The 17 piece Mother Falcon was hard at work at Gramophone in The Grove. An awe-inspiring live performance was expected, but what transpired was, well... #mindblowing - Touring in support of their 2013 "You Knew" LP the Austin, Texas band, whom started out, eager to break out of the classical repertoire that predominated their musical training has evolved into an organic collective of classically trained musicians (with hutzpah).
Even though the band was scheduled to drive (15 hours) back to Austin immediately after this show they never hesitated to put up multiple encores. Whether it was the bands feast, before the show, at Sweetie Pies or being in the "road zone" the energy surrounding the act was uplifting. Mother Falcon has and is changing the scope for what is possible for classical musicians. Stand out songs were "Marigold" and "Pink Stallion" and the cover off Radio Head's OK Computer "Paranoid Android" was a special treat to hear!
On a quiet Sunday night in The Grove it was easy to see why some describe Mother Falcon's signature soundscape of rock, jazz, and hip hop rhythms a breathtaking texture of musical genius, but it doesn't stop there.
After spending a few minutes chatting up Mother Falcon's Tamir Kalifa (piano/accordion/vocals) I learned that Mother Falcon's dedication to their craft extends well beyond cutting records and touring. A Summer camp for kids 11-17 years old, was started in 2011, called The Mother Falcon MUSIC LABORATORY in Austin, Texas. The week long camp is not your traditional classical music camp in the sense that it's just rigorous and very focused on technical aspects of playing music. Kalifa, "we care about the creative aspect and the collaborative aspect we do not require anything written on a page unless it's lyrics."
Teaching and inspiring kids to play what's in their heads extends beyond the camp, before landing in St Louis Mother Falcon spent three days in Louisville, Kentucky performing and delivering Q&A's for elementary & middle-school band / orchestra classes. Kalifa, "They were so into it, and wanted to know how long we had been doing this; I remember going through so many instruments and I never really settled on one. It was so hard to have faith in something that you can't see any applications for in music you like to listen to." Kalifa is not the only multi-instrumentalist in the band, they all are. "Once you figure out how to play one instrument it's all kinda similar, it just takes a little time to figure out the technicalities of it, it's all the same concept and language. For us it's really more about what kind of sound we hear in our head and how to realize that."
Many bands have help build and grow Mother Falcon's musical foundation along their journey, and as they continue; they now are seeding the musical landscape for many kids on their way up.