Posted at 12:00 PM on October 11, 2012
by Marianne Combs
Filed under: Music
Minneapolis composer and musician Spencer Wirth-Davis (a.k.a. Big Cats of the duo The Tribe & Big Cats) lost his mother to ovarian cancer two years ago.
When he later received a 2011 McKnight composers fellowship, he decided to create something in her honor.
"After all, if it weren't for her, I probably wouldn't be making music today. Growing up, she devoted an incredible amount of time, effort and money to my music. She drove me to lessons, rehearsals, and band practices. She put up with noise at all hours, records strewn around the house, and my tendency to play the largest instruments possible. She was always the first to hear any new music I was working on and give feedback. When she was going through chemotherapy, surgeries and countless procedures, she often used music to help her relax and take her mind off of her treatment."
Tonight Wirth-Davis celebrates the release of his new album "For My Mother" with a performance at the Cedar Cultural Center. 75% of the proceeds from the album will go to the Minnesota Ovarian Cancer Alliance.
The album is an instrumental Hip Hop/R&B record, said Wirth-Davis, featuring "original" samples.
"I wanted to create an album that sounded like it was built around samples, because that's the sound I love and grew up listening to. Sampling has shaped the sound of hip hop since it's inception. However, it's getting more and more difficult for artists to create, and profit from, sample-based music. The cost of clearing samples and the potential legal ramifications of using uncleared samples make it nearly impossible to create and sell sample-based music."
Instead Wirth-Davis recorded a slew of his own compositions with a nine piece band, and then pulled samples from his original music to create a beautiful, moody soundscape.
Any mother would be proud.
You can listen to the album here.