ProgStock, the American Northeast’s Only Progressive Rock Festival, is coming soon. October 1-3. to be exact. Proglodytes has been lucky to have been at ProgStock from the very beginning, and I can easily say that some of my favorite musical memories from the last few years happened at the ProgStock festival. And after such a tumultuous year for live music, I am grateful for all of the hard work from so many people to put on what will surely be a weekend of incredible, unforgettable prog memories.
Potter’s Daughter, the acclaimed art rock outfit that has won praise from prog luminaries, critics, and listeners alike, will be sharing the stage on Sunday night with festival veterans Dark Beauty. Dyanne Potter Voegtlin graciously answered a few questions about Potter’s Daughter, their new album, Close to Nearby, and what she most looks forward to this year at ProgStock.
Tell us about your musical background! What led you to piano, and then what were major influences in your artistic and musical journey?
I was born into a musical family. Everyone played at least one instrument, everyone sang. I started piano lessons at age 3, so music has been a central part of my entire life. As a teenager, Rick Wakeman was my biggest influence by far. I had always studied classical piano but listened to rock-n-roll in my free time. But then I discovered Yes!!! Rick Wakeman showed me a way to marry the two musical genres I loved in a completely new way. Mind blowing and life changing!!
Tell us about the compositional process in Potter’s Daughter. How do your songs come to life
I compose absolutely free form. I let my inner ear guide me. Sometimes I compose at the piano, sometimes I compose when I am out walking and then I sing my ideas into the voice memos on my phone. Afterwards I try to construct my ideas into something with some form. Then I hand it over to Jan and he arranges and orchestrates it.
You are planning to release your latest album, Close to Nearby, a bit before ProgStock 2021, which promises to be your “heaviest work to date”. Tell us a little about that.
Our forthcoming album, Close to Nearby, has taken us on quite a journey indeed! It has turned into a wonderful collaboration between all the musicians involved, each bringing their unique voice and each affecting the overall sound and direction in a huge way. We had hoped to be able to push the release date up for ProgStock, but in the end we’ve had to decide to wait until later this fall. All of us have put so much into making each part of this album as beautiful as possible; we couldn’t rush the process. We will be announcing the new release date soon, along with some other exciting news!!!
What are some of the themes on this new album?
There are two 20th century “classical“ compositions on the album which we arranged for full band. The orchestration on the album is fuller and richer than anything we’ve released thus far.
Your newest album features Simon Phillips on drums. Tell us what it was like working with Simon, and what you felt that he added to your songs.
It has been the biggest pleasure to meet and work with Simon. His musical contribution to Close to Nearby cannot be understated. His brilliant and beautiful drum work inspired so many ideas which added to the richness of each arrangement. Simon also mixed the album, during which he added keyboard parts, vocal parts, gave Jan and I ideas on how to tweak our parts. On top of all this he is a genuinely fine human being.
Also featured on the album is Guthrie Govan, legendary guitarist for The Aristocrats. Tell us about what it was like to work with Guthrie.
Guthrie is also an amazing musician. It would have been lovely to have worked with him in person, but the world being as it is, our correspondence was electronic. Still, Guthrie sent us parts which were so creative and brilliant they informed the further development of the arrangement and sound. His sound is so unique, his playing so musical and powerful. It was an honor and privilege to work with him.
ProgStock is coming very soon! What are you most looking forward to at this event? What should attendees expect from Potter’s Daughter?
Jan and I are very happy to be performing at ProgStock with the excellent drummer, Mark DeGregory, from Orpheus Nine. We will be exchanging sets with our dear friends, Dark Beauty. Plus, Mark, Jan, and I are playing WITH Dark Beauty; and Liz and Bryan will join us for a few songs. We will all be on stage together to close the show, the festival, to close what will certainly be a wonderful weekend of music and friends!!
ProgStock will be taking place from October 1-3, 2021. Full schedule can be found here. Click on the image link below to purchase your tickets!