Sep 25, 2020
Welcome to episode #287 of dHarmic Evolution
Join me as we take a ride today from Nashville to Pennsylvania with the musician, recording and performing artist, composer, educator, and finger-style guitar connoisseur, Tim Farrell.
Growing up jamming with friends and playing rock music, Tim eventually studied classical guitar, shifting from jazz. His eyes and ears were opened to everything that one can do, not only by playing the rhythm and lead but also melodies, bass line, and open strings, the list is endless! He then applied everything he learned from classical to steel-string guitar and combined the techniques and tones available to steel-string. Realizing that this was not just about playing a chord, but telling a story which Tim believes was one of the best compliments he received when he became the first-ever instrumentalist to play at a venue in Florida and someone quoted to him that “your story is in the music”.
Tim’s music has shades of Michael Hedges; it’s like there is practically no limit to what he can do with his imagination on the way he approaches even the tuning of the guitar. Tim, for the most time, has been using standard tuning when he came across alternate tuning with Little Martha by Leo Kottke. He figured out that he was using open E tuning and heard the potentials that open E created and intensely explored it, in fact, he keeps a guitar on hand with that definitive tuning.
With the current situation, Tim believes that the biggest change was not being able to play and perform his music to a larger crowd. While keeping himself active doing walks, yoga, and taking care of his crops, Tim is streaming concerts every other Sunday. He also has a scheduled online concert and workshop at the Cooperage in Pennsylvania. His concerts with his trio called StringSongs - playing alongside Michael Manring and Christopher Garcia are also currently canceled.
StringSongs was formed when Tim first met Michael on a gig and did some recording together. Eventually, they decided to make it formal, and initially joined by the Grammy-winning piano player and producer, Pat Robinson but later replaced by Christopher due to conflicts in schedule. Tim together with Michael and his fretless bass, and Christopher using a very exotic percussion - they all blend, just perfectly fit, and their music is very unique.
Watch out for the new solo album that he is working on. And StringSongs – with Michael and Christopher where they are now planning for the recording and rehearsals even during this time of pandemic to come up with new projects
In this confusing time where CDs are going away, vinyl making a comeback, where consumers love streaming and artists hate it. Tim, who is also an educator, is continuously sharing his music and develops workshops online and onsite, performs at senior centers and performing art centers. He believes that this is an eye-opener for people to see that there are so many unexpected things that can be done with an acoustic guitar aside from strumming chords or playing solo.
To know more about Tim Farrell’s music and everything that he
does, you can support him by playing his music through streaming
services, ordering his CDs through his website, supporting him on
his online live concerts.
2:54 How Tim got connected to finger-style acoustic playing
7:52 Alternate Tuning
9:10 Listen to “Joyride to Tranquillity”
13:49 When did he first come across the idea of starting alternative tuning
17:28 Online concert and workshop in Pennsylvania
19:04 Listen to “Rosewood Alley
25:10 StringSongs with Michael Manring and Christopher Garcia
29:38 Tim’s work ethic towards music
33:31 New solo album and plans with StringSongs
36:05 Listen to “Walk Away Renee” written by the Four Tops
40:22 Thoughts about streaming and music business
44:29 Challenges with rehearsing and recording together with Michael and Christopher
49:12: Listen to “Kindred Spirits”
53:20 Coping with the pandemic
55:52 Learn and support Tim Farrell’s music
58:13 Listen to “Connected” by James Kevin O’Connor
In some ways, you get to be like the complete composer when you do what you do. Because It is an entire orchestra, it’s not just by playing a chord…and it just brings out so much in the story of what’s being played
And they said to me afterward, you don't need the words, your story is in the music.
A lot of people expect that you will either be strumming chords or playing a solo, and they don’t realize you can do these other things together. It’s phenomenal to see it open people’s eyes and ears up.
I think the more your style of playing is out there, the better that songwriters will continue to develop songs in general. We will get better music because it incorporates so much imagination and so much beauty into the songs.
Selected links and mentions.
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