There are multi-instrumentalists and then there's Morgan Guerin Multi-instrumentalist, engineer, composer and producer Morgan Guerin invites us to his home studio to hear tracks from his new, lush, genre-bending record, Tales of the Facade.

There are multi-instrumentalists and then there's Morgan Guerin

There are multi-instrumentalists and then there's Morgan Guerin

Morgan Guerin Chase Guerin/Courtesy of Artist hide caption

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Chase Guerin/Courtesy of Artist

Morgan Guerin

Chase Guerin/Courtesy of Artist

Walking into Morgan Guerin's New York home studio — which he calls Guerin Haüs — you are completely surrounded by gear: racks of equipment a layperson might not recognize, wires, cables, blinking lights, computers. There are plenty of instruments, including an upright bass leaning in the corner of the room, an electric organ and towers of keyboards. It's the laboratory of a musical scientist who embodies sonic curiosity and creativity.

Guerin has been experimenting with music since his teenage years in the basement of his mother's Atlanta home — learning about the building blocks of songs and the recording process in a do-it-yourself, Prince-like fashion. "I wanted to be on every instrument," he says. "I wanted to play the drums. I wanted to play the sax, the bass. I wanted to play the keys. I would learn every part of every song." It was in that basement where Guerin would record his 2016 debut album, The Saga, on which he played the majority of the instruments.

Morgan Guerin in the New York home studio he calls Guerin Haüs. Trevor Smith hide caption

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Trevor Smith

Morgan Guerin in the New York home studio he calls Guerin Haüs.

Trevor Smith

Guerin, who is still in his 20s, has steadily grown his musical orbit through lush, sound-rich solo pieces and cross-genre collaboration — which is evident in his latest record as a leader, Tales of the Facade. On this radio episode, he'll take us on a journey through his music, with session breakdowns and candid reflections on his process for the record. "As with life, you keep growing," Guerin says. "You keep finding out new things and new ways of doing things."

Set List:

All songs composed by Morgan Guerin unless otherwise noted.

  • "Sharynwood Drive," from the album The Saga
  • "Madeira," from the album The Saga
  • "Pen and Paper," from the album Tales of the Facade
  • "Emerald," from the album The Saga III
  • "The Anthem" (Terri Lyne Carrington), from the Terri Lyne Carrington & Social Science album Waiting Game
  • "Something in the Air" (Morgan Guerin, Zacchae'us Paul), from the album Tales of the Facade
  • "Homeland Heroine" from the album Tales of the Facade

Credits: Trevor Smith, writer and producer; Christian McBride, host; Ron Scalzo, episode mix; Steven A. Williams, executive producer; Suraya Mohamed, executive producer of NPR Music; Keith Jenkins, vice president of visuals and music strategy at NPR Music.

Special thanks to Lena Wright and Candid Records.