Genre: Acoustic / Folk / Pop
Location Ann Arbor, Michigan, US
Profile Views: 990788
Last Login: 12/7/2012
Member Since 1/24/2005
Record Label Zoë (Rounder)
Type of Label Indie
BioVienna Teng’s fourth album, Inland Territory, is a tour de force musically and lyrically, a complex and deeply thoughtful work from an artist cut loose from limitations. Recorded with producer Alex Wong (Ari Hest, The Paper Raincoat) over five months and in four cities, with instrumentation ranging from foot stomps to vintage keyboards to full string orchestra, it’s without question her most ambitious work yet. <p> <p>Now 32, the songwriter, singer and pianist has released three critically acclaimed albums, landing her on three Billboard charts and in Amazon.com’s top ten. She regularly sells out theaters across the U.S. and Europe. Fans travel hundreds of miles to catch a single show, and her opening sets for the likes of India.Arie, Joan Baez and Madeleine Peyroux end in standing ovations. Mere months after quitting her job as a software engineer in 2002, she was interviewed on NPR, and performed on The Late Show with David Letterman. He declared that he’d listened to her entire debut album and that there was “not a dud” on it. Her brand of sophisticated, piano-driven pop has been gathering accolades ever since: “seductive and transcendent” (Amazon.com), “gorgeously conceived…accomplished yet understated” (Paste), “singular among her peers” (Variety). <p> <p>“People used to ask what kind of music I played and I never knew how to answer that,” says pianist Teng. “I work a lot with classically trained musicians, but most of my influences are from 1970’s-era folk music. So now I call it chamber folk.”
MembersI met Alex Wong (co-producer, percussion, guitar, vocals) in 2002 when his duo (The Animators) played one song at a Just Plain Folks open mic. After years of guest appearances in each other’s bands, we started playing live together in 2007, which led to producing Inland Territory together in 2008. The Paper Raincoat, Alex’s project with Amber Rubarth, just released their debut album. He’s also producing albums for Ari Hest and Alex Berger. <p>Ward Williams (cello, electric guitar, vocals) is a founding member of the band Jump a.k.a. Jump, Little Children. He also has a solo project, and often plays as a duo with Christina Cone.
InfluencesMy parents’ record collection: Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, Mozart and Beethoven and Dvořák, 60s Mandarin pop. That’s what I started with and it’ll never leave me. Later on, pianist-songwriters: Elton John, Billy Joel, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple. These days I’m influenced by whoever intimidates me. I hear them, I’m astounded by them, I think daily about quitting music because I’ll never be able to do it as well as they do. Then I try to steal from them without imitating. A tricky thing.
Sounds LikeMost of the time I say “chamber folk” or “singer-songwriter.” It’s got elements of classical, folk, pop, jazz, Americana. I’d like the experience of listening to it to be like a good dinner party, the kind where conversation stretches ’til 2 in the morning and years later you still remember every flavor and color and sound and gesture, or at least you wish you could. Something like that.
No upcoming shows/events
The official music video for "Gravity," produced by Fat Monster Films, is now available to watch.
Director: Tim Hyten
Producer: Mark Johnson
Director of Photography: Steven Dempsey
Production Assistant: Scott Bullis
Actor: Norm Sanders
Piano Technician/Host: Dean Petrich
Dear fellow passengers: yes, TSA is inefficient & ineffective. Have some compassion for the people stuck working in it on a holiday weekend.
William Hsu liked this.
Listen, fellow JFK passengers: yes, the TSA system is riddled with inefficiencies, ineffective screens & misaligned incentives. TSA pers
Life lately: 1) OMG what a brilliant idea. This must happen. 2) OMG that's gonna be a lot of work. 3) ...maybe I just won't sleep this year?
Glory liked this.
Chicago update: OK, piano may not work out. How about a hangout @ W Hotel City Center ~9pm? Can someone bring a guitar/portable keyboard?
Chicagoans, you're up! I'm in town for work...if I can find a piano, will you come hang out tomorrow (Friday) night?