The Halifax-based experimental music label Backward Music, launched late last year as a complement to sister label Forward Music is hosting an evening of ambient, electronic-influence music at Moncton’s Empress Theatre on Friday evening. Performing will be New York’s Bing & Ruth along with Halifax-based, United Kingdom-born Tim Crabtree, best known for his critically acclaimed Paper Beat Scissors project.
Performing under his name as opposed to the Paper Beat Scissors name might not make a whole lot of sense at first glance. Given the vast musical differences between his work under his name compared to Paper Beat Scissors however and the need to distinguish him from the more chamber/folk-inspired Paper Beat Scissors becomes clear.
“I have been working on more ambient and textural music where the vocals are more of an extra instrument as opposed to one of the primary ones,” Crabtree says. “And while elements of the work under my name come out in Paper Beat Scissors, I was torn whether I separate those two musical worlds or if I combine them into one. With the launch of the Backward Music Label, I felt as though it was a good chance to begin a new project and release music under a name other than Paper Beat Scissors.”
Clarifying that the bulk of the music he is composing under his name is largely instrumental, Tim says that establishing a name for his work outside of Paper Beat Scissors has had a delightful consequence.
“I am fortunate to be in the position where people are associating the work under my name with Paper Beat Scissors. Ultimately, this is something that I want to keep pushing in parallel with Paper Beat Scissors.”
Tim’s interest in “breaking out” from the Paper Beat Scissors mold was fanned by work he has done for various movie soundtracks over the past few years. With a compilation appearance and CBC Radio airplay for his solo work already under his belt, Tim eagerly looks forward to refining his live show while also making plans for his first formal album under his name.
“My modus operandi has always been to put myself under pressure to get things finished,” he says. “I recently performed an all improvised electric guitar set at Halifax’s Obey Convention. I really cut my teeth with that show. I am now debating how to move forward with live shows; the prospects are exciting.”
Performing alongside Tim on Friday evening is Bing & Ruth, a shape-shifting music ensemble fronted by David Moore. Fusing classical, ambient and post-rock influences into their music, the group’s live performances have attracted the attention of influential New York paper The Village Voice.
Moore explains how the friendship between he and Backward Music was struck in the not too distant past:
“Kyle Cunjak at Forward Music approached me last year about contributing some music to a sampler that Backward Music was going to be releasing,” Moore begins. “I have a tendency to be overly cautious about where and how my music is released but with Kyle, I instantly knew that was he was one of the good guys. It has been such a pleasure working with him so far.”
The Brooklyn-based Moore says that his father played a pivotal role in helping him become a musician, helping to steer him to the present day.
“My father is a trumpeter and guitar player and so music was always a part of our day. I have never really known anything else. He taught me to play piano and is, to this day, my biggest fan. I am so grateful to have been raised in such an environment.”
Not only will Bing & Ruth’s upcoming tour of Eastern Canada be their first time performing in our neck of the woods, he says that it will actually mark the first time that the band has toured, period. But even with such pressure potentially looming over the band, he is looking forward to getting Bing & Ruth in front of a live audience.
“This will be my first time in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia and from what I hear, it is beyond beautiful at this time of year.”
Article published in the July 2, 2013 edition of the Times & Transcript