Ad Astra Per Aspera
A unique blend of symphonic instruments with jazzy undertones, Jasmphonia is the nom de guerre of Eric Soleil, a gifted multi-instrumentalist/composer who utilizes acoustic symphonic voices and midi composition to create a rich mixture of chamber music and Nu-jazz styling. Eric has compiled his first CD, 'Ad Astra Per Aspera' (To The Stars Thru Difficulty). For the longest time, Eric felt deeply riveted in classical music, particularly material from the baroque period. Even as a youngster he can remember feeling transported by this music's linear melody lines and their complex harmonic counterpoints. Couple this with his intrinsic adoration for American jazz music, with it's sense of interpretive freedom, lush, syncopated beats, and the ever-present mandate to 'swing', and one might see how he quite naturally gravitated to incorporating some 'classic' orchestral voices with some neo-Baroque, 'jazzified' idioms; hence Jazz-Symphonia! Born on the wind-swept plains of the Kansas prairie, Eric began his musical career in elementary school, where he was forced to play the trumpet (because it was the hand-me-down instrument he inherited from his older brothers), and also where he infuriated his band instructor by making up his own parts instead of playing the fourth-chair lines intended for him (this fact explains a lot regarding his current musical personality). It was also at this time that he began to compose little pieces on the family's upright piano. He later played the baritone, French horn, and a little trombone, before settling on his favorite brass instrument: the tuba (he remains an inveterate bass clef junkie to this very day). In High School, Eric pursued concert choir and the thespian arts, earning a theater scholarship at University. At 19 years of age, he began studying God and Leo Fender's gift to the world: the electric bass, and to this day he swears that he learns something exciting and new every single time he plays. It was also at this time that his primal and spiritual connection to drums and drumming became actualized. Currently, Eric is avidly pursuing a career in music, writing from the keyboard, drums, and bass, and performing his own unique original compositions. He is also continuously developing his skills and acumen in digital and acoustic music, as an artist, producer, and engineer.