The Path of Obscurity (2021)
The Path of Obscurity began as a poem in the summer of 2019. I was two years removed from chemotherapy, having survived a blood cancer diagnosis. But now I was on a new journey, arguably a more difficult one, to make peace with this traumatic experience.
I sat at the marina in my hometown Berkeley, the cold morning air running through me, and began writing a new life for myself in poetry. Running away to another place and living in the countryside, perhaps England where I could sit on the cliffs of Dover, and watch the ocean crash below me. A life where I could escape my pain, guilt, and frustrations and live quietly.
Later that summer, I was fortunate to spend time with the great saxophonist Dayna Stephens, who was a guest at my fundraiser Concert for a Cure. One day we spoke for a couple hours about the nature of music, art and life. He encouraged me to take my interest in composition and do something larger with it. Take the feelings that I would put into a song, and expand them into a suite, exploring the ideas more fully. I had filled up a few pages of my poetry notebook at that point, and I realized that this project could be the way for me to finally confront my experience with cancer. It would be a way for me to stop running away from the pain and instead acknowledge it and move on.
I premiered the suite in November 2019, at a live show full of friends onstage and in the audience. What you hear is a recording of that live performance, plus a little studio magic. I am so grateful to my band for taking the time to develop this music with me and for such a heartfelt performance.
Special thanks to Dayna Stephens, Fabian Almazan, Jeremy Manasia, Avi Duhan, and all of my teachers for their guidance.
Music and Text by Ethan Ostrow
Narrator - Corbin Born
Saxophone - Joseph Miller
Piano - Ethan Ostrow
Bass - Ben Feldman
Drums - Quinton Cain
Trumpet - Evan Abounassar
Electric/Acoustic Guitar - Nicholas Creus
Violin - Eliane Menzel
Violin - Selin Algöz
Viola/Violin - Carlos Martínez
Cello - Camille Dietrich
Recorded live in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music, November 2019
Recording and Mixing Engineer, Dan Rorke
Mastered by Alexandros Darna
Album Cover Design by Runar Schmidt
Original Artwork by Marlene Tobias
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