For nearly three decades, Mal’s Music sat on Kirkwood Highway, where a young Chris Malinowski grew up learning how to play guitar from this father, Mal, as well as the ins and outs of the industry.
Since Malinowski was little, he had a love for music. When he turned 11, he started his first rock band, Freakshow (1986–1991). In college, he played for a goth band, The Absurd (1992–1995). After film school in New York, and then a brief stint in Los Angeles, he created The Collingwood in 1999. The poetic rock band has released five albums, and recently created its latest music video, “Confetti,” in Delaware.
After college, he took a break from the music scene to focus on his filmmaking career and, after moving back home, he realized how much he missed it. Malinowski describes The Collingwood as an expressive outlet that also allows others in the state to connect with him over shared music tastes.
“I noticed that there was still some type of a music scene in Delaware and I longed to perform again,” he says. “But none of the bands were playing music I liked. … I became interested in ambient rock music, which is essentially heavy film score music for a film that doesn’t exist.
“I wanted to fill a void in the local music scene and in my heart,” he continues. “I got homesick for the stage and studio. I knew I still had musical chapters to write. Thus, The Collingwood came to fruition.”
After years of performing, the pandemic forced The Collingwood to take a pause. Malinowski focused his efforts on teaching private guitar lessons. This past year has brought with it a lot of change and pain for everyone, Malinowski says, noting his own deep sadness and longing for those in his life he’s lost, which inspired him to create music again. Soon after, he created his latest single.
“The lyrics were a plea to the deities and cycles of nature to show us some mercy,” he explains. “The proverbial emotional vessel needed to empty in order to welcome new, electric energies.”
As he was recording the soundtrack at DaSa Studios in Pike Creek, Malinowski realized that the track was missing a female voice. So, he incorporated Jules Corridori, a former guitar student and family friend from Cab Calloway High School to sing along with him.
“She sings like no one I’ve ever heard,” Malinowski says. “She is preternaturally gifted and she has a commanding presence. I brought her in to record, and her harmonies added a lush, eeriness to the piece.”
Malinowski is also a filmmaker by nature, and feels that every audio should have a visual. Music videos allow him to be more creative, without the constrains of time, crew members or gear.
“Confetti” was filmed at two of his friends’ beautiful historic homes in Newark, by White Clay Creek, and in Hockessin. His love of Delaware—his first home before settling in Maryland—and the picturesque scenes that his friends’ homes painted encouraged Malinowski to film the video in the area.
“Delaware was my first home,” he says. “[I]t exudes a natural pulchritude, not enough of which has been captured by a production. …My feature film, Yes, Your Tide is Cold and Dark, Sir was written as a love letter to Lewes, Delaware, and to my father. I’m obsessed with the quietude and history of that town, and I was lucky enough to film there and in Rehoboth.”
The Collingwood is currently working on completing their latest album and they have big plans for their future music videos.