Tiny Rhymes
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Tiny Rhymes

Buffalo, NY | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | SELF | AFM

Buffalo, NY | SELF | AFM
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Singer/Songwriter




"Musical Possibilities are Vast for Tiny Rhymes"

By Mac McGuire

Updated 3:45 PM
July 13, 2015

The early days of the chamber-folk group Tiny Rhymes were a bit of a learning process, met with certain levels of excitement and humbleness.

“Our first couple shows were fun, but rough,” admits cellist/vocalist Katie Weissman. “A lot of the string parts were up in air for the first couple shows, so I would be improvising and trying connect with Sharon at the same time.”

“I remember being so grateful for the audience at our first show,” guitarist/vocalist Sharon Mok adds. “A lot of people came up to us after the show and had nice things to say, which definitely drove me to work harder and write more.”

The chamber-folk group, whose size varies depending on the given night or venue, always features the core duo of Weissman and Mok. (“Logistically, touring makes sense with a smaller group”). Both were involved in a slew musical projects over the years even before crossing paths.

Weissman is a working musician who has performed in a variety of string ensembles since the early age of three; Mok, a piano technician at the University at Buffalo, has played in a handful of folk outfits based out of Ontario and Florida, before most recently settling in Buffalo.

And after taking some time to mesh on the open mic circuit, much of it to work on the group’s multipart harmonies, Tiny Rhymes seems to have found a home at Pausa Art House (18 Wadsworth), where the band will celebrate the release “A Kinder History” at 8 p.m. Saturday. Erica Wolfing will provide opening support.

Professional and musical relationships originally brought Weissman and Mok to the space, but its welcoming flexibility (and a solid beer list) has led the group to frequent return performances.

“Jon Nelson is a colleague of mine, and we all really love what he and Lazara (Nelson, his wife) are doing with Pausa,” Mok said. “It provides a much needed venue in Buffalo for the kind of acts that thrive in an intimate space like ours.”

“[They] have created a place where music comes first, and that is really important to us. The audience is always respectful, which is important for our delicate sound to come through,” Weissman added. “We have a blast playing at venues like Mohawk Place and Nietzsche's, but our music can really flourish and be heard with all its nuance Pausa.”

Music begins at 8 p.m. Saturday and copies of the EP, currently streaming in full through Forest Park Recordings, will be available to purchase for $3. Further event info can be found here.

“We learned a lot about recording as a band while making ‘A Kinder History,’ so we want to take those lessons to heart for this second album and make the best music we can make,” Weissman said.

“I get a huge rush out of the excitement of all the new ideas and possibilities,” Mok concludes, “and with musicians like Katie (Weissman) and Kathryn (Koch, violin), trust me, the possibilities are vast.” - Buffalo News

"Songs You Need to Hear This Week"

Tiny Rhymes, 'Arrows'

This is the first track from Sharon Mok and Katie Weissman's new chamber-folk band, Tiny Rhymes. This is a song high on charm (great glockenspiel!) and bittersweet beauty, delicate and disarming as it unfolds over the subtle shifts from Weissman's cello. Their forthcoming full release arrives June 23 and I'm super excited to hear more. — AW - CBC Music (blog)

"Track Review: Tiny Rhymes - Arrows"

ONE of the worst things about music reviewing…is that sense of predictability: reviewing the same sort of sounds; similar acts and artists- you get to the stage where music becomes stale and formulaic. This sensation is something that has been present lately: that feeling that a lot of the music (that is coming my way) does not break too far from the mould: predictable parables that leave little to the imagination; really does not linger too long. Gladly- and very much distinct from other acts- Tiny Rhymes arrive. A lot of my reviews emanate from the same sort of areas- the U.K. or Canada- yet Tiny Rhymes hail from Buffalo, N.Y.: my second trip to New York (having reviewed Ariana & the Rose) and my first to Buffalo- located in Western New York, on the eastern shore of Lake Erie. Buffalonians (the name given to native dwellers) are a diverse mixture- the population is divided between Hispanic, Black and White (with Asian and Native Americans among the mix). Recovering from economic downturn, Buffalo is a thriving economy (now): technology and financial services are big business; healthcare too- the area is bustling, in spite of economic issues (across other parts of the U.S.). Tiny Rhymes are not what you’d expect (from a band from Buffalo) and are exempt from cliché and stereotype: the group marry Chamber-Pop and Indie-Folk- a hypnotic pairing of dark tones and orchestral undertones. Before I continue my point, a bit of background is needed (provided by lead Sharon Mok):

“I’ve always played piano, but decided to pick up the guitar for this current batch of songs, and set out to create melodies influenced by my childhood experience with both Chinese opera and classical music. While writing and recording in Buffalo, I met cellist Katie Weissman and we instantly hit it off. Weissman’s diverse technique and smooth, dark melodies added necessary dimension to the songs.”

I know there is a lot of music out there; a huge pool of multifarious sounds: the media (and social media) tends to bring us only a select few; there is a lot of compartmentalisation- so much quality goes rushing by. Tiny Rhymes are a band that deserves wider acclaim: a group that dare to be different; break away from the mass of samey bands- their music cannot be ignore or overlooked. Chamber-Pop is a genre (many are) unfamiliar with; maybe some will balk or shy away- unware of what the sounds entail; how good it can be. Having listened to Tiny Rhymes- assessed their E.P. and its wonders- I am now a fan: I would urge everyone to take a sip of the Buffalo clan. Mainstream tastes tend to via towards Pop and Indie: there is wiggle room, yet there is still a rigid leaning towards tried-and-tested sounds. With the growth of Electro.-Pop and Indie music, tastes are starting to broaden: some long-forgotten sounds are resurfacing; great music is coming back to the fore. Tiny Rhymes are not quirky and divisive: their sounds are a concoction of everyday emotion and delicacy; orchestral swathes and pin-sharp vocals- something that is a rarity in today’s scene. I hope that more follow suit; start to learn from Tiny Rhymes: they are getting a lot of tongues wagging (in New York); spiking the public imagination- it cannot be too long before they arrive here. In the U.K. we have some ‘fairly’ similar acts- the likes of Little Sparrow (a solo artist) spring to mind- yet nothing quite like Tiny Rhymes- their brand of song would be celebrated over here. I do hope the group comes to London and play: there are clubs and venues that would house them without hesitation- the capital would love to see them. The group’s E.P. has arrived; a four-track collection that demonstrates a wealth of treasure: stunning beauty and fragility; fantasy and reality- a stunning collection of songs (that linger long in the mind).

When it comes to comparing Tiny Rhymes’ work (with their previous cannon of songs) it is quite difficult- being so fresh from the blocks, the Buffalo group are a sapling sound. The Cape– a single released last year- was replete with romanticism and yearning; jumping strings and crashing waves- a touching story with some stunning images. Since then, the group has not varied their sound too much: they sound more confident and intuitive. Tiny Rhymes started off strongly and impressive: over the course of this year they have cemented their sound; brought in new influence and elements- augmented their beauty and wonder. It is hard to compare Tiny Rhymes to another; few other acts spring to mind- they are a rare breed indeed. Chamber/Folk music does have its patrons, yet none do things like the Buffalonians: few acts are quite as original and ornate as the group. Taking elements from bygone acts; a sprinkling of contemporary Chamber-Pop/Folk acts, Tiny Rhymes bring in their own voice and flair- not wanting to come across sounding like anyone else. If you are new to their music, I would suggest investigating the (genres of music they play) and getting some background: even acts like The Staves and The Unthanks can be traced (to Tiny Rhymes) – there is that similar sense of beauty and tenderness. What makes Chamber-Pop so beautiful is the mixture of instruments: yearning strings and low-high blends- orchestral grandeur and romantic delicacy. If you’re a fan of other genres- and not usually tempted to the kind of music the band plays- I would advise experimentation: they are well worth your time; a valuable addition to anyone’s collection.

Arrows leads A Kinder History; it does so with some tremendous beauty. The song’s initial notes pair plinking notes and tripping dance; a myriad of trickling cascade- a balletic version of a Disney score. Merry and romantic; light and breezy, the listener is welcomed with a warm and intriguing heart- you are never sure quite what is coming next. “If memory of you finds me sleeping…” open the track- the lyrics in the early stages are clever and oblique- where there is a sense of separation and remembrance. Employing some deft wordplay, the subjects of dreams and memories are introduced: our heroine will (not forget her man) until she is dreaming- she wants to re-write a kinder history. There seems to be some regret and lingering doubts: our lead wants her man to think of/remember her; not sure if he will. As I stated, there is some obliqueness and ambiguity: your mind and heart converge down different roads; never 100% sure whether there is resentment or contentment- I guess there is a little of both (in every word). After Dan Schwach’s dizzying glockenspiel; some terrific strings (from Katie Weissman and Kathryn Kock) it’s Mok’s vocal that steps into the spotlight- narrating her tale with stunning passion. Mok’s female companions lend their voice, yet Mok stands out front: that blend of child-like innocence and womanly strength radiates and compels. Superbly delivered- she delineates her words with a real sense for mood and pace- you are hooked in and seduced. The song looks at the present and past: Arrows mixes the physical with metaphorical; exploring love and innocence- a rhapsody of heartfelt emotions. Our heroine looks back at childhood- where she had all the time in the world- and the present- where she and her lover have none. One is never sure whether the relationship is intact or broken; if there is a parting or doubts- the words leave room for interpretation. To my mind, I envisaged two lovers split and fractured: maybe overcome by modern strains and the distance between them; there is that need to return to the past- where innocence and simplicity were so much more favourable. You can sense that yearn and sigh; that need to restart things- make life less complicated and fraught. Never overly-anxious and full-on, each line is delivered with softness and consideration (yet there is plenty of passion and conviction). It is not just Sharon Mok’s show: her cohorts ably support her; adding symphonic lust and immense beauty. In addition (to some mesmeric) backing vocals, each instrument adds huge weight- the strings lift the song to heavenly heights. As the song progresses, the travelogue continue: each party seems to be bound in a different direction; their paths never crossing- perhaps they will meet by chance? With our heroine moving and dreaming- her subject on her mind- maybe they will see one another; perhaps things have finished for good? Friends and companions, that dislocation-cum-break-up mandate is a well-worn subject- yet Tiny Rhymes present it in a very personal and distinct way (never succumbing to lyrical cliché). Before the 3:00 marker, our heroine makes a plea: “Don’t come back for me.” There is that sense of succeeding; letting events take their turn- and giving up on a dream-like meeting. With her voice starting to show its emotions, Mok reaches her impassioned peak- recollection and truth have caused their damage. Wordless vocals enter the fray- as punctuation and sense of relief- and the listener is forced to reflect. You find yourself emphasising with the heroine: wanting things to be different but knowing they never could. Adding lightness to proceedings, Schwach’s glockenspiel comes back in- that candid hop and sweet-natured chime prevents the vocals from becoming too maudlin and weighed-down. Supported by some superb production values- that makes the song sound like it is coming live from a cathedral/large room- you feel as though you are there; yet there is some intimacy to things. The production makes the song vast and impressive yet mollifies too- at times, it sounds like this is a riparian lovers’ call (as though you are being serenaded by the riverside). Quite an impressive and laudable step, it brings Arrows fully to life. In the closing stages, unity comes through: each instrument and voice blends in; the wordlessness augments and swims; the band notch up the offensive- reaching spine-tingling levels. Scene-closing and evocative, the final notes are beautifully escheated- and you find yourself seeking more; continue that superb and entrancing sound.

Applause should be meted out to each Tiny Rhymes member. Mok’s lead voice- and her lyrical direction- are at the forefront. Her soothing and delicious tones are the perfect clothing to an amazing body of work: a song that resonates with all, yet feels deeply personal and special. Her narrative and wordplay is incredible and stunning; her voice constantly engaging and gorgeous- few other leads could achieve such a feat. The strings-and-vocals combination of Weissman and Kock is to be commended: not only exceptional players, their tones fit perfectly (alongside Mok); adding beauty and weight- lifting words and lines to unbeatable realms. Perfectly in-step, the trio work wonderfully off one another- there is a clear love and affection; a natural bond that ekes through in every note. Glockenspiel and other notes are supremely delivered (by the rest of the band). The glockenspiel incorporates delicate beauty and crystal-like fragility; one of the defining aspects of Arrows. When the band unite and weave (in and out of one another) the biggest chills are elicited: the bond they all share makes the song such a thing to behold. Arrows is the perfect lead-off track; a perfect starting-point for A Kinder History. The song showcases the band’s core strengths: personal and relatable scenes; stunning vocals and harmonies- authentic and genuine Chamber-Pop majesty; gorgeous string and percussion. If you need an escape; get your mind off of modern life- investigate this stunning track. It will melt the woes and raise a smile: when it comes down to it, how many other songs do that?

It is great to discover something genuinely wonderful: an act that comes out of nowhere; something unexpected- music you would never (have otherwise) heard. Since reviewing Tiny Rhymes, I have looked into Buffalo’s music: the area fascinates me and I was keen to check out Tiny Rhymes’ colleagues and peers- who the movers and shakers were. Few local acts resonate as hard (as Tiny Rhymes) yet Buffalo boasts some terrific music: from Goo Goo Dolls to Gym Class Heroes, there is a lot of fervent activity. By and large, the music (coming out of Buffalo) sticks to the Rock-cum-Alternative territories- with some Metal and Folk peppered around the edges- so Tiny Rhymes are still quite unique. In such a bustling and developing region, you’d expect some contrast. Let’s hope more acts follow suit: we have too many bands that play it hard and heavy; tend to prefer something more forceful and to-the-point- Tiny Rhymes’ nuanced and uplifting beauty should not be overlooked. Arrows is the perfect starting place- when investigating the group- and their E.P. (A Kinder History) is packed with stunning moments. Oh, Amaranta! Is a tear-inducing sway; it begins with aching strings- the introduction then is overthrown with a beautiful and sighing vocal. With its bare and natural production values, the song has a pastoral sound- a great live-sounding tone that makes each word more authentic and tangible. Bubbling and rising, the song goes through waves and swells: rising like a phoenix, before demurring into the shadows. Relentlessly touching, it is a song that gets under the skin: Mok’s lead vocal is entrancing and impassioned throughout. Gold Mountain is similarly wistful and cooing: in the early stages it boasts similar traits to its predecessors. Before long the group layer in; the sound becomes larger and more atmospheric: it is one of the most evocative takes of the E.P. Putting your mind in the wide open; soaring across the sky, the track is stunningly sweeping; magisterial and graceful- a wonderful thing. Home is the E.P.’s closer- and perhaps an appropriately-titled swansong- which sees Tiny Rhymes sign-off in style. Tender and soft, trembling and honest, our heroine is focused on the door- looking to “run right out.” There is a need for escape; get away from things and start again- find some sense of personal relief. Overall, the E.P. has a consistent and loyal sound: the group do not stray too far from their signature feel; choosing to variate from track-to-track- never breaking away from that core of beauty and ethereal delight. The four tracks are a testament to study and intelligence: a group that sound contemporary and classic; cultured and everyday- able to unite the mainstream with the underground. Baroque-Pop is a genre that showcases many legends- from Belle and Sebastian to Florence and the Machine; Fiona Apple to The Decemberists- and is a very popular (and profitable) style of music. Chamber-Pop manages to take in Baroque elements, whilst employing classical edges: Tiny Rhymes have a keen ear for Folk and Indie; never willing to become rigid and restrained. I have a lot of genuine respect for Tiny Rhymes: in a music world of homogenization, they are separating themselves with distinction- the signs are all very positive. With their E.P. gaining some heated praise, the U.S. newbies will take great solace and heart: hopefully it will not be too long before a second E.P. (or L.P.) is introduced. As mentioned earlier, it would be great to see them (the band) in London: hear that stunning music up close and personal. Arrows is a perfect song for the season: filled with sunshine and warmth, insight and mystery, make sure you do not let it pass by. Having bogged-down in a sea of predictable acts, it is nice to regain some sense of focus and difference: it is my hope some similarly-ambitious acts come my way. If you need a break from the heaviness of Rock and Indie; the staleness of Pop; the rank-and-file acts, then get involved with Tiny Rhymes: a soothing and medicinal balm that counteracts the stresses of modern life. Brimming with talent and beauty; exceptional songwriting and exemplary performances- they are one of the most tight-knit and close groups I have ever heard. Long may their success continue; they have overcome the first hurdle: their music is catching on and growing; their name promoted and celebrated- tiny steps, but vastly important ones. It is wholly conceivable Tiny Rhymes will be playing internationally; creating another E.P. (and many more after); going on to great things. In a music world packed and expanding…

FEW survive to see the day. - Music Musings and Such (blog)

"8 Questions with Tiny Rhymes"

Tiny Rhymes, an indie/chamber-folk trio, sometimes quintet, based Buffalo, New York, will be releasing their debut EP, A Kinder History, on June 23rd. I was captivated by their music from the very first note; comprised of Sharon Mok (vocals, guitar), Katie Weissman (cello), and Kathryn Koch (violin), Tiny Rhymes’ fetching three part harmonies coupled with their graceful and soaring stringed instrumentation are like dessert for your ears.

Eo8: How did you form Tiny Rhymes?

SM: I’m a piano technician and moved to Buffalo, NY for work a few years ago. Shortly thereafter, I began writing music, and was looking for someone to play a show with me at a gig I had booked at a bar in town. I looked around and found cellist Katie, and then Katie introduced me to violinist Kathryn. We grew into a band, rearranged the tunes, and recorded them. It’s mostly the three of us, but sometimes we have a bass player and a drummer.

Eo8: Where did the name “Tiny Rhymes” originate?

SM: My family is Cantonese; I have a middle name that means “Little Rhyme” in Cantonese, and I kind of appropriated that for our band name. We did have another band name before, it wasn’t sticking because, you know, bands can change, and I thought, if my band changes, I’ll still have this moniker for myself if band members rotate in and out.

Eo8: You’re based in Buffalo, what’s the music scene there like?

SM: The folk scene is relatively small compared to the rest of the music scene here, which is mostly indie rock. There are a variety of genres here though, lots of venues and festivals. Herdfest is coming up, there’s the Buffalove Festival, lots of local things. Canalside is a venue on our waterfront that brings big bands in like Iron & Wine and Spoon, and they ask local openers to play; it’s all free and a great way for local bands to get thousands of people to hear their music. People who book shows in Buffalo are very cool about booking local openers for shows.

Eo8: How was the recording process for the EP?

SM: We recorded the EP at GCR Audio, which is Robby Takac’s studio, he’s the bassist for the Goo Goo Dolls. We recorded there because, as a piano technician, I was working with them to trade some work, I was really lucky there. It was long production process. We actually recorded the EP last August. It was a huge learning experience for us in all ways, and we can only get better form here. I’m really excited about that.

Eo8: Can you tell us the significance of the the cover art?

SM: For the album art, I really wanted to work with a local artist named Nicholas Dowgwillo, and this was actually a woodcutTinyRhymesArt print from his catalogue. I just really like working with people who work with their hands, because I do that too. It’s significant because the name of the EP comes from the first song, “Arrows;” there’s a line in there about an arrow through the heart, and a knot was the original idea for what the symbol of the heart would evolve into.

Eo8: I heard that you’re inspired by Chinese opera. How does that come through in your music?

Yes, in a way. I grew up listening to Chinese opera in the background, and I didn’t appreciate it as a young person. As an adult I traveled back to China to visit my grandmother’s hometown near Shanghai, and that’s when I got interested in learning the ErHu, which is a Chinese cello. ErHu music is so beautiful, so I take a lot of inspiration from those kinds of melodies, you can particularly hear it in our song “Gold Mountain.” That’s when I started getting into writing music in the first place.

Eo8: How do your songs get created?

SM: I’m the primary songwriter, and I play guitar. I bring the skeleton of the song to the others, and I’ll ask them to think about it and come up with their parts. We try a lot of stuff, it takes many hours and many revisions to arrange the songs’ string techniques and vocal harmonies. We’re really picky about what works and what doesn’t.

Eo8: Will Tiny Rhymes go on tour, and specifically, will you come to Nashville (please say yes)?

We have some Canadian shows booked, mostly in Ontario because that’s where I’m from, and in the fall we’re looking at doing the same kind of run but we’re talking about touring with a friend of ours, Marian McLaughlin, who is a fantastic songwriter. I’d love to come to Nashville because one of my best friends is living in Nashville now, and he’s always trying to get me to come down there. I’m pretty familiar with the scene because I’m there almost every year. It’s so fun.

A Kinder History will be released on Bandcamp, Soundcloud, Spotify, and iTunes on June 23rd. Go follow Tiny Rhymes on Facebook to keep up with all the good stuff coming up!

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Category : Interviews, Music, News
Tags : A Kinder History, Buffalo, Chamber folk, EP release, indie folk, Kathryn Koch, Katie Weissman, Sharon Mok, Tiny Rhymes
Post navigation← PREVIEW: FAMILY AND FRIENDS at MUSICIANS CORNER on 6/20/15PREVIEW: YOUNG BUFFALO at THE BASEMENT EAST on 6/28/15 → - East of 8th (blog)

"Spotlight: Tiny Rhymes"

by Cory Perla / Jun. 9, 2015 4pm EST
If the members of Buffalo indie-folk band Tiny Rhymes were to get band tattoos, they’d all get watermelons and they’d do it today. It’s their one year band anniversary, or “bandiversary” as they like to call it, but don’t worry parents of Sharon Mok and Katie Weissman—the primary members of Tiny Rhymes—they don’t actually intend on getting matching band tattoos.

“We started playing last summer, so we would rehearse and then have a barbecue. Sharon would always show up with a six pack of beer and a whole watermelon, so whenever I see a watermelon it makes me think of the beginning of Tiny Rhymes,” Weissman tells me as the three of us sit on the patio of Caffe Aroma in the center of the Elmwood Village, the grey storm clouds gathering on the horizon.

Tiny Rhymes has been through a few incarnations in the short year that the band has existed. In fact, it seems okay to call Tiny Rhymes a collective rather than a band. Sometimes they’re a duo, sometimes they’re a solo act, and sometimes they’re a full band. When they’re a full band, the lineup usually consists of Mok on guitar and lead vocals, Weissman on the cello and back up vocals, Kathryn Koch on violin and vocals, Tony Lannone as bassist, and drummer Brendan Fitzgerald.

When Tiny Rhymes comes to Nietzsche’s on June 11 as part of our series The Public Presents, they’ll perform as a trio—Mok, Weissman, and Koch—alongside a couple of other talented bands, Blue Stone Groove, and Brad Gower & Eavan Kaderbeck, presented with help from the Good Neighborhood.

Mok is considered the primary songwriter of the band. “We started off with a bang. I had written some songs before I found all of the members.”

The first to join Mok was her friend Ross Aftel, who at the time was a UB grad student and percussionist.

“He really encouraged me to get out there and make music and play publicly,” says Mok. Then he left for Serbia, but before he left, he introduced Mok to another Buffalo-based cellist, T.J. Borden. Weissman was dating Borden at the time, and as dating cellists, they’d trade gigs if one of them was unavailable. Borden had a gig lined up with Mok, which he couldn’t make, and suggested Weissman take the gig. A best friendship began.

Mok believes that once the band writes their new record, rehearses it, performs it live, road tests it, gets comfortable with it, and finally records it, then they’ll have a permanent lineup to tour with. “I feel like with this kind of music, with the broad folk genre, your hometown band might be very different than your touring band. That’s a logistical thing, it’s a commitment thing, and the music allows for it,” says Weissman, who sits on the patio next to her dog, Emma.

They’ve met a lot of bands like that while on tour, says Mok, including one they especially enjoyed, led by singer/songwriter Marian Mclaughlin. “She writes all of her own stuff. Sometimes she has an entire mini-orchestra with her and sometimes it’s her and a bassist and sometimes it’s just her.”

They met Mclaughlin on one of the tours they’ve already embarked on as a young band. Last fall they travelled down to the Baltimore Folk Fest before stopping in Frederick, Maryland and Philadelphia—shooting a music video in the process.

“Going on tour with your band for the first time is a very special experience,” says Weissman.

They have an EP, A Kinder History, which they recorded at GCR, coming out June 23.

Mok and Weissman have their songwriting routine figured out, for the most part. Mok comes to Weismann with a skeleton of a song—chords, maybe a melody, and part of the arrangement of the song and Weissman helps her fill in the blanks, even scoring the music—creating sheet music so that they don’t lose track of their progress.

“I just really want to be able to write a good song,” says Mok who is inspired by Chinese traditinoal folk music. And a bad breakup. And Joanna Newsom. And ice cream. Breaking up with her ex-partner was freeing, she says. Rather than coming home and flipping on Netflix, she had free time to channel the pain of breaking up into her songs. She was never able to finish her songs before, says Mok. Now she can. “I’ve started a lot of songs in my lifetime, but this made me really get my act together,” she says.

One of their major musical achievements so far is a beautiful, lilting, yet tragic song called “O Amaranta!” The title of the song is taken from a character in the book One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez.

“The first time we performed that song, it was the day that Gabriel Garcia Marquez passed away. I had no idea. It was this coincidence for me.”

In the book, Amaranta is all about death, says Mok. She’s a plain Jane who has a facination with death, obsessed with sewing her own funeral shroud.

“The characters in the book hire a guy in town to make a piano lift for them, and I’m a piano rebuilder so I was really interseted in this topic.” Oh yeah, did I mention that Mok is a piano rebuilder, too? Here comes a tangent: Mok got into piano rebuilding when she met a blind man on a bus in Toronto. He needed help finding an address, so she helped him and they ended up becoming friends. He’s a piano tuner, she says, and he came over to tune her piano. In return, she would go over to his house and read his mail to him among other things. She quickly realized that she enjoyed working with pianos and soon ended up at piano tech school. End tangent. Back to Amaranta.

By sewing her own funeral shroud, Amaranta was grieving her own death before she even died. “I found it really interesting that she was trapped in this mundane act, because as soon as she finished the last stitch she’d drop dead,” says Mok.

“Sometimes you can get inspiration from random places that don’t necessarily have to do with your own emotional landscape, but you can tie your own personality into them,” Weissman adds.

Mok’s personality is ingrained into Tiny Rhymes. In fact, Tiny Rhymes is technically her name, too. It’s her Chinese name: Sui-Wun, which technically means small poem or small rhyme. Music is built right into her name.

Weissman’s musical history goes back almost as far, too. She remembers sitting under the piano while her dad would practice. She started playing the cello when she was three. According to her mother, Weissman saw Yo-Yo Ma on Sesame Street when she was 18 months old and her love affair with the cello began. “That’s the story,” says Weissman. “It must have been the sound of the cello that I loved, but it could have been him, because he’s such a charasmatic guy.”

As the grey clouds start to move directly overhead and threaten to pour down on us, Mok reveals the ultimate goal of Tiny Rhymes.

“I have very vague goals about becoming a better songwriter,” she says, finishing the last drop of her IPA. “That’s pretty much all I care about, and what can get me there is continuing to play with excellent musicians who inspire me. Katie is an amazing cellist, Kathryn is an amazing violinist. They both can sing and it’s great. I’ve been surprised by the successes that we’ve had due to people watching us perform and being interested in us. “

Weissman smiles, adding that Tiny Rhymes wouldn’t exist without the help of their local collegues. “The Buffalo music community is so intertwined and supportive and cooperative and that’s not something that we’ve found in other cities, and it’s a huge part of why we’ve been successful so far.” - The Public


EP, A Kinder History, Released June 23, 2015



Tiny Rhymes is a chamber indie folk group based in Buffalo, NY. Led by Canadian singer-songwriter Sharon Mok, Tiny Rhymes is one part folk and one part indie rock, filled with intricate vocal arrangements influenced by classical chamber music. Their debut EP "A Kinder History" was released June, 2015.

Band Members