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Too Close to the Sun

Too Close to the Sun

  • By Sylvia Tosun
  • Release 1/05/2001
  • Music Genre Rock
  • Media Format CD
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Price: $19.15

Product Notes

Sylvia Tosun summons her first memory, that of a Connecticut farm girl framed by a doorway through which an older sister practices the piano. When the sister leaves, the three-year-old eavesdropper, who would later be called an 'aggressive learner' and graduate from high school at the age of 15, sits at the piano and dutifully repeats everything she's just heard her sister play. The lovely Tosun, a doe-eyed enigma, whose musical curiosity is as strong now as it was then, has just released her first CD. It's a six-song wonder, and it's title--Too Close To The Sun--is both mythic (props to Icarus) and word-gamey (spot the artist's surname). There's an ethereal mystery at the heart of Tosun's songs, with their hint of the Middle East and their lush, fully explored arrangements, hewn with a radio-friendly attention to popcraft. Then there's that voice, a shimmering, softly sensual instrument able to leap tall buildings in a single bound or whisper sweet nothings as the interpretive moment demands. It's a voice that emerged more-or-less fully formed at the age of 14, at which time Sylvia began studying with John Cosentino (a former Metropolitan Opera coach), who's classical bent must have been daunting. But today, listening to the pliant singing on Too Close To The Sun, that early training is a key piece of the puzzle. Tosun's formative years were tumultuous, being shuttled from her mother's house to her father's house and back again. 'I'd become a real rock chick--Led Zeppelin, U2, Smashing Pumpkins, Queen--which was a reflection of what I was going through. Julie Brick, my mentor and school teacher, taught me to focus my energies on something constructive, like writing,' (which resulted in her having several poems published shortly thereafter) 'I found that when I started to write music for myself, my influences soon became that of The Carpenters, Amy Grant, Anne Lennox, Sarah McLachlan and Peter Gabriel.' Tosun was accepted into the National Choral Society, and, following a tour of Canadian pipe organ churches with that distinguished ensemble, she landed numerous awards and scholarships, one of which earned her a place at New York's Juilliard School. The young singing student was soon performing opera with the NY Grand Opera Company; igniting torch songs in NY City clubs; teaching at a performing arts school in the rough-and-tumble South Bronx; and sharing the bill with national recording acts at USO fundraising concerts. In time, her talents would reveal themselves, in theater, TV and film productions. She had also begun to develop another means of expression--interior design--which has, in the case of Jimmy Hendrix's Electric Lady Recording Studio, allowed her to garner studio time in return for design work. In attempting to trace her innate gifts, as well as her undeniable love of performing, Tosun has plucked some clues from the family tree. Her maternal grandfather was a concert pianist in Italy and, later, a Professor in Connecticut, but it's Tosun Zilli, her paternal grandfather, that somehow places Tosun's career in context. Zilli was a Middle Eastern spiritual healer and a whirling dervish. 'Basically, he was a psychologist who twirled to music as a reflection of his faith,' says Tosun. He begins to account for the music's spiritual questing and sense of longing that permeate her songs, not to mention the transcendent authenticity of her vocal interpretations. Sylvia Tosun tells a story of being stuck atop a ferris wheel during a Toronto tour stop with the National Choral Society. 'I was stuck at the very top, rocking back and forth,' Tosun shudders. 'Once my initial panic subsided, I began to enjoy it --the view...the sensation. Then, I reached out and unscrewed one of the ferris wheel light bulbs, which I have kept since.' More than just a tactile memento of a brief, too-close-to-the-sun moment atop a ferris wheel, that light bulb becomes a resonant symbol in the context of Tosun's personal history. Consider this illuminating lyric from 'Blue Sky,' one of the highlights of her beautiful new CD: You can start to follow the light of your heart/what would it take to believe in a miracle?/what would it take to believe in yourself? As Tosun regularly sells out New York hot spots such as the Bitter End, a ground swell of fans builds behind her... On Too Close To The Sun, Tosun follows the light of her heart. The rest of us need only listen. (By Jeff Breithaupt, co-author of Precious and Few: Pop Music In the Early '70s and Night Moves: Pop Music In The Late '70s (St. Martin's Press))

Details

Artist: Sylvia Tosun
Title: Too Close to the Sun
Genre: Rock
Release Date: 1/05/2001
Label: CD Baby
Media Format: CD
UPC: 783707252629
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