Thursday, July 30, 2009

Timber Timbre Haunts Hillside '09

Timber Timbre creates haunting and sparse music upon which the delicate, unique and often ominous vocals of Taylor Kirk are laid. The project is Taylor's brainchild, but on this Saturday afternoon he was accompanied by a slide guitarist and a female violinist, while he picked at the electric guitar in his lap and occasionally kicked the kick drum. Soon after the extremely complimentary introduction from host, Vish Khanna, Timber Timbre played a slow and deliberate version of Lay Down In the Tall Grass that included the aforementioned haunting violin, Taylor's phenomenal vocals and the prominent thud of the kick drum. The set was a very somber affair with only silence from Taylor between songs, and not a smile from either of the accompanying musicians, as if they were tense and afraid to set things off. Musically it was quite the showing, with spooky songs such as Until the Night is Over, and Demon Host coming to life before us. Adding to the creepiness was the way that Taylor only stared out overtop of the large sunglasses that he wore for the entire show. I was slightly nervous that the tiny bit of chatter at the back of the tent from those who were unaware of the genious that they should have been paying attention to was going to make Taylor snap. Finally before the second last song he said in a very humble and appreciative tone a simple "Thank-you very much. You're very kind" and I was able to breathe easier and enjoy the final songs of the set. And enjoy I did - as the closer was a version of It's Only Dark that featured a toy-train whistle, squeaking plastic objects, a shaker and a birdcall. A stunning set that managed to both captivate and creep me out - quite a musical accomplishment.

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