Music on trial

As a rather impressionable 15-year-old, my older sister often hauled me around with her to support her local musician friends at their various performances throughout the Illinois Valley.

This was a treat for my teenage self and even more so when her friends Will and Alex, collectively known as Taxflo, played in the area. These guys really set themselves apart from the small town-Illinois scene: They performed ambient sounds with guitars, drums, electronics and, occasionally, vocals.

I often became entranced by their Sigur Ros-like music when hearing them live and was thrown through a loop when, one day, my sister and I arrived at the town coffee shop to hear them play only to find their equipment to be replaced by toy piano, little drums, recorders and a harp. Fortunately, these changes made a positive impression on me, and I am excited to hear this same music on Saturday in the Lair.

Harpist and songwriter Timbre performed with Taxflo that evening so many years ago, and, if you so choose, you can also hear her live. I highly recommend you attend and also that you listen to her music beforehand. Her entire recorded collection is available on bandcamp http://timbre.bandcamp.com/.

Timbre’s sound is warm and inviting, often adding multiple instruments and vocals on top of her harp lines. On one of her latest releases, Little Flowers, sounds of brass, strings and percussion, along with the percussive quality of her harp contribute to a very joyful and quietly energetic tone. The title track of the album, “Little Flowers,” contains an especially effective use of accordion in duet with harp.

Timbre is traveling to Northfield from Nashville, so please, if you can, show your support and help her have a great visit to campus.

Also this weekend, campus bands Midnight Moonshine, Merino Wool and The Glorious Misfortune are performing in the Pause on Friday at 8 p.m. We are fortunate enough to have fine musicians surrounding us on campus, and I am sure they would much appreciate your attendance this weekend.

raben@stolaf.edu

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