European Sounds Series Brunch
Presented by Consulate General of Slovakia
About The Artist:
Over the course of six years Waking Vision has overcome the struggle of being a young band on the road, relocating to New York City and moving through a short hiatus to arrive at a break through in music. The band embodies a mystical, genre-defying sound. Hearing their music is an experience that can not be denied. It has the power and spirit to entertain and lift the mind at the same time.
After four years in Boston and a couple tours through Eastern Europe, Waking Vision had decided to end. Tired of the musical and personal structure that had defined the last four years, guitarist John Shannon in 2002 headed west to wander in California’s ancient redwood forests, and then to the deserts of Arizona. There, with guidance of a shaman, Shannon embarked on a vision quest, confined to a ten-foot circle for days with only water to live on.
“It’s a right of passage. It’s saying I need to know what this life is all about. I sat in the desert circle for four days and became in tune with what nature is,” said Shannon. “What I see it has done is empowered me, and empowered the music.”
Rejuvenated musically and spiritually, Shannon further realized his simple and naturally melodic guitar style to match the expanse he experienced in the Arizona desert. He then moved to New York City, where he reconnected with his former bandmates who had been living in the area gigging with other musicians. One night at a small club, Martin Valihora (drums) and Mitch Cohn (bass) showed up to a show featuring Shannon. Before the night closed, the former band mates joined on stage to find that in their time apart they evolved musically into a group with an undeniably distinct sound.
Reunited, the band recorded a five-song EP, “Into High Selva” and returned to Eastern Europe for another 10-week tour that developed the new sound into a spellbinding live performance. Audiences in New York, Boston and other Northeastern cities, are now turning out in increasing numbers to take in the band’s melodic and earth toned sound. And through word of mouth, a growing fusion of rock, jazz and improvisational music fans are being turned on to the Waking Vision experience.
With the songwriting and virtuoso guitar playing of Shannon mixing the pure sub tone of Cohn’s bass and Valihora’s intricate natural rhythms, the band has crafted a unique instrumental sound that glides easily between sound oceans and canyons with a surefooted song craft. The spacious arrangements are filled with life soundtrack melodies created through Shannon’s illuminated guitar sound and the motion foundation of Valihora’s coasting drums along Cohn’s guiding bass.
While undeniably proficient technically at their instruments, Waking Vision music is most powerful for its evocation of nature: a free, calm sound that builds, dissents, breaks through and eases much like the tides of the ocean. One elated fan commented after a recent show, “It’s like a thunderstorm that you don’t want to pass.”
“I’m always thinking of ways to describe the music and it’s not just a style. There’s an element to the music that reveals searching,” said Shannon. “It has a vastness to it, an open space much like the ocean or Grand Canyon. It brings with it a gravity force from deep within but it travels out like waves of water and light.
Recorded during the full moon, “Into High Selva” is a new music EP that through its unapologetic connection to nature and spirituality carries a wholeness of statement.
“This is music of the sound ascending and all are welcome”