Medici: Making and taking Flight

by McKenna Cardwell

photo by Sarah Van Houten

Casey Wyman, also known under the musical alias Medici, recently released her third complete album titled Flight on Sept. 30. The album features seven songs that she handpicked from years past as well as ones written more recently to form a cohesive and emotionally intimate body of music.  

For a select few, creating music comes second nature. Listening to Medici’s album, it becomes apparent that she is one of those artists who simply understands music.

“The story goes that one day, when I was about two, my mom found me in my room picking out the melody to a Cindy Lauper song on my toy piano,” Wyman said. “She says that even then I was actually able to pick out the notes to fit the tune.”

Growing up in a house of musicians, Wyman always felt that continuing her involvement with music wasn’t a choice, rather the natural progression of things. Her father and mother both played guitar but each focused on a different genre. Wyman was exposed to rock ‘n’ roll through her father as well as jazz and folk through her mother, whose band used to perform in Bellingham.

Wyman did her time taking classical piano lessons from the age of five until 16, and then stepped away from the piano to pick up a bass. The grunge metal phase that followed taught her that band life simply wasn’t the route she wanted to go down.

“Having a rotating cast with different people with varying degrees of commitment was hard. Working around people’s schedules was hard too, and it kind of just got to the point where I felt like ‘why not do it on my own?’” Wyman said.

The newfound ability to create music she envisioned was a freeing experience, and the resulting sound she developed is beautifully organic and intimate. By simply creating the music she wants, Wyman’s resulting sound transcends genre boundaries. It’s pop, neo-folk, classically influenced and immersed in fantasy among a pool of other things. In essence it’s Medici.

“I work for the Forest Service so that plays into how I’m influenced by the nature and forest around me,” Wyman said. “I like things that sound vast and ethereal. I also really focus on being emotional and intimate, especially in this last album.”

Wyman began work on her latest CD during March of last year and its recent release is the continuation of a pattern where she has been able to release an entire body of work every two years. Starting in 2012 with the release of Arbor and Acer, then Red Eye in 2014, and finally this year with Flight.

In Flight, Medici returns to the piano to record all nine tracks on a traditional grand piano to accurately translate the intimate feeling that has arguably become a signature of hers. She also returns to audio engineer at Alpenglow Sound Studios Bill Simpkins, who produced and mixed the songs of her last album, Red Eye.

“Casey has this sense of knowing exactly how what she is doing is going to translate into music,” Simpkins said. “She has a way of knowing what she wants and making it real, and that makes her an awesome artist to work with.”

Wyman says that she allows feelings and notes to funnel from her mind onto paper, both lyrically and musically.

“If anything it’s empathetic in the way that I’ll sometimes write songs about things that have never happened to me. I also know that everyone has a different interpretation of the songs, so even though my music is intimate, sharing it isn’t scary. It’s something I’m proud of and its cathartic.”

Wyman plans to continue making and sharing her atmospheric music with ideas of experimenting with genres and collaborating with other artists. However, she places no pressure on the idea of “making it big” in the music industry.

“I think my music is the kind where people really have to sit down and listen through, maybe two or three times. I’m not going to force art on people, but if it’s organic and people take interest, then that’s great,” Wyman said.

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Published in the November 2016 issue of What’s Up!