Warren Thomas Fenzi
8 days // HomE, Minneapolis, MN
Warren Thomas Fenzi is best known for his explorations in sound, story telling and songwriting that draw from the wide open landscapes of the Southwest of which he grew up around. As a multi-instrumentalist, Fenzi concocts a diverse array of sounds and styles hinting at Indie Rock, Ambient, Soul and Folk. His aim is to create something refreshing, inspiring and innovative while inviting his listeners on a journey of introspection. With a strong under-current of Warren’s work maintaining a message of honesty, growth and transformation, he continues to evolve his art with an unyielding earnestness that is undeniable
Fenzi recently released his debut record titled "WTF" and is currently working on a follow up ep, set to be released summer 2018.
"Fenzi imagines it like a movie, with each song a different scene. Drawing upon bands like the Shins, Neutral Milk Hotel, and Modest Mouse, his sound is atmospheric, evocative of the wide West Coast vistas he grew up around."- City pages
"weaving a wonderful tapestry that hints at warm desert nights...just the right amount of smooth, warm desert breeze"- Twin Cities Media.net
"aiming to give people a sense of discovery"- LaCrosse Tribune
"a bevy of dreamy, melancholic-pop tunes, replete with full instrumentation that extends from your expected drums, guitars, etc – all the way through strings and brass" -Reviler.org
Find more of Warren's work here:
During my Alt- residency, I decided to focus in on a project that I have been putting off for a while. My mom had asked me to put music to a Yoga instructional tape that she often listens and practices to, so I felt this would be a great opportunity and excuse to begin this project as I have been interested in scoring for a while now. I've been playing drums and percussion since I was in 5th grade as well as singing and songwriting since High School and I've always had a love for ambient music as well as film scores. As a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, percussionist and performer, I've had a lot of experience with creating projects, performing for specific groups and writing and performing my own original music but I had never truly embarked on a project where I was creating original music to fit specific moods and energies to compliment spoken audio. The hardest part of this was starting.
Right off the bat I came up against the struggle of doubting myself and my abilities. Was what I was creating any good? Did I know enough theory? Were my production skills adequate? Was I rushing myself? Was any of this beneficial? Was this something that I really wanted to do? All of these questions were rushing through my head. I didn't get very far until I made the decision to let go of any expectations or pre-conceived ideas of how I felt this process should go. If it feels and sounds good, it is good. Period.
I was torn on how to approach the project, especially since I had 1 hour and 20 minutes of music to fill! It wasn't until I decided to let go of trying to control the outcome that I found myself relieved and able to create freely. And that's exactly what I did. I even decided not to create any specific thing based on what the Yoga teacher was saying but to just freely create sound-scapes and grooves and find placement for them within the piece, later on.
My set-up consisted of my 1952 Re-Issue Fender Telecaster, a Fender Tweed Amp, an Arturia Microbrute Synthesizer, a pedal board, a couple of microphones, my computer and my phone.
The first few days consisted of open-ended, creation sessions where I would sit in my room, set up the microphones around my amp and begin fleshing out ideas and creating loops with my looper pedal while recording the process. I would finish each session and leave it without listening back, since I didn't want to get too critical with what I was creating and just let whatever came out, to come out. My goal was to get as many ideas recorded as possible and work with them in the production process.
Something that I became keenly aware of (and something I'm trying to work on in all aspects of my life) was listening to how I was feeling and where my inspiration was leading me. If I really wasn't feeling it, I would stop. If I had a strong urge to go on a bike ride, I would go. If I was really deep into an idea, I would play it over and over and over again until I bled it dry. This is something that I'm finding, as a creative, is extremely important to listen to and get in touch with... your intuition! I'm under the belief that we have desires, urges and inspirations for a reason and it's our responsibility to listen for them and act upon them when they are fresh, clear and present.
I am currently in the final stages of finishing the entire project. I've used a lot of what I recorded during my residency as well as voice memo's that I have recorded over the past few months. I've created a track that includes snippets of what I created for this project.
One of the biggest take-aways I got from this process is that just trying and giving some effort, energy and focus can heed beautiful results. I would record ideas on days where I wasn't exactly "feeling it", but do it anyway and come back to it. Almost every time I would come back to it, I would find myself saying.."wow, this is actually a better idea than I originally thought it was...", and it would build from there.
I thoroughly enjoyed setting aside this time to work on something new and take a look inside my own creative process as an artist while attempting to do things a different way. It's always uncomfortable for me to try something new, but when I give it some energy, it can produce incredible results.