With no warning, events come crashing into into our lives with unpredictable force. In the early stages of writing the songs for their first album, the musicians in The Collection lost a dear friend to suicide. Processing this tragedy, David Wimbish and his bandmates were indelibly changed; and every song on their debut LP, Ars Moriendi ("The Art of Dying") reflects the sorrow they felt, and the renewal of faith that they eventually found. "I realized, when it happened, I've never worked through or questioned death that much," says Wimbish. "It's felt far away, and this time it slammed me in the face."
Ranging from 13-18 members depending on the day, The Collection have learned to complement their complex arrangements with moments of emptiness and simplicity allowing each separate instrument to shine through the mix. The full album radiates with bold and excited vocal melodies reminiscent of Typhoon's emotional anthems and incorporates intermittent moments of Sufjan Stevens-esque grandiosity throughout the orchestration.
The Collection prides itself as a community of artists, nurses, farmers, students, and everyone in between living life together. The majority of its members live on the same street (if not in the same house) in the heart of Greensboro, NC, employing an assortment of instruments from drum and bass to phin and didgeridoo. Wimbish, a film composer and recording engineer, brings to the table a thread of stories and passionate vehemence creating a foundation for the group to work off of. He then takes his helm behind acoustic guitar and lead vocals entrusting his musical vision to some of Carolina's most versatile musicians.
To capture the intricate sound of Ars Moriendi, the group traveled across the state recording in beach homes, mountain cabins, farmhouse living rooms, and old church sanctuaries. Edd Kerr (The Fair and the Foul, Farewell Friend) shared the engineering chair with David every step of the way, and once tracking and editing were complete the record was handed over to Jeff Stuart Saltzman (Typhoon, Deer Tick) for mixing.
"If you love an uplifting big band, The Collection is for you." – Bob Boilen, NPR