When his aunt immigrated to Brazil, Soul found himself fascinated by the wealth of Brazilian culture of language and music. This was the inspiration for his composing of Seu Aprendiz (Your Apprentice), occasioned by the tragic story of his mother’s death and his own quest to reckon with it.
Soul wrestles with social and personal issues through his music, from East Asian career opportunity issues to dealing and helping others deal with the horrific impact of suicide in families. He speaks from the viewpoint of the bereaved and grieving and the impact is both touching and heart-rending. He eschewed his native Korean language and, instead, spoke through Portuguese in order to both distance himself from the event and yet recall it through a different linguistic expression.
Through the use of music and photographs, Soul develops the interactive aspect which allows artist and audience to approach the theme subjectively. That full experience is possible through hearing the music and viewing the photographs at www.seuaprendiz.com. Be prepared.
The Composer/Arranger for Seu Aprendiz is Ray Soul with lyrics by Jair Oliveira. On piano is Art Hirahara with string arrangement by Matthew Nicholl. On cello is Naseem Alatrash with violin by Bengisu Gokce and vocals by Ebinho Cardoso.
The music is moving and melancholy, coming from incredible loss but attempting to come to understanding. Hirahara’s piano is gorgeous with the lush strings of Alatrash and Gokce. Cardoso’s vocals are warm and full of longing.
But it is the interactive element that gives the greatest impact. It is a step forward in Jazz, to be sure. More importantly, perhaps, is the step along the road to healing and meaning.
~Travis Rogers, Jr. is The Jazz Owl