One of the signatures of internationally-acclaimed Toronto jazz trio Myriad3 is their sense of creative adventurousness and musical open-mindedness. That is dramatically showcased now with the release of Tell((chip)) on ALMA Records.

This project is the brainchild of Myriad3 pianist Chris Donnelly. With the support of bandmates bassist Dan Fortin and drummer Ernesto Cervini, Donnelly radically imagines Tell, Myriad3's 2012 debut release, as a chiptunes album.

For the uninitiated, chiptunes music (also referred to as 8-bit music or chip music) is an early form of synthesized electronic music made for PSG sound chips used in vintage gaming consoles, computers and arcade machines. As the genre has evolved, it has also incorporated music designed to emulate the sounds of old PSG chip music, while current EDM and electronica artists have occasionally featured PSG sounds.

This underground music form was largely unknown to Chris Donnelly until about three years ago.
An avid video game player in his youth, he was certainly exposed to the synth-generated chiptunes featured on games soundtracks, but his own musical activity was focused upon studying classical and jazz piano at The Royal Conservatory and Humber College in Toronto. "I'd play video games and then I'd play piano, but those two paths never really crossed," he explains. "I didn't have any gear or keyboards other than a piano, and I had no desire to cross over into electronics or any kind of production."

Donnelly is acknowledged as a virtuoso pianist in both the classical and jazz realms. Aside from Myriad3, he has released two acclaimed solo albums (2008's JUNO-nominated Solo and 2011's Metamorphosis) covering those genres. He recalls this latest musical detour came when "I was approached to play keyboards in a band doing original material in a Weather Report/Headhunters vein. I bought a Nord keyboard and started to learn how the synth section worked. I then returned to my old video game soundtracks and learned to imitate those sounds."
Released: September 25, 2015
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