North of four Great Lakes and the Michigan mitten lives a man who loves movies and the dramatic scenery of the Upper Peninsula. Instead of becoming a filmmaker, this man - guitarist and percussionist Jesse DeCaire - turned to music, forming the Terminal Orchestra to create movie-less soundtracks. The 10-piece ensemble visits the Project Lodge Sept. 2 to perform works from their latest album, The Seasons.
How did the Terminal Orchestra get started?
I was at a point where I'd been in punk bands for a long time - since I was 14 - and had lots of music I'd written but had never performed. I knew I wanted to do instrumental, pastoral-type stuff, but it was just going to be a studio project. Then Phatry Records suggested putting together a band to promote the record.
What are some of your inspirations for this project?
I love movies and mood-creating music, so I've always paid attention to soundtracks. Ennio Morricone is ground zero for the whole spaghetti Western genre, and he's always managed to capture my imagination. Then there's Nick Cave and Warren Ellis and the Birthday Party, who were also influenced by spaghetti Western music. Stravinsky's Rite of Spring is bouncing around in my mind a lot of the time, and I'm also interested in Carl Stalling, who did a lot of the music for Looney Tunes. When you take away the cartoons, you realize how absolutely insane his soundtracks are.
How did The Seasons come about?
Here in the U.P., we experience all four seasons to an extreme degree, with harsh winters and summers that are really hot and beautiful. Different times of year evoke different feelings, and that's something I wanted to explore through music. I also love Vivaldi's Four Seasons. I can't play full-blown classical music, but I wanted to capture its essence, its emotional power.
If the band were to make a movie soundtrack, what kind of film would you choose?
I think we'd have to work on a dark Western. I'm thinking about doing a whole album of that type of stuff. Plus, we've been known to do spaghetti Western interpretations of Metallica songs.