Timbre
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Timbre

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF

Nashville, Tennessee, United States | SELF
Band Folk Acoustic

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"boasts a finely tuned repertoire of original music"

When you play Radiohead covers on the harp, you're going to turn heads. But Timbre Cierpke, a local harpist who performs under her first name, also boasts a finely tuned repertoire of original music that pushes her beyond mere novelty status.

Fans of instrumental rock and classical music as well as casual pop radio surfers can find intrigue in Timbre's minimalist compositions, which she often pierces with her clear, striking voice, the fruit of a musical upbringing that began at a very early age. - Tennessean- All the Rage


"it's hard to make a label stick to Timbre"

Try as you may, it’s hard to make a label stick to Timbre Cierpke. And why shouldn’t it be? It’s not often that you come across a professional harpist playing her own music and opening for indie rock bands in run-down dives. - Nashville City Paper


"Everything about the band screams splendor and grace"


Where do you start when you review an album like this? Reviewing this breathtaking project called Timbre draws parallels to reviewing classical music in that both are timeless, making analysis near impossible. So I will attempt to lay out the most important elements in a concise manner while being as informative as possible. But beware: I am sure to miss certain details that may be personal to the individual, as this is an album that jerks and plucks at the imagination, conjuring unique experiences to the respective listener.

At surface level, Winter Comes to Wake You is an album for rainy days by the heater, lazy Sundays in the sun, and relaxing massages after a stressful day. It's an angelic, harp-driven album that runs well past an hour.

It is not intended to be New Age music, though it will inevitably be used by New Age-er's to meditate. And it is not intended to give listeners the adrenaline-filled headbang experience something like Between the Buried and Me can bring.

Winter Comes to Wake You is an accessible album that is not for everyone. Vocalist and harpist Timbre Cierpke's Irish-esque voice flows hauntingly on every track that contains vocals (and "hauntingly" is an understatement) - in fact, the entire album has a very Irish/Celtic feel to it. As far as musicianship goes, the record is very diverse, sporting choirs, bells, various string and woodwind instruments and keys to just plain frighten auditors with the sheer captivating beauty Timbre brings. "God can't You stitch Your heart over mine / Cover the holes left behind," croons Cierpke on "White on Red." Everything about the band screams splendor and grace, and that's all I can say about this album without being redundant.

All at once spiritual, melodic and ethereal, Winter Comes to Wake You is begging to be picked up on your next quest for relaxation. - absolutepunk.net


"Timbre’s work is both haunting and elegant, and her voice has the capacity to soar to the upper reaches."

Timbre’s Winter Comes to Wake You clearly has its roots in this tradition. The album has a vernacular feel to it, as though these songs have been handed down over countless generations. Such, however, is not the case, which only serves to underscore the music’s authenticity. While it might sound ancient, it’s all really quite new, and the overall effect is startling.

The centerpiece of this recording is Timbre Cierpke, a talented harpist whose understated plucking provides the perfect counterpoint to her crystalline alto singing. Haling from Nashville of all places, Timbre is a classically trained performer, who has toured and recorded with a wide number of bands, dabbling in a variety of styles along the way. With this recording however, her first full-length collection of material, she leaves her bandmate status behind and moves to the front and center, where her talents must either thrive or fail on their own.

Timbre bills herself as a solo act, but there are certainly a slew of guest musicians here as well. These include a cellist, a pianist, and someone who is handy with the bells. (Bells are always a requirement with this kind of music, it seems.) From time to time, one hears the occasional muted drumming, and there’s even some dramatic oboe thrown in for effect. The whole, however, turns out to be more than the sum of its parts. Timbre’s work is both haunting and elegant, and her voice has the capacity to soar to the upper reaches. These moments are rare, to be sure, but they definitely add something extra to the mix.
Two tracks, “Veni, Sancte Spiritus” and “Kyrie Eleison,” both Latin hymns from the Catholic tradition, are performed with an uncanny lightness of touch.
- stereo subversion


"Dreamy, ethereal, and clearly artistic, her music will appeal to fans of the original."

Chances are, you’ve heard the work of this harpist before, maybe without even realizing. She is the one that plays at the end of mewithoutYou’s latest album, Brother, Sister. Before that she helped out with Cool Hand Luke’s The Fires of Life. And of course there’s been a number of other collaborations, including Anathallo, Foxhole, Hundred Year Storm, and Bradley Hathaway, among others. So for someone who is coming to the foreground by adding the harp to other bands’ recordings, what does she sound like on her own? This was the question I found myself asking a few weeks ago as Winter Comes to Wake You found its way into my list of albums to review. And it was a question that I was eager to answer.
At a basic level, this record is exactly what you would expect a solo record from a harpist to sound like. On one hand, classical. On the other, indie. The two combine together for what could make some great soundtrack music for a movie, but it could also work just as well for a cozy night at home sitting by the fire and reading a book. On some songs, such as “Autumn People” and “White on Red,” Timbre adds her own chilling voice to the mix with lyrics and singing that add to the slightly-dark and haunting sound of the harp. Chanted background vocals give “We with Unveiled Faces” a more epic feel, while bells, piano, occasional drums, and a cello are added here and there throughout this release to give variety to an album that could otherwise blend together a little too easily. A smart move on her part.
Sadly, there is probably only a very small niche market for stuff like this right now, but if Sigur Rós can make it big, so can Timbre. Dreamy, ethereal, and clearly artistic, her music will appeal to fans of the original. While it may be much mellower than most music discussed on this site, I have trouble calling it relaxing because of the darker nature behind the melodies and the sound of the harp. Either way, it’s great music for late nights and rainy days, and I imagine it would be great inspiration for painters. If you buy it now, you’re guaranteed to receive my seal of approval, although I would personally recommend ditching the earbuds or computer speakers and listening to it on larger home speakers to be able to really capture the experience.
- indie vision music


"amazingly and hauntingly beautiful...Winter is my least favorite time of the year but if this album were to serve as its soundtrack then I would gladly live there all year round."

I first became aware of the music of Timbre a few years ago at the Cornerstone Music Festival. What this young woman does is extremely difficult to put into words. Needless to say though it is amazingly and hauntingly beautiful. Timbre Cierpke is a classically trained harpist and is a master at her craft. Although often playing as a solo performer she is periodically joined by the other younger members of her family, Tenor, Treble & Tetra. The ensemble is a wonder to behold and is represented skillfully on Timbre's first full length recording entitled "Winter Comes To Wake You" Winter is my least favorite time of the year but if this album were to serve as its soundtrack then I would gladly live there all year round.

The instrumental lineup on the album consists of harp, oboe, french horn, toy piano, vibraphone & hand bell choir as well as a full choir. Rounding out the lineup are the vocals of Timbre Cierpke. Oh what vocals they are, this young woman has been gifted with a voice smooth enough to melt butter. To say that it suites her music perfectly is a complete and utter understatement.

Timbre over the last few years has made a reputation for herself as a side player for groups like Cool Hand Luke, Anathallo, Bradley Hathaway and others. Yet it is her solo work that really stands apart on its own. Forget about the teeny bopper flavor of the month, this is a serious woman making some very serious music. Hopefully she will be doing it for many years to come. - phantom tollbooth


Discography

Timbre - Oct 1 2006
Winter Comes To Wake You - April 27th, 2008
Little Flowers - May 1st, 2010
Silent Night- Nov 25th, 2011

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Bio

Bio:
Nashville based harpist and songwriter Timbre has been enchanting audiences across the world in growing numbers over the last few years with her unique brand of harp-based folk rock. Her career has caught the attention of the music world, and has led to her recording and collaborating with rock legends Jack White, Tom Jones, Ricky Skaggs, and rock bands such as mewithoutYou, Anathallo, Brooke Wagonner, and The Chariot. Her ensemble of musicians have entranced crowd after crowd, often bringing complete stillness to crowded bars and festivals, silencing audiences of thousands.
The pairing of Timbre's classically trained voice and harp skills with the dynamic sounds of a talented backing band has left audiences enchanted and moved. Whether performing with a standard band of guitar, bass, accordion and drums, or with a more classical lineup of strings, brass, and even a 20 voice choir, Timbre creates lush soundscapes that pull in listeners of every background. Sometimes haunting, sometimes driving, sometimes unabashedly joyful, Timbre is a musical experience that is completely unique and compelling, reminding listeners that music can move us like nothing else can.

With an impressive history on her instrument, Timbre proves that a classical education can bring a truly unique and cultured sound to modern music. Her music has been performed both by her and by various ensembles throughout cathedrals in Europe, including St Peter's in Rome, and Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. She has won competitions on the harp throughout her career including a Curb Sponsored Concerto Competition for the Nashville Symphony. She was also invited to sing in composer Eric Whitacre's vocal ensemble for his Carnegie Hall premiere in April of 2010.

Timbre's 2nd album, "Little Flowers", has proven to be even more compelling and entrancing than the first. Adding a new mix of musicians to her ensemble, Timbre has captured a sound lush and diverse, full of deep emotional introspection, but also driving energy and joy. Boasting a lineup of over 30 performers, "Little Flowers" features once again Timbre Cierpke's enchanting voice and harp along with strings, brass, choir, drums, guitar, bass, accordian, and an assortment of other unexpected sounds. The record is a diversely painted landscape that listeners will want to explore over and over again.