Honey ChurchPosted : 04.20.13
Here's a note from Brett:
Hi everyone, I finished a beautiful project recently and wanted to make you aware of it. The band is Honey Church. They are from Eastern Pennsylvania and have that 70s AM Gold thing I love so much. Shilough Hopwood is the main songwriter and carried the vision for the music. I had heard his songs through a friend of mine, Mike Monti (Mike was one of echolyn’s original roadies and fellow traveler back in the early and mid 90s). Anywhoo, Mike turned me on to Honey Church and somehow managed to get Shilough and I together. I “got” Shilough’s sensibilities and style immediately. Thus began a long process of recording and making the songs shine out.
The album, Will You Be There With Me, is seriously a breathtaking force of visual beauty. Check it out. It works with the bloom of spring, the lazy hum of summer, the blazing color of fall, and the warm comfort of a winter window view.
I had Shilough write up something from his point of view on our collaboration:
"Back in 2008, I'd been working on my band's third album for several years already, and it was still a sprawling, unfocused mess. We'd recorded a bunch of drums and other rhythm instruments a while before, and made stabs at some vocals and rough mixes, but at this point a combination of dawdling, perfectionism, and the demands of daily life had nearly stalled the project completely. The problem wasn't that I didn't have a vision; it was that the ideas in my head were becoming increasingly ambitious and unattainable without some kind of miraculous intervention. I felt that these were the best songs we'd written, and I really wanted to do justice to them. One day driving in the car the revelation came to me clearly: I needed to find someone to help me hammer these tracks together - to transfer what I hear in my head into the real world; meaning, someone with the skills and technical knowledge to carve them into shape like a sonic gem-cutter. Later that same day I ran into my old friend Michael Monti, who encouraged me to check out Brett Kull's new studio in Hatboro, PA.
I had heard Brett's music before and I knew him by reputation. He sent me a CD reel of songs he'd recently recorded for various artists, and I decided my prayers had been answered: this was the technical finesse combined with natural musicality that I was looking for. I had the files transferred over to Brett from the small project studio at which I'd been sporadically working, and we started fresh. Due to my schedule limitations we worked in short 3 or 4 hour sessions, often separated by weeks or even months at a time over the next couple of years.
There were several songs I had in mind for the project that had to be recorded from scratch, and I learned that no one records a drum kit quite as beautifully as Brett does. Then there were vocals to edit and re-record, electric guitars, pedal steel, oboes and dobros to overdub, culminating in a magnificent string session arranged and conducted by Jay Ansill. Then came the arduous mixing process. Brett knew just what to do, and he took my relentless obsessiveness in stride.
The record had gotten off to kind of a rough start. I had attempted to pour my love for everything, from 70s country-rock, 4AD slowcore/shoegaze, metal ballads, film soundtracks, ambient electronica, and British folk into the album, and I wanted every detail to shine. With Brett's help, I'd like to think we got pretty close."
> Honey Church on Band Camp
echolyn (2012) places in another year-end poll in Argentina!Posted : 04.07.13
echolyn's latest release (echolyn, 2012) lands in 16th place for progressive rock album releases for 2012 in Argentina.
> Click HERE for the entire list!
Chris Buzby delivers TED Talk on "Pursuing the Passion Path"Posted : 03.15.13
As every member of echolyn stays busy with many other things in their lives when not creating, composing, recording or performing, this past week Chris Buzby delivered a TED Talk at Abington Friends School (AFS) - where he's been Director if Instrumental Music for the past 17 years.
With a TEDx Youth event planned for May 11, 2013 at AFS, Chris addresses a high school student body (~ 300 students and adults) to share and promote passion as a mindset, purpose and life path.
A universal message for the everyman (and woman), including a brief solo performance of the opening of ISLAND (track 1 off the latest echolyn release) at the end of his TED Talk, Chris hopes you find its message both informative and inspiring!
> Chris Buzby TED Talk "Pursuing the Passion Path"
Ray and Tom on The Gagliarchives!Posted : 03.13.13
Ray Weston and Tom Hyatt will be joining Tom Gagliardi on the Gagliarchives at 10 PM on Saturday, March 16. What will they be doing there? You're going to have to listen to find out!
> The Gagliarchives
echolyn receives multiple honors in year-end reader's poll at DPRP.net!Posted : 02.11.13
The Dutch Progressive Rock Pages (DPRP.net) 2012 end of year poll honors/awards/recognitions for echolyn include:
Album of the Year/2012 (out of 606 albums):
echolyn - "echolyn" - 6th place
Best album tracks of the year (out of 509 tracks):
Island - 5th place
Speaking in Lampblack - 45th place
Some Memorial - 59th place
Past Gravity - 62nd place
When Sunday Spills - 80th place
The Cardinal and I - 94th place
Best Guitarist (out of 116):
Brett Kull - 8th place
Best Keyboardist (out of 100):
Christopher Buzby - 6th place
Best Bassist (out of 90):
Tom Hyatt - 18th place
Best Drummer (out of 87):
Paul Ramsey - 12th place
Best Vocalist (out of 118):
Ray Weston - 18th place
All of echolyn - 56th place
Christopher Buzby - 56th place
Best Album Artwork (out of 119 albums):
echolyn - "echolyn" - 25th place
Biggest Happening of 2012:
echolyn release of "echolyn" - 18th place
Thanks to all who voted; we are honored and humbled to receive so many top honors. We hope our 2012 release continues to provide many hours of inspired listening.
And now...back to the studio we go!
> DPRP Year-End Reader Poll for 2012
echolyn receives top honors ~ Progressive Rock Album Of The Year, 2012!Posted : 01.02.13
In their end of year poll at the Dutch Progressive Rock Pages (DPRP) echolyn's most recent album (self-titled, echolyn) was voted as the Number One (!) album release of 2012 out of 470 Progressive Rock albums reviewed by their writers.
Huge thanks to the writers at the DPRP for their support!
You can listen to the 90-minute end-of-year radio show that features the DPRP top 10 releases by clicking below...
> DPRP Year-End Poll for Best Album of 2012
echolyn "live" on YouTube!Posted : 12.23.12
Merry Christmas echolyn fans! A full version of our 2009 show at the North Star Bar in Philly just went live tonight on our echolyn YouTube channel: check it out if you care or dare!
There are 6 "parts" - below is Part 1; follow all 6 to see the entire 45 minute show ~ ENJOY!!
> echolyn LIVE at the North Star bar in Philly, Nov 2009
2 NEW singles and 1 new LIVE track ~ AVAILABLE TODAY!Posted : 12.10.12
For those of you looking for something more, as of today you are in luck! echolyn just released 2 more singles and a live track (from TEIB) via bandcamp.com today. "This Is How We Left It" and "Moments With No Sound" - both tracks written for, but not included on their recent self-titled release - have finally come to see the light of day as single releases. They are both songs not to be missed: sublime, melodic, adventurous, dark and deeply churning like most of echolyn's recent release. You can both stream and/or purchase copies of all of their singles (2 others - "15 Days" and "Accumulated Blur" were both released this past October) - just follow the link below. ENJOY!!
> LINK to echolyn's bandcamp singles!
Another 5-star review of "echolyn" is posted!Posted : 12.09.12
Following a recent onslaught of positive album reviews, a brand new 5-star review of echolyn's latest release (self-titled, echolyn 2012) posted today on the Prog Archives.
*Special thanks to Jeff Ballew for his insightful commentary in writing this review of our latest album release.
> New 5-star echolyn review on the Prog Archives!
...a birds-eye view into the live audio/video process - via Brett!Posted : 12.09.12
Headright (see YouTube video link in next latest news post) and Past Gravity (link to YouTube below)
Live at Catapult Sound
October 14, 2012
Special Guest: Francis Dunnery, Guitar
Technical assistance: William Schwartz and Jason Murray
Cameras: Paul Patton and Brittany Wright
Video edit: Paul Patton
Mixed and Mastered: Brett William Kull
Here's the story...
We got together 3 times: Once at my house, once at Chris's school then once at Catapult Sound for a "dress rehearsal." On Sunday October 14th we recorded, on video and multitrack, both Headright and Past Gravity, two songs from our latest release.
I really wanted to record a per-for-mance, yep that's right, absolutely live. I think this self-imposed criteria and demand was brought on by simply NOT playing with my band mates for so long. Yes, we had just released an album, but that album was recorded over bursts of inspiration and mostly captured in parts and not as a whole. I actually enjoy both processes of recording, i.e., overdubbing AND live performance as a collective unit. I find them both to be valid ways of making music. In the latter case it had been a while since we all stood in the same room and hit the record button. Generally, I'm the guy pushing buttons, listening intently, pointing and gesturing, and adding input from the "other side of the glass." I miss just losing myself in the simple act of playing my instrument and singing a tune with the guys. I want to stress, that the guys mentioned are the echolyn guys. I play with a lot of different people but, well, those other people don't swim off the same Island we do. Don't get me wrong friends, I cherish any moment (and actually go out of my way) to play with different folks and animals BUT there's no place like home sometimes.
So Sunday October 14th I checked all the cables, inputs and outputs with Bill Schwartz and Jason Muray (studio owners of Catapult). We made sure phase relationships were cool, the piano was in tune and separated enough from the drum kit, the bass bleed was under control and Ray and I could hear our vocals enough to sing comfortably. The camera crew, Paul Patton and Brittany Wright, set up some unobtrusive lights and got a feel for the space they were going to shoot in. We only had two cameras and wanted to get as much coverage as possible (for each song) within a reasonable time. What this meant was that we would play each song a few times so they could get more coverage (different shots). That was fine by us since we wanted to rattle off a few takes anyway with the hope of nailing a good one amongst a few. You’ll notice Tom changes his shirt in Headright and Ray (as a joke and homage to his father) put on a clown costume for a take in Past Gravity. I want to stress that the audio is a single performance and not a cull of multiple takes.
Also, as part of the equation, I asked Francis Dunnery to cover some of my extra guitar parts for the performance. He's one of my favorite "other people" to play with and I felt comfortable knowing he "gets it." What I mean is, he gets the professionalism, the attention to detail and intent needed to play other people's music with competence. In other words I trust him and don't have to think about what he is doing... I can just concentrate on making music and singing.
Playing multiple takes for video editing meant being aware of feel and tempo. If the takes vary in those aspects too much it makes the video editing a pain in the ass. Normally artists cut videos by just going through the motions with a pre-recorded track (lip-syncing). This enables everything (multiple takes) to be in sync. We knew we didn’t want to do that, but we did talk about cutting the tracks to a click-track so the tempos would be perfect. We ended up throwing that idea out because the whole point of this thing was to play "without a net" and none of us wanted to be tied to a tempo for this recording. We also knew we didn't want to record a lot of takes. Repetition in a live performance just makes for a flat and lifeless rendition.
This is what we did...we played four takes of Headright. The 2nd and 4th were pretty damn good. We took a twenty-minute break then came back and played four takes of Past Gravity. Number three was the standout and the one we used (I think Ray wore the clown costume on take #4). Then, just for the hell-of-it, we did two more takes of Headright knowing we already had two killer ones from earlier (what the heck, it's only a three minute song)! To our surprise the last take (#6) had a great energy to it, you could feel the smile in it.
As you listen and watch the videos know that you are listening to take #6 of Headright and take #3 of Past Gravity. These are real band performances by real musicians, really singing and really interacting as a unit during a complete, unadulterated, human performance and experience. No lip-syncing or overdubs. Pretty cool, right!?
Thanks to Francis for his musicianship and empathy. Thanks to Paul and Brittany for their hard work with the video. Thanks to Bill and Jason for all the technical expertise and wonderful studio space. Special thanks to Jacque (my amazing wife) for putting together a killer spread of food and adult beverages to help with the decompression process during a long, but perfect, day.
bwk – Dec 5, 2012
> echolyn plays PAST GRAVITY - LIVE on YouTube!