Crank's dissolution somewhere around 1997 left Hallenbeck paranoid about starting another band, or, to put a more favorable spin on it, free to explore the hermeneutics of songwriting in a solo context. For what was left of the 20th century, Hallenbeck devoted his time to reclaiming long-neglected cello chops, learning mandolin and mountain dulcimer, experimenting with low-budget audio engineering, reading lots of science fiction, and honing the lyrical sensibilities apparent in his later recordings. He broke his self-imposed solitude in 2001 with a stint in a duo with fellow songwriter Ira Scott Levin and later, an ongoing involvement with singer/songwriters Julia Bordenaro, Barbara Griesau, and Allene Rohrer, collectively known as Thread. In the past few years, he has played cello, mandocello, and bass with The Levins and Divasonic. Hallenbeck has completed four self-released solo albums: Atavist (1999), Secret Society (2002), Doubting Thomas (2004), and most recently, Packrat (2006). Drawing from disparate influences such as Richard Thompson, Jimmie Dale Gilmore, Bob Mould, Joni Mitchell, the Gnostic Gospels, Seamus Heaney, and Robert Heinlein, Hallenbeck's songs walk the hinterlands of perception and the boundaries of experience. Sounds serious, doesn't it? It's not, really - his stuff is as goofy as it is thoughtful. Although a good part of his recorded material is a multi-instrumental circus, Hallenbeck's live solo performances have been events of stark simplicity: one guy playing guitar and singing.
Or playing Appalachian dulcimer and singing. Or sometimes playing cello and not singing. T. Hallenbeck resides in Oakland, California, with his wife, artist Reshma Azmi. At present, he has some new music written, but is spending most of his free time in his basement being a hardware geek. And now the $64 question: What does the 'T' stand for? Answer: Terrific.
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