This is likely the quietest Tiny Desk Concert ever.
Something happened to Peter Silberman — singer and guitarist for The Antlers, a band known for its loud, soaring crescendoes — that hushed his life. In a conversation we had, he described a medical condition related to tinnitus. He'd experienced the ringing before, but this was even more intense. "I don't even know if ringing is really the right way to describe it, because it really sounded more like rushing water. This was at a level I'd never experienced before and it was really all-consuming, it took over. Playing music at all was out of the question. The sound of my own voice reverberating in my head was very painful — I had to just be more or less silent while this was happening."
After a time, he tried to make music again. "I started trying to play again and trying to sing again, testing where the boundary was of the sensitivity and of the pain. What I found was that if I sang very quietly and if I played guitar very quietly, that this would be a path for me." The result is his first solo album under his own name, a record called Impermanence. These are songs in slow motion; the builds are less about crescendo and more about subtle change. Peter is joined by Timothy Mislock, a former guitarist for The Antlers. It's a set of songs meant to slow the pace of life. Have patience.
Impermanence is available now. (iTunes) (Amazon)
Peter Silberman (vocals, guitar); Tim Mislock (vocals, guitar)
Producers: Bob Boilen, Bronson Arcuri, Niki Walker; Audio Engineer: Josh Rogosin; Director: Colin Marshall; Videographers: Bronson Arcuri, Colin Marshall; Production Assistant: A Noah Harrison; Photo: Emily Bogle/NPR.
For more Tiny Desk concerts, subscribe to our podcast.