Over the years, I have had great opportunities through Tin Hat to arrange tracks for extended versions of the group, ranging from the addition of a string quartet to a full orchestra (albeit an often less traditional one). It has also afforded me the chance to work with some iconic singers: Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, and Mike Patton among them. Part of Tin Hat’s mission has always been to expand the traditional sound of their acoustic instruments with extended techniques not often employed outside of contemporary classical music. The same holds true for my arrangements: while the aesthetic shares much with the golden age of song, I am always searching for ways to hide avant garde elements beneath the surface.
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“In a just world, Willie Nelson’s tenderly plangent vocal and the tune’s (“Willow Weep for Me”) pitch-perfect, tumbleweeds-tumbling-in-the-breeze arrangement by Tin Hat guitarist Mark Orton would resonate from radios across the country.”