Tim Eriksen is a local treasure in our Pioneer Valley but there aren’t too many chances to see him perform. Next Sunday 2/9 is just such an opportunity at Northampton’s Parlor Sessions. Tim has taught at Amherst College, Hampshire College and presently teaching Shape Note Singing from The Sacred Harp tradition at Smith College. He’s been active in providing music for theater (“Refugee”) as well as documentaries (“Behold the Earth”)recently ; but this work goes back to his role in the Academy Award nominated film, “Cold Mountain” back in 2003.
Tim will bring his music to the Parlor Session for an evening of stories , songs, and Magic Lantern projections from an imaginary New England village. Peter Irvine, long time collaborator from Tim’s Cordelia’s Dad days joins him as well as painter Susan Brearey who is working with the old school technology of the Magic Lantern projections.
Our conversation touches on his work on the film “Cold Mountain”, training the cast including Alison Krauss and Elvis Costello, in the Shape Note tradition. We discuss New England’s role in this traditional style of singing and preview the Parlor Session on next Sunday. The evening also will give tribute to John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers. Tim is a natural born story teller and he gives us a number of fascinating glimpses into what the Parlor Session will be like. The segment includes a handful of Tim’s music, of course, including “Better Days Are Coming” from the Soul of January Hills CD, “Am I Born to Die” from the Cold Mountain soundtrack as well as “Gabriel’s Trumpet” from Josh Billings Voyage.