My weariness was well-earned, because just days before, my second daughter EJ had been born. I was on paternity leave. It was also one of the most important days of the school year for a Texas band director - UIL Concert and Sightreading. I would, however, be sitting in the audience listening to my band rather than standing in front of them. Knowing that she would be coming right in the middle of contest preparations, I rehearsed the band for the first half of the season and, with some careful planning, turned them over to the High School director for their final performances. I knew that they were in good hands, but letting go was still difficult.
This sea of overlapping thoughts and emotions seemed more vivid due to lack of sleep, and Form, which had been in rotation for several weeks, had become the standard soundtrack for my bedraggled state. The album had been suggested by fellow Stick player that I had met during my studies, and true to his suggestion, it is unique and engaging in ways that sidestep easy categorization.
As a project that centers on “touchstyle guitar” playing, Zweiton’s style can be traced back to King Crimson with some confidence. In particular, the heavier, mathematical approach that the group was spearheading in the mid-90s on THRaK. At that time, the band expanded to a cacophonous double trio with Trey Gunn on Warr Guitar. His contributions on THRaK were initially difficult to unravel, but they became clearer when he released The Joy of Molybdenum, a defining album to which Form owes its scope.
Form has some very heavy moments, but never veers into the emotionally vacuous traps of technical prog-metal Instead, its heaviness emerges from deeply mathematical grooves and interlocked melodic structures. These more intense moments are made more effective as they are juxtaposed by more delicate, atmospheric passages, spun together into often sprawling yet coherent compositions.
By the time contest came around, I had made the decision that I would not be returning for the following year. Sitting in the audience was not the way in which I wanted to end my 9 year run at the school. I unequivocally decided, however, that family, took priority in this situation. I know many directors who would have not taken this path, but ultimately I was happy to be relieved of the pressure so that I could focus on EJ’s somewhat problematic infancy, and I do not regret it to this day. At the time, however, it was not the way that I wanted to say goodbye to those kids, which made this particular morning a bittersweet and introspective one.