Jeff Greinke is a musician, composer, performer, sound sculptor and visual artist known worldwide for his unique sound. Through a highly developed process of layering, Jeff composes and performs music rich in texture, depth, mood and subtle detail. Using various acoustic and electronic instruments, found sounds and extended studio techniques, Jeff sculpts sound worlds that conjure a strong sense of location, hovering somewhere between the familiar and the exotic. Key elements include mood, texture, space, motion and a perception of place, with no one element being primary. Jeff Greinke began composing and performing music in 1980 while studying meteorology at Penn State University. "As far back as I can remember I've been fascinated by the weather... I soon realized that much of my work runs parallel to this interest... It has always been more intuitive and experiential than scientific... I see the correlation between meteorology and my music more after the fact. It's never premeditated." Here, Greinke explains his approach to improvisation and composition, "I approach each new work as a blank slate. I begin by searching for interesting sounds from which to create a foundation, whether it be a drone, or little melodic phrase, or a compelling rhythm. Each piece evolves over time through a meticulous process of layering, combining sounds vertically and placing them spatially into a three dimensional environment. Each layer stimulates new ideas from which to continue until I reach a point where no new elements are needed."
After moving to Seattle in 1982, Jeff formed the production company and recording label, INTREPID, through which he produced his first LP, Cities in Fog. He has since released twenty other recordings on various U.S. and European labels. His most recent is entitled Weather From Another Planet, released in 2003 on First World, a label and distribution network he co-owns with four other musicians. Greinke's work can also be heard on numerous compilation recordings. He has composed music for film, video, dance, theatre, radio, and art installations. Jeff Greinke has toured extensively throughout the United States and Europe and has performed in China, Canada, and Mexico. His 8 May 1994 performance at The Gatherings Concert Series was a turning point for the innovative music scene in Philadelphia, "I approach live performance in a very different manner from that of the studio. I'm very much concerned with the 'live' aspect of the music, so I set up situations that require me to be fully involved with that process. I don't use any pre-recorded tapes, CD's, or pre-programmed sequencing. I am interested in performing music that is multi-layered, much like that of my studio work. So I tend to get a lot going on at once between my sampler, synth, other acoustic elements like trombone, voice, small percussion and several long delays. Things can get pretty precarious at times, and I like that. It keeps me active on stage - I'm dancing really - and there's a tension for me which I hope translates to the audience. Furthermore, the audience can visually see me expressing myself. I think this is important. Also, there's a greater amount of improvising going on, and when I'm on, in flow, that can be powerful for an audience." Greinke has also been a member of numerous ensembles and is founder of the group LAND, featuring Lesli Dalaba (trumpet), Dennis Rea (guitar), Bill Rieflin (drums) and Fred Chalenor (bass). LAND toured China in 1996 which included playing the prestigious Beijing International Jazz Festival. Greinke's current ongoing project is a collaboration with former Sky Cries Mary vocalist Anisa Romero called Hana. He is also working with the group Faith and Disease, "LAND and Hana have provided me with the opportunity to branch out into areas that also interest me - beyond that which I've explored as a solo artist. My work with Anisa has me experimenting with more conventional song-oriented forms of music while maintaining my textural moody sound." Contemplating the musicial evolution since the release of his first LP, Greinke relates that, "The changes have been very gradual. My work has become more refined yet also more broad, and somewhat more accessible. The earliest works were generally dark. My studio was very minimal and techniques fairly crude. My approach was experimental and adventurous. Slowly I began to infuse my work with rhythms. In 1989 I spent six months travelling around Southeast Asia. Upon returning I found that my aural experiences there were informing my music. The albums 'Changing Skies' and 'In Another Place' reflect that influence. Over time I developed my ability to create more complex and texturally interesting rhythms. I also began collaborating more with other musicians. I became intrigued by the possibilities presented through interacting with more adept players of instruments I wanted as part of my work. So I formed LAND in 1993. When I met Anisa, I was able to explore my interest in composing a more conventional style of music that none-the-less was imbued with the kinds of moods and textures that had been part of my music all along. At present both of my group projects have quieted down, so I am back focusing on my solo work, creating quieter compositions, similar in terms of mood and spaciousness as my earlier work, but pared down, simpler. I'm attempting to achieve some of the same qualities with less going on." Jeff Greinke's current musical offerings are Wide View (Hypnos) and Weather From Another Planet (FWD). On these releases Greinke leads the listener through a range of themes in tonality, coloristic range and contrast. The compositions seem basic: slow, open melodies over a shifting foundation of swelling harmonies. But these works are more than mere system driven modernism - ruled soley by a compositional method; it is introspective, personal and deliberately widely spaced. Here the mood ranges from noirish and nocturnal to idyllic and beautiful. Yet, these latest albums do not contradict the earlier isolationist atmospheric works, but are more interested in what can be discovered than in preserving what this artist is already known for. Perhaps now we have Greinke's most inviting works - his music for a newer century. Greinke's album Soundtracks debuted on the 08.15.04 broadcast of STAR'S END and was officially released at his concert in Philadelphia on 11 September.
Selected Press Quotes:
"Greinke continues to prove himself as one of our finest and most important composers and sound artists. His style has encompassed ambient industrial soundscapes, fourth-world exoticism and ambient washes, and he displays a magnificent ability to create compelling, sensual, tangible textures, sonorities, moods, and atmospheres."
- AUDION Magazine
"His music, which bridges synth, the avant-garde, ambient and industrial styles, can also be simultaneously accessible and challenging, a music in a no man's land for which no journalist has yet coined a cliche. If anything, Jeff's music is all about atmosphere, a power through subtlety." - AUDION Magazine
"Take the pace of everyday life and slow it down to the imperceptible movements of the planet. Take the sounds of a factory and spread them in a slow motion design. That's the concept of Jeff Greinke, a musician who has taken Brian Eno's ambient music concepts to extremes. He takes conventional instruments and slows them down, runs them backwards, sends them through extensive processing that changes their sound beyond recognition and places them in soundscapes like barges moving slowly through a fog."
- ECHOES Radio
Jeff Greinke's debut has just as much in common with industrial music as it does with ambient music. as the title suggests it's a collage of sounds you'd find in an urban environment - the hums of factories, machinery, engines, wind, far away crowds of people - and he blends them together in a murky fashion. although it is beatless and without words, there are clear, hypnotic rhythms emerged deeply in this quiet tension and the feeling one gets is that of utter isolation and a feeling of dread, a knot building in the stomach over the immense terror lurking somewhere in there, as if you're alone in a high rise flat looking out of the window at the grimy city below which is emerged in fog.
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