"Come Home" Album Released in Toronto

June 11, 2015

Rob's debut instrumental album "Come Home" was released at a gala performance at Toronto's Lula Lounge, featuring a 9-piece orchestra and a performance from his brother Nick Teehan.

Click here to buy the CD.


Album Press Release:

Long Way Home: How Rock Tuba, Eastern European Antics, and Moving Images Led Composer Rob Teehan to Come Home


Toronto-born composer Rob Teehan has inhabited many unexpected places, demanding unusual approaches: Soloing to mad crowds across North America and Eastern Europe on the sousaphone (marching band tuba). Creating string quartet mash-ups with DJ Skratch Bastid. Learning rock and soul attitude from Prince’s masterful guitarist. Finding that his true love is creating music for images.


Love pervades Teehan’s first solo effort, Come Home (release: June 10, 2015), an instrumental album showcasing his finesse for composing and his wide-ranging, well-balanced arrangements. Guided by an open ear, with sounds reminiscent of Yann Tiersen and Max Richter, Teehan evokes a playful sense of place. To do so, he draws on instruments like melodica and cello, on the romance of 19th and early 20th-century classical works and the frenzied beauty of Eastern Europe. (He was the low-brass rock star of Toronto’s notorious Balkanesque party band, Lemon Bucket Orkestra).


If the tracks sound cinematic, it’s because they are. They are signposts pointing to Teehan’s newfound musical home. “Since I started writing music,  I dreamed of creating beautifully crafted, emotionally complex film scores,” remarks Teehan, “and realizing that dream was the source of inspiration for this album. I made room in my schedule to focus on composing and plan my move to Los Angeles, and the songs flowed.”


{full story below}


Teehan is a conservatory-trained tuba player, but he cut his teeth as a performer on the eclectic Toronto scene. For one of his first gigs out of music school, Teehan sat in with rock-soul singer Saidah Baba Talibah. “Saidah wanted a tuba as the bass player in the band,” Teehan recalls. “I found myself onstage with Prince’s current guitarist Donna Grantis, who was the leader of Saidah’s killer band. Every show was a masterclass in rock.”


The schooling continued when Teehan leaped into the whirlwind Balkan brass-inspired Lemon Bucket Orkestra, where he took his increasingly hard-hitting playing to the next level. “It was a chaotic and crazy band, fifteen young musicians playing old Balkan folk songs with wild energy, and the people of Toronto completely embraced our folk revolution,” recalls Teehan.  “I would often end up playing a solo in front, or in the crowd at the end of the show, surrounded by people losing their minds dancing. For a tuba player used to being in the background, it was the last thing I expected.”


When not shredding at hundreds of gigs a year, Teehan was quietly working on his own compositions, one of which was nominated for Canada’s major national music award, the Juno. (His most recent work with DJ Skratch Bastid and the Afiara String Quartet will see its world premiere on May 23rd, 2015.) He would sketch out melodies on the fly at the gym, on his phone, at home. Last year, however, something clicked, building from Teehan’s budding fascination with music for film.


He had already been tapped for several prestigious film music-related workshops and residencies. He had worked on the soundtracks for several documentaries and features, and had even flown to Kyiv, Ukraine to record material for an upcoming feature film, an adventure that landed him in the middle of last year’s Maidan Protests. He realized it was time to put the pieces together and pursue this new direction for all he was worth, a direction that beckoned despite its challenges.  


“Composing for film demands flexibility, as you are constantly seeing new cuts, new edits. The images are moving targets,” Teehan reflects. “As I gained more experience scoring, I learned to stick to simplicity and subtlety. You only have one chance. You can’t have layers and layers of complexity, and you need your work to be inviting, to have emotional clarity.”


Teehan’s pieces build from simple statements into graceful fullness (“The South Shore,” “The Canyon”) or into raucous good times (“The Busker”) or unbridled passion (“The Wolf”). He favors evocative time signatures that waltz (“Zahra’s Waltz”) or dance in 7/8 (the Serbian folk beat-inspired “Cobblestones”). The sonic palette that unites the pieces feels equally varied, ranging from lush cello and Roma-style violin, to the sweetness of the melodica and the flying footwork of flamenco dance.


Many of the pieces on Come Home capture the spirit of places, real or imagined, Teehan translated into music. “I think sometimes I would just start writing and have a feeling,” he explains. “"Imagining the instrumentation and fleshing out the melody would lead me on an emotional journey, and at the end I'd realize it was tied to a memory of a place or experience."


Emotion lies at the heart of Teehan’s work, whether it courts drama or whimsy. It’s a powerful guide for an explorer coming home.




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© 2015-2019 by Rob Teehan
All images and music © their respecitve owners & used by permission
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