Dawn Desiree Smith
Erika (Swinnich) Tandy|
Autumn Tears is an American musical act incorporating a unique, organic fusion of modern classical music with elements of cinematic score and world music, layered with diverse, female vocals.
The band was formed in September 1995 by Erika (vocals, musical arrangements) and Ted (keyboards and piano, musical arrangements, vocals). After an intensive period of song writing and rehearsing, they entered West Sound Studios and committed to tape the works they had created. In April 1996, their first CD, "Love Poems for Dying Children... Act I" was released through Dark Symphonies, their own record label. The music of "Love Poems..." consisted of symphonic arrangements designed to evoke intense emotions of sadness and loneliness in the listener. Influences include ancient chants, classical music, and contemporary artists (Dead Can Dance, Anchorage, Stoa, Enya).
In May 1997, Autumn Tears released their second full-length album, "The Garden of Crystalline Dreams - Love Poems for Dying Children: Act II."
Erika left Autumn Tears after "Act II's" release to pursue writing her novel. New vocalist Jennifer LeeAnna was recruited, reportedly due to respect for her talent and experience. The first release of "Act I" was originally supposed to be limited to 2000 copies, but an overwhelming amount of requests once it had sold out, it was re-released with a new layout and artwork in 1998. All tracks were remixed and remastered and, as a bonus, an additional and exclusive track titled "The Intermission" was included on the repress; it was Jennifer LeeAnna's debut appearance in the band.
In December 1999, Erika rejoined Autumn Tears as a full-time member.
In July 1999, Autumn Tears released a mini-CD titled "Absolution."
In June 2000, The band finished their third full-length album and most ambitious release so far, "Love Poems for Dying Children, Act III: Winter and the Broken Angel."
In 2004, after four years of silence, the band recorded the album "Eclipse", which is described, on the Autumn Tears Official Homepage, as "the most epic, conceptual, and fullest neoclassical piece of music they have ever offered. Lush strings, acoustic guitars, and woodwinds accompany soaring orchestral soundscapes, painting the backdrop for a staggering array of vocal performances that range from operatic and classical solos to Baltic choral passages and duets." In the Eclipse recording, Ted Tringo had invited new musicians to join Autumn Tears, such as the female vocalist Laurie Ann Haus (Todesbonden) which shared the female voices with Erika in almost all their tracks.
After the release, Erika left Autumn Tears to form her new band, Ignitor.
In 2007, Autumn Tears released "The Hallowing" said to be their final release.
The liner notes for the 2008 re-issue of Love Poems... Act I makes note than the band have not broken up, they are just in hibernation (probably similar to the periods 2001-2004 and 2004-2007). It is also noted that the other two albums in the Love Poems... trilogy, "The Garden of Chrystalline Dreams" & "Winter and the Broken Angel" will also be re-released in special editions in the not-too-distant future.
After 7 releases and nearly 20,000 CDs sold, we are back after 10 years of silence with our new 2018 CD EP "The Origin of Sleep", featuring a full string and horn section, woodwinds, harp and orchestral percussion.
"The Origin of Sleep" Features the amazing vocal talents of Irish singer / songwriter / harpist Brona McVittie, as well as original Autumn Tears woodwind player Terran Olson (maudlin of the Well). Among the many talented musicians featured are French horn player John Clark, who has performed with Joni Mitchell, Sting, Luther Vandross and a slew of others, as well as harpist Tom Moth from Florence and the Machine and veteran Autumn Tears vocalist Jennifer Judd.
Mastered by Peter Bjärgö from Arcana (Swe) at his Erebus Odora studio. Cover artwork by Kishor Haulenbeek. The five songs on this EP are exclusive to this release and will not appear on our upcoming full length album in 2018.
- Composition, arrangements, lyrics, piano: Ted Tringo
- Lead and backing vocals, vocal and lyric arrangements: Brona McVittie
- Lead and backing vocals, vocal and lyric arrangements: Dawn Desiree Smith
- Lead Violin and string arrangements: Brian Schmidt
- Lead Violin and string arrangements: Julian Spiro
- Viola: Kelly Ralston
- Cello: Luke Payne
- Cello: Molly Leigh Jones
- Flute, Clarinet: Terran Olson
- Flute, Clarinet: MaryBeth Kern
- French Horn: John Clark
- Trumpet: Chad Bell
- Trombone: Victor Fuenmayor
- Classical Harp: Tom Moth
- Snare drums: George Ball
- Orchestral Percussion: Anubis
- (1995-2004) Erika (Swinnich) Tandy - Lead and backing vocals, composition and keyboards. (Ex- Ignitor, currently vocals and guitars for death metal act Morgengrau, voxals for Drifter and Bracaglia)
- (1998-2001) Jennifer LeeAnna - Lead and backing vocals, vocal arrangements, composition and keyboards.
- 1996 Love Poems for Dying Children... Act I
- 1997 Love Poems for Dying Children... Act II: The Garden of Crystalline Dreams
- 1998 Love Poems for Dying Children... Act I: REPRISE MCMXCVIII (re-release of Act I with a bonus track)
- 2000 Love Poems for Dying Children... Act III: Winter and the Broken Angel
- 2004 Eclipse
- 2007 The Hallowing
- 2018 The Origin of Sleep
- 1999 Absolution