Jeff Ryan lets his instruments do the talking when he's myopic

Dallas-based drummer and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Ryan releases his second collection of myopic music.
BY GENE TRIPLETT etriplett@opubco.com Modified: March 12, 2013 at 5:05 pm •  Published: March 13, 2013
Advertisement
;

“It's done. We did finish it,” Ryan said. “We finished in January with Stuart Sikes here in Dallas. It's just we haven't been that active ... We said, look, let's finish this thing. I had some creative input (and) I don't consider myself just a session drummer for that band. I'm the drummer in that band, which I feel very honored to be.”

The Baptist Generals hosted a listening party for the album Friday at 35 Denton — the music festival founded by the band's lead singer, Chris Flemmons. A tour will probably follow the album's release.

As for myopic, Ryan plans only a couple of live performances.

“I'm going to do two performances, one in Dallas and one in Denton, and I've considered some very good friends who run the Opolis up in Norman, so I was thinking about doing something there as well,” Ryan said.

To help him re-create the seven pieces from “we were here” in a live setting, Ryan has recruited the Dallas-based band The Waterfalls.

“They're mainly soundscape, experimental, instrumental music, and they've accepted,” he said. “They're going to play the record, and they're going to play it the way they're going to interpret it, like an interpretation of how they see or how they hear the record. And that's kind of what I want because I've done shows in the past, off and on, with the last release and it's great to get an ensemble together and try and put these pieces together.”

But one wonders how Ryan puts these introspective instrumental pieces together in the first place, when he's alone. And what do they mean to him? Take the title track, for example.

“Actually I wrote that song a few years ago,” he said. “It was written and recorded in a matter of maybe four or five hours, and it was in one room, one bedroom in a little apartment we had and my wife was actually in Scotland (her native country) at the time.

“And the only instruments I had around me were an old keyboard and my little vibes set and a Muppet keyboard and a couple of cymbals and a slightly out of tune piano. And when I was done with that track it was like, you know, that's kind of what this project is. It's immediate, this gut-wrenching feeling like I have, to put all these things into perspective right now, and from start to finish it's almost like someone's life. It's like it starts off with this melody and then it builds slightly and you make this dramatic entrance, and then all of a sudden, you know, you're gone.”

It's Ryan's way of saying, seize the day. He just doesn't know how to put it into words.