"You guys give the best hugs."
Out of the accolades and comments Momentary Prophets have received, the above is the most often heard. Masters of the hug and lovers of song and community, MPs have been on a 3-year journey that has been for the members themselves, remarkable and brilliant. The mission: Move you. Whether physically or emotionally, MPs want to move you and make you happy.
Born out of a jam session between Ted Packard and Jake Hull MPs began closer to performance art than strictly music, however, as their friendship evolved so did their songwriting and performance style. Their songs and concerts have been described as unique, surprising, nostalgic, timeless, fun, and beautiful. Most recently the addition of Logan Byrd on bass and vocals has grounded and rounded out the sound and performance of MPs.
The unique sound and style of MPs is due largely to their varied instrumentation, whereas a minimum of 13 instruments are used during any given performance. Their ear-pleasing harmonies hit home with any crowd. Their concerts are opportunities to not only create community but to engage with the audience in a sincere and powerful way. Seasoned musician and sound engineer George Hertzel explained that at the end of an MPs show he was "emotionally exhausted." MPs feel that is a gooooooood thing.
In July, 2009, their first full-length album, Sunflower, was released. The naming of the album has a lot of meanings but the most important relates to the role sunflowers play in the soil as ecowarriors. Momentary Prophets embarked on their first tour in August 2009 as audio-warriors. Their success was much greater than a typical premier tour, as they cultivated many fans along the east coast.
Now having some serious touring under their belt, MoPros have sharpened and refined their musical talents even more. Momentary Prophets hope their mission and touring will continue to act as 'audioremediation.'
In early summer of 2010, MPs released Mandala, their second full-length album. Written and recorded the previous winter, Mandala is a more complete collaboration and treatment of their art's potential.
Sarah Hall of the Salisbury Post wrote of Mandala, "Momentary Prophets’ musical Mandala leads you in, commencing with a restless chord seeking resolution, then beckoning you to join in the sonic journey. That trip includes exploring musical lines leading to unexpected destinations harmonically and rhythmically, before cadencing comfortably. Because isn’t that the best type of adventure — the kind that delivers you home safely? At times, the music becomes therapeutically hypnotic. Even at its most dynamically-charged and emotional moments, it remains calm at its center."
Momentary Prophets have recently played to the thunderous applause of 1700 elated humans at the Tosco Beatles Tribute in Charlotte, NC, where their mash-up rendition of Norwegian Wood/Tomorrow Never Knows brought the room to its feet.
MoPros will be touring the remainder of the summer and fall and want nothing more than for you to come, be moved, and improve your life and that of others'.
Momentary Prophets love you.
Logan Byrd - Vocals, Upright Bass, Guitar, Hand drums, Tambourine
Ted Packard - Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Kalimba, Singing Bowl, Hand Drum, Upright Bass
Jake Hull - Vocals, Guitar, Ukulele, Banjo, Sitar, Kalimba, Mandolin
Sunflower LP (2009)
Mandala LP (2010)
"Air," "The Fox Song," receive play on Hampton Roads' NPR station
Musical Magic in the Air We Breathe
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When Led Zeppelin III crashed into Rubber Soul and glanced off the fender of Band of Horses, this wa...When Led Zeppelin III crashed into Rubber Soul and glanced off the fender of Band of Horses, this was the music that was playing as CSN&Y tweeted Seals and Croft to turn on their radio.
These songs are solid and Momentary Prophets have the confidence to go long when needed and take chances with stylized vocals that are both daring and calming once you tune your auditory processors to the correct frequency. The more you listen the more pleasant the experience, like meditation.
Compositions like Drawing the White are rich and structured to lead the listener one way only to reverse course and bring unexpected pleasure a minute into the message. Still others (Air, Alaina's Shower) take on the form of a prayer or a trance. Beyond this, there are stories like The Boy That Was that lay themselves out like a proverb set to a beautiful melody.
Many who enjoy this album will want to check out their first CD for a glimpse of how they arrived at the place they are now. The more raw nature of that first effort has a place, but the high production values of Mandala point to a trajectory the industry should take note of.
And if you can see them live you should. Their shows are funny, enjoyable, audience driven and any reservations about hippie pretense can be forgotten as soon as they hit the stage. Don't hesitate to hit them up for advice on opening a coconut or the dairy consumption of citizens of Japan!
Momentary Prophets CD Review: "Mandala"
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Momentary Prophets: "Mandala" released June 2010 When the Momentary Prophets share their ...Momentary Prophets:
released June 2010
When the Momentary Prophets share their music with an audience, they do so quite literally, regarding the listener as a vital and equal participant in the collaboration. And so it comes as no surprise to read in the liner notes to their new CD, “Mandala,” that “Momentary Prophets consists of Logan Byrd, Jake Hull, Ted Packard and You."
At their live shows, they draw listeners in, enfolding them auditorily and physically. They strive to connect with each individual. But can the trio translate that embrace into a recording?
The answer is: yes, they can, and they have, as evidenced in this latest CD offering.
The Sanskrit term “mandala” is a well-chosen title for this album. Band member Ted reflects, “I have found Mandala to mean circle, completion, and to indicate an image of the idea that is wholeness, oneness, but also (especially as can be seen in intricate Buddhist mandalas) the myriad of diversity that makes up that whole. The album is not about the singular wholeness represented by a mandala so much as it explores the more complete diversity that still arrives at the same destination.”
He also feels that the mandala image is appropriate due to the more collaborative nature of this album. Original members Ted and Jake had been the primary creators of the music since beginning as a duo in 2006. Logan came on board last year as bassist, and is now taking on a greater role with vocals and in composition.
“This album is more balanced and whole, circular, if you will, in each of our individual contributions and collaborations,” says Ted.
A mandala invites you to enter it mentally. Momentary Prophets’ musical Mandala leads you in, commencing with a restless chord seeking resolution, then beckoning you to join in the sonic journey. That trip includes exploring musical lines leading to unexpected destinations harmonically and rhythmically, before cadencing comfortably. Because isn’t that the best type of adventure — the kind that delivers you home safely?
At times, the music becomes therapeutically hypnotic. Even at its most dynamically-charged and emotional moments, it remains calm at its center.
There’s a flow throughout, but lest the listener become weary, there are times when the musicians seem to say, “sit and rest a while, and we’ll tell you a story.” Then they regale you with tales of a boy made of wood, and of a fox searching for her lover.
To say a band “defies categorization” has become almost the norm in the current inventive indie music scene. And an attempt to label the genre of Momentary Prophets would be a futile and unnecessary process for a band that seems unconcerned about trying to fit into a particular bin at a music store. They prefer to follow their hearts and ears into uncharted territory, combining East and West musically and philosophically, encompassing the familiar and the exotic.
The MoPros’ tools of choice in constructing this album were six- and 12-string guitars, banjo, sitar, mandolin, double bass, ashinko, tambourine, accordion, organ, kalimba, clarinet, ukulele, maracas, hand claps, singing bowl and singing voices—such delightful voices.
Their voices are offered as instruments, not relegating the other lines to mere accompaniment, but instead joining them and merging to the point sometimes where it can be difficult to separate vocal and instrumental sound. And there are moments so in tune with nature that the harmonics take on a life of their own, giving the aural impression of a larger group than what is actually producing the sound.
The only instrument provided by someone other than a Momentary Prophet is cello, performed expertly by Tommy Hunt, at the exact moments when such a sound was required.
The instruments are not limited to their expected styles and uses, but are employed in a unique fusion of East and West. In Jake’s hands, the banjo has transcended its American bluegrass connotation to become a universal instrument, and sitar embellishes and colors Western harmonies.
The double bass, as played by Logan, does more than provide a foundation. It is an active participant in constructing melodic counterpoint and creating musical effects. And multi-instrumentalist Ted completes the balanced triangle of sound.
All the tracks are unified by a dream-like quality, but with abundant moments that elicit the temptation to get up and dance. And there is plenty of variety. The songs venturing farthest afield stylistically are “Marching Men,” where an accordion joined by a clarinet in the chalumeau register paints a Hebraic-tinged portrait of an Anne Frank-like scene; and “Lullaby,” which is Latin-flavored, incorporating a gentle habanera.
The CD is rich and rife with glorious effects, but I choose these moments to highlight and particularly admire: the steady crescendo of intensity in “The Boy that was Made” culminating in the words “cries to the heavens;” the banjo obbligato alternating with cascading vocal and instrumental lines that propel the joyous “Stomp: for Her;” the drama and instrumental tone painting in “Marching Men;” the astounding vocal play entirely on the syllable “la” in the opening of the composition “Running.”
And the entire song “Air,” which is a small masterpiece, musically, and in its sentiment: “Between us there is only air. The air we breathe is all the same.” Unison passages by the sitar, cello and vocals illustrate the sameness, then give way to amazing vocal harmonies on “the air we breathe” that I can only inadequately describe as sounding like the tonal expelling of wind through instrumental bellows, or a celestial concertina.
The Momentary Prophets’ ardent hope for us all is expressed early on, in the song C.C.M.E., as they sing “open your eyes and your mind and remember you’re free.” The phrase “open your eyes” becomes a mantra, sung imploringly in “The Fox Song,” gently in “Lullaby,” and represented by blindness and light in other songs.
The CD concludes with another lullaby, the instrumental “Golden Slumber.” Before that, the last lyrics uttered are “jai guru deva om,” paying homage simultaneously to the Beatles and the Eternal.
Along with Momentary Prophets, I urge you to accept their invitation to open your eyes, and your ears, and make Mandala part of your music collection.
• • •
Momentary Prophets’ “Mandala” is available through CD Baby (www.cdbaby.com/cd/MomentaryProphets).
Or you can buy it in person this Friday, July 23, when the band comes to The Evening Muse, 3227 N. Davidson St. in Charlotte. The show starts at 8 p.m.
written by Sarah Hall
Momentary Prophets: Fools beneath the sun
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By Mark Newton, A+E Editor (current), Asst. A+E Editor ('07 - '08) Published On September 23, 200... By Mark Newton, A+E Editor (current), Asst. A+E Editor ('07 - '08)
Published On September 23, 2009 in Volume 41, Issue 4
While touring Ohio, Momentary Prophets – made up of Christopher Newport University alumni Logan Byrd, Jake Hull and Ted Packard – were walking through the woods, something that the hippie-folk trio often do. All of the sudden, they spotted a lost Boy Scout who had eaten some bad mushrooms, according to Packard, who told this to his audience at his band's release party for their debut album, "Sunflower." Looking around for the other members of his troop, the band only saw a bunch of arrows and targets for their archery practice.
And then they noticed that someone had shot an arrow that was heading right for the boy. That was when the Prophets trained their guitars skyward and, with "a fat D chord," turned the arrow into bright, golden pudding, and that the neighboring Girl Scouts, who had turned into gigantic brownies, came dancing into the field.
It was at this point that everyone in the David Student Union atrium burst into laughter. And it was that atmosphere that Momentary Prophets had been missing after touring most of Virginia and, notably, Ohio for the past half-year while living in a van and eating carrots and peanut butter. As Hull put it, "We decided to use our degrees to play music on the road."
For the whole band, it was a great relief and gift to finally come back to Newport News. While touring is a great way to meet new friends – Hull likes to think of the band as a “vessel through which we can hang out with people” – it’s also comforting to return to family.
“We are honored by a community that comes to us just because it’s people who know us and love us,” said Packard. “I feel grateful every time we get to play. The thing about having a CD is that the only people who buy them love what we do. It’s really an affirmation.”
So last week, the band returned to Newport News for three shows: one at Aroma's Specialty Coffee & Gourmet Bakery in Oyster Point, another at Fantasy on Jefferson Ave., and the last in the DSU, which was sponsored by WCNU The Edge Radio's "What's the Deal," hosted by Senior Chris Schulz. Schulz, along with fellow seniors Tyler Hoy and Stuart VonCanon, opened for Momentary Prophets as Godspeed and Good Fortune with a collection of good folk, country and pop tunes.
But it was Schulz's promotions for the show that brought a decent number of new faces among the diehards. This was proved further by the fact that the first stack of "Sunflower" copies sold out after the show, despite the fact that the album has been available digitally since July.
The album itself is a culmination of three years of work that began in between classes, was refined at the Campus Activities Board-sponsored Homegrown concerts, and has been tested on the road. Only three of the songs were well-known to fans before its release: "Little Bird," "Last Dance" and "Point Your Lotus to the Sky." While the other two have remained largely the same over the past year, "Last Dance" received a much-needed bridge that breaks up Hull's relentless ukelele.
The rest of the music does, however, come from the same place that the band's previous material was born. "Fools Beneath the Sun" is a sprightly declaration of freedom, peaking with probably the most gorgeous moment on the album, as Hull's voice soars, as if on the same revelry that the song mentions. The remarkable thing about it, though, is that there is so much going on in the space of 6-and-a-half minutes. There's 60s flower power folk, 70s progressive rock and expressive playing that could be grounded in either the New Age movement or the Nick Drake and Iron & Wine school of folk music. There is, of course, a reason why they used the Led Zeppelin typeface on top of a sunflower for their album cover.
To balance out the artier pieces, there are both love songs, like "Little Bird" or "Dogwood Blossom," and more typical folk songs, like "Fearless" or "Sierva." The only really weaknesses here are "Dogwood Blossom," which treads the very thin line between adorable and kitschy, and the edgier "Baobab," which takes a big chance with a sound based closer in progressive rock than folk, but it never fully delivers. Experimentation does work, however. when Hull plays sitar on "Point Your Lotus to the Sky," which effectively nails an entire of genre of music for the band and comes close to rivaling The Beatles' take on Indian music on "Within You Without You." That song manages to conjure up a kind of amazing musical tension that really shows how great the Prophets can be.
Live, however, the band is able to harnesses what it has been calling an "interchange of energy," where the power they create is multiplied and fed back to them by their enthusiastic audience. All that Packard can really do to describe it is to put his balled hands up to his head and spread them outward while making an explosion sound. But when it culminates in the whole of Aroma's dancing to a mixture of "Tomorrow Never Knows" and "Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)" by The Beatles, you know that Momentary Prophets are on to something big.
Spotlight On: Momentary Prophets
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by Sarah Hall firstname.lastname@example.org "Everyone has moments of epiphany" says Jake Hull of the...by Sarah Hall
"Everyone has moments of epiphany" says Jake Hull of the band Momentary Prophets. "We all have that capacity."
"But few of us have the ability to retain brilliance. It's fleeting," adds bandmate Ted Packard. "Even naming ourselves involved insight. It became a tool for realizing ourselves more, and for making our shows revelatory for audiences."
These prophets seem unconcerned about fame and fortune, or packing a venue. Their goal of communing with each audience member and interacting with their listeners makes their performance well-suited to intimate groups in smaller rooms. Although, the crowds have been growing along with their popularity as more and more are drawn in and latching on to the good karma.
If they play in front of a large festival crowd, that's a good thing. But if only a few show up at a venue for their show, they see that as an opportunity to get to know each listener and get them involved in the performance.
A jam session during their freshman year at Virginia's Christopher Newport University initiated the collaboration between Jake and Ted as they instantly hit it off musically and philosophically.
They also became known as the "tie-dyed kids" around campus because their shared interest in geometric design and color combination as a means of expression led to complementary wardrobes.
The Momentary Prophets are bringing their scintillating sound, colorful creations and positive vibe to Salisbury this Saturday for a show and exhibition starting 8:30 p.m. at Looking Glass Artist Collective.
This is a stop on their tour to promote their first full-length CD, "Sunflower," named for the plant that serves as an ecowarrior, sucking up heavy metals in the soil through the process of bioremediation. The Momentary Prophets like to think of their music as "audioremediation," "advancing what music can be" says Ted.
Logan Byrd joined their circle recently, further grounding them with his upright bass, and taking turns on guitar, hand drum and vocals.
The list of instruments Ted and Jake perform sound like a musical journey around the world: guitar, ukulele, banjo, kalimba, sitar, singing drum. But the trip they take you on is a journey into our soul, not far away.
"Sunflower" is organically inspired by the plant world along with the Prophets' fascination with geometry and color, revealed in titles like "Dogwood Blossom," "Baobab," "Grass and Moss," and "Point Your Lotus to the Sky."
A philosophy of "make art, not war" comes to the fore in the hypnotic "Fools Beneath the Sun" and the song "It's Better Than Killing People."
A standout on the album is "Little Bird," where a simply beautiful folk guitar accompaniment upholds vocals that swoop and glide like the song's feathered inspiration.
The hand drum-driven "Last Dance" provides some agitated moments amid the album's predominantly mellow mood, and is another pinnacle among high points on the CD.
The Momentary Prophets' unplugged sound is a musical oasis in an over-amplified music scene. If you think hype and flash are to music what pollutants are to soil, then give Momentary Prophets a chance to perform a little audioremediatin' on your ears.
n n n
The Lightning Bugs, playing acoustic world and folk music, will open for Momentary Prophets this Saturday. The show starts at 8:30 p.m. at Looking Glass Artist Collective, 405 N. Lee St.
There will also be an exhibit of tie-dye creations by Momentary Prophets, and the Looking Glass shop will be open.
Admission is $5 at the door. This is an all ages show.
For more information, contact email@example.com or call 704-633-ARTS (2787).
Artists 'Bleed for Art'
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... "Taking stage soon after were Momentary Prophets, a progressive pop-noir world folk creation...... "Taking stage soon after were Momentary Prophets, a progressive pop-noir world folk creation of seniors Jake Hull and Ted Packard. They contrasted Briggs with a more performance-oriented show, complete with epic-length instrumentals and even a 'Benediction for Pluto,' with spoken verses linking pieces together.
Packard's playing was so intense that he shredded his fingers - he termed it 'bleeding for art.' At one point, the pair invited the audience to come onstage and play.
As the Prophets closed the show, they assured the audience that being a part of their performance also made them prophets - for a moment. I felt it, but it was for another reason. I could see hope for our campus' collective musical taste."
CAB's Homegrown fun takes root again: Momentary Propehts and others bring jazz, folk, rock and world music to Homegrown
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"Momentary Prophets were the last to take the stage and stole the show with senior Jake Hull's ... "Momentary Prophets were the last to take the stage and stole the show with senior Jake Hull's massive sitar, senior Ted Packard's furious ukulele smashing and a special area reserved for dancing.
The Prophets again impressed with their complex, intellectual, pseudo-psychedelic rock. They're able to combine Tom Wolfe's poetry with love lyrics, to turn a ukulele into a high-strung instrument of despair, and probably more impressive, Hull can plan an amazing cover of "Norwegian Wood" on the sitar.
Prophets aim for Conan O'Brien
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Momentary Prophets Jake Hull and Ted Packard were joined by a special guest today as they lugged the...Momentary Prophets Jake Hull and Ted Packard were joined by a special guest today as they lugged their instruments into the second floor performance room of Fantasy, an eclectic clothing, goods and music store on Jefferson Ave. Hull slung the guest over his shoulder and set him against the wall. His massive head slumped over his chest, where it stayed until the two-man band started playing. After “Little Bird,” Hull stopped and introduced us to their guest, a large cardboard cutout of Conan O’Brien.
The band—2008 alumni of CNU—have befriended Cardboard Conan because they’ve started the “Conan Campaign,” an effort to get the band onto “The Tonight Show,” which O’Brien takes over from Jay Leno in March. A performance by Imogen Heap on “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” first provoked Hull to ask himself if the Prophets would be able to play on the show, too. Hull then asked Packard for his input, which was positive. “Conan seems like a really cool guy,” Packard said, “and he might like our music.”
The campaign therefore has manifested itself as a series of music videos and non-music videos that have both explained the band’s motives and forced the band to rerecord “good versions” of their songs for the project, according to Hull.
By the end, they hope to have a CD and a DVD from the 10 to 12 videos—which are filmed and edited by Sophomore James Cheeseman—that are planned and, as Packard says, “the videos are going to fit together like a puzzle piece,” forming a complete puzzle with his hands. “We’re going to save Conan and he’s going to rescue us Later this week, the third video—and the first episode in an overarching plot—will be published on YouTube. “The thrust of the campaign,” explained Hull, “is that we just want to play the show through our own efforts.”
Their effort so far has netted them a small but intensely loyal fan base from CNU, which made up most of the 30 audience members at Fantasy on February 15. The other part came for the first band to perform that day, Mason Porter, a folk band from Philadelphia, Pa. Their music, which tended to focus on images of rain, snow and Jesus Christ, was very true to traditional Appalachian folk music and the members harmonized very pleasingly.
The Prophets’ performance showed a good deal of growth since they last performed on campus as they mixed old and new while adding Senior Logan Byrd on a big, red cello on a few of the songs, such as “Last Dance.”
They also debuted two instrumentals and a song about unrequited love, “Dogwood Blossom.” The first instrumental, “Golden Pudding,” served as a sweet introduction to “Little Bird.” The unnamed second one, however, served as background music as Hull gave each person a rose and invited each to dance with someone in the room.
That sort of fun-loving attitude hasn’t dissipated since graduation. Life after college, however, hasn’t been different for the duo. Hull explains that, while he misses being in school, it’s really not that different, despite the fact that he’s working two jobs to pay loans and support himself. Music, however, is the overarching theme in his post-graduate life. Without it, he says, “My life would be pretty vacuous.”
Groove Advisory: This Week in Concert
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Thursday night brings you the local show of the week, as Momentary Prophets, originally from Newport...Thursday night brings you the local show of the week, as Momentary Prophets, originally from Newport News, will be performing at 37th and Zen starting at 9pm. The core of the group, multi-instrumentalists Ted Packard and Jake Hull originally met at Christopher Newport University several years ago, and last year added bassist Logan Byrd to the mix. They first recorded an album entitled Sunflower out of their friends’ basement in Northern Virginia, but more recently entered the studio to self-produce, Mandala. Both albums have been independent releases in order to maintain artistic integrity, as Jake Hull stated, “For us part of the journey’s importance is the ownership of the whole. From writing, recording, pressing, promoting, to performing we have wanted to approach the process with the right intention, infusing as much of our personality into the finished product as possible. It’s almost impossible to do that with a label in our experience.”
Their music is hard to classify because it’s mixes East and West, folk, bluegrass, world music, roots, singer/songwriter, funk, but always leaves you feeling centered and connected to the greater cosmos, almost like musical yoga for the mind. I think the best I can do is to leave it to the person that introduced them to me to describe their latest release:
“What they have to say on this new CD reaches into your chest and wrings your heart. Then, ever so gently, the message releases that frantically beating organ, pulling it from the cage of your ribs to soar about your head on little balloon strings of loving comfort. The lyrics are the cycle of our lives, death, and dormant Winters. They sing of how people are touching each other every day. They say, ‘Between us there is only air’. They say, ‘Remember, you’re free’. Then they play harmonies that make you believe it.” – Sara Balz
If that description doesn’t get you interested to experience them, I don’t know what would. Well, maybe Jake Hull describing how excited they are to be performing for Norfolk’s music community in an environment where “there aren’t really any limiting factors…so it can be a full-on love explosion.” Preview these guys on Paul Shugrue’s “Out of the Box” Tuesday evening between 7 and 9, where they’ll perform a couple tracks in the studio. Then catch them at 37th and Zen Thursday night to give them a rambunctios send off for their tour as they’ll be hitting the road to spread positive vibes from Maine down to Georgia this fall. (Insiders’ scoop: These guys are going to further promote Thursday’s show by dropping in at 37th and Zen’s regular open mic night Tuesday evening.)
Momentary Prophets Spread the Word at Gillies
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The Momentary Prophets spread the word at Gillie's Thursday, February 4, 2010; 9:53 PM | 1 | ...
The Momentary Prophets spread the word at Gillie's
Thursday, February 4, 2010; 9:53 PM | 1 | ShareThis | Print
by Liz Norment, features reporter
* Rapid fire reviews:
* Gobblerfest set to kick off new school year with concert
* Floydfest 9
Manassas-based band The Momentary Prophets finds itself somewhere between memory, dream and prophecy. Or at least this is what the band has said describes its sound.
“Those three things are what we are writing about,” said band member Ted Parker, “about the memory of an emotion, about our dreams that both happen as we sleep as well as what we imagine happening. The feeling of prophecy is not in a grand religious context, but just that we envision the world as better than it is right now.”
Packard and his other two band members, Jake Hull and Logan Byrd, are all graduates of Christopher Newport University. The three were originally brought together by a shared interest — not in music, but Frisbee.
“Ted and I met freshman year,” Hull said. “Within the first week (I) starting playing Frisbee with a group of people which then became a more concentrated group of friends. We decided to live together junior year and that’s when we started interacting musically.”
Although each played music individually, the collaboration did not happen initially.
“It took an outrageously long time for us to play together,” Packer said, “but really as soon as we did, it was obvious that we were really good together. We went outside and played guitar beneath a tree and something awesome happened.”
With the addition of Byrd, the group’s lineup was cemented. While on the road, the three band members play an assortment of instruments such as the acoustic guitar, ukulele, sitar, accordion and organ when performing. But each got his start musically with different instruments.
“I played the clarinet in middle school,” Byrd said. “My parents gave me guitar for Christmas in high school, which was a lot cooler in my mind. In recent years I’ve discovered how amazing piano and clarinet are, and I wish I’d been inspired by them in the same way I am with guitar.”
The variety of instruments speaks to the band’s dynamic nature, offering a unique experience for audience members each show.
“During shows we’re always switching instrumentation,” Hull said. “Sometimes I’m playing guitar and Ted’s playing mandolin, then he’ll switch to hand drum. At this point it’s really exciting because we officially have songs where we all play stand-up bass.”
Having a passion for music all their lives, playing professionally together was always a dream for the members.
“It was something I knew I would like to do, but I was always intimidated by taking that chance,” Byrd said. “When the situation presented itself I knew it was the right one.”
Three years ago, The Momentary Prophets formed and began to pursue a serious career in music. The decision to be professional musicians was based mostly on the reception the band was receiving from its listeners.
“What pushed me really was the people we play for, as much as is internally for feeling,” Packard said. “There’s almost no reason to make a career out of this were it not for the incredible meaning it has for people who are touched by it and moved by it. I conceptualize it as part of our responsibility. We have this ability to generate emotions in people through music. It’s the most humbling and absurd thing.”
For its return trip to Blacksburg, the band will be playing a show at Gillie’s Friday night and is excited to share its music with others.
“We want to get more students to come out so we can collaborate on a really energetic experience that’s going to make everyone happier,” Hull said. “It’s going to be a jubilant concert and everyone will leave stoked about life.”
Momentary Prophets are comfortable as an opening or headlining act, providing anywhere from 45 minutes to 2.5 hours of original music! This can be done amplified or unplugged.
There are only up to 3 covers that Momentary Prophets frequently perform, but they are done in an innovative way. Momentary Prophets also can provide incidental or complimentary instrumental music for art shows and other functions requiring artful music and expression.
The following list includes all current songs:
Fools Beneath the Sun
"it's better than killing people..."
Grass and Moss
Point Your Lotus to the Sky
The Giving Tree
Where am I?
The Boy that was Made
Drawing the White
Norwegian Wood/Tomorrow Never Knows (Beatles)
Black Dog/Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Led Zeppelin)
Raag Bhairav (traditional Hindustani mode/composition)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.