Click: O Holy Night to listen, enjoy!
“O Holy Night” via Reno
Everyone has their favorite musical artists, mine just happen to be two of my closest friends. That’s the thing about living in Reno, almost everyone’s doing something. The local creative and performing art scene here is a lot of what makes Reno “The Biggest Little City in the World”. My immediate group of friends consists of writers, comedians, thespians, directors, theater owners, drag queens, producers, magazine owners and editors, musicians, singers, painters, chalkboard artists, graffiti artists, poets, ballerinas, B Boys, and burlesque troupes. There’s an open mic night somewhere in the city every night of the week; and it feels like there are as many local theater companies as their are casinos on Virginia St.
Reno is the city where I was able to launch Homeslice Productions- the umbrella company under which so many wonderful creations came to fruition: Reno’s favorite comedy troupe, The Utility Players; Improv – The Musical; The Metacomedy; Sparks’ Got Talent, The Art Bar Cabaret, and many, many other much less successful inventions.
But alas, a dream was fulfilled for me the other night, when my two favorite singers, Ariel Lea and Eric Andersen, came together to do a little collaboration.
I first met Ariel Lea 10 years ago when we were both freshman at Loveland High School in Cincinnati Ohio; she asked me to be her “page turner” while she played a David Lanz piece on the piano for our annual talent show. It was sometime later when I heard her sing for the first time that I told her someday we’d be famous.
8 years later I moved to Reno from Madison, Wisconsin, at almost the exact same time as the one and only Eric Andersen, from… Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. We met shortly after while I was managing a small downtown venue and he came in to book a show. I asked him if he was sure people would come, which, he makes fun of me for now because the show was a huge success. Within the first beats of hearing Eric perform, I stopped bartending and just listened. He plays like he’s been on stage for lifetimes. This kid is going to make it for sure. In the last year I watched a saga unfold as he put together his first professional album, Plane Rides & Ocean Tides. I was so proud that I sobbed, just a little, throughout his CD Release show, and then bonded with his mother afterward at the bar.
I used to talk to Ariel and Eric about each other, about how much I selfishly wished I could hear them sing together. And then in December of 2009, Ariel told me that she was moving to Reno to join The Utility Players, compose the score for Improv – The Musical, and complete a demo album.
With big projects behind us and even bigger ones ahead of us, Ariel and I decided to finish her demo album before Christmas 2010 (the perfect Christmas presents). Just as we were wrapping up some basic recordings, Eric Andersen stopped by wearing a flannel shirt and carrying his viola. I like being a producer because I just get to sit back and watch talented friends perform. It’s delicious. I especially love it when they collaborate. Ariel’s and Eric’s collaboration was really special to me because I feel so connected to both of their talents and spirits. I just feel so blessed to even get to be a part of it. It’s truly my honor to be participating in any way to the gift of artistic expression.
While Eric was tuning his viola, I played for him the recording we had of Ariel singing “O Holy Night”, a cappella. It was his idea to throw down some harmonies. The result is really beautiful. I decided to post this song as a preview while I finish putting together the rest of the demo, which features Eric on a couple of different songs.
Anyway, here’s “O Holy Night”, a beautiful duet with Ariel Lea and Eric Andersen. You can listen to it streaming or download it here, for free via our new podcast channel, Mind Melodies.
Subscribe to our podcast channel or stay tuned to hear more. Also, make sure to listen to Eric’s album (linked above), which I highly recommend listening to while skiing down a mountain.