Formed in early 2007, the Book of Gnomes is an electroacoustic collaboration between Nick Zubeck (Barzin, Polmo Polpo, Great Lake Swimmers), Darren Wall (Harry Pickens, Barzin, Delfeayo Marsalis), Marshall Bureau (A Northern Chorus, Octoberman, Bidiniband), Ben Bowen (Great Aunt Ida, Ronley Teper, Bellewoods), and Robbie Grunwald (Jill Barber, Everything All the Time, Barzin). The music, presented in the form of long-form post-fusion suites, combines elements of rock and pop with improvisation. Skopemag, in an "Artists to Watch" feature proclaimed, "The music that these guys create is not mainstream but it definitely caters to the serious music enthusiast. The diverse instruments and sounds that all come together is truly music to our ears."
B e n B o w e n:
Ben studied jazz trumpet at York University and Humber College, and holds both a BFA in Music and a Masters in Composition from York. He has played horns on albums by a number of notable Canadian musicians, including Great Aunt Ida, Ronley Teper, Lily Frost, Brian MacMillan, Bellewoods, Jack Marks, A Northern Chorus, Nick Zubeck, Metal Kites, and Valery Gore.
N i c k Z u b e c k:
Nick is a Toronto based songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer. He has released three recordings under his own name, Hiding Out And Laying Low (2003), A Meek Spectacle (2001), and the critically-acclaimed Tracker (2008), and has contributed regularly to a diversity of musical projects including work with Polmo Polpo, Great Lake Swimmers, The Lavender Gloom, and Barzin among others. Nick has been an active performer for years and has toured Europe with Polmo Polpo (in 2004) and Barzin (in 2006, 2008, and 2010).
D a r r e n W a l l:
Darren received his Bachelor of Music degree from Humber College in 2001. He was a doublebass student of Michael Downes and began his schooling in the art of composition and orchestration with Don Thompson. Darren continued his education at the University of Louisville under the mentorship of distinguished jazz composer and arranger John LaBarbera. He completed his Master of Music in 2003. As a professional musician in Toronto and Louisville, Darren has performed alongside Jamey Aebersold, Dennis DiBlasio, Harry Pickens, Delfeayo Marsalis, Wynton Marsalis, Joe LaBarbera, Jeremy Pelt, Jim Lewis and Kevin Turcotte amongst many others. Darren has written music for small and large jazz ensembles as well as a series of string quartets and one fully realized piece for alto flute and symphonic orchestra. He currently works as a "jobbing" musician in Toronto and composes for corporate advertisements and promotional/ instructional material.
M a r s h a l l B u r e a u:
Marshall Bureau is a professional drummer and drumset educator. His dedication, talent, and taste have led to a variety of creative endeavours. He has collaborated with Toronto based songwriters Nick Zubeck, A Northern Chorus, Erika Werry, and Brian MacMillan, both live and in the studio. He has also played on numerous albums as a session drummer, and touring has taken him across Canada, the eastern U.S. and overseas.
R o b b i e G r u n w a l d:
[keys with: Jill Barber, Everything All the Time, Barzin, Nick Zubeck, Spookey Ruben, Matza Ball Gumbo]
Ben Bowen ~ horns & FX
Nick Zubeck ~ guitar & FX
Robbie Grunwald ~ keys
James Castle ~ bass
Marshall Bureau ~ drums & percussion
Recipients of a Ontario Arts Council Recording Grant in Popular Music, the Book of Gnomes' is preparing to release their first full-length CD under the name Western Terrestrial, due out in early 2011.
Skopemag's Artist to Watch
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The Book Of Gnomes is a five piece band out of Ontario, Canada. We could not help but be impressed w...The Book Of Gnomes is a five piece band out of Ontario, Canada. We could not help but be impressed with the backgrounds of the five members of the band. All these guys are serious musicians in their personal & proffesional lives. The guys are getting ready to release their first full length album in late 2009. Our first listen to The Book Of Gnomes was their track, “Lucky Dragon.” There are no vocals on this track nor any of their tracks but the instrumentation is so incredible that does not matter. The music that these guys create is not mainstream but it definitely caters to the serious music enthusiast. The diverse instruments and sounds that all come together is truly music to our ears. There are a bunch of shows booked in Toronto, ON that are coming up and we are betting the live show is right up there with the studio versions.
Buffet of Talented Musicians
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THE BOOK OF GNOMES For a night that is a little different and sways the pendulum away from mainst...THE BOOK OF GNOMES
For a night that is a little different and sways the pendulum away from mainstream, check yourself into Maxwell’s Music House on Saturday June 6. The Book of Gnomes is a buffet of talented musicians pooled together to create an “electroacoustic collaboration”. Featuring Nick Zubeck (Great Lake Swimmers), James Castle (Elkton Hills), Marshall Bureau (A Northern Chorus), Robbie Grunwald (Jill Barber), and Ben Bowen (Great Aunt Ida), The Book of Gnomes is ready to offer the patrons of Maxwell’s something new and experimental. What’s stopping you? Go write it on your calendar – Saturday, June 6, Maxwell’s Music House.
"...rise and fall from consciousness during a fever"
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"Experiencing the Gnomes was like walking with open ears through a crowd of people engaged in conver..."Experiencing the Gnomes was like walking with open ears through a crowd of people engaged in conversation. The conversation is heady and in fact much of it goes over my head. It was like my attention shifted from one snippet about astrophysics to another about bull fighting. It also reminded me of falling asleep with the television on and floating in and out of dreams. I was even reminded of the rise and fall from consciousness during a fever. In any description, the music is a narrative, organic and independent of listener control. The returning themes of the suites are reassuringly accessible and the playing is filled with perspective and personality. There were many interesting things going on and I was delighted to look up and hear the source of muted chimes was in fact muted chimes. I believe it to genuinely be Art. Note the capital A."
effortless indie jazz rock
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the Book of Gnomes seem to hail from Toronto, Hamilton, and St. Catharines, which either means that ...the Book of Gnomes seem to hail from Toronto, Hamilton, and St. Catharines, which either means that members come from each location or perhaps they have chosen to live in a bunch of different locations all at the same time! Either way, they fuse together "indie rock jazz" suites pretty effortlessly, and combine those with some mellow ambience and improvisations. If you're looking for something to alternately dance to as well as lounge out and have a cup of coffee, this group should do the trick. It certainly tops my list of interesting acts in the area this week.
"so much here to love"
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The Book Of Gnomes is an obscure (for the time being) experimental project curated by Ben Bowen, Mar...The Book Of Gnomes is an obscure (for the time being) experimental project curated by Ben Bowen, Marshall Bureau, Darren Wall, and Nick Zubeck. I'll quote something off their myspace page cause it's true: "Book Of Gnomes is a music geek's dream band". That doesn't say it all, though. It's my belief that with the right media support, their eclectic sound would be loved by everyone, music geek or not. There is so much here to love. It's different, no doubt, but there's a universal appeal that oozes through, and anyone with a soul would find sitting and listening to them a pure pleasure. There's jazz in there for sure - Ben's trumpet sound is warm and sits perfectly wherever it lands. But it's not just the jazz aspect that thrills (and I admit, I'm a push-over for good live jazz), it's the journey they take you on, where you can "get" the music if you want, or just feel it.
From this point forward, I will be a relentless cheerleader for these guys. I think they might wind up being four of the most relevant musicians (artists too) in Toronto. Not exaggerating.
Music Geeks' Dream Band
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"Book of Gnomes is a music geek's dream band. Professional instrumental jazz musicians experimenting..."Book of Gnomes is a music geek's dream band. Professional instrumental jazz musicians experimenting with Indie Rock, Jazz and Electronica mixed in. If you like to watch top notch improvisation, don't miss 'The Gnomes'"
Bozuwabu Suite, parts 1 - 5 (25+ minutes)
Skimmer, parts 1 - 5 (25+ minutes)
ClipArt suite (20 mins)
Stencil Suite, parts 1 - 4 (20+ minutes)
There are no upcoming dates at this time.