Due to some technical difficulties, our Do502 weekly preview is being featured on our blog this week!
We’ve never been to a Waterfront event that we didn’t like. Forecastle, Waterfront Wednesdays, The Belle’s 100th, KDF shows, Thunder. This year’s reinstated July 4th celebration will fit perfectly in that category. Thanks largely in part to Thorntons and Louisville City FC, this year’s event includes amazing musical talent, and, of course, an epic fireworks display. If you’ll be there for the whole afternoon, you won’t want to miss out on the music. John Duncan Trio kicks it off at 5, followed by Niles Foley at 6, and Lazy Sunday at 7. And then the real treat begins.
We’ve heard about how wonderful Teddy Abrams has been for our city’s Orchestra. He has become the face you’ve seen around town, constantly bringing the community and the Orchestra together. For this year’s 4th of July on the Waterfront, he’ll be on stage with them, Ben Sollee, and the 1200 crew. If you’re not going to the soccer game at Slugger Field, you need to attend this 8:30 performance.
We talked with our friend Tyler Dippold, who is the baritone vocalist you see alongside 1200’s Jecorey Arthur.
Live Music Lou: You’ve been performing with 1200 for a while now, and we’ve seen you all several times. How blown away are we going to be with the full orchestra in tow?
Tyler Dippold: Y’all are awesome, I love seeing you out and about! I’m glad you contacted me, because I was just about to reach out to you anyway!
The Orchestra is phenomenal, I felt like a fly on the wall! It was wonderful experience just being in their rehearsal. I was ecstatic, giddy. They played through the national anthem and I was practically in tears. They rehearsed Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare For The Common Man” (which might as well be the national anthem, since it got a similar reaction from me as well).
And personally, it’s wonderful to hear my friend, Tyler Taylor’s orchestral arrangements of Jecorey’s tracks. I was so happy to be hearing it all come to life off of the page. I can’t begin to explain how excited and grateful we all are to get to share 1200’s music with Louisville in this way.
LML: For those who are on the fence, name 3 things that will convince them to be there.
TD: First, Ben Sollee. As you can imagine, since Ben is a cellist, his orchestral arrangements sound phenomenal. The string section seemed to be loving it, it sounded amazing, and they’re quite complimentary to some other pieces on the program. Also his set features a really wide dynamic contrast. His arrangements go between some of the most tender and beautiful moments in the program and moments with massive walls of sound. And Ben can really sing too, at some of the most gigantic moments in his set, I could hear his voice cut crystal clearly through the texture of the orchestra (an admirable task without a mic).
Second, wait until you hear Natasha Foley. You may not know that name yet, but just wait until you hear her. She’s one of the studio artists with the Kentucky Opera. Anticipation: ensue.
Third, don’t be fooled, you may have heard that 1200 and Ben Sollee are headlining this shindig. But this is really the center of the whole evening, they are the hardest working musicians around. They’re playing Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony. If you’re not familiar with Beethoven’s Fifth, I suggest this link:
LML: Serious question here – how much prep work goes into playing with an ENTIRE ORCHESTRA?! It seems like it would be a huge challenge, but equally as rewarding once you’re done.
TD: That’s a great question, and not an easy one to answer. You’ll see some of the pieces in the Orchestra’s program features the highlights from recent concerts (like Beethoven’s Fifth for example). I guess I mean to say, the members of the Louisville Orchestra have been preparing many of these works before the Fourth concert was even in the works. It’s non-stop year-round hard work for them.
But to answer your your question, basically this concert has come together in 3 rehearsals. The final rehearsal brought in all of the featured artists, and it was quite a culmination. It’s so fun to sit in with them. The rehearsal itself was a rewarding experience, and educational too!
Personally, for me the hardest prep work is memorization. As a singer, I don’t always get to have a music stand or a score in front of me. So I’m memorizing new notes for Tyler Taylor’s arrangement of “OZ” – it’s intense! Aside from that, my involvement in this set is largely improvisatory, so as long as I’m warmed up and I do my scale exercises in the morning it should be a fun time! I hope I’m up up to par (it’s the Louisville Orchestra!!!).
I still feel like I’m avoiding your question, but it wouldn’t surprise me if Teddy and 1200 have been plotting this kind of concert for a while. I don’t really know though.
LML: Be honest. What are Jecorey, Teddy, and Ben REALLY like behind the scenes?
TD: Oooh good question. I’ll start with 1200. It’s weird for me to call him that. Jecorey is one of the most organized people I know. And stylish! I wish I could dress like him. But seriously he’s organized as hell. And busy too, this guy works nonstop. I wish I could be as organized as 1200.
Teddy is an amazing human. How many people could get in a bike accident and break their collarbone only to then command the LO w/infinitely more power in his one usable arm than someone like myself could do with 16 arms. I’ve only gotten to talk with him about music briefly but even in those moments, he’s really imparted a lot of wisdom and perspective on music. A while back, I talked with him briefly about the LO’s next season and Leonard Bernstein’s “MASS.” I was quick to comment that “MASS” really rocks, and is wonderfully exhilarating. And without dismissing my childish notions he was able to comment on the beauty of the work in a way that opened my ears to a side of it that I’d never really heard before. He’s an inspiration!
And last but certainly not least, Ben Sollee. I’m a huge fan. So again, my interactions with him were few, but I was probably a stammering nervous mess when I met him. He was very kind. I was a starstruck. We sat in on their run through of his set, it was like my own personal little concert. I wish I’d talked with him more. He sounds amazing!
LML: Okay still being honest – who would you kill off first during a zombie apocalypse?
TD: Easy answer. 1200. Cause a 1200 zombie chase scene would make for a cool music video for a track on his next album. The song is called “Resurrection” and I’m featured on the album version, you’ll get a preview of it with the orchestra this Saturday!
LML: What upcoming plans does 1200 have as a group? What about everyone individually, since several of you just graduated?
TD: 1200 and Elmo just graduated, the rest of us still have a little bit of time left. As for 1200, there’s lots of shows coming up, like Rye Back Porch Sessions, 7 Sense Festival, and you can expect to see 1200 and I helping out Dr. Dundiff and Friends on the Saturday of Forecastle. Aside from that the 1200 quintet is doing a small tour at the end of the summer. I’ve never been to New York before!
I mentioned that I was about to contact you anyway, and that’s because I have some shameless self promotion at hand as well. My friends and I are giving a classical piano and voice recital for free at first Unitarian Church on July 9th at 5pm. I’m performing several songs in English. If that’s not your style, before that I’m performing with Cher Von’s new improvised vocals/electronics project, “Throat Pan” at Zbar on July 7th. It’s gonna get weird. We’ve got Dane Waters and Amber Thieneman. I’m so excited.
We’re excited for all of the above, Tyler. Come hang out with us (and the throngs of thousands of others) down on the Waterfront this Saturday! Everyone involved will be putting on an absolutely wonderful show.