FTW (Folk the World!) with Tilda
It's been quite a few years since Tilda was formed in a sweaty storage closet in a warehouse in downtown Toronto. Then, the task was simple: collaborate, write, record, repeat. Then ironically, life happens... people move, play in other bands buy houses, marry and make babies. Now, fast forward to a cold and dreary February 2012.
Collective sigh... begin-again.
2012 Found Tilda’s Michael Peterson stepping away from his duties as long time musican and songwriter with Ottawa's The Flats, wanting to record a solo project as Tilda. The result: Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor - a "song-story" of a WW2 Bomber pilot who is forced to bail out of his plane and into the ocean. The songs revolve around his slipping in and out of memory while bobbing out safe rescue.
February 2012 found Michael rallying troops, calling in favours on equipment and setting up a recording room in his basement. In late April, long time collaborator Andrew Long travelled to Ottawa from Toronto for a sleepless weekend of tracking, drinking, laughing, and well…tracking. With Brennan Pilkingtone (DOFA, Orienteers) on drums and the help of Greg Brayford (The Flats, Nuginduck) on backing vocals, Tilda lay down the the groundwork and initial beds for 8 of the 12 songs that will become their first full length release.
At the outset, the goal of this recording was to create and capture smiles on the faces of everyone in the room. By avoiding the trap of searching for illusive on-the-spot perfection, this Tilda album is replete with flubs and happy coincidences. What you hear is the result of a ridiculously simple bed track setup involving drums that were stereo mic’d, an acoustic guitar with one mic (that was never intended to be permanent) and a bass plugged right into the recording rig. As the tracks unfolded, Mike, Andrew and Brennan, never having played as a group nor practiced a single song together, found an amazing common ground with the narrative and with each other. The is really ground zero for something truly magical.
As evening fell the fellows ventured upstairs, joined by Greg Brayford, into the light and air of the living room and set up to do vocals, eat a feast and generally carry on until the wee hours of the morning. This pattern continued steadily for three days until everyone was spent.
Spring slips into summer.
Michael records some lead guitar, recruits amazing trumpet player Nicholas Dyson and convinces Curtis “Lampshade” MacPhee (Still Winter Hills) that “anyone can play lap steel.” One wonderfully warm August weekend, all hands are back "on deck" at Michael’s place, this time setting up in the living room. Nick is heard exclaiming upon walking into the house “@#$% man, your wife let you do this in your living room - WOW?” Tilda, now a crew of six, records the horn and slide that provide the depth and soul of many of the new songs. Michael also puts down the remainder of the tracks, all acoustic solo numbers, save one brilliant duet with Nick the Horn which Michael recorded previously on his Iphone and later Nick dubbed in his part brilliantly.
Later that month, with the tracking side of things complete Michael takes a shot in the dark and asks long time friend and renowned Canadian music producer and recording engineer Chris Shreenan-Dyck (Kris Kristofferson, Bruce Cockburn, Garth Hudson (The Band), Blue Rodeo, and Ron Sexsmith) if he might mix the album. Chris says yes!
Leaves fall and then life slips under a blanket of snow. Lots of change.
2013 roars in like a house on fire. The mixing of Tilda’s debut full length album Tinker Tailor Soldier Sailor, is in full swing begining with a flurry of long distance email discussions with Chris, now based in sunny Los Angeles. Chris decides he will “warm up the tracks” by running them, as he says ” through some vintage analogue gear I have laying around…” Must be nice to have such gear laying about. Sunny bastard.
The first mixes are starting to roll in and it is sounding amazing. The aim is a mid May release with lots of touring and some interesting collaborations.
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