Syntax Issue 10
Denver Syntax

{tiny television}

For millennia music has been a pillar of stability in the ever-changing landscape of time. If not that, then music is the ultimate illustration of a cavalier element fending off the choppy, churning waters of time. And while it is an island, music is also the water of time itself, fluid and able to clarify a solution.

Like countless others before him, it seems that Jeremy D’Antonio has found refuge in this concept of music as an island.

Relentlessly playing to crowds in Boulder and Denver, D’Antonio’s large project, Tiny Television (currently loaded with a revolving door of musicians such as Jonathan Rakstang, John Nichols, Brian McRae, Dan Luehring, and Joshua Trinidad), has been creating rogue waves on Colorado’s Front Range for the past couple of years.

Organic and deceptively simple, D’Antonio’s songs are brilliant exaltations on the human condition and alas, on love. From the compositions to the textures and lyrics – there is an executed, inherent simplicity. This, however, is not to say that Tiny Television is prosaic. Instead, what D’Antonio has managed to accomplish, especially lyrically – are paralyzing meditations on the universals of pain, loss, love and redemption.

If anything, Tiny Television is about clarifying the complex situations of living a life well, and passionately, lead. D’Antonio’s songs heavily reflect the primal components of communication – with the world and with one’s self. And his words are not obtuse, but rather, clear and economical. His images are grounding, humble and listening to his work I picture D’Antonio in all the living rooms he has inhabited, with shades drawn, trying to get the feeling back into his fingers.

If you are looking for an honest interaction, or for a picture of a broken-down but resurfacing man – stop and interact here. Tiny Television laces every song with honest vulnerabilities and a masculine frailty so earnest that it veils its complexities.

From “This Town”: I think that I/should get away/from this town/and this place/you don’t know/what it’s doing to me/it’s breaking me...

The more you listen, the more it is apparent that D’Antonio’s work is intensely personal while also reverberating in an alarming honest hue. And while some pieces are incredibly sad, there is always an element of healing. Of the redemptive. Of trying. Trying to move-on. Trying to find balance and perspective.

Having just resurfaced from a protracted period of solitude in Taos, New Mexico, D’Antonio and his band mates are back in action, in Denver. This, however, is not to say that D’Antonio ceased producing work – far from it. Just in the last couple of months D’Antonio wrote several important songs. And he recorded two of these heartbreaking gems, “Hallelujah, I’m Coming Home” and “Love Acquistion”. Recorded only with one microphone, D’Antonio’s homespun recordings are at once terrifying and beautiful in their monumental stature. In these you will find, again, an honest and undiluted account of one man, in one moment. Reaching out. Living. Striving. And, trying.

Life, for D’Antonio, has been filled with change and flux. As a child he became accustomed to salutations as his family moved from town to town frequently. Through that experience he has carried with him a wealth of polarities that have proved to be unsettling: in and out of time, the self versus the world, solitude versus connecting, and other dichotomies like simplicity and complexity. Still D’Antonio hasn’t locked-in on any of these. Instead the picture that he has drawn, in his music, his lyrics and my interactions with him – is that he is always somewhere in-between, forever striving and reaching…

Still it seems, D’Antonio is looking for solid ground; a place he can call home for awhile. But if there is a lesson, for D’Antonio and others, it is that – while you can never step into the same river twice; and while life is flux, you can find stability in your progressive movements. The analogy here is D’Antonio’s rich musicianship.

For while his musical projects have changed and grown, from his days with Greenfield, to his jazz guitar work to his rich studio experience and having played with a strong contingent of musicians along the front range, D’Antonio has, alas, found a place, a style and a mission that works for him. Moreover, if there is any complexity in discovering where his home is – I have to tell you: it is clearly in his music.

Now it’s just a matter of getting up to speed and using the gathering crowd’s eyes and ears as the wind. Because with their enormous potential in-hand, it is a truism that when you have wings like Tiny Television and you gain the appropriate momentum forward, you are certain to take-off flying.

Stay abreast of Tiny Television’s upcoming shows and recordings, here: www.myspace.com/tinytelevision.