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The Green Kingdom: Building Mary Poppins' Audio-Nest

img  Tobias

"Twig and Twine“ is anything but a simple rehash of „Laminae“. What were your compositional points of departure this time?
Yeah, I was experimenting with some different processes and tools on Laminae - the idea was to have slowly-evolving pieces with layers coming in and out of focus. I wanted to carry some of the sound design over, but with slightly more structured compositions and melodies. As far as influences, I know that I started getting a little deeper into John Fahey-esque solo acoustic guitar music and was also listening to a lot of 70s folk stuff (Pentangle, Fairport Convention, Neil Young, a couple Acid Folk compilations that I really like.)

Is the impression correct, that your themes are being less deconstructed and reconstructed this time?

Yes and no - I still do a lot of piecing together, but with this one I was often recording improvisations or various compatible guitar parts and then sequencing them as though they were played live.

To me, the album sounds clearer and more transparent compared to its predecessor and songs are also more concise. Is this in any way a reflection of your personal life?

I don't think so, there always tends to be a lot going on in my personal life with the family, work and everything else - all good though! That's probably why my music tends to be more of an escape for me - an outlet. In general, I'm just feel very happy and blessed to be where I'm at right now...

Is the album connected to a particular place and time? I was thinking of the track titles and the inside cover photo ...

A lot of times it all kind of starts with home as that's literally where all of my stuff is created. I like that homespun feel, nothing too perfect or overproduced - a little rough around the edges. I got the idea for the title Twig and Twine when I was watching Mary Poppins one day with my daughter. There were some lyrics about a Robin building a nest with bits of Twine and Twig. I kind of equated that with the way my music comes together - weaving all of these pieces together until you have a happy little audio nest. I also like to use the names of parks or different places in our area that I have fond memories of. River Bends Park is quite close to our house, I took the inner photo at a different park in the area.

"The Green Kingdom", "The Scarlet Ibis", "Orange Saturday Morning" - What's it about these colour references in your titles?
Being a visual person, I think that I tend to associate colors with memories or places from the past or present. Sometimes it's to evoke an image that the listener can associate with the audio if they choose to. In the case of The Scarlet Ibis, I happened to see one at the Detroit Zoo and just thought it was a really cool bird. After a Google search, I also discovered the very touching short story of the same name, which made the title a little more meaningful to me.

Asking Taylor Deupree to do the mastering was more than just about the technical aspect, wasn't it?
Well, as you can imagine I'm a big fan of Taylor's music and what he does with the 12k label in general, so he is always my first choice when it comes to mastering. He just has a great feel for what to do with this type of music and an understanding of how to preserve the dynamics. You can't approach mastering like some people would by just cranking everything up and compressing the sound to death so the waveform looks like one solid block - you have to have the peaks and valleys. Taylor also EQs and adds effects in a very subtle way - things no one might really notice, but that's the point. In Orange Saturday Morning, he actually accentuated the hiss that was present so that it works as another element of the track. He really has a great sense of space and gives tracks an airiness that I really like.

You're often working on different albums at the same time – is each of them a clearly defined project or do tracks sometimes move from one to another?

More often than not, I'm just working on a bunch of tracks without defining which will be used for a specific album. I never just work on one piece from start to finish, I like to jump from one to another and let them develop over time. Once I have committed to deliver something, I'll start to group some pieces that I think will provide a nice flow and variety when used together.

There seems to be a Violin or Cello in there ("Autumn Eyes"). Who's playing it?

I don't know :-) Those are actually single-note cello samples that I downloaded and put together to try and emulate how I would play the parts if I could. I really like the timbre and range of the cello, I want to pick it up one day ...

Homepage: The Green Kingdom
Homepage: Own Records

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