Andrew McPherson Unpacks The Realities of His Age

Andrew McPherson will be celebrating the release of his fourth solo album on Saturday night at The Bicycle Café in Flesherton.  The Bicycle Café has been gaining a reputation as a great little venue to enjoy some high quality music, a warm friendly atmosphere and great food.  Andrew McPherson has enjoyed a reputation for a few decades as a composer, arranger, producer, session musician and architect of the Juno-nominated world music project he calls Eccodek.  Founded in 2002 Eccodek has released seven albums.  Although the music of Eccodek originates from his laying down basic tracks and inviting musicians from different cultures around the world to add their own flavour, he also has a six-piece band of top quality musicians that tour under the same name.  This concept of “a revolving door of guests from around the world” means that every Eccodek release has new surprises for fans and it has allowed Andrew to explore his many varied musical interests.  But with this new solo release, “Bardo”, he says it’s “just me kind of working the singer-songwriter thing again.”

There has been a transition through his four solo albums, with the first being more electronic, “cheekier”, showing the influence of his Eccodek work.  But each has become a “more serious affair”, culminating in this latest release, which he feels has more of a “statement of purpose, more direct, less BS.”

“I’m doing so much of this for me now,” he adds, “living life a little more authentically.  This is a chance for me to unpack the realities of my age.  It has a strong sense of artistic identity.”  It also allows him to stretch as a lyricist, something that was never a part of Eccodek.

Among his many other musical adventures, Andrew collaborated with bandmate DJ Deliveryboy to create a soundtrack for the silent classic, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.

He’ll be accompanied at The Bicycle Cafe by top Humber-trained musicians, Adam Bowman on drums, Marc de Vos on bass (Eccodek’s rhythm section), and Thomas Hammerton on keyboards.  Mixed in with his original songs, the band will be performing several David Bowie songs.  They had thrown together a Bowie tribute just after that artist’s passing and enjoyed it so much that they have rehearsed and polished it, “trying to own the material”.

Polish is a recognized part of everything that Andrew does.  The records and remixes he has produced inspire adjectives like “nuanced” and “luminous”.  This focus on sound probably stems from his musical education at Western, where he studied classical flute.  But there is always a solid rhythm to what he plays as well, and an ability to draw from a myriad of sources.

He grew up in a musical household.  “My parents were pretty darn cool!” he says, and there was a lot of early prog rock in the house.  When he graduated from his classical training his first instinct was to join a rock band, playing that mid-eighties post punk style that included covers of bands like The Smiths, The Psychedelic Furs, and The Cure.  Further formal training in recording and engineering led to his interest in studio work and his wide-ranging interests turned him into a world music artist.  Now his world beats and his singer songwriter creations co-exist as two parallel but equal streams of his personal artistic journey.

Among his many other musical adventures, Andrew collaborated with bandmate DJ Deliveryboy to create a soundtrack for the silent classic, Fritz Lang’s Metropolis.  As he told the London Free Press, “”I actually studied the film quite in depth in my undergrad days at Western. I found its polarity of the heart and the head, future vs. the present, man vs. machine extremely compelling, even as a student.”

The project came about when Eccodek played a show at Dundas Square in Toronto and the programmer of the show liked the performance so much he asked them to perform as part of the following year’s film festival, creating a soundtrack for the dystopian classic.  The results were so well received that they have performed it on several other occasions and released it on record.

With all of these influences blended with a personal vision that continues to grow and find new expression, Saturday night’s performance at The Bicycle Café should be intriguing.

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