acoustic art and culture

Ethan Gruska at the New Music Tap Lounge:: Bonnaroo 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017 Jennie Velasco

The bustle that was Bonnaroo 2017 did not overwhelm the sweet sounds of LA artist Ethan Gruska.  It was the final day of the festival and we were able to chat with Ethan before his performance.  His debut album “Slowmotionary,” he explained as “how economical I can make it” with pure piano and just his voice.   This singer, songwriter, composer, arranger, (etc.) went into the studio with enough to start an album and wholeheartedly approached this project in his most comfortable environment, the studio. 

Photo courtesy of Alex Ochoa for Halfstack/Art and Sol

“This project was all about how economical I could be with the songs; how short I can make it, how intricate I can make it without it seeming complicated, how little instruments I could produce it with.  It was sort of an exercise.”    The last thing he expected was to land a record deal and a supporting tour to promote the album.  “It was really because I had a bunch of songs and I wanted to make a piano record.” 

He was successful and he had a busy crowd to show off his tunes where the commotion was non-stop and always moving.  This was not his first time in a festival environment; he shared his experiences as a supporting musician with other artists at festivals, “its different playing solo.”   
“If I don’t overcompensate it tends to draw an audience.”  He goes on to explain how he actually appreciates the reactions and non-reactions of the crowds, “At every show that I go to as a spectator I’m sort of looking around and its not really what it used to be and I think its pretty cool; people tune in. tune out.”

Photo courtesy of Alex Ochoa for Halfstack/Art and Sol

Ethan’s performance had a unique way of drawing in an audience and kept them fully engaged.  Even with the frequent vibration of sound in the air of multiple stages and happy Bonnaroovians, the tenderness that Ethan brought was a much needed pillow to rest on. 
As for what awaits Ethan’s many talents, he wrapped up producing an album for another artist named Phoebe Bridges, and is looking to make another album with “more symphonic elements.  More strings, more horns, and make it a little more lush.” 

For more on Ethan Gruska visit:

Watch his video for "Rather Be"

See this article on Art and Sol

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