The name treVeld is born of the music, representing the merging of three fields, filled with the lush and sacred openness of creative potential.
treVeld is an acoustic music trio based in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Minnesota. The group includes Bill Plattes on violin and mandolin, Dustin Smith on guitars and Philip Rampi on upright bass, octave mandolin, fretless minstrel banjo, cello, dobro and udu.
The members of treVeld met around the turn of the century in Saint Paul at an Old Time music gathering, which met weekly at a local coffee shop, The Prairie Star. While steeping in the music and magic, the three instinctively migrated to a common place in the circle, attracted by each other’s unique sound and slightly irreverent musical approach. This bond inspired them to mix it up outside of the Old Time music sessions, with the intent to explore their musical passions.
These fruitful gatherings brought forth a rich creative process, where pieces are often born from musical fragments presented by one member or another and sculpted as a group into finished works. This process is filled with spontaneity, akin to finishing each other’s musical sentences.
treVeld brings this spirit of playful musicality to their performances, where audiences are inspired to drink in the joy and magic of the music.
Bohemian Flats is treVeld’s debut recording, which draws upon several musical sources and traditions, including Gypsy, Swing, Old Time, Celtic, Bluegrass, Blues, Chamber and Nordic Roots. These diverse musical inspirations have found common ground in the groups compositions; which are a fresh, eclectic and cohesive body of original works that have been described as 'treVeldian'.
Radio Play... treVeld currently receives airplay on Minnesota Public Radio’s The Morning Show on 89.3 The Current, String Theory and Bluegrass Saturday Morning on KBEM Jazz 88 FM, Currents on KAXE -Northern Minnesota Community radio, The Pathways on WELY- End of the Road Radio, Music Through The Day & Northland Morning on KUMD- Duluth Independent Public Radio, Repose on Interlochen Public Radio and online on Pandora Radio - The Music Genome Project.
Gratitude from treVeld... Recording Bohemian Flats in relaxed and inspiring spaces while unfolding at our own pace and time was indeed a priceless gift. Gary Bartig graciously contributed steadfast encouragement, studio space, audio gear and Engineering Magic. Deep thanks to Bob Katz as our CD Mastering guru, impeccably guiding this project to graceful completion. Praise to Sheraton Green for creating a wonderfully resonant and gorgeous CD package and Andrew Slaikeu of 'Copycats Hi-Fi Media' for going the distance to bring this CD into form.
Praise for treVeld's ‘Bohemian Flats’ CD and live performances:
“Damn that's good music. Do fans matter more than the words of a critic? Hell, yes! Always!”
-- Billy Sheppard, Music Journalist (See his review of Bohemian Flats below)
“Thanks so much for sending your Bohemian Flats disc to me. I love it! The best part is that I've seen you at Erte before and remember asking the staff who you guys were because I thought the music was so great...and good for The Morning Show too. I'll most definitely use it on the air, good music deserves to be heard!.”
-- Mike Pengra, Producer / The Morning Show, Minnesota Public Radio / 89.3 The Current
“Be sure to check out this wonderfully diverse and very talented Twin Cities based ensemble for some lovely and very evocative works”.
-- Kevin Barnes (on air commentary), Host of String Theory on Jazz 88 FM
"treVeld has successfully performed a progressive convergence of Old Time and formal Classical music with traditional Bluegrass on their latest recording Bohemian Flats."
-- Phil Nusbaum (on air commentary), Host of Blue Grass Saturday Morning on Jazz 88 FM
"When installing wedding flowers at the artfully rustic Mill City Museum recently, we were stopped in our tracks by the amazing band beginning to warm up. And so began our love affair with treVeld, a group of string musicians whose musical repertoire includes Gypsy, Swing, Celtic, Blues and Nordic Roots. Their music is lush, playful, soulful and unforgettable. They are the band version of the beautiful food scene in the movie “Chocolat” in which Vianne serves a sumptuous feast to celebrate Armande’s birthday – exquisite foods laced with chocolate, an elegantly earthy outdoor setting with charmingly eclectic guests blissed out by the whole experience. That is treVeld. They have that rare quality of truly appealing to all ages."
-- Pam and the Fleurissima Design Team
“The three of you are nothing short of absolutely amazing. I have had conversations in the past about equating music with food, and how some music is fluff and no substance, or desert, or canned meat, etc. treVeld is a 27 course meal with all the trimmings, very tasty rare wine with amazing appetizers, every one of my favorite dishes, many incredibly delicious morsels I have never tasted that are somehow exotic and familiar at the same time.
What an amazing combination of sound and song you create, that is so universally pleasing and also so deep, playful, thoughtful and full of feeling. A truly rare combination.”
-- Peter Hutter, Writer, Musician, Musical Counselor
“Bohemian Flats is a simply wonderful collection of lovely, sophisticated tunes. What you are doing is very unique and really beautiful. This is chamber-folk music that cuts across several genres, and I for one definitely like the natural quality of this recording. There is one word that comes up for me every time I listen... "stately". There is delicacy and cleanness to the whole thing which is quite nice and rather dream-like. TreVeld’s music has a timeless quality. This is music played today that could have been played in the parlor in the early 1900's, yet fresh and alive. Every note is crystal clear and the wood of the instruments is featured prominently. You all should feel proud. Bravo...!”
-- Mitch Wittenberg, Psychologist, Musician, and Music Aficionado
“Bohemian Flats - a CD by "my people"!
I've been listening to Bohemian Flats, and I love it! It's so clean—everything has it's own space. You are masters of melody and variation—never a dull moment or something too "expected"—it's a delight to listen to Bill do these melodies on fiddle. Nice guitar work on "This and That," really fun stuff! Of course, I simply love all the different sounds your bass player is able to produce.
It is a really "pleasant" compilation, for me—a superbly nice group of tunes to have playing for those times when I'll be working in the shop building something and need to think a little, or for just relaxing in my own space with headphones--the total, "do-nothing-but-be-musically-massaged" times of rest that we all sometimes need. Nice guitar harmonics section in "Morain." (I'm listening to the CD, again, as I write this—the best way!...)
I love these melodies! For some reason, they remind me of a simpler time, perhaps a time when Minnesota was first being settled by the mix of people coming from the east, quite a while back.”
-- Bob, Music Enthusiast
“Your music Soothes the soul and quiets the mind.”
-- Barbara Cloutier, M.A.- Licensed Psychologist
“Your music is rich and delicious, at once exotic and familiar. Even my three-year-old, who rarely sits still, was mesmerized by your sound.”
“Wow, Wow, and WOW again!!! That's to cover Philip, Bill, and Dustin. :-) Please forward along my Kudos and Congrats to all three of you (and your crew of helpers) on such a fine CD....a true work of art!
Oh what a delight to my ears and soul! You all blend together so perfectly, each musician complimenting the other with everything from deep resonating bass notes, to spiritual soul-searching sounds, to playful frolicking music that made me want to jump up and dance a jig (except that I don't know how!). But in my mind, I was dancing, and daydreaming....it brought tears to my eyes.”
“Thanks for producing such a beautiful gift to the world!”
“Pat and I have both listened to your CD and enjoyed both the music and the production quality very much. Top notch! We will be expecting to see/hear you on Prairie Home Companion, Rolling Stone Magazine, and the Tonight Show soon...!”
-- Bill and Pat
“I just have to let you know how much we all love your CD. It gets played a minimum of twice a day. The girls, ages 3 to 13, all love the music and with each song that comes on they say, "Oh, I like this one!". The overall fave has to be track 13 though. They want to hear it over and over. Thanks for including that! I think it's important to know everybody goofs sometimes, that we are all human, that even talented musicians must take time to learn things.”
Excerpts from a Review by Music Journalist Billy Sheppard, 8/2007.
treVeld ~ "Bohemian Flats" ~ Just A Simple Melody
"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."
~ Aldous Huxley
“If you had to take one piece of music to a desert island, what would you choose? You'll be alone. Will it be the fastest and loudest, or the biggest and boldest? If I had one piece of music to take it might be "Shenandoah". I don't know what it means. It didn't get written down, and it was changed over time until it became what it is. What I like about this group treVeld is why I like Shenandoah. It's the song nobody wrote, and everybody. Everybody and Django Reinhart. There's a whole lotta' Shenandoah on this record. What the hell is Shenandoah? I don't have a clue. Sure do miss it though.
If music makes you feel, it heals you. There's more than just notes here. There is something holy about the melody played this way. The song here is an absolute gift. Takes a touch of genius...
1. SQUARE NOT has that Django Reinhart thing strumming away at the guitar. There's a little country fiddle theme doubled on the six string. There's a little jazz in the theme, but not enough to drive away the simple. Like that Cub Scout tie, it holds together without being complicated.
2. GOLDFINCH sure does have a little birdsong in it. That guitar keeps the rhythm but sounds like a tabla in the background. Sweet! There's a string bass playing sweet and perfect back there somewhere. Olivier Messiaen would be proud. Birds sing great.
3. SCROLL IN THE WOODS takes a somber tone, but I truly hear that I never saw and miss so very much in every note. Whether this is a scroll guitar or missive from the ancients, it's simple enough to be believed note for note. That bowed bass ain't lying one bit. Whatever this means, I believe it.
4. NEW TOWN has a banjo simple as a word from Mom at the center. The fiddle takes my heart as it has done tune for tune. There's a clock in this song ticking progress right along. A place with no history. Yet.
5. VERSE ONE takes a turn for the metaphysical. More glissando here and a maybe a hint of a waltz in the march of the story. I'm not adverse to this story. Maybe we're still finding our way, but there's a dark sense of what we are leaving. Damn straight, there's something better up ahead.
6. ROLLIN OUT THE SNAKESKIN takes a bohemian turn toward Django and Stephan. No doubt we're checkin' out the wares here. There's a little dazzle and maybe a little snake oil oversell. Probably cure something. What the heck?
7. THIS AND THAT is Django and Stephan straight to the core, with a little running bass to set the thing going. It's all underplayed, but full of humor and grace. Every little instrumental comment seems to come out of a little barroom experience.
8. BILL'S DITTY heads back to the street corner on an unpainted porch somewhere in the Old West. This is a band that could play Turkey in the Straw on request, but has another tale to tell this time out. Play it boys! A mode or two in the middle might make you wonder, but there's a progression to the sophisticated strum of a city stroll in a proud town to put the country in its place.
9. MORAIN makes me long for a snow capped mountain somewhere I ain't never seen. That simple banjo makes it all seem real enough if my memory doesn't serve. I must have been there, or I wouldn't care so much. I do long for that place. How can it be I've never been there? Musta' just forgot.
10. STONES takes to the riverbed where the Ol' Man rolls, but that's mainly downstream of this song. The effect of time is evident in the smooth flow of this melody. Very smooth.
11. RED SEA moves along, and is still unmoved. It tells a story that will outlast us all. There is a bowed bass that knows about things too deep for us to see from the surface. Things go on here, we have to call them other. Been around before us, and will continue, after we have gone.
12. LULLABY doesn't lie about things the way they are. This is a simple truth that John Abercrombie explored some time ago in his sweetest album "Memphis." Try to resist this song, if you are into that. I don't. It gets right in with all those sweet harmonics and the sweetness of Momma singing that it's time to stop thinking and let things be.
13. SQUARE NOT REPRISE takes you back to the beginning, without the slick of the edited recording. "We're just doing our best" I seem to hear. But mostly this is a tiny tag on the first tune botched with good humor. Whoops! Guess that knot wasn't so square after all.”
©Billy Sheppard, 2007