What inspired you to first start making music? And how did you come to be in your current incarnation? Or if you prefer, a brief bio about you.
I’ve been making music since I was a kid in Austin, TX, from middle school orchestra to high school punk to college bluegrass to Portland indie and now family folk-rock. I started Red Yarn as an exploration of American folksongs about animals, and it gradually grew into its current incarnation, in which I get to travel the country putting on folk music & puppet shows for kids & families. My score for Hand2Mouth’s Dream|Logic show is an exciting side project, letting me stretch my musical imagination beyond the critter-filled folksongs I’ve been singing for the past several years.
Provide us with some info about your latest release…
“Heyo” is the culminating track from my interactive score for Dream|Logic, an all-ages, immersive hero’s journey by Portland’s Hand2Mouth Theater. The score is all over the map, from ambient dream-machine noises to suspenseful chamber folk adventure music. As I was conceiving the score, some middle schoolers suggested that the final party song should feel like the Village People’s “YMCA.” That was the initial inspiration for “Heyo,” which will get its own wild choreography by Hand2Mouth’s cast.
Which ones would you consider your main influences both music-wise & non-music-wise?
My biggest musical influences are the heroes of the ’60s folk revival: Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan, Ella Jenkins and so on. For this project I found inspiration in classic hero’s journey music, like Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” suite. Non-musically, my biggest influence is Jim Henson and the fantastical puppet worlds he created.
In what way does your sound differ from the rest genre-related artists/bands and why should we listen to your music? In other words, how would you describe your sound?
“Heyo” is a bit of a departure from my usual folk/country/rock sound. I had fun exploring more of a disco/dance sound here, with looped drums, cheesy synth sounds and funky bass. The lyrics (which might change for the final production) were an attempt to create something repetitive & movement-based that the audience could easily sing and dance along to.
Please name your 3 desert islands albums, movies & books…
Dylan’s & the Band’s Basement Tapes, the Stones’ Exile on Main Street & Springsteen’s Born in the USA.
Do you prefer studio or performing live and why?
I’ve been deep in performance mode for the last seven years as Red Yarn, performing 250+ shows a year for kids and families. Given my performance schedule, any opportunity to dig into studio work is a welcome creative challenge. For this project, I rebuilt my home studio, so I’ve been having a blast getting in the Dream|Logic zone in my basement whenever I have the chance.
Is there any funny-unique story you would like to share with us, always in relation to your music ‘career’?
I could fill an epic novel with funny quotes I hear kids say at my family shows. Just tonight, a kid came up to me after a show and told me matter-of-factly that another family band I introduced him to was so much better than me. I love the honestly & unfiltered enthusiasm.
Which track of your own would you point out as the most unique and why?
“Heyo” is definitely the danciest & poppiest song from the Dream|Logic score, but I’m excited to share the rest of the music soon!
Would you like to share with our readers your future plans?
Once I finish Dream|Logic I’m planning to dig into a new family album with a kind of rockabilly/’80s electro sound. We’ll see where that inspiration leads!
Free question!!! (Ask yourself a question) you wish to answer and haven’t been given the opportunity…
Curated by: Christos Doukakis
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