On February 4, 2012 Jherek Bischoff and the Wordless Music Orchestra, featuring David Byrne, Zac Pennington, Soko, and Mirah, joined together for the debut live presentation of Jherek Bischoff's album Composed. The show kicked off this year's Ecstatic Music Festival and took place at the Kaufman Center's Merkin Hall in New York City.
David Byrne on his contribution:
"A few years ago when I was on tour, Steven Reker, who was dancing and playing guitar in our show, passed a request along to me from a guy named Jherek Bischoff. Jherek wanted me to sing on a track he recorded—a request that is not so unusual—but when I listened to his track, something very unusual occurred—I was knocked out by Jherek’s music. This guy I'd never heard of somehow managed to record a whole orchestra. His arrangements and tunes were surprisingly atypical, but still catchy and accessible—so I said yes to Jherek’s request. I wrote lyrics to a melody Jherek outlined and I maintained the title (and subject) that he set in place—'Eyes.' Later, I helped him get in touch with Caetano Veloso, whom he also wanted to collaborate with. Good luck with that I thought, but I passed the track on to Caetano. It languished there a bit until a wonderful young Brazilian singer, Tie, told Caetano he should do it—or so I was told. Jherek also produced an album for People Get Ready, Reker's group, and now one for Amanda Palmer called Grand Theft Orchestra. I sat in with the group a couple of weekends ago at the Crossing Brooklyn Ferry festival that the Dressner brothers organized at BAM. Suddenly, he's everywhere."
Jherek Bischoff on the recording process:
"This record was recorded with one microphone, an Mbox and a laptop. I recorded each individual musician of the "orchestra" in their very own living rooms. I then layered each instrument (sometimes one violinist playing one part twenty times for instance) until it was the size of a huge orchestra. I spent the summer bike riding from house to house recording each musician. I then took a road trip and recorded all of the singers except Caetano and David. I composed, produced, engineered and mastered the record. When writing the material for this record, I heard very specific voices singing the songs. Some of these were good friends and some were people I didn't know. I continued writing these songs for these specific voices as if they had asked me to write them a song, but never in a million years thought I could get them to all sing, but it all ended up working out in a very organic fashion."
Video by Intothewoods.tv
Directed by Jordan Kinley
Produced by Hannah Gregg
Camera by Brendan Burdzinski, Tyler Kohlhoff, Jordan Kinley, Hannah Gregg
Assistant Editor Steve Wyshywaniuk
Brassland (US + ROW): brassland.myshopify.com/collections/vendors?q=Jherek+Bischoff
The Leaf Label (UK + Europe): theleaflabel.com/en/releases/view/182/Jherek%20Bischoff/Composed/BAY%2083CD