If Jherek Bischoffs life were a movie, it would start out as the rock band version of "Life of Pi" and morph, through a process of musical inspiration and intense perseverance, into a love story between a ukulele and a string orchestra.
Intrigued? You should be.
Chances are theres a lot you dont know about this composer, producer, songwriter, and all around musical powerhouse. The details of his unusual biography were recently aired in an interview on NPR's Fresh Air with Terry Gross, where Bischoff gave an enlightening look into his surreal personal history (including a childhood spent on a sailboat playing an uncomfortable amount of Jimmy Buffett covers), the evolution and extreme meticulousness of his creative process, and the success of his debut album Composed. Oh, and at one point he talks about living and recording music out of his friends closet. You can listen to that interview here, and then try to figure out what this guy hasnt done.
In the aftermath of the Fresh Air piece, his record shot up to #37 on the Billboard Heatseekers Chart. How cool is that? Well, okay, it's not cooler than the record. Speaking of cool, before being called by Billboard to confirm if the record was "classical enough" to be included on their classical chart, too, we thought the Heatseekers chart was for innovative hot sauces. (Billboard told us the record wasn't classical enough to be on the classical chart, and corrected us about that hot sauce thing.) In any case, even if a number cant communicate the musical scope of Bischoffs work...its still pretty dang exciting. (And we still like hot sauce and think it deserves its own chart.)
But wait, there's more.
Jherek also invited WQXR and NPR into his home for a video profile on their new Q2 show Spaces, which is kind of like MTV's old show Cribs, only about composers. Not sure if the person that came up with the concept has a bright future in the world of mainstream broadcast television, but we liked it a bunch, and hope you will too:
See, he wasn't exaggerating about growing up on a boat.
And that's not all. (Also, sorry we're not done yet.) Jherek may well be coming near your home in next few months. He's recently added a whole slew of U.S. tour dates for 2013, including some ridiculously unique events and collaborations that you really won't want to miss. Were getting excited just thinking about it (and we can pretty much guarantee that Jimmy Buffett covers will not be on the program).
MAY 24: Sasquatch Festival - George, WA (Headline performance)
JUNE 14: Red Rocks Amphitheatre - Morrison, CO (Arrangements for Amanda Palmer headline performance w/ Colorado Symphony & Devotchka)
JULY 28: Damrosch Park @ Lincoln Center New York, NY (New commission for Kronos Quartet alongside pieces by Dan Deacon, Bryce Dessner, Amon Tobin and Nicole Lizzie)
JULY 31: Le Poisson Rouge New York, NY (Headline performance)
AUG 8: Haldern Pop Festival - Haldern, Germany (Headline performance w/ chamber orchestra conducted by André de Ridder)
OCT 18: Fitzgerald Theater - St Paul, MN (Headline performance w/ special guests Sondre Lerche, Poliça's Channy Leaneagh, Ólöf Arnalds, Greg Saunier of Deerhoof and other musicians presented by Walker Art Center & St. Paul Chamber Orchestra's Liquid Music series)
OCT 19: Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - Portland, OR (JB arrangements for Mirah & Holcombe Waller w/ Oregon Symphony)
Click here for a full list of his upcoming dates, including extensive touring with Amanda Palmer. Next mark your calendars accordingly, buy your tickets well in advance and, while you're waiting, watch a handful of new live videos Jherek has posted on his YouTube channel! Here he is with the French songstress and actress Soko.