While developing a relationship with many Atlanta musicians through Examiner and AOL, I receive tons of emails with the city's best hidden gems. Jeffrey Bützer is a multi-instrumentalist notorious for blessing my inbox and leaving behind pieces reflective of Atlanta's greatest current musicianship.
Under many band names - West End Hotel, Midwives, The Compartmentalizationalists, and The Bicycle Eaters - Bützer is one man of many genres and a wide variety of compositions in his holster. His last release with Claire Lodge called Past Wanstead Flats exemplified his ability to make life - however long the album may seem - aurally feel like a movie (click the title to see the story I wrote about it for AOL to see what I mean). Bützer is showing no signs of slowing down, with a few more releases coming soon this year. Although cinema is his major influence, he is so much more than a guy who can make a mean film score. I spoke with him about his new solo release, an untitled box set with compositions from a toy piano unofficially called "the Toy Pop Box," and just a general idea of what's been up with the composer.
Instead of asking this question generically, I’ll give it a little twist. What words best describe your sound?
For the bulk of my music I would say, minimal, French, cinematic, I hope.
I would like to talk about this album you are working on, the toy piano project.
I actually have three things coming out back to back to back. In short, the first is a soundtrack I made last year. It will be a three-inch CD through Lona Records. Then a seven-inch is coming with my full band The Bicycle Eaters, and then the Toy Pop album will be part of a boxed set, both via AcidsoXX Records.
So how is the toy piano project going to sound? How is this gonna be different from the last album you did w/ Claire?
I play guitar with Claire, accordion piano and things with bicycle eaters, but the Toy Pop Box is closer to my solo albums. It is a mini album, so I'm going for a more minimal sound.
Do you play toy piano, and how long have you played it?
I bought my first toy piano in 2003. I wanted a lighter sound on my first record to double some accordion and organ lines. I had heard mostly Rob Burger, of Tin Hat Trio, play them.
What other elements of your musicianship are in your album?
This mini album is for a toy boxed set. So it is mostly toy piano, toy accordion and other toy instruments. But there is some piano, guitar and other things. Unlike my recent recordings, I am playing everything on this album.
When is this album coming out?
I'm not sure about the release date. AcidsoXX is waiting on some artists to finish their albums.
What do you plan on doing next as far as making music is concerned?
I am doing a live score to Buster Keaton's film The Balloonatic at the Drunken Unicorn on May 28. The score has bits and pieces from the album - it's sort of a collage score. I also just finished a seven inch with The Bicycle Eaters, and myself and Claire Lodge have a new set of songs we are recording with The Compartmentalizationalists.