WATCH AND LISTEN
A. Choose the best answers according to the information in the video.
1 What is one way the Hillary Reynolds Band describes their music?
a acoustic folk
b pop acoustic
2 What is one challenge the band faces right now?
a They cannot get enough studio time.
b They have to book everything themselves.
c Their upcoming tour was canceled.
3 How does the band write and arrange songs?
a Hillary writes all their songs.
b The band collaborates on all their songs.
c Their songwriting processes are varied.
4 How does the band get people to listen to their music?
a They make sure a lot of people hear them.
b They do cold calls to make contacts.
c They play cover songs to get people’s attention.
5 What does the band enjoy hearing most from their fans?
a that they were able to find them on social media
b that a song has made them feel good
c that they heard them on the radio somewhere
6 What does the band think it takes to be successful in the music business?
a hard work and passion
b passion and a good agent
c a good agent and love for the business
7 What are the band’s hopes for the future?
a to get their songs on mainstream radio
b to meet more people in the music industry
c to continue playing music for people
B. Write T (true) or F (false). Then correct the false statements with a partner.
1 The Hillary Reynolds Band met at the Berklee College of Music.
2 The band combines catchy pop melodies with electric instruments,
3 Trevor plays the mandolin, Jeff plays the ukulele, Hillary plays the cello, and Chris plays the upright bass.
4 Sometimes Hillary and the band write an entire song in one session.
5 According to the band, a big résumé makes it easier to get more high-profile gigs.
6 The band enjoys making music but also hopes that they will sign with a major label and become really famous.
C. Who says it? Write H for Hillary, T for Trevor, or J for Jeff.
___ 1 “… so we try to use those kinds of instruments and those kinds of sounds and textures to get across pop songwriting.”
___ 2 “Most signed artists have a whole team of people that are dedicated to making the ‘machine’ work.”
___ 3 “And that is what makes our songwriting so complex and so … so great.”
___ 4 “And I think the more we play covers, the more they are willing to give our original songs a chance.”
___ 5 “In the past, we would make a lot of cold calls because we wouldn’t have a lot of contacts around the country …”
___ 6 “… bands would define success, by signing with a major label, becoming really famous …”
1 c 2 b 3 c 4 c 5 b 6 a 7 c
2 F; The band combines catchy pop melodies with acoustic instruments.
3 F; Trevor plays the cello. Hillary plays the mandolin.
6 F; The band enjoys making music and just wants to continue to make music together.
1 T 2 H 3 H 4 T 5 J 6 T
Hillary: Well, we are the Hillary Reynolds Band, and we are Boston based. We’re from all different parts of the country and met in Berkelee College of Music. Uh, and we’ve been making music together now for a couple of years.
Trevor: We’re often asked to describe our music, uh, you know, in a word or a couple of words. And I suppose the easiest way to describe it would be either indie-folk or folk-pop. And what we try to do is combine catchy pop melodies, hooks, that sort of thing, with acoustic folky instruments. We try to create soothing, acoustic textures on which to put pop melodies and pop songwriting. So we have all sorts of acoustic instruments: I play the cello, Jeff plays ukulele, Hillary will play the mandolin, Chris plays acoustic upright bass. Um, so we try to use those kinds of instruments and those kinds of sounds and textures to get across pop songwriting.
Hillary: Most signed artists have a whole team of people that are dedicated to making the “machine” work. And we don’t have that luxury at this point. And so we’ll book our own tour; we’ll book our own studio time; we’ll write our own songs; we’ll arrange them ourselves; and upcoming for our . . . our next album, we’ll be producing as well.
Our process for writing songs is very diverse. And sometimes I will approach the band with a full song that’s just needing some arrangements and needs a top and tail. Uh, there are other times where we will collaborate a hundred percent together, and we’ll start off with nothing and then leave a rehearsal, leave a session with everything. Uh, and, so, between the two, there’s a lot of space for variation. And that is what makes our songwriting so complex and so . . . so great.
Trevor: You know, we sort of play cover songs as a way to get people’s attention, and as a way to . . . people are interested because they hear music they know. And then once they’re listening to us and what we have to offer, it . . . they’re in a better space to hear our original songs. And I think the more we play covers, the more they are willing to give our original songs a chance.
Jeff: In the past, we would make a lot of cold calls because we wouldn’t have a whole lot of contacts around the country with whom to book engagements and all these things. So these days, it’s the case that people will contact us instead, because we have then made a name for ourselves, having been around for so long. The more, um, gigs you play and the bigger your résumé is, the easier it then becomes to get more high-profile gigs and work your way up that ladder.
Hillary: Our fans reach out to us through all of the mediums of social media and all those platforms. And it’s a really overwhelmingly awesome feeling to get a message from somebody who’s reaching out, telling accounts of how a song has impacted them, helped them get through a tough time, or, you know, made them feel good. And we welcome all of that.
Trevor: Those are the best kinds of feedback.
Hillary: Those are the best. Yeah.
Trevor: Uh, it takes a lot of hard work to be successful in the music business. And the harder you work, the better your chances of becoming successful at what you love to do. And passion is very important. You have to love it. If you love it, it’s easy to work hard.
Well, in terms of what we want for ourselves going forward . . . In the past, people would define success, or bands would define success, by signing with a major label, becoming really famous, mainstream radio. But we’re really happy if we can make music for our lives and make music as friends and play our music for people. Um, so, I think, you know, how we want to come across is just as a group of friends making music together and pouring our lives and pouring our hearts into songs. And, hopefully, that comes across to the listeners and, hopefully, people can listen to our music and feel like they know us as people.
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