“… I would write music inspired by an array of artists from Tchaikovsky to Madonna… though I always pictured other voices singing them – never myself.”
Artist Tomek Fior, was thirteen when his parents, former Polish refugees, bought him a piano in his hometown of Moline, Illinois. Fior taught himself to play and poured himself into composing music as a means of dealing with adolescent frustrations. Inspired by his favorite artists – classical composers like Tchaikovsky and prolific pop icons like Madonna – Fior would compose songs and occasionally add lyrics, though he recently told Advocate Magazine that back then he imagined other artists singing his songs, never himself.
Fior’s picture has changed from that angst-ridden teen of his past. The release of his most recent album, The Gates of Paititi (available on iTunes), shows a distinctive and mature artist who is a natural at taking center frame.
Having produced this new album completely independently, Fior told listeners that the challenge he encountered was “producing an album for a singles-oriented market that also brings a cohesive storytelling experience.” This, Fior said, is his homage to the “complete album” experiences of his formative years, from the likes of Tori Amos and David Bowie.
According to Fior, The Gates of Paititi was born of a desire to create an album which not only takes the listener on a linear journey, but whose songs can also stand alone, each with its own distinct flair. A collection of catchy singles that make sense together and tell a story. Assisting the journey, The Gates of Paititi’s interludes weave the individual songs into a seamless work, connecting the album sonically and in metaphor. Some of these interludes are reminiscent of traditional classical compositions, drawing from Fior’s many inspirations. The entire album is an allegory, telling the journey of an explorer searching for the legendary city of gold, “Paititi,” illustrating that an album can both tell a story and maintain the attention of today’s casual listener.
Nodding to his roots in Europe, Fior aims to introduce his work to EU markets and listeners. Fior says “in the future I intend to tie the stories of my albums together to make an anthology.” He promises that what is to come will not only build on what came before, but also take the music into bold new territories of sound. “I’m always looking at ways to improve my craft, and different ways of expressing myself sonically.”