Created over the course of 3 years, in the sleepy town of Washburn, Wisconsin on the shores of Chequamegon Bay (Lake Superior), Nathan Parent's debut release, "Words Without Meaning" encompasses many varying musical styles and genre-spanning sonic qualities that have been left mostly unclassifiable by listeners. Made out of sporadically scribbled notes and memorized ideas while traveling around the U.S.; and while living in the costal city of Bergen, Norway, it blossomed and formed into, what some fans have called, "A true master piece!" The journey, however, would be seen as an undertaking like no other for the young artist, with many twists and turns and unexpected roadblocks scattered throughout.
Upon returning to his hometown in April 2008, after several months living in Bowie, MD, he began work on a project, which he secretly titled, "Listening In". A twelve track album comprised of acoustic and minimally arranged ballads about love, loss, and silent torment.
He, along with good friend and Sound Engineer/Co-Producer (Ryan Rusch), began work on "Listening In" during May of 2008. Almost every instrument was recorded by himself, save some musical parts performed by a few other local musicians (Heidi Howes, Wilson Holzhaeuser, and Eric Doane). It was a turbulent time, working many hours at the local cafe, he fit in studio time as soon as work would end, until nearly midnight every night he was able. The project took on more and more perspective as the summer passed, as did his promises of releasing a full album by the summer's end.
The local community that knew of his musical endeavors grew weary of waiting, so he rushed through until December, with Rusch pushing along, to complete mixes of his full LP in late December of 2008. The following week, he departed for Bergen, Norway (with many hopes of completing the mastering of his album there) and spent the entire time performing and writing new music while living in a hostel in the city center. One fateful night, he stumbled upon the riff that would become the song "First Blood"; and while under the gaze of his fellow hostel mate who hailed from the Faroe Islands (Herborg Hansen), he penned the song which would become the rally cry of his album's road to true release.
With this new tune stuck in his head, he returned to Wisconsin again in February of 2009 and posed a question to Rusch: "What if we started over from the beginning?" With a blank stare of bemusement from his long-time musical partner, they began again that month and created what would become the new album. Comprised of his most newly written material, and a few other songs saved from the "Listening In" sessions, he fixed, what he thought to be the mistake in his last album: not enough musicians. Over the course of the year and the beginning of 2010, he asked the help of his closest musical friends in the area and from across the globe. With featured female singers from three different countries and musicians known locally, the songs grew into very intimate and emotive entities; filled with passion and raw energy.
After almost three years of planning and two years of re-recording/producing, Nathan Parent has finally finished his fabled debut album, retitled, "Words Without Meaning". With the additional help of of audio designer and mastering engineer, David Hill at Inland Sea Studio in Superior, Wisconsin; creator of Crane Song, the pioneers of modern digital audio recording. An interesting aspect to this record, is the use of the revolutionary mastering technology called HEAT (Harmonically Enhanced Algorithm Technology) to help balance the many years of work, into a cohesive, one-of-a-kind sound, unlike many digitally recorded albums of the past.
120 unique copies of the album were printed by David Hill at Inland Sea Studio in Superior, Wisconsin at the tail end of December 2010. All of the albums sold within the first week of release. The album included one of the special, handmade Julehjerte (a traditional Scandinavian Christmas decoration made by weaving paper into the shape of a heart) that creates the 120-piece quilt for the album artwork; created and designed by fellow Wisconsin-born artist, Heather Rae Tietz (contact: firstname.lastname@example.org); and graphics work by local artist, Becky Wygonic at Karlyn's Gallery in Washburn, Wi September of 2010.
This album is dedicated to the entire world!
Six distinct female artists, from three different counties, on three different continents performed on "Words Without Meaning": Toronto, Ontario based visual and recording artist, Kathryn Kearns doing vocals and flute on track 12; Norwegian songwriter, Helene Gullsvåg, vocals on tracks 3 and 10, as well as hand claps on track 10; former Washburn, Wisconsin native, Allison Radke and Argentinian friend/vocalist, Anebelle Carbonel on track 6; Ashland, Wi based vocalist, Kristine Pedretti on track 2; Ohio-born, Wisconsin based singer-songwriter and vocalist, Heidi Howes on tracks 1 and 7.
Other musicians include local artists: Wilson Holzhaeuser, bass on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 9, 10, and 12; Eric Doane, drum kit on tracks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, and 12; Lisa Gilbaugh, violin on tracks 1 and 12; Charlie Burchill, trumpets on tracks 8, 10, and 12, flugelhorn solo on track 8; and Marky Baby, alto sax solo on track 9.
All guitars, synthesizers, pianos, aux. percussion, sounds, and vocals done by Nathan Parent, as well as: drum kit on tracks 8 and 11 and bass on tracks 5, 8, and 11.
Produced by: Nathan Parent
Engineered, Mixed, and Co-Produced by: Ryan Rusch at The Weight Room in Washburn, Wi, February 2009-December 2010
Mastered by: David Hill at Inland Sea Studio in Superior, Wi, December 2010
released January 12, 2011
All songs and words written by Nathan Parent (Copyright Control)
The Parallel Figures:
Words Without Meaning
Produced by: Nathan Parent
Co-Produced by: Ryan Rusch
Engineered and Mixed by: Ryan Rusch at The Weight Room in Washburn, WI from February 2009-December 2010
Mastered by: David Hill at Inland Sea in Superior, WI
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