Red Bird Rising: Actualizing Musical Visions
“We go together just like music and poetry”–Eightball, Big Gipp’s “All Over Your Body”, Mutant Mindframe, 2003.
The transcendence of music, particularly that for compelling music, is one of its timeless qualities and consistent draws for listeners, performers, musicians, composers, and anyone else who consistently heeds its gravitational vibrations.
On some occasions, each of those vocations is comprised within a sole individual, one prone to the bent and mechanics of each of them, each one seemingly another layer atop the others, spiraling towards an inward rippling in which the fetters of creativity are rent, or perhaps simply peeled back, to take one closer to the fundamental truth of what is the purity of expression.
As a songwriter, vocalist, performer, engineer, producer, and sonic sculptor, Red Bird Rising knows well the allure of such a multifaceted approach to unearthing the melodies, words, and very sounds that are heard—if not begat—from him before shaping them for the audience of others.
He’s been heeding it since high school, and given himself over to it since college.
And, he’s devoted his life to it ever since.
“The opportunity to actualize musical visions asked me to learn musical engineering,” Red Bird Rising, in his alter ego as Diedrich Donald Weiss (not the other way around), confided to a journalist recently. “It asked me to learn about producing. I could actually buy a computer, have an interface and software, and record into it and just make this musical universe, like a painter. But, in order to do that, I had to learn about audio engineering, and producing, and arranging, which is cool.”
In fact, it’s so cool that Weiss just one day up and moved to Columbia, South America, in order to construct a home studio, bring his manifold microphones and musical equipment to, and quietly pursue his vocation as a musical artist. His utilitarian approach to manning each of the roles may not have been absolutely necessary to spawn four albums (with the fifth, whose title is as yet to be determined, scheduled to drop at the end of next month), which he’s done.
But considering that he spent a considerable amount of time in Minneapolis, where his Royal Highness, AKA the late Mr. Rogers Nelson, did much of the same thing, and that another of his musical influences, Robert Dylan, was also native to the same state, it’s no surprise that he’s adopted such a serious stance towards full-fledged immersion into the tides of music as a way of life.
“As an artist, it’s my way to contend with my inner world relating to the external world,” Weiss postulated. “I want to make sense of my world and the music questions and intrigues that I have. They, in turn, become cinematic, where music starts to inform the lyrics, the lyrics start informing the music, and they become little movies. That’s when things become really, really interesting and deep, that it’s music to music. It’s not a movie; it’s not a poem; it’s not a painting. It’s something that’s very distinct.”
Distinct is certainly one way to describe Red Bird Rising’s latest single, “My Revolution”, which addresses some of the more recent events involving the Ukraine and Russia. The same sentiment applies to his forthcoming single, “Boy in the Sun”, which is slated to drop in approximately two weeks.
Nonetheless, it’s noteworthy that the fervor to involve himself with nearly every aspect of his sound recordings started with a definite dearth of sound, at least outward ones. In high school, Weiss listened to a fair amount of music, but didn’t write or play any of it until his collegiate years.
Part of the reason why, of course, is he was too busy writing poetry.
“I’d always been writing poetry since a young age,” Weiss recollected. “My first step into music was actually writing lyrics.”
Once he got to college, it wasn’t long before those lyrics became fodder for lyrics for the guitar playing he had taken up and, last anyone checked, he has yet to put down.
“This is something I have to do for myself,” the guitarist and keyboard player admitted. “I accept that in this lifetime I have to be continuous and preoccupied centrally with being a musician and artist. It’s kind of like you’ve got to take care of yourself. It’s my life’s endeavor; this is what I’m doing in this lifetime.”