Letters

Letters 02-08-2016

Less Ageism, Please The January 4 issue of this publication proved to me that there are some sensible voices of reason in our community regarding all things “inter-generational.” I offer a word of thanks to Elizabeth Myers. I too have worked hard for what I’ve earned throughout my years in the various positions I’ve held. While I too cannot speak for each millennial, brash generalizations about a lack of work ethic don’t sit well with me...Joe Connolly, Traverse City

Now That’s an Escalation I just read the letter from Greg and his defense of the AR15. The letter started with great information but then out of nowhere his opinion went off the rails. “The government wants total gun control and then confiscation; then the elimination of all Constitutional rights.” Wait... what?! To quote the great Ron Burgundy, “Well, that escalated quickly!”

Healthy Eating and Exercise for Children Healthy foods and exercise are important for children of all ages. It is important for children because it empowers them to do their best at school and be able to do their homework and study...

Mascots and Harsh Native American Truths The letter from the Choctaw lady deserves an answer. I have had a gutful of the whining about the fate of the American Indian. The American Indians were the losers in an imperial expansion; as such, they have, overall, fared much better than a lot of such losers throughout history. Everything the lady complains about in the way of what was done by the nasty, evil Whites was being done by Indians to other Indians long before Europeans arrived...

Snyder Must Go I believe it’s time. It’s time for Governor Snyder to go. The FBI, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the EPA Criminal Investigation Division are now investigating the Flint water crisis that poisoned thousands of people. Governor Snyder signed the legislation that established the Emergency Manager law. Since its inception it has proven to be a dismal failure...

Erosion of Public Trust Let’s look at how we’ve been experiencing global warming. Between 1979 and 2013, increases in temperature and wind speeds along with more rain-free days have combined to stretch fire seasons worldwide by 20 percent. In the U.S., the fire seasons are 78 days longer than in the 1970s...

Home · Articles · News · Music · Five For Fighting Orchestrating a...
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Five For Fighting Orchestrating a New Sound

Kristi Kates - July 14th, 2014  

Resting on one’s laurels after breaking the Top 40 wasn’t an option for pianist John Ondrasik, who hit the big time with the Grammy-nominated “Superman (It’s Not Easy)” in 2000.

Known professionally as Five for Fighting, the California native returned to the charts twice more with “100 Years” and “The Riddle.”

Now, with a new album called “Bookmarks” under his belt, he’ll not only be performing new material, but also fan favorites at his upcoming Interlochen concert.

In a bit of a twist, Ondrasik will be accompanied by an orchestra, which includes several Interlochen musicians.

EXPRESS: John, is there a specific theme to the new album? I understand that, as part of your recording process this time around, you deliberately pursued songs and sounds that you felt would be truly relevant to the music scene today.

ONDRASIK: As much as I’ve thought about writing a concept record, usually it’s ‘survival of the fittest’ songs. So ‘Bookmarks’ was no different. I do believe my albums represent certain life time periods that can be obvious, but certainly this record has a more modern tone and production than my previous records.

ONDRASIK: Certainly there is a larger dynamic and emotion that the symphony brings. I get chills at times sitting at the piano hearing them behind me. Even on the hit songs it adds a new dimension that makes a song I’ve played 5,000 times sound new again.

EXPRESS: Are there any particular songs that you think translate best to the ‘added orchestra’ format?

ONDRASIK: Well, typically the songs that have a certain arrangement already in place are obvious songs, but we also will rearrange songs to experiment. For example, the song ‘Hope’ is a orchestral/vocal presentation, which is quite different than the album version. I also have a song on ‘Bookmarks’ written specifically for symphony called ‘Symphony Lane.’

EXPRESS: I noticed you’re including some Interlochen musicians in this upcoming performance, too. Are you traveling in part with your own musicians, or are you tapping orchestras in each city?

ONDRASIK: Yeah, we’re playing with local orchestras across the country as it’s a bit too expensive to move everyone around. I do bring my own conductor to make sure we are on the same page, and of course my band members.

EXPRESS: How did the idea to match up your songs with orchestras come about?

ONDRASIK: I’ve always had a significant orchestral component to my records but rarely could present the songs live with symphony. At this point in my career, I’ve scaled back the long bus tours and looked to gigs that are a bit more fulfilling and musically ambitious. There is nothing better than playing with an orchestra, and I believe the fans also enjoy the experience.

EXPRESS: The symphony instruments add so many complex sounds to your already very melodic works – what do you like best about this?

EXPRESS: I’m sure the Interlochen audience is really looking forward to this blend of your great pop music and our local orchestra sounds. What are you personally looking forward to the most about your Interlochen show?

ONDRASIK: With a 13-year-old who’s an aspiring actress/musician, I’ve heard great things about Interlochen. I’m looking forward to seeing it firsthand, and excited to hear the Interlochen singer-songwriters who will be performing before me.

Five for Fighting (aka John Ondrasik) will be in concert on July 19 at 8pm at Interlochen Center for the Arts’ Kresge Auditorium. For more, visit tickets.interlochen.org, or visit fiveforfighting.com.

 
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