Whether you’re into jazz, classical music or world music, Tin Hat may appeal to you. The ensemble has been blurring the lines between musical genres since the release of their 1999 album, Memory is An Elephant. “[T]heir haunting and strangely familiar music is a soundtrack to the kind of puzzling dream which leaves you sitting awake in the middle of the night,” wrote the New Yorker of their debut. Music critics haven’t been able to categorize Tin Hat other than to use such adjectives as “eerie,” “whimsical” and “unique” to describe their sound. Their albums, including 2000’s Helium and 2002’s The Rodeo Eroded, have featured guest musicians and singers such as Tom Waits, Willie Nelson and Mike Patton (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle) and have incorporated musical styles such as tango, bluegrass and Eastern European folk music.
Founding member and accordionist Rob Burger left the group in 2004 following the release of Book of Silk, leaving violinist Carla Kihlstedt and guitarist Mark Orton to carry on as Tin Hat. But the group soon welcomed clarinetist Ben Goldberg into the fold and has invited a changing roster of musicians to join them on tour. This weekend, Tin Hat will perform their original scores to accompany classic silent animated films by Ladislaw Starewicz. The show begins 8 p.m. April 22 at the Barkley Theatre of the Oats Park Art Center, 151 E. Park St., in Fallon. Tickets are $20. The group will also present a free discussion and demonstration on musical improvisation prior to the show, starting at 2 p.m. Call (775) 423-1440.