THE LIVE PERFORMANCE:
Come celebrate the release of Twilight, Sound Mountain, the 10th Dixie’s Death Pool studio album! In addition to showcasing a few tunes from the new album, Lee Hutzulak will draw from a career spanning selection of songs for acoustic guitar. At times he will be joined by Matt Skillings (electric piano / synthesizer), Edgar Bridwell (violin / viola / acoustic guitar), Colin Cowan (bass / electronics) and Dave Leith (synthesizers / drum machine). There may be surprise appearances as well! Don’t miss this intimate and rare performance of new and classic material.
It all began one very hazy staycation back in the summer of 2014. With the rest of the family in Japan for a couple weeks I transformed our apartment into a bachelor pad / recording studio. The curtains never opened. I lived on coffee and peanut butter toast, if I could figure out how to make it in the morning. Sessions were booked at every possible free moment. While most of that still remains tucked away in the vault for a future release, a few songs found their way onto my laptop and formed the cornerstone of the album.
Blue Flower was the first piece I started work on, and it really sets the tone of the album romantic, tragic, intimate, shimmering with lush production. Built up around the initial takes of Kim Stewart’s stunning vocal, and my acoustic guitar played live together, the music slowly took shape, quite literally over the course of a thousand days. First came midi based orchestration, with string and horn patches. Weird noises and textures coaxed from elastic bands and frying pans collected in the sonic pockets. And finally, Peggy Lee’s cello, and Edgar Bridwell’s violin were recorded and cut in.
While the piano in Blue Flower was actually played by mouse click, one note at a time, the majority of the piano on the album is a 1960s 140B Wurlitzer played by multiinstrumentalist Matt Skillings.
The music of Dixie’s Death Pool has never been a straightforward proposition. For every song that can be performed on acoustic guitar, there are at least two that may not even feature guitar. Increasingly electronics are working their way into the music, and for the first time this album features only drum machines, no acoustic kits. Perhaps this is just a reality for the bedroom recording artist, working either in the wee hours of the morning or out of a backpack. It’s also an aesthetic choice. In the last decade or so I have been keenly interested in music technology and have been thoroughly enjoying the analog revolution taking place in the world of synthesizers. The digital side isn’t bad either: T,SM is the first DDP album completely assembled in Ableton Live which can basically turn any sound into creme brulee.
Hey, that’s what this is a burnt sugar crust on custard! Savour the moment…
Lee hutzulak, April 22nd, 2017