I Want Your Tears: A Conversation with Devon McDermott and Hailley Lauren of Tinnarose

by Ashley Murphy

Wynd Palace

Just before the launch of their new project Wynd Palace, Ashley Murphy caught up with Devon McDermott of Tinnarose and dancer Hailley Lauren to discuss the enchanting and imaginative new multimedia work. A fusion of music, film and choreography, Wynd Palace is a major leap forward for both artists that showcases their long running collaboration as well as their individual talents. Hear what the two have to say about everything from 18th century ballads to the power of movement, their future plans and more, then see them at REVOLVE tomorrow, September 23rd

Ashley Murphy for Ovrld: What inspired this collaboration (both the reimagination of songs and the choreography). Was the project a collaboration from the beginning?

Devon McDermott: Wynd Palace existed before this collaboration even occurred. It’s an idea or a place that exists between the two of us. We’re best friends. It was natural for us to want to work our different mediums together. Hailley has been dancing with Tinnarose in our live shows and working with us for a while now.

Hailley Lauren: Devon and I have very similar tastes in art, music, style, dance, etc and have wanted to create work together for years. I think we really inspire each other and wanted to make something tangible out of that. I would say Wynd Palace is really an extension of our friendship. There’s nothing better than working  with your best friend right?

Ovrld: Will this EP consist of reimagined Tinnarose songs? How did you go about selecting pieces that fit the vision for the choreography/visual aspect?

DM: This EP consists of six traditional folk ballads dating back to the 1700’s. These songs are passed down like heirlooms. Some of them are truly becoming extinct. One song in particular is actually on the first Tinnarose record, “Willie O’ Winsbury.” We reworked that one for Wynd Palace. So, in a way we did rework a Tinnarose song.

These ballads are meaningful to me both because I have been working with the material for years and the stories told in them are significant to me as a woman. Something about the simple beauty of the melodies cries for movement. Hailley was able to help bring expression to these stories through choreography

HL: I have always loved the Tinnarose song “Willie O’ Winsbury” so, when Devon suggested these kinds of songs for Wynd Palace I was all in. Most of the time the music comes first for me as a choreographer, it’s a big source of inspiration for me. These songs are telling stories and I’m helping breathe life into these stories through movement and film.

I collaborated with dancer and cinematographer Maggie Bailey to capture the essence of the songs. I wanted to depict the romantic, timeless, heartbreaking, haunting world in which these songs take place.

Ovrld: Tinnarose’s music is very ethereal and folk-inspired. What about this sound caused you to want to incorporate contemporary dance?

DM: I think music calls for movement. If you’ve listened to the record and then come out to see one of our live shows you may hear the music differently with the punctuation of Hailley’s choreography. I want to expand the horizon for Tinnarose. Wynd Palace has three main components: Music, Dance and Film. Through Wynd Palace Hailley and I explore a balanced union between three media that, when experienced together, transcend the sum of their parts.

HL:  I’ve loved dancing for Tinnarose and think the movement adds an exciting element to their live show. It’s a little different though because with Tinnarose I’m dancing for their band and with Wynd Palace together Devon and I are the group. A sort of hybrid. What’s compelling about Wynd Palace is that all three elements are there to enhance and support each other. You can totally experience the parts of Wynd Palace individually but its full expression is the combination of music, dance and film.

Ovrld: What do you hope Wynd Palace evokes from listeners?

DM: Recording Wynd Palace was extremely emotional for me. I was in the middle of a huge move to the East Coast and these songs are important to me. They are my history and my soul’s music. This project feels like my guts. I think I actually told my band drunkenly that I could die happy after making this come to life.

My hopes are that listeners will also watch and experience through the film. This is meant to be more of a visual album. Wynd Palace is much more than any one thing it is made up of. It’s a bond between women and the stories are of special significance to all women from 1717 to 2017. I want your tears.

HL: I want to transport the audience and immerse them in a world that feels like a dream or a memory. I hope to capture them, tell them a story, make them feel things. I think Wynd Palace can be experienced on different levels and the audience can choose what they want from it. Love it or hate it, smiles or tears I want them to walk away with a conversation and (hopefully) a desire for more.

Ovrld: It’s really cool that you’re premiering the E.P. with a live performance at REVOLVE: A Movement Display. The music and dance will be premiered surrounded by art. How do you think being around other artists and visual performances will effect the way Wynd Palace is received?

HL: Devon and I want more for Wynd Palace. We want to be able to take this show and perform it in many venues and markets. Premiering at REVOLVE is great because there will be a ton of people and artists from different mediums coming together to watch and participate in the show.

By premiering at REVOLVE we are saying that we don’t fit into one category and we can’t be labeled as one thing, that we define ourselves. Wynd Palace is immersive and I think being able to experience us alongside other talented and diverse artists will only enhance the audience’s time with us.

DM: We recently had a conference call and chatted about how we hope to eventually create a Wynd Palace installation. I think we’re hoping to be received as a continuous fluid mailable entity within the Tinnarose family. Transcending media.

Anything to add about Wynd Palace in anticipation of its release tomorrow?

HL: Come out to REVOLVE on the 23rd to get the full experience of Wynd Palace! You can purchase your tickets here.