Home Music album NHL musician Tom Eaton on his band’s Grammy nomination for Best New Age Album

NHL musician Tom Eaton on his band’s Grammy nomination for Best New Age Album

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Tom Eaton is an East Kingston based musician who has been in the industry for 25 years, but recently his latest album, “Brothers”, which he premiered alongside Will Ackerman and Jeff Oster, was nominated for a Grammy. in the best New Age. Category of albums.

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Eaton grew up in New Hampshire and recently returned. He records and masters from his home studio. Eaton lends his skills playing piano, keyboards, bass, electric guitar and percussion to “Brothers”, supported by Ackerman on acoustic guitar and Oster on flugelhorn and trumpet.

Their music flows effortlessly, with the aim of creating an “illusion of a world” and allowing the listener to exist in this world for as long as they wish, evoking emotions that could be suppressed in the slog. everyday.

Will Ackerman, left, and Tom Eaton, right, in the studio.

All Things Considered host Peter Biello sat down with Eaton to talk about his music career and what the appointment means to him. Below is a transcript of their conversation.

Peter Biello: Tom, thank you very much for speaking with me.

Tom Eaton: Thank you for having me, I am happy to be here.

Peter Biello: And nice to have you in the studio. I wanted to get to know you a little bit about your musical background because you started to get interested in music in high school, didn’t you?

Tom Eaton: I did. As a kid I played the saxophone in the typical kind of things you do in elementary school, but I started playing the piano quite seriously in high school and started to get interested in electronic music in high school, and it opened up a whole bunch of doors for me as time went on.

Peter Biello: And now you’ve been nominated for a Grammy for New Age Music. Can you tell us a bit about how you got into New Age music?

Tom Eaton: New Age music is … the category that I think is a construction like all musical categories are. Most of the people who work in this genre don’t even know what the genre is, I think.

Peter Biello: I was going to say, what do you think of those words, New Age, to describe your music?

Tom Eaton: Well, it’s interesting to describe a 40 year old genre as New Age, like, you know, New Wave music or whatever. But, whatever it is, it kind of describes music that maybe is mostly instrumental and has some sort of relaxation or spiritual quality to it.

Peter Biello: But it’s mostly instrumental music that’s emotionally evocative.

Tom Eaton: Sure.

Peter Biello: Well, let’s listen to a little bit of this album, “Brothers”. This song is called “The Golden Hour”. I read on your blog, Tom, that you are interested in music which has a certain consistency. And I was wondering if you could talk a little bit about what you meant by that, the consistency within a song.

Tom Eaton: Consistency within a song, to me, means you never break the world you created. It’s really important for me as a musician and mastering engineer, which is a whole other half of my life, to create the illusion of a world and never let that illusion break until the listener wants it.

Peter Biello: So, as we listen to this song, “The Golden Hour,” and think about what you say about consistency, what are we listening to?

Tom Eaton: For me, it would be the exact opposite. It would be the thing you never hear. The way I describe it, you only notice the trash on the street when people aren’t picking it up. So the consistency of the music is there by the nature of the inconsistencies removed and ideally you never notice it.

Peter Biello: This album was nominated for a Grammy. So, is there a track here that you think really caught the judges’ attention or what would you like us to listen to?

Tom Eaton: “On the way to heaven”. I really like it.

Peter Biello: So this one is “Head For The Sky”. What can you tell us about your process or the process of you and the other two gentlemen working on this album? What’s your process for a song like this?

Tom Eaton: This song, Jeff Oster, which is the third part of this album and a crucial part of the album, the album is his idea. This song started with Jeff who came into my studio and we worked on a basic track that basically involved a keyboard part which was the chord part and then his brass line. And with us, the three of us, Will Ackerman, Jeff Oster and I have played a lot together in various forms and generally it’s just a fashioned improvisation process. There is a note, and then the note suggests what follows that note. So in this case, it was Jeff and I who came up with a structure and chord progression that we enjoyed and Jeff who came up with a melody that worked on top of that. And then we took it to Will and we recorded Will’s guitars on top of that. So there is a pattern of agreement and there is Jeff’s response to that. And then there’s Will’s response to that. And none of this is intellectual. That’s all, what does it do? What does he want ?

Peter Biello: Is there a unifying theme for the album, “Brothers?”

Tom Eaton: It wasn’t a record designed to have a theme in that sense, except it’s a conversation between the three of us. Much of my job on the post part of the album was to make sure this conversation was as clear as possible. But conceptually, no, I think it was just that we liked to make music together.

Peter Biello: Let’s end with another song. Is there another song you’d like to share, something you’d like to give us a taste of?

Tom Eaton: It’s probably we should play one where Will was the genesis. Maybe “It Had To Be Like That” would be a good idea.

Peter Biello: OK, here’s “It had to be like this.” What do you think works really well about this one?

Tom Eaton: I love Will. And it has that instantly recognizable sound. He plays with metal picks and his touch is incredible. He is an emotionally intuitive player and every note matters to him. Will and I have been producing records together for over 10 years now, and he still wows me every time he picks up a guitar. It’s just that he’s 100 percent there. He is 100% in the music. And that was one of the pieces where his guitar was the genesis of the piece. And then Jeff and I got to answer that, which I love.

Peter Biello: So what does the Grammy nomination mean to you?

Tom Eaton: The Grammy nomination for me is kind of a pat on the back for a job well done and kind of recognition that this thing you did is being heard.

Peter Biello: Well, Tom Eaton, thank you very much for speaking with me and telling us about your music. I really appreciate.

Tom Eaton: Thank you very much.

Peter Biello: Tom Eaton is a musician from New Hampshire. His album “Brothers” was nominated for a Grammy in the Best New Age Album category. His music can be found on Spotify, Apple Music and his website.