The music of To All My Dear Friends has been something of an obsession for me this past week. I have been exchanging emails with Marc Hennessy, the creative force behind TAMDF, in preparation for his tour stop at Mulligan’s in Grand Rapids on Tuesday June 28, 2011. Hennessy is on a tour of 20 shows across the Midwest and East Coast in support of his newest release Transparent Voyages.
The way Hennessy composes each song takes an appreciable amount of forethought. ..knowing how each component of the song interacts with the next… how the melody will develop… when the right time to add or subtract a loop is coming up….
Utilizing a loop station and electric violin, Hennessy creates densely layered compositions that unfold organically; deceiving the listener into thinking the music isn’t as complicated as it really is. Everything has a relaxed feel that doesn’t come across as pre-planned or predictable as each song evolves along its natural course.
The sensual tones of the violin, its quirky character when played plectrum style, the human voice, the primordial heartbeat of the percussion work, all lend a certain warmth to the music, something familiar to the human experience that resonates in the collective consciousness… this intangible essence Hennessy creates is juxtaposed with his array of effects, electric guitar, and even a little e-bow manipulation that adds luxuriant swells of sustain that stretch out for eternity. A distinct modern edge is achieved.
Therein lies the beauty of TAMDF’s sound; Part of it is timeless, even folky, and part of it is so modern and even spacey, yet precise, in the execution and use of technology.