Timbre is defined as the character of a musical sound or voice as distinct from its pitch and intensity. The band of the same name proved to be just that Saturday at The Thought Lot.
The evening began with an eerie song titled “Sunrise,” which was solely instrumental. Timbre Cierpke led the group on the harp while Camille Faulkner accompanied her on the violin and Chris Leidhecker played the drums. Then Cierpke and Faulkner dove right in to a smiling chorus of “OH’s” for “Song of the Sun.”
“Oh little seed/ Oh dying root/ Oh tender leaves/ Oh silver shoot/ Lift your head, my darling one/ You were not built to die.”
Timbre’s latest album, “Sun & Moon,” was inspired by George McDonald’s short story “The Day Boy and the Night Girl.” The first disc from the album contains “sun” songs Cierpke performed with Faulkner and Leidhecker. The other disc is a more classical-style music dedicated to the moon with a mixture of choir and harp.
“Night Girl: Nycteris Sees the Sun” is about Night Girl’s process of escaping the cave she spent her whole life in to see the sun’s light. She was first exposed to outside light when Day Boy showed her the moon and the stars, but she wanted to see an even brighter light. Cierpke talked about how Night Girl faced both pain and happiness at the sight of the sun.
Despite hiding behind her strings, Cierpke stole the show with her long black dress and intricately carved harp. She writes and arranges the songs for the band. Faulkner and Leidhecker complimented Cierpke’s harp melody and added an extra element. At one point in the show, all three of the members surrounded the harp as Faulkner helped strum and Leidhecker tapped the base.
Much of Timbre’s songs built up, making it even more dramatic. Though the lyrics were few, the instruments spoke volumes. During the performance, audience members were taken on a journey and tapped into their inner connection with nature.
“I strive to paint vividly with the light, the joy, the passion of modern commercial music, and the darkness, depth and richness of classical music, and show that together they can communicate beauty in greater depths than either can alone,” Cierpke said on her website.
Timbre treated Shippensburg attendees with a rarity, the first exposure to a new song they wrote. It was fresh out of the womb with no name according to Cierpke. The band’s focal point for the song was to address the injustices going on in the world currently after our recent election.
“We need to choose to stand in solidarity in the marginalized groups because we’re all brothers and sisters as humans,” Cierpke said.
Timbre’s style is described as chamber-folk, which is inspired by bands like Sigur Rós. Each performance offers a unique set up, whether it is a background violin and drum or chorus of 20.
Though the band was eager to talk to guests after the show, they had to rush off to Nashville because Cierpke’s best friend’s water broke.