Last night I watched an amazing webcast of original instrumental piano music from a teenager named Tristan Allen, who has his first EP out today.
The quality and control of it was just astounding. I have a very hard time paying attention to instrumental music, but last night I had no problem.
What’s so interesting, other than Tristan’s amazing abilities as a pianist and composer, is the story of how his album came to be. I love this story to death, and you should just go read Amanda Palmer’s version of it – part 1 and part 2 – but her blogs are way longer than mine, so I’ll summarize for you:
While Amanda Palmer, she of the Dresden Dolls, was recently in Boston rehearsing and performing Cabaret she randomly stopped in front of Berklee College of Music and asked three hugging teens if she could snap their photo. Though they didn’t recognize her at first, just as Amanda made her way down the sidewalk one of the teens chased her down, having overheard her talking about Cabaret.
This was Tristan. He was a huge Dolls fan and composer, and wondered if he could play a song for Amanda. One thing lead to another, and Amanda, Tristan, and his friends wound up in Amanda’s legendary Cloud Collective apartment with Amanda’s jaw on the floor, watching him play.
So, of course, being Amanda Palmer, she broadcasted him to the internet as he played and then created a Kickstarter campaign to raise 2.5x as much as he needed to record an EP, and then went into the studio with him to record, then last night threw him a record release party once again broadcast to the internet at large.
(You can stream the entire webcast on Ustream – Amanda plays a set before Tristan, who starts at about an hour in. His second or third song is where I began to be really blown away.)
Just take that in. Amanda Palmer just got out of a record contract. She was in a major run of a musical, promoting a new record, mixing another one, and planning a reunion tour for Dresden Dolls. And she took the time out to hear Tristan’s one song – and then fell in love with him and helped him make all of this happen. Oh, and recorded a duet with him.
Now Tristan has an album, at least a few thousand dollars put away for school, and a pretty fare name for himself heading into college applications.
Just amazing. Please listen to the sample and, if you like him, download his EP at any price you name.