Big Acre Sound (Copper Canyon, TX)
– Words by Michal Elizabeth Smith // Photos by Ronnie Jackson –
Children ran innocently through the crowd of people—giggling ecstatically in the warm spring air as they darted between the varied picnic tables, folding chairs and ramshackle wooden trailer that would serve as the centerpiece of this late afternoon’s events. The rather sizeable multi-generational gathering seemed to be a mixture of close-knit families, friends and fans, amassed on this picturesque day at Big Acre Sound Studios in Copper Canyon, outside of Denton, Texas, to celebrate indie pop musician, Andrew Tinker’s upcoming full length record, Upon the Ecliptic, in the form of an album listening party.
Though Upon the Ecliptic doesn’t release until April 18th, Tinker and his label, Hand Drawn Records, wanted to give people an intimate look into how the record came together by bringing them to the studio where it was created. Few artists offer a one of a kind experience for fans; and between personal tours of the studio space, Tinker could be seen taking photos with his fans, managing details with the handful of photographers and videographers, and even helping his label’s staff resolve issues they had at the merch booth.
This occasion didn’t feel like a “corporate event” put on by a burgeoning record label, backed by a colossal sponsor (Budweiser), but rather a home-cooked gathering of familiar faces enjoying one another’s company, and yes, free beer and food. With full bellies the attendees took their places in a small field behind the studio as Tinker climbed aboard the “stage” (the aforementioned wooden trailer) to begin what would be an intimate four song acoustic set.
As the sun went down, Tinker calmly strummed and crooned his way through choice album cuts, stating that he wanted to play the songs in their original context before delivering a dense ten track album bursting with beautiful textures and profound lyrical themes. Nary could a voice be heard throughout the mini-set except for the rousing applause in-between the third and fourth song, which was the only pause, and it was in that tranquility were Tinker’s talent thrives.
If this small event was any indicator; Tinker is an artist whose gifts flourish between the emotional and the heady, and within this modest outdoor setting each soulful supplication could be regarded. He is an artist whose message elicits pure, raw emotion, and when observed without spectacle, as it was on this day; the dispatch is actually louder, clearer.