Tuesday 6 September 2011

Interview - Timber Timbre

It's been quite quiet on the interview front here in Masalaland. I apologise wholeheartedly. I have been caught up in other pursuits - most of which incidentally has been interviewing musical artists, but for another publication. Well this week I aim to make amends with a couple of interviews with very interesting artists. First cab off the ranks is Taylor Kirk, the architect behind quirky Canadian folk-blues project Timber Timbre. Their Creep On Creepin On LP of earlier this year is one of many hidden treasures, and along with other members Mika Posen and Simon Trottier, have promised more unique soundscapes in the future. Here is what Kirk had to say...

SONIC MASALA – How did Timber Timbre come to be? Is there a “genesis story”?

Kirk(TIMBER TIMBRE) - It began as a name for my home-recording projects – then a moniker for live solo-performances I would do with a loopstation and a guitar. Then eventually I became disenchanted with performing on my own and invited friends to sit in and improvise. Mika and Simon began sitting in and eventually we began touring as a proper band.

SM – Creep On Creepin On is far removed from your 2006 debut, yet you still retain some of the motifs and symbols that have defined you as a band. What do the extensive instrumentation and increasingly polished production bring to Timber Timbre?

Kirk - Well, I consider myself more of a producer than a songwriter, so I’m less interested in honing and defining the sound of this project and rather try to do something different with each recording. Certainly there will be consistencies from one album to another, as I’m specific about what kinds of aesthetics I like to echo.

SM – How does the writing and recording process differed on this album from the last one?

Kirk - It was much the same process – collecting ideas and going off on my own to assemble them before going to work in a studio. However, with Creep On we worked more as a group to produce and arrange this recording. And there are three instrumental pieces, extrapolations from our live improvisations - on which we collaborated to make the recording.

SM – You tend to focus solely on the music at hand, a “fullest and latest” mentality, when playing live. Is this a concerted effort to always be moving forward?

Kirk - Yes, I suppose we stay fairly focused on the most current music we have. The self-titled album cycle was quite long, which had us playing the same dozen songs for two years or so of tour.

SM – The song structures on the album seem fairly intricate. How do you go about constructing it all for a live format?

Kirk - In the past, the songs had a more traditional leaning, so it was easy to play the songs with Mika and Simon as accompaniment. This time was a bit tricky – we spent some time practicing for a change and tried to distill the key lines from the recording with our live instrumentation. A lot of multi-tasking! It’s been a nice challenge.

SM – How would you describe this stage of the Timber Timbre journey?

Kirk - I can’t say really, as I don’t see an end in sight for this project. I feel we have a lot of potential with this group and we’re only just hitting our stride.

SM – Finally – what is sonic masala?

Kirk - Probably a BLOG. But what is a BLOG?

Sonic Masala, obviously - but what IS sonic masala? I guess we'll never know - until we ask someone else, very soon...

Timber Timbre - Black Water by Arts & Crafts

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