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by Kevin VanAntwerpen |

Band Spotlight:

Wires and Lights SOUNDS LIKE: Metric, Death Cab For Cutie

Lights. While most of the members of the band played previ-

I /// IN THE STUDIO Deborrah Wyndham: The Lost Art of Ragtime and Jazz SOUNDS LIKE: George Winston I

N A WORLD RULED BY THE FORC- ES of musically shallow pop songs and four chord punk bands, one woman and her piano will stand up for the beauty of traditional ragtime and jazz. That woman is Deborrah Wyndham. “It works to my advantage that a lot of people

aren’t doing the kind of music I am doing,” Wyndham said. “Ragtime and jazz are kind of becoming a lost art. Instrumental piano on its own is becoming a lost art.” Wyndham has been playing piano for 24 years,

and professionally for 11. She’s released two albums – a collection of ‘30s and ‘40s pop music covers called Tenderly and another five-song collection of her own compositions called Piano Compositions. She’s currently poised to release another album, titled The Beginning. But don’t let the jazz/ragtime label fool you into

thinking you can listen to Wyndham’s compositions during a study session.

“You can listen to it as background music, but it’s

designed to put a demand on the listener,” Wyndham said. “It’s not your typical massage music – there’s a lot going on, and that’s why it sounds classical at times. There’s a lot of fast and slow dynamic to it.” While she admits that her music appeals to a

primarily older audience, Wyndham says she’ll also at times find it catering to an audience of college students. “I want to do it, because I love it and I want to

inspire kids to see that it’s an option,” Wyndham said. “It’s something different that they can do. I think a lot of younger people are surrounded by pop, hard rock and heavy metal. I think that they want to balance that. I’ve met a lot of metal heads who admit to listening to Jewel or something like that.” Wyndham’s upcoming album will include the

five tracks featured on Piano Compositions, while also providing nine additional tracks. It was recorded at Family Piano Co. in Waukegan, Ill., and is slated for a release between mid-September and early October. n

ously in a half-summer-long project called Sarah Never Loved Me, the dissolving of that band led to the joining of singer/ songwriters Kathryn Tapper and Brendan May. “Some of the members of [Sarah Never Loved Me]

were being a little unreliable,” said Tapper, frontwoman and rhythm guitarist. “At that point, I just decided to take Brendan and Jayson [Bussa] and start our own thing. Then another old friend, Paul Bauer, came along and we were set.” The band’s name is a reference to two separate entities.

The first was a speech by Edward Murrow. Secondly, the group’s practice space is in a dance studio in Kalamazoo, and Tapper referenced a box with the words “wires and lights” – filled with stage lighting equipment – and they felt the name was simply calling to them. As far as musical direction, Tapper says even the members

have a difficult time defining their sound. “I don’t think we’ve been compared to anyone that’s

actually comparable,” Tapper said. “Someone said I sound like Jewel. I don’t sound like Jewel. I know that. There’s no clear- cut answer. We all come from different musical backgrounds. I think that’s exciting because we’re not pop, and we’re not rock. For me personally, I’m a straight pop music junkie. I love Justin Bieber … Brendan is more into acoustic classical stuff and Jayson is more heavy metal. Paul is into everything.” The band released its debut EP on Sept. 30 at Old Dog

Tavern in Kalamazoo, and has a performance scheduled in Grand Rapids on Nov. 12 during the Autumn Goes Acoustic event at The Intersection. It will be appearing alongside Domestic Problems, Kari Lynch, Christopher Andrus, Chasing the Sky, Alexis Kent and more. n

F YOU MISSED THE West Michigan Noise! Convention at MXTP in Grand Rapids this summer, or the Dog Days of Summer festival at Old Dog Tavern in Kalamazoo last August, then you also missed out on seeing West Michigan’s newest rising star, Wires and



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