A FEAST for the ears in Glenwood
Post Independent Staff
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
GLENWOOD SPRINGS ” Trying to explain wordless music in words isn’t the easiest of things. As it turns out, that’s true even for a musician.
When asked about the sound of FEAST, cellist Tyme Mientka went back and fourth between adjectives for about five minutes.
Their style is Celtic, but not completely, he said. They’re not classical, yet their compositions kind of are. They certainly aren’t rock, yet they can rock out.
“It’s really hard to describe exactly what we do,” he said, finally.
But that doesn’t mean he isn’t full of passion about it. As he spoke from his home in Grand Junction, that much was clear.
“Oh, it’s just happy and joyful,” he said of the songs, before calling them “a musical banquet.”
Mientka, 51, makes up one fourth of FEAST, the instrumental band playing in Glenwood Saturday. His wife, Kathyrn, plays keyboard, while Paonia’s David Alderice adds beats from his drums. A rotating roster of violinists rounds out the group. This time around it will include Ilya Goldberg from Boulder. The Mientkas’ daughter, Stephanie, will make a guest appearance on viola.
From Irish jigs to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” it’s true that one FEAST song can have little to do with the next. There is a quality, however, that brings the tunes together. Whether feverish or restrained, they’re intense, layered, extremely rich. While they are reminiscent of old melodies, there’s definitely something new there, and to Mientka, something very exciting.
Believe or not, it’s technology. While the tunes have an almost improvised feel to them, they are anything but, he explained. Instead, Kathryn carefully composes each. She’ll take rifts from old classics, harmonies from the radio, anything that catches her ear, and boils them together, into a fresh melody. Sitting at her digital keyboard, she can choose from a whole synthesized world of sounds to add. Maybe the piece needs a bit of echo or a touch of harpsichord. It only takes a button.
“It will be like a symphony on a keyboard, if you will,” explained Mientka.
And though that symphony is canned, it doesn’t seem to sound that way. Of course he’d love to have full orchestra behind him, he said, but this feels like the next best thing. He then joked about it being “computer geek stuff.”
“We’re going off into new territory, so to say,” he explained, sounding down right comfortable in his brave new world.
He went back to his musical history, how he and wife traveled and played in Europe for years, how they lived in Paonia, how they raised their three children to be artists. Almost always full-time musicians, they have never strayed from their art, he said, and have hardly ever done anything else. It’s a drug, he said of music, one that keeps you young and vital.
Even now, after so many years of playing and teaching, he still makes time to sit down and practice. For him, this isn’t about reaching some goal and then stopping. It’s about evolving ” constantly.
“With some (musicians), they want to have fame and fortune and all that,” he said. “We just want to play for people. It’s coming from the healing side of the art, rather than trying to be the next Beatles.”
He then promised an exciting show, with “slow, soulful” pieces along with “barn burners.”
And though his voice was brimming with belief and enthusiasm, it still couldn’t quite convey the full complexity, the feisty beauty that is a FEAST performance.
But who said words can say everything, anyway?
For a real explanation, you simply have to see them play.
Contact Stina Sieg: 384-9111
Post Independent Glenwood Springs CO Colorado
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