srijeda, 19. lipnja 2013.

Oh! Pears - Oh! Pears In The Bedroom (2013)

Corey Duncan ima u bendu još 12 članova. Trešte dvije viole, violina, dva violončela, četiri gitare, dva bubnjarska seta, flauta, truba i mnoštvo glasova. Orkestarski rock za uzgajanje plutonija u kiši.


The Sounding Of The Earth b​/​w Tchaikovsky (2012) streaming

Under The Olive Trees (2011) streaming

Fill Your Lungs EP (2011) streaming

European Tour 2012 Single streaming

Interview with Oh Pears!

Tobias Fischer
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You just played a very nice show with Drummer Chris Ward from Pattern is Movement. Many of the recordings of your band also feature a cellist. How many people are usually in the band?
Oh, it really depends. It's rather a solo project than a band. Chris is playing with me on this tour, but I had a different drummer on the last tour. Also, there have been a couple of string players – cello and viola. But they couldn't do it this time. It's always different. The biggest band I had In Philadelphia was sixteen people. There have been trumpets, a lot of strings – six to eight stringplayers, a bunch of singers, multiple percussionists...

So I guess you like orchestral music?
I love Tchaikovsky and Classical music, especially symphonic music. But also pop songs like the ones from the great album Petsounds of the Beach Boys. I just like things that are orchestrated, things that are arranged. That's one of my favorite things to do.

Yeah, from listening to your music, that's my impression, too. And I think it's quite seldom to see a band that makes you think: "Well that's pretty well arranged!". Some bands stick to a very nice groove, but your music gets further.

Oh thanks, man. Yes, and this is a quite difficult thing to do, especially if you have little instruments, like we have on this tour. But I approach playing guitar as an arranger. So there is a certain thinking about different voicings – how lower notes are moving in chords, for example.

...and also your guitar playing is settled and tight.
A lot of it comes from us playing together for so long. It feels very natural. I don't know if we have a similar energy between us, it's almost more interesting because we have different energies that kind of meet in this really interesting way. And that makes it very exciting to play together with Chris.

Where did you learn to write arrangements like this?

Well, I listened to a bunch of music and kind of figured it out. I wrote that EP – Fill Your Lungs – before I had any idea of how to notate music, so I would come up with a part like a melody, that I'm singing. Then, I'd think of other parts, by just singing to a recording of that. So I would also sing these other parts, that would become the string parts. It's just in the last couple of years, that I started going to school at a community college in Philadelphia. So I learned to notate a little bit and I also learned some theory – but I'm really bad at theory. So it's mostly about intuition.

But, if there are sixteen people on stage, then they probably need to know what to play...
Yes, I wrote those songs at the same time, when I learned about notation. If I spend a lot of time, I can figure some things out (laughs). So I wrote several parts of the arrangement with a computer program and printed it out for everyone. I just stood there and said, let's see if we can do this and just counted it off. And they played it! To me that moment was magical, because I was not used to writing music like that.

Your music is very expansive, but at the same time quite accessible. When making music, is that something that comes to your mind - being close to the audience, being in one place together?
Well, at first: I like complicated music, because I think emotion is a very complicated thing. Sometimes I think the only way to express something is to be a little complicated. So I like sophisticated arrangements, because that's how people are, including me. But if that's the focus of the music – for sure, it can be great sometimes, but I think it won't make someone really feel anything. But I want people to feel something. Emotion is the most important thing in music for me. That's why I like music at all.

Your parents used to be active musicians, right?
My mother is from a very musical family. Her father was the conductor of the Seattle Youth Symphony, which was a youth orchestra that had musicians as young as fourteen or fifteen on up to twenty-one, if I recall correctly. So my mom and most of her siblings were in the youth symphony at one time or another, and almost all of them spent most of their adult lives teaching instrument lessons, playing in professional orchestras, and teaching music at high schools. My mom taught violin for a few years when she was younger, and I have recordings of the Seattle Youth Symphony that my mom plays violin on. Those youth symphony record covers actually heavily inspired the artwork for my first EP. My mom never did play in a professional orchestra, but she still plays beautifully, although infrequently.
My father plays a little bit of guitar, and a little bit of violin. I've heard him play violin before, and he's actually pretty good for having not played much past maybe age twelve. He can also play "Day Tripper" by the Beatles on the guitar. The guitar that I play on tour is actually my dad's guitar. He bought it in Berkley, California in 1974 I think. It's nice to be able to keep that guitar out there in the world, bringing jams to the people, ha! I think about that sometimes when I'm on tour. It's great to have instruments with so much personal history. My dad's biggest musical influence on me is his love of 1930s music. I grew up listening to Fats Waller, Tino Rossi, Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, and that sort of thing.

So, you think that this environment of classical music had an influence on how you write songs?
When I was young I really didn't care all that much about classical music, or 1930s pop music, but as I got older, I came back to it. It had been deeply ingrained in me through so many repeated listens. When I listened to that music as a young adult, it was at first interesting because I vaguely remembered it from being a kid, but then I let my adult ears really soak up those sounds, and it opened up a whole new world of sound for me. Those genres of music are absolutely essential to my listening experience as an adult. Not only because of how they musically represent themselves, but because they helped to open my mind to so many possibilities in sound. I love all kinds of music, and classical and early jazz were huge gateways for me. I absolutely love arrangements and sophisticated harmonies, and those things are a huge part of the way I conceptualize music.
By Clemens Wegener

With Pattern is Movement:

The (im)possibility of Longing (2004)

Every morning I wait at an undistinguished suburban stop for one of the Chicagoland area's Metra trains. The view across the tracks is a power transformer station and the back of a garden supply store. Occasionally, a rabbit munches the scrub brush. The best thing about the station is the bells. As a train approaches from either direction, two bells on stumpy posts in between the tracks begin to toll in a steady rhythm. But that's not the good part. The thing I love is that it's not always the same rhythm, and as they ring, they drift out of synch and make a kind of phase music that Steve Reich would love. Over the course of about 30 seconds the bells go from chiming in unison to ringing directly against each other. By the time they're back in synch, a third bell has joined, this one on the bottom of the train, creating a polyrhythm. This is where I experience accidental music every day, but you can hear it almost anywhere.
Music critics tend to make a big deal about complex rhythmic interplay, but I think it's a more naturalistic tendency than we usually give it credit for. Think about your breathing, your heart rate, and the speed at which you walk and chances are you've discovered a completely unconscious polyrhythm that your body creates out of basic necessity. That said, I am, of course, going to make a big deal about the skill with which Pattern Is Movement execute their multi-layered, polyrhythmic songs. This is one of those cases where a band couldn't have chosen a more self-evocative name if they tried, and PIF draws most of their momentum from the careful integration of many repeating figures, building complex latticework on which they hang swooping melodies in a manner not dissimilar to Emperor Tomato Ketchup-era Stereolab, 80s King Crimson, or The Sea & Cake.
The album kicks off with Andrew Thiboldeaux's thick falsetto hovering over a burbling river of woven guitar and bass, and it begins with so suddenly that it sounds like you've landed in the middle of a song. Thiboldeaux drops into his normal range for the verses and the band gradually adjusts, ultimately spinning the song into a suite-like structure complete with a dramatic bass melody from Wade Hampton and a spine-tingling interlude. With all of its interlocking parts and strange meters, this could easily be labeled math-rock. But Pattern Is Movement aren't content with complexity for its own sake, veering into direct, emotional passages and never failing to use their polyrhythmic prowess in the service of melody. Thiboldeaux's liberal application of Mellotron and Rhodes piano contributes greatly to this dynamic, and he often backs his theatrical, swerving vocal melodies with simple keyboard countermelodies.
Pattern Is Movement also have tangible narrative and political aims. Their most aggressive moment, the stuttering, staccato heartstopper "Julius", offers lines clearly based on the current political climate: The truth is all mine/ They are so confused/ It's them that can't see," and backs it up with a shimmering coda that emphasizes the missing beats in its odd meter, climbing a melodic latter with a bright flute Mellotron. The juxtaposition of languid melody and hyperkinetic rhythmic patterns is extremely poignant on "Pika Doun", as the band drapes aching strings and swaying vocals over Corey Duncan and Daniel McClain's telepathically joined guitars and drummer Christopher Ward-- who also recorded the album-- sits out the first part of the track, allowing short swells in tape hiss and intermittent clicks to do his work.
As the Mellotron lament "Postlude" draws to a weary close, it conveys the sense of a completed journey. The (im)possibility of Longing finishes as an incredibly well-rounded, internally consistent record-- one that covers an awful lot of ground in just 26 minutes. Pattern Is Movement more than transcend the math-rock tag, and their senses of songcraft and pop accessibility greatly outpace those of just about any of their peers. - - Joe Tangari

Stowaway (2005)

The influences in Pattern Is Movement's signature brand of weird-rock are tough to peg-- the best I can come up with is Pythagoras. Their songs are composed using discreet musical shapes, more often sharp-edged than rounded. "Never Liked This Time of Day", for instance, has a couple of drum shapes, a few keyboard shapes, and a pair of vocal shapes, with guitar modules waiting in the wings, and it combines them like Legos to build a song that sounds like it could be a chart hit assembled incorrectly.
This, the band's second album, was engineered and produced (you might say co-constructed) by Scott Solter, who was then handed back the tapes to deconstruct them and create a sort of Stowaway dub side, using nothing but the sounds on the tapes. You can imagine that music so oddly constructed in the first place would present a feast for a remixer, and Solter's approach is to explode the songs and pluck just a few elements for his re-imaginings. Where Stowaway can sometimes sound like four arcade games being played simultaneously, Canonic is dark, weird, and even more abstract than its source.
My favorite odd couple from the two records is "It's the Wine" and the dub "In Tape Grass". "It's the Wine" begins with meandering verses, as keyboards and vocals double each other in clipped, woozy phrases. "It's the wine/ That makes your/ Kisses warm," sings Andrew Thiboldeaux as drummer Chris Ward holds down a steady backbeat. It's pieced together like a slot car track, veering off at funny angles with only the slightest hints from Ward that something is about to go down. The song gets better as it continues, winding up in a slashing groove topped with ragged guitar and keyboards that sound like an ice cream truck signaling us to evacuate before the bomb drops.
Solter attacks it with destructive glee, building a sculpture mostly out of the small details of "It's the Wine" that you don't pay much attention to. He takes individual drums hits and builds them into a simple rhythm that morphs as easily as mercury, beginning raw and alone and palpitating into more spastic shapes as the music demands. The keyboards are freed from the vocals, and the rhythm guitar from the verse gets its own spotlight at the climax.
Both records have their flaws and tracks that don't work quite as well as the others. Stowaway has opener "Maple", where the vocal, doubled by electric piano, is just too disorienting, and the middle of "People and Touch", where the repetition of the phrase "Can I buy this back here?" feels designed to frustrate the nerves. But the slide guitar interlude in "Two Voices for Two Sections" and the surprising human heart that beats at the center of "She Already Knows It" offer redemption enough for those. "Talk Back To Me" is just a cool, warped rock song, with a rubbery chorus and quiet, bleating verses intuitively loud.
"In Glasstone", Solter's analog to "Talk Back To Me", pulls Thiboldeaux's chorus vocal like taffy and makes a hook out of a secondary melodic phrase, shoving the verse vocals all the way to the back so they sound trapped and far less plaintive than the originals. On "Abrade the Beat", he turns "Silver Queen" completely inside out, tossing Thiboldeaux into an echoing canyon of drums to fend off keyboard phrases that slice in seemingly at random. His version of "She Already Knows It"-- "Diamond Back"-- doesn't do much, though, and winds up floundering in shapeless static.
Taken together, the two albums form a unique sort of call-and-response where you can listen to a song and then immediately go to its alter-ego for a different perspective. Stowaway is a little too heady at times, and doesn't quite have the immediate teeth of PIM's debut, The (Im)possibility of Longing, but it's still a head-spinning record full of unique ideas. Canonic is like the weirdest member of a weird family, the one who's kept away from the neighbors, slowly going mad trying to put together puzzles. It's ultimately a completely different piece of music, but it shares a cantankerous spirit with its source. You could certainly listen to each separately, but they're much more rewarding as a pair.  - Joe Tangari

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