PODCAST: Lost in the Trees
2011 alumnus Ari Picker is making waves with his North Carolina-based sextet Lost in the Trees, which he founded even before coming to Berklee. The group's new album, A Church That Fits Our Needs, has been declared a "breakthrough album" by Billboard and been hailed by critics at the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Paste, and The Huffington Post.
The record draws inspiration from Picker's mother, an artist afflicted by mental illness, who took her own life shortly after attending his wedding in 2009.
To accurately render the emotional nuances of his sadness, fear, joy, and wonder, Picker draws on a wide array of musical devices, uniting the simplicity of folk music with the rich vocabulary of modern classicalists like Shostakovich and Stravinsky. He says it led him to make the beautiful parts more beautiful and the ugly parts uglier.
Above all of it is Picker's astonishing tenor voice, which marries this ambitious musical blend to poignant and poetic lyrics which hold nothing back without succumbing to exhibitionism or self-consciousness.
Lost In The Trees kicked off a tour on March 20 which will visit 23 North American cities before wrapping up April 20, 2012 in Carrboro, N.C.