Thursday, January 26, 2017

Eric Hirschhorn - Living in the Question (2017)

First of all, thank you so much for taking time out of your day to check out this music. It means so much to put your work to the public and it is only matched with eternal gratitude. My name is Eric Hirschhorn, and this my first album of original works and arrangements. "Living in the Question" pertains to the core belief in Judaism of constantly asking important questions and questing for knowledge and wisdom. We must always be curious, and wanting to be thirsty for life and its mysteries. The band and production notes are as follows:

Eric Hirschhorn - Alto Sax (Tracks 2, 3, 6 and 7), Tenor Sax (Tracks 1, 4 and 5), Producer, Arranger
Harry Ostrander - Trumpet
Wes Perry - Tenor Saxophone (Tracks 2, 3, 6 and 7)
Tyler McGeough - Trombone (Tracks 2, 3, 6 and 7)
Kyle Schafer - Piano
Josh Vasquez - Guitar
Nick Ornelas - Bass
Tyler Kreutel - Drums
Jamond McCoy - Vocals (Tracks 2 and 6)
Maria Schafer - Vocals (Track 7)
Nic Chaffee - Recording Engineer/Producer
Kevin Welsh - Audio Engineer

I encourage you to look each of these incredible players up on Youtube or any other platform. They are extremely talented and I cannot express in words how honored I am to be able to call them my friends, let alone my fellow musicians. Each song is written with deep meaning and has a story and a connection coupled along with it. Please take a read to each track while you listen or just to read before you enjoy the music. The track list is as follows:

1. Company Men:
This tune is written in the Americana style with elements of Modern Jazz. It was written during college as an homage to all of my friends and people going through the struggle of school life. We were all like soldiers marching through a war together, and a song that represented that brotherhood feeling was something that came to mind. It is meant to feel like you and your band of partners is riding off on horseback into the sunset, or sharing a morning moment camping, waking up as a unit and seeing the sunrise. It is supposed to feel like home. You get to hear solos from Josh Vasquez on guitar, Harry Ostrander on trumpet and myself on tenor sax.

2. Brightest Light (Feat. Jamond McCoy):
This tune is a mix between Modern Jazz and a bit of R&B, and was inspired by the stylings of Gretchen Parlato, who I encourage you to listen to! This was created from the feeling of trying to rekindle a relationship that you know you hold dear, but just cannot work no matter who hard you try. Even if the situation is toxic, you can't seem to stop thinking about that person, but you know you must make a choice. Jamond McCoy is featured on vocals which I wrote the lyrics to. Lyrics writing is so difficult and I respect every songwriter on the planet, so I am honored to even be sharing this with you. You'll hear solos from myself and Josh Vasquez on guitar.

3. The Edge is Closer Than You Think:
This tune is in the modern jazz idiom, and is very inspired by the trumpeter Ambrose Akinmusire, who I also encourage you to go and check out. This tune was conceived from the stress placed on you in tough situations with people who make it seems like you're walking on thin ice. It is supposed to directly correlate with your mental state and when things push you too close to exploding on someone or something, you lose it completely. You will hear solos from Josh Vasquez on guitar and Harry Ostrander on trumpet. While you listen to this tune, consider these notes in chronological order:
-The piano figure is your mind at peace, working through your daily life knowing of the struggles you have to handle
-The melody from the horns is your daily adventure itself, twisting and winding, slowly building on itself, making statements and decisions.
-When the first solo comes, things turn dark and you are pressed into a small corner in your life where you need to fight and not mess up. The tension continues to build immensely until you are ready to completely fall apart and scream, but instead you just falter and cry, slowly falling down but not completely becoming enraged. You hold it in.
-Your day starts again, knowing what you had to go through, same as before, but when the second solo comes, this time you build till absolute madness. The horns scream and everyone smashes away and you release all of your anger and oppression.
-When it all fades out and all that's left is piano, that is your hope and reason, reminding you to be centered and maintain who you are. It lets you know that you are yourself and that your stress and problems don't own you, you own them.

4. Should Be A Privilege:
This tune is another venture in Modern Jazz and is much akin to the styles of guitarist Gilad Hekselman, another incredibly fabulous modern jazz music. This tune was conceived from the feelings I experienced toward the modern day college system and how it treats it students. Growing up, people always said that you should be grateful that you get to go to school and others in suffering countries don't, that schooling is a privilege. As much as this is true in America, the college system we find ourselves in shouldn't be causing kids to become homeless and find themselves in debt far beyond comprehension and reasonable means. Beyond this even, if you were to analyze kids in college and their sleep scheduales, their agendas, their attitudes, you would be shocked to find how many suffer from depression and other terrifying conditions. Schools do not care for their students, and the work load expected from them to meet the standards and pass is ludicrous and simply cannot be viewed as a privilege if the students suffer. Although this was my experience, others may have a had it different. From what I saw, this was a definite case, and something that oppressive should never be considered a privilege, hence the title. You will hear solos from myself and Josh Vasquez on guitar.

5. Aversa:
This tune is an ethereal ballad in dedication to a character from a video game. Video games and video game music have always been a huge part in my life, and when I picked up a copy of Fire Emblem: Awakening, I loved everything about it. In this game, there was a character that's story and personality stuck out to me. This character was Aversa, and I felt like I had to write a tune dedicated to her. This tune is written with influences of Brian Blade & The Fellowship Band and features solos from Kyle Schafer on piano and myself.

6. The Book of Love (Feat. Jamond McCoy):
Originally recorded by the Magnetic Fields, and redone by people like Gavin DeGraw and Peter Gabriel, I first heard this tune in the finale of the TV show "Scrubs". Growing up, I always came home from middle school to see "Scrubs" on TV, and JD (Zach Braff) was the same person as me, and so relatable. When it ended, Peter Gabriel's version played over an emotional scene of every character and situation that painted the series. It was tear-worthy from a fan's standpoint. I knew that when I had the skills, I wanted to make a version of it, so I did. This quasi-waltz is warm and features Jamond McCoy on vocals. You will hear solos from Tyler McGeough on trombone, Wes Perry on tenor sax, Josh Vasquez on guitar, Jamond McCoy on vocals, and Tyler Kreutel on drums.

7. Everything's Alright (Feat. Maria Schafer):
Originally recorded for the video game "To The Moon" by Laura Shigihara, this ballad features the incredible Maria Schafer and an Elvin Jones modal jazz section in the middle to explain emotions and feelings. I played this game in college and loved every second of it. The story of the two lovers and their past is beyond touching, and how the game ends leaves you in shambles, in a very good way. This song plays at the ending, and as soon as I heard it, I knew I needed to arrange my own version. On this one, you'll hear solos from Kyle Schafer on piano and myself.

Again, thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking your time to listen to this album. If you wish to contact me or let me know your thoughts, my information is below. I hope your days are filled with joy and meaning. We make this music to change the way people think and feel, and to reach you with intention is our purpose. I hope we have connected with you.

Eric Hirschhorn