We have an interesting and talented mix of performers for this year’s conference on March 22. TEDxGreenville Program Team member, Rob Green, tells us a little about Haley Dreis. While she lives and works in Nashville, she is originally from Columbia, SC, and graduated from USC with a degree in violin performance.
Like many of the other emails I get with requests to play MoJoe’s , Haley had heard of our venue from other touring artists and was passing through from Nashville to Columbia. She needed a stop.
Our venue doesn’t have many rules but the first one is you must play original music. Cover bands are not allowed.
She fit all of our requirements, so I gave her a listen. The sound was full, eclectic and fresh. Her voice was distinctive. Clear. Refined. Okay, we’d loved to have her.
Then I heard and saw her live.
What can best be described as a one-girl musical assembly line, Haley uses two guitars, a ukulele and violin woven through a loop machine that essentially takes 3 or 4 bars and loops them. She starts each song with a story and a single instrument and layers each instrument, one on top of the other, like that badass sandwich you used to make on Sundays. They end up beautifully crafted pop songs with a message about strong women and a determined spirit, and, by the way, she’s the only one on stage.
The ephemeral nature of live music plays into Haley’s craft as she must reconstruct her songs during each performance and, with that, comes the ability of the audience to bear witness to the building process. Before you know what is really happening, you’re listening to a full bodied performance with 3 instruments and vocals. Then, in an instant, it’s gone.
Dave Grohl’s Grammy speech notwithstanding, this IS real music played by a real person. Haley uses artistic license to shift time via the loops and stack her sounds. Much like a single painter mixes and layers color, Haley blends strums, picks, bows, and voices better than most. It may end up coming out of a machine, but it’s real. All Haley. All live.