Frank Macchia: Songs For Tracy

Dan McClenaghan By

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Frank Macchia: Songs For Tracy
Grammy-nominated, multi-woodwind instrumentalist-composer Frank Macchia was in an isolationist, COVID-19 state of mind when he came up with the blueprint for Songs For Tracy. Dog-walking during the quarantine time did the trick. He would, in these sojourns, write down ideas about his emotions and thoughts. The next step was writing the music for these lyrics.

Recording involved (almost) an orchestra of one—Frank Macchia overdubbing a swirling sea of woodwinds and keyboard textures, with Brock Avery on drums and Tracy London on vocals. It is the same process he used on his three terrific Cacophony Records EPs in 2020: Rhythm Abstraction: Ruby, Rhythm Abstraction: Gold and Rhythm Abstraction: Azure. The difference with Songs For Tracy is Tracy London, sitting in, center stage, on vocals from start to finish.

Macchia is a genius at arranging. He pushes forward in that effort here, creating a majestic, reed-packed, synthesizer-enhanced orchestral translucence.

Lyrically, Macchia is an original, exploring a perspective from a lofty point of view of a levitation on "Flying," ruminating on an everyday versus surreal existence on "Dreminiscence," puzzling over the human condition on "The Human Race." London's vocals come from an everywoman, the woman you might know, the neighbor or friend, without flashiness, filled with honesty, laying out the cool truth in the embrace of Macchia's classical/jazz/Latin/pop orchestrations.

"Simply Exist," the closer, and at twelve-plus-minutes the longest tune of the set, features London exploring the concept of consciousness, strange realities, the ubiquitous treadmills, the "Is the universe a dream?" question, in a kind of stream of consciousness state of mind, taking her vocals into a new dimension, concluding in the end that "None of it matters. Simply exist."

Track Listing

Flying; The Universal Sigh; Dreaminiscence; The Human Race; Be Sublime; Round and Round; The Knowing; The Visit; Take Me Away; Waiting; Simply Exist.


Frank Macchia: composer/conductor; Brock Avery: drums; Tracy London: voice / vocals.

Additional Instrumentation

Frank Macchia: woodwinds, keyboards.

Album information

Title: Songs For Tracy | Year Released: 2021 | Record Label: Cacophony

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