Cindertalk
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Cindertalk

Portland, Oregon, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2000 | INDIE

Portland, Oregon, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2000
Solo Alternative Chamber

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Oct
12
Cindertalk @ Bootleg Theatre

Los Angeles, California, United States

Los Angeles, California, United States

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Press


It seems entirely inappropriate to label Jonny Rodgers' solo work as “good” or “bad.” The Aviary is a technical masterpiece, making it even more difficult to use such pedestrian qualifiers. Sure, his music is an acquired taste, but the longer it ruminates, the more rewarding the listen. Not unlike Joanna Newsom, or a less theatrical Rufus Wainwright, Rodgers' chamber-pop is
an uncompromising blend of delicate string arrangements, Brazilian jazz and tangled melodies - and even as lofty as that sounds, Rodgers aims directly for the heart without abandoning his pop sensibilities.
Around this same time last year, I
distinctly remember Rodgers admitting
to going on a pop-free music diet,
choosing instead to devote his time to
the study of 19th-century Romantic
pieces ranging from Chopin to
Brahms. It came as little surprise then
that Rodgers' opus would include an
arrangement of Benjamin Britten's
“Balulalow,” immediately recalling Jeff
Buckley's Vienna-boy rendition of
“Corpus Christi Carol.” Yet, given
without the soulful wailing and
excessive vibrato, Rogers' delivery is
somehow more haunting, conjuring Buckley's ghostly essence rather than imitating him outright.
“Of all the reasons that bind us together/ the least of these is love,” Rodgers is forced to resign on “Don't Make Me Choose.” Unfolding in a recursive state of harmonic tension, it's as though Rodgers were unsure of how to reconcile his divided family loyalties. The result is tear-jerking in the “Bohemian Rhapsody” sense of the word, revealing a profound ability to amplify the most fragile moments of existence while exposing their neglected life-lessons.

Ryan Monahan - Flagpole Magazine (Athens, GA) - Flagpole Magazine (Athens, GA)


It was one of the best concerts I've seen in Connecticut — so good that when I approached Jonny Rodgers to talk to him after his show, I had a rock star moment. It was a full-on Wayne-and-Garth "I'm not worthy" stammer; more like "wow, I thought talking to you wouldn't be a big deal, and I just totally blew my cool." I think I flubbed out something about how the songs off of his new disc, The Aviary, had totally melted my heart. Looks like they sniped a few brain cells, too.
Rodgers… released his new disc at The Space this past Friday. Rodgers' Aviary material… combines Rodgers' vocals and acoustic guitar with all manner of strings, and — here's where it gets kinky — then layers on instruments like steel drums and tuned wine glasses. The results are put together something like Paul Simon's Rhythm of the Saints album, which is to say that they're tastefully-crafted pop songs which emphasize the appropriateness, rather than the exoticness, of some of the less common instrumentation. Not once did the architecture of the songs seem arch or too big for its britches.
Rodgers himself, however, was a flamboyant frontman, his stunning voice evoking Nick Drake in a higher register. But it's clear he holds his role as showman lightly; "I woulda’ done Prince, but I'm more like an over-thoughtful white guy" he joked after his band nailed a cover of the Police's "Spirits in the Material World"...

Dan Berry - The Hartford Advocate (CT) - The Hartford Advocate - (CT)


An occasional touring member of the rambunctious indie band Son Lux, solo musician Jonny Rodgers makes music that seems to echo his idyllic Pacific Northwest lifestyle. Living on a farm in Eugene, Oregon’s hippie capital, one certainly can’t accuse Rodgers of being lyrically cryptic. As though his cheerful swells of indie folk weren’t enough to sonically drive home his messages of hope and love, his October 8th release on Epitonic is called Everything All At Once, and is led by the single “Let It Fill Your Whole Heart”.

Be not dissuaded by the heart-on-his-sleeve nature of it all, though; there is a surprising storyline here. The lyrics on “Let It Fill Your Whole Heart” are to be appreciated for their simplicity, which shines in the same way as the setting sun over farmlands gold and green. The track talks almost hypnotically about enjoying life’s blessings — a reminder that philosophers the world have spoken to this topic but the layman rarely does with such overt reverence.

Indeed, enjoying life to the fullest is the constant reminder set forth by “Let It Fill Your Whole Heart”; but as the album title implies, taking it all in is really no simple feat. Rodgers is preaching the kind of enjoyment where every fiber of your being is soaking up the energy radiating from cheerful times, and is breathing, ready, alive. - Redefine Magazine


Check out this astonishing video from Jonny Rodgers, who uses tuned wineglasses, guitar, and loops to make some awfully gorgeous music. (He was recently featured on the soundtrack to Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon.) Rodgers recently relocated to Oregon from Brooklyn, and his new album Everything All At Once comes out October 8 on Epitonic. He plays this Sunday, September 29, at 9 pm at the LaurelThirst Public House. Please do not spill his wineglasses. - Portland Mercury


Jonny Rodgers starts off the night with a stroke of different not normally graced through the doors of Philadelphia. Dressed in a white shirt and jeans, he plays solo but works just as hard as four men on stage. Through live loopings of electronics, guitar, voice and tuned wine glasses, he creates an exclusive sound which he has been building throughout his musical career working with classical and “new music” musicians.
His fingers tap and rub the tops of the glasses, quickly moving from one glass to the next. To be honest, he’s moving so fast it is hard for one to tell how the goblets produce this sound that is vibrating. It’s reminiscent of Tibetan singing bowls. Between the water goblets, his voice, guitar, keyboard, drum beats, and humming like Bjork, it is fitting to quote the experience by using one of his song’s titles, a Miracle in Common Space.
The lyrics to Jonny’s songs are short, short phrases that are meant to go deeper than the simple words. He mentions the work he supports of his wife with those affected by human trafficking; and shares other songs about “how fleeting joy can be, and also how wonderful,” he says.
“Sing it again, my love… cause it’s so beautiful,” repeats the chorus over and over again during his song Swung on a Swing.
Jonny ends with just his guitar and himself singing a song titled for Jerusalem. Finger pricking the strings rapidly he is transformed into another version of his musical talent.

Everything Will Come - music blog - (Philadelphia, PA) - Everything Will Come (Philly, PA)


Jonny Rodgers, a brilliant guitarist and vocalist who transforms a table of tuned wine glasses into an ethereal chorus of silvery voices…

I was particularly interested to hear Jonny Rodgers’ tuned glasses live, because on his recordings (which you can hear on his album TheAviary) their high, clear chords come across to me like a mouthful of snow. Their coldness and brightness mixes in perfectly with his singing voice, which is chilly and acidic like ceviche. Caustic in a cleansing way, not a burning way.

Live, that clear taste of Jonny’s music was cut by different sounds and different tastes. The ringing of bicycle bells came in quick like a crunch of celery, the squeals and blips from the stage setup were raw and salty.

Alexis Nedd - Dinner Music - (NYC) - Dinner Music


Jonny Rodgers, a brilliant guitarist and vocalist who transforms a table of tuned wine glasses into an ethereal chorus of silvery voices…

I was particularly interested to hear Jonny Rodgers’ tuned glasses live, because on his recordings (which you can hear on his album TheAviary) their high, clear chords come across to me like a mouthful of snow. Their coldness and brightness mixes in perfectly with his singing voice, which is chilly and acidic like ceviche. Caustic in a cleansing way, not a burning way.

Live, that clear taste of Jonny’s music was cut by different sounds and different tastes. The ringing of bicycle bells came in quick like a crunch of celery, the squeals and blips from the stage setup were raw and salty.

Alexis Nedd - Dinner Music - (NYC) - Dinner Music


...I was absolutely captivated by the earnestness of Rodgers’ delivery, his voice produced on the very lightest edge of his crystalline falsetto, which floated disembodied from chest voice, giving a ghostly timbre, providing the perfect complement to the wine glasses on which he accompanied himself. By contrast, Reynolds’ full-throated sound soared dazzlingly. The interplay was exquisitely earthy.

Rodgers is truly a performer to behold. Though his glass instrument was obscured by his sheet music, the physicality of his performance was as graceful as a dancer and as expressive as the music. I tittered with sheer glee when, with a dramatic gesture of his right arm, he appeared to be coaxing this glorious tone out Reynolds instrument...

Scottie Roche - The Glass - (NYC) - The Glass


"A stunning demonstration of what can be done with tuned wine glasses." - New York Times - Allan Kozinn - New York Times


Discography

The Sound of Birds - 2003

The Aviary - 2008

Everything All At Once - 2013

Every Mother's Child EP - 2013

Spero 7" - 2014

All A Shimmer - Spring 2015

Photos

Bio

Cindertalk is the stage and studio name of multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter Jonny Rodgers, and the ever-changing group of musicians who join him for performances and recordings. He is best known for his skill in playing an array of tuned wine glasses along with guitar, keyboards and loop pedals and has contributed to numerous albums and film scores.

Jonny Rodgers took the name Cindertalk in 2014 as an overarching name for his music and the ever-shifting cast of musical friends. The term cindertalk refers to the sound of live coals hidden in the ashes of the early morning fires he lights each day to warm his Oregon cottage.

Cindertalks songs and live show are based around the combination of tuned wine glasses, guitar, loops, electronics and vocals. The New York Times' Allan Kozinn called Cindertalks live show "a stunning demonstration of what can be done with tuned wine glasses.

Jonny is also a composer and producer, writing chamber, orchestral and choral music for concert and film. His most recent film credits include providing guitar for Joseph Gordon-Levitt's Don Jon, glass and glass samples on The Disappearance Of Eleanor Rigby and he wrote the complete score for indie film My Brother Jack.

Jonny's formative musical years were spent writing, touring and recording with his brother Steve Rodgers in the indie band Mighty Purple. The band released seven albums and toured the US multiple times. Literature and art run in Jonnys family including novelists and authors like his grandfather Joseph Chilton Pearce and great-uncle Richard Yates.

Born in Oxford, UK, and recently transplanted from New Haven, CT and Brooklyn, NY, Jonny now lives south of Portland, OR on a small farm.

Eat it up.

Band Members