MN Mimesis

by Tyler Tholl

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In 2016, I visited four state parks across Minnesota, one park per season, to record sounds found in nature. I manipulated those sounds and incorporated them in a new, four-movement piece of music inspired by Minnesota’s land and climate. The project, MN Mimesis, includes lyrics written by my brother, Collin, and features Minnesota musicians from classical, jazz, pop, country, and folk backgrounds. My other brother, filmmaker Justin Tholl, traveled along on all four state park trips, creating visuals to accompany the music. You can watch/listen to the MN Mimesis Visual EP here:

This is a free stream and download. In lieu of a direct payment to me, please consider a donation of any size to Minnesota’s Future Forests Fund, which supports the planting and caring of trees on Minnesota’s public land. More information at

Thank you for listening.


released November 28, 2016

Music written, recorded, and mixed by Tyler Tholl
Lyrics written by Collin Tholl
Mastered by Huntley Miller at HM Mastering
Cover art and photography by Jon Klaye

Instruments were recorded in Tyler’s basement except:
Drums recorded in The Skeleton Room by Pete James Johnson
Cello recorded in Dan Lawonn’s basement by Mr. Lawonn himself
Brian Just’s voice was recorded in Brian Just’s basement by Brian Just Hammered Dulcimer and Fender Rhodes recorded at EchoBoys Studio

Additional vocal arrangements in “Summer Buzzers” written by PaviElle French
Additional cello arrangements in “Earth Exhales” written by Dan Lawonn

I. Summer Buzzers (feat. PaviElle French)
Field recordings collected on July 2nd, 2016 at Blue Mounds State Park, Luverne, MN

Erica Burton: Viola
PaviElle French: Vocals
Dave Herdan: Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet
Bubba Hollenhorst: Alto Saxophone
Pete James Johnson: Drums
Josh Misner: Violin
Jesse Peterson: Violin
Tyler Tholl: Additional Vocals, Field Recordings, Guitar, Hammered Dulcimer, Percussion, Q Chord, Samples, Synthesizer

II. Earth Exhales (feat. Paul Spring)
Field recordings collected on October 1st, 2016 at Itasca State Park, Park Rapids, MN

Dave Herdan: Bass Clarinet
Pete James Johnson: Drums
Dan Lawonn: Cello
Joe Savage: Pedal Steel
Paul Spring: Vocals
Tyler Tholl: Autoharp, Banjo, Bass, Dobro, Field Recordings, Guitars, Mountain Dulcimer, Ocarina, Percussion, Pocket Operator Sub, Pump Organ, Samples, Synthesizer, Violin

III. Pattern (feat. Nicole Wilder)
Field recordings collected on February 13th, 2016 at Lake Maria State Park, Monticello, MN

Bill Blatzheim: Trumpet
Erica Burton: Viola
Nora Kain: Additional Vocal
Josh Misner: Violin
Jesse Peterson: Violin
Joe Savage: Pedal Steel
Nick Syman: Trombone
Tyler Tholl: Additional Vocal, Autoharp, Field Recordings, Glockenspiel, Guitar, Organ, Q Chord, Samples, Synthesizer
Nicole Wilder: Vocals

IV. Awake (feat. Brian Just)
Field recordings collected on April 30th, 2016 at Gooseberry Falls State Park, Two Harbors, MN

Erica Burton: Viola
Dave Herdan: Baritone Saxophone, Bass Clarinet, Clarinet
Brian Just: Vocals
Ellen Kain: Bassoon, Flute
Dan Lawonn: Cello
Josh Misner: Violin
Jesse Peterson: Violin
Joe Savage: Pedal Steel
Tyler Tholl: Bass, Fender Rhodes, Field Recordings, Guitar, Lap Harp, Percussion, Q Chord, Samples, Synthesizer, Toy Mallets

THANK YOU: All of the ridiculously talented musicians that I was lucky enough to collaborate with on this recording, Nora, Corene and Ada, Justin, Collin, Baba and Grammy for watching the girls while I worked on this thing, Ryan Smith, Megan Vetsch Johnson, Jon Klaye, Tom Lecher and the whole EchoBoys gang for being so cool, Huntley Miller, Dave Sweet, the Minnesota State Arts Board for making this project possible, Amy Barrett, the staff at Minnesota State Parks, and my parents for introducing me to the beauty of Minnesota’s wild spaces.

Because this project is largely about respect for land - the same land that was taken from indigenous people living in what has become Minnesota - I want to extend that respect to the eleven tribal nations in this area. Please visit the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council website,, and the National Congress of American Indians website,, to learn more.



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Tyler Tholl Saint Anthony, Minnesota

One half of the band Maple & Beech. I also produce records for my friends and am a badminton enthusiast.

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Track Name: Summer Buzzers (Feat. PaviElle French)
bird call cacophony
layers of buzzers
(summer buzzers)

hymn of cicada
hidden old age
(summer buzzers)

Summer Buzzers
Summer Buzzzers
Summer Buzzzzers
Summer Buzzzzzers
Track Name: Earth Exhales (Feat. Paul Spring)
dirt sleeps
defeated leaves on their backs

each earth exhales
reminders of our coming collision with the night

dirt sleeps
dirt sleeps
Track Name: Pattern (Feat. Nicole Wilder)
circles once seamless
remedies renounced
pattern laid flawed

‘til muted mouth of sky met dusted tips of pines
Track Name: Awake (Feat. Brian Just)
flowers’ heads
bob awake from some choked off dream

unreal songs
wouldn’t now escape their green throats

petals will dash dash - their chorus swallowed whole