Interview with Andrew Lloyd Fry of Celebration Symphony Orchestra, 3 months after Fry's release of The End For Which The World Was Made, Which Can Be Listened To Here: https://celebrationsymphonyorchestra.bandcamp.com/album/the-end-for-which-the-world-was-made
From October 2016, Shira Service (Moffat Street Music)
Hi. Who are you? Where are you from?
Andrew Lloyd Fry:
My name is Andrew Lloyd Fry. I am 26 years old and live with my wife in Kansas City.
Listening to “Functional Music Vol. 1” made me hopeful for the future of music. It felt inspired by truth, mixed with contemporary technology, AND complete and skillful in regards to musical fluency and historical significance.
Originally this was not something I was planning to release, I was just going to record a couple of ambient pieces and just share them with my family and friends. But by the time I was done I was pretty happy with the collection so I decided to release them together. I have always been super amazed at the power of ambient music (at least its effects on me). Oftentimes it is quite simple and drawn out but for me it's some of the music I have the greatest emotional connection with.
When listening to “The End For Which The World Was Made”, I felt connected to prophecy; I was energized to run or do a handstand; I was satisfied to sit and rest. And yet, I know nothing about your background. I cannot find an online presence, save for BandCamp. Can you explain this lapse? Am I simply unfamiliar? (ß totally possible).
The record is only a couple of months old, and I am still working on the website and stuff like that. Stuff moves kind of slow when you do it all yourself.
What is your musical background? What instruments do you play? Do you produce and mix your own music?
My first instrument was the violin at age 10. But it wasn't till I was in high school that I started playing guitar and writing music. And that's when it really came alive for me. In college I took all the music classes I could (ear training, music theory). I started playing around on my brother's keyboard when I was younger, and at that point it was actually the main instrument I played.
I did pretty much all the instruments on the album, other than some of the drum and electric guitar parts. Yeah, I recorded and edited the music all out of my home. I don't know if I will do that again. It was incredibly time consuming. But I got it done.
Am I correct to assume that you write the music yourself?
Yes I do.
I am very curious to know (reveal if you want…) how you begin your music writing process? Lyrics, melody, instrument lines?
When I started, I knew I wanted to make albums that felt like a concise whole. Like one piece of art. So, I started working on the general themes of the album as a whole. I take each idea and just free write pages and pages. Then I go back over it later seeing what I liked. Then I sit down on the piano and work on the harmony of the song till I come up with something I like. Then I kind of put them together. But recently I have been trying to break this mold. I really think changing your approach and order really is a good method to keep generating interesting and original content.
Is this your first musical project/name under which you’ve released albums?
I have been a part of a couple of other projects throughout the years, but this is the first thing that has an official release.
It seems that your music is inspired by an eclectic grouping of insights from here and there; a body of thoughts and movements that range from up to down, stopped to rushed; rested to flying. Besides making music, what do you do that inspires the formal production of these albums?
I am definitely a very avid music listener. I try to intentionally find inspiration in a variety of musical worlds, which undeniably has a huge impact on what I make. Other than that I spend time in nature and read a variety of books.
Do you have any words to share here about your faith? Your walk?
Every human being wants life and that is exactly what God is, and what he has to offer us. As far as how my faith relates to my music, I really find making music about [it] the most exciting thing, the most exciting and fitting thing I could do with music.
Are you producing more music anytime soon? Now?
I am about half way done writing my next album. Also me and my wife are planning to record a side project together of more simple folk songs. I am hoping both of these are finished in 2017 but we will see.
Do you work with other musicians and/or artists? Do you have a label or are you on a record label?
I have a very musical family. Two of my brothers did some parts on the album. No, I am just releasing everything myself.
The duration of each song on “The End For Which The World Was Made” is quite long compared to more common song lengths (they are between 10 and 16 minutes each). This almost allows each song, being roughly 3 times the length convention prepares our ears for, to take a III act structure. Each has room to explore great ideas, and then great ideas ABOUT the great ideas. It is like a serial TV show vs. a feature length film; with more time spent in the work, the audience can engage with your story at a deeper level – at a more serious level – at a more specific level. How much thought have you put into the duration of each song? And, is there a specific reason why they are long, or is the length secondary to the message (aka, it results naturally as you serve to create the song)?
Well, I did do that very intentionally and there were several reasons for having long song lengths. The first one being wanting to get outside of the box of the three minute pop song. There is nothing wrong with a song being three minutes but I don't see why 99.99999 percent of all songs need to be that long. Also, I really liked the idea of having time to develop and go some where in the music both lyrically and musically. I think it can be really satisfying when a section comes back that you heard seven minutes ago. And lastly I feel like it is a form, for me at least, that really forces me to be a lot more creative. Playing the same four chords over and over for 15 minutes really won't work any more.
Aren’t you glad? Life is beautiful and God is good.
Yes I am very happy to be alive.
Episode 8 (You’re The Movement): “Peace Be Still”, Glory Loflin, Single, 2016; “The End For Which The World Was Made”, Celebration Symphony Orchestra, released on The End For Which The World Was Made, July 2016
Episode 7 (The First And The Last Revelation): “Live at Portland Underground Recording”, Beautiful Eulogy, 2012;
"The Fount of Fullness and Completion”, and “The First And The Last Revelation”, Lion’s Tooth, 2016
*For more from Beautiful Eulogy and Humble Beast Records, visit http://www.humblebeast.com/.
Episode 6 (More Songs of Light): “Come Light”, Bifrost Arts, released on Lamentations, March 2016
* To hear more from Bifrost Arts Music, visit https://bifrostartsmusic.bandcamp.com/.
Episode 5 (Music Above the Light of Our Eyes): “Luma” and “Kaiah’s Connectant Ville”, Even Oxen, released on
Arrayed Above the Seraphim Lights, April 2016
*To listen to more from Even Oxen, visit https://evenoxen.bandcamp.com/.
Episode 4 (On The Life and Heroism of Dietrich Bonhoeffer): “Bonhoeffer’s Prayer”, Bifrost Arts feat. Molly Parden, released on He Will Not Cry Out: Anthology of Hymns and Spiritual Songs, Vol. 2, 2013; “Dietrich Bonhoeffer”, The
Chairman Dances, released on Time Without Measure, August 2016
*To hear more from The Chairman Dances, visit https://thechairmandances.com/. To hear more from Bifrost Arts Music, visit https://bifrostartsmusic.bandcamp.com/.
Episode 3 (Light Into Being): “Light Into Being”, Lion’s Tooth, 2016; “The Argument”, Jackie Hill Perry, released on
The Art of Joy, 2014
*For more from Jackie Hill Perry and Humble Beast Records, visit http://www.humblebeast.com/.
Episode 2 (In The Beginning): Genesis 1:14-19, NASB; “The Beginning”, Celebration Symphony Orchestra, released on
The End For Which The World Was Made, July 2016.
*To hear more from Celebration Symphony Orchestra, visit https://celebrationsymphonyorchestra.bandcamp.com/.
Episode 1 (He Existed Before The Beginning): Genesis 1:1-5, NASB; “In The Sweet By And By”, Page CXVI -
Reimagined by Derek Webb, released on Re:Hymns, 2012.
*For more information on Page CXVI, and to purchase physical/digital copies of their music, visit http://pagecxvi.com/.
Songlist and info, Episode 5:
“Brothers and Sisters”, sample, Lion's Tooth (2015)
“In the Beginning”, My Brightest Diamond, All Things Will Unwind (2011)
“All Rise Up”, Trip Lee, Rise (2014)
“Spirit in the Sky”, Norman Greenbaum, Spirit in the Sky (1969)
“Secret Name”, Dan Zimmerman, Cosmic Patriot (2009)
“I Can Make You Feel Young Again”, Copeland, Ixora (2014)
“Rest / Yes Indeed”, Bobby McFerrin, Spirityouall (2013)
“I Laid My Trophies Down”, Abriem Harp, The Harp Family Hymnbook: A Collection of Revised Hymns (2015)
“Young Prayer” (untitled portion), Panda Bear, Young Prayer (2004)
“Last Star”, The Billions, Trash & Treasure (2004)
“Lower the Heavens”, The Donkeys, The Donkeys (2004)
“The Trumpet Child”, Over the Rhine, The Trumpet Child (2007)
“Big House”, Audio Adrenaline, Don't Censor Me (1993)
“I've Got A River of Life”, Jenn Johnson, Bethel Church (spontaneous worship) (2012?)
“Untitled freestylin'”, Adelaide (2015)