Interview: Bing & Ruth’s David Moore on creating an all-encompassing live show (playing The Barnes Foundation on 12/14)

“If I don’t keep myself busy, I’ll go crazy,” says David Moore, the Brooklyn-based composer and musician. “It has to be music all the time.” Depending on which day of the week it is, you can find Moore playing in one of the following bands: the Piledrivers, which he calls a “skate-punk/old-time fiddle band”; Langhorne Slim, the folk group led by Pennsylvanian Sean Scolnick; or Pepper Johnson, the folk/country project Moore recently started.

And there’s also Bing & Ruth, the 11-piece ensemble (woodwinds, strings, voice, guitar, percussion, synthesizers) that plays Moore’s ambient, classical and experimental compositions. Given the complications associated with touring such a large ensemble, it’s an extremely rare occasion that Bing & Ruth is performing at The Barnes Foundation on December 14. The group will play two sets, one focusing on new material from an upcoming album, and the other showcasing pieces from 2010’s illuminative and entrancing City Lake.

In a recent phone conversation, I spoke with Moore about Bing & Ruth, the challenges of working with a large ensemble, and creating live experiences where unpredictable things can happen. Detours in the conversation took us, naturally, to boomerangs and Jimmy Buffett. Continue reading →