!
last year i recorded and mixed a few beautiful pieces my pal Ian Davis wrote for cello and guitar. happy this music is finally out in the world : )
I also got to do some mastering for a great new album by Crown Jewel. I haven’t done much mastering, but this was very fun…got to really blow the top off these crunchy jams.
well, it’s snowing in nyc, but technically it’s spring, so this blog is coming out of hibernation. here are a few things i missed this winter:
I had the great joy of working with Hannah Epperson again on her new album, slowdown. just like on her last one, she recorded the same 5 songs twice: the first half, ‘Amelia’, is more electronically produced (brilliantly done by Stint), the second side, ‘Iris’, is more stripped down and acoustic. for this album, she recorded the Iris side alone in my apartment while I was out of town, then I mixed it in a bleary-eyed week last november. I’m really in love with this music.
Secret Sibling is a solo project by one of my favorite people/musicians, Michael Sachs. I can’t even begin to describe how grateful I am for the music this guy makes, it’s been a major inspiration in my life the last few years. so, you can imagine my excitement that I got to mix this beautiful album! (other than two songs)
I did a remix for baritone saxophonist Jonah Parzen-Johnson. I’ve heard jonah play in many contexts over the years, from his acoustic solo saxophone shows to horn section duties in bands like Zongo Junction and Landlady. for this remix i thought it would be fun to build a ‘band’ around his solo music, sort of drawing a line between the different kinds of music he’s involved in. i wrote the lyrics just kind of riffing on his title of the song. it premiered on thrd coast last week.
I played trumpet on this new Pema song!
last year I got to produce a few songs for dreamy brass boy band Lucky Chops. I’ve known these guys a long time and it was incredibly fun to hang in the studio with them for a few days. they’re using this first track from our collaboration to promote their fundraising campaign for a new album, check that out here! they also released this wild animation video for it today:
thanks for reading!
the first single is out from an album I produced/recorded for swedish singer Clara Strauch. it’s called weeds and i played a bunch of instruments on it and her album art is cool!
jamie reynolds is a jazz pianist from toronto. last year he contacted the westerlies with an interesting project proposal: he was making an album with his band and he wanted us to arrange brass quartet versions of a few of the songs, to be recorded and interspersed throughout the record. we said yes, we did it, it was fun, the tracks turned out nice, and now the album is out! on a personal note, there are very few recordings on the internet of me improvising on the trumpet, but i did it on a track on this album called ‘Lake Cycle’.
i have a little song in this Neil Patrick Harris-narrated promo video for the +Pool (a floating swimming pool that will eventually be in the east river). it was directed by superfriend bianca gaiever and, as usual, she did a great job. my song is the one that starts at 6:36ish and goes til like 7:39.
bunch of fun shows coming up in the next month:
8/29 – twig twig @ threes brewing (brooklyn, NY) w/ live band (2 clarinets and a bass)
9/18 – westerlies @ threes brewing (brooklyn, NY)
9/23 – westerlies w/ Fleet Foxes @ hollywood bowl (Los Angeles, CA)
9/24 – westerlies w/ Fleet Foxes @ comerica theatre (Phoenix, AZ)
9/25 – westerlies w/ Fleet Foxes @ santa fe opera (Santa Fe, NM)
9/27 – westerlies w/ Fleet Foxes @ red rocks amphitheatre (Morrison, CO)
well, it’s 2017. in those brief moments when i can pull my head out of the garbage pail, i remind myself how eternally grateful i am to be involved in positive/beautiful work with brilliant collaborators.
i made the music/recorded the VO/mixed the sound for this little video from Joyce Ho and Breeder. it’s a setting of a poem by Kahlil Gibran.
here’s the first single from Half Waif’s new album ‘form/a’. i had the great pleasure of mixing/co-producing the project; on this song i also played prepared piano, bass, and did some drum programming. so excited about this music, check out Nandi’s full interview at stereogum here if you want to be bowled over by her honesty and brilliance.
and, forgot to post about these, but twig twig got a few ‘best of 2016’ shoutouts. one from Indie Shuffle and one from Elevtrtrax and one from What The Sound. deeply appreciate what these publications are doing for independent music.
also, in 2016 news, the Mime documentary I scored made a best of The New Yorker list. some really cool other work on this list.
some fun projects coming up in the next month: westerlies are headed to New Orleans next week to begin our year-long residency in the nearby town of Kenner; i’m producing recordings for Lucky Chops Brass Band, Clara Strauch, and Iris Lune; a new twig twig EP is nearly finished…
i love you,
Stereogum just premiered our new single, New Berlin, New York. We’ve been playing this one for a real long time and it’s one of our absolute top faves. Also very psyched that they called us a ‘genre-agnostic brass quartet’.
And, here’s a full video of the Motley Dance performance at Jacob’s Pillow in August. Definitely the dreamiest stage I’ve ever set foot on…
I did sound design and music for this new Google spot, directed by the brilliant Bianca Giaever. So much fun. Made many of these noises with my mouth.
Also, check out this nice interview Nandi did with the Village Voice! Touches a little bit on the album we made together last year. Been working on a new EP with her the last few weeks, can’t wait to put it in ears.
And also, somehow, The Westerlies new single hit #5 on Spotify’s ‘US Viral 50’ chart this week. Very weird and cool.
I scored this 5 minute film on the World’s Oldest Mime for the New Yorker, directed by Riley Hooper and Noah Wagner. This was really fun, got to play some trumpet and some piano and even a little touch of accordion…
Also, a Half Waif track I produced was featured on last week’s All Songs Considered playlist. Go Waifs!
And, if you’re in NYC, The Westerlies are playing a free show in Bryant Park at 5 o’clock today. And twig twig is playing tomorrow night in Bed-Stuy at C’mon Everybody.
Ok, cya later, have a nice weekend.