Episode 125 - Gon.
Dan Sterenchuk and Tommy Estlund are honored to have as our guest, Gon.
“When asked to explain that rather circuitous path that lead to the creation of his debut album, Gon Halevi—better known simply as Gon—can only laugh. The 26-year-old singer and musician, who came to New York by way of Tel Aviv, is quick to recognize the somewhat unusual nature of his trajectory. “The short version is that I moved to New York to study opera singing and somewhere in the middle of it I stopped liking it. So I kind of stopped doing opera and started doing my own music, performing in small venues. Despite being an atheist, I paid my tuition by performing for Jewish community centers and synagogues. At some point, a cantor of a congregation in Florida asked me to perform there. It was in the middle of my fourth year at school and they gave me a big enough budget to bring the musicians I wanted to have up on stage with me, down to Florida from Manhattan. They also allowed me to add four songs of my own to the show. It was the first time I heard my music played the way I wanted it to be played. Once I heard that rich, deep sound of a rock band, choir, and a string ensemble, merge around my music - I got all the confirmation I needed to start working on my album.”
The eleven tracks on Gon’s full-length debut, Diagonal Fields, strike a delicate balance between piano-driven ballads and perfectly augmented cinematic chamber pop, all wrapped around a voice that is by turns plaintive, deeply emotive, and—for lack of a better term—swooningly operatic. Tracks like “Breaking out” “Coming Home” and “Alive” are buoyed by the ebullience and range of Gon’s voice, which dips and soars effortlessly through the songs, wrapping the tracks with a sense of longing and, more often than not, a barely contained joy. “It took a while for me to figure out exactly how I wanted my voice to work in this context,” he explains. “My voice has been influenced by so many things: my opera training, for sure, as well as the fact that I’ve been speaking and singing in Hebrew for so many years. When writing my own songs, I started peeling away the classical music gestures just to find my own voice. All of those years of study are still in there, but it’s almost like I had to un-learn all of that stuff in order to find myself, in order to just simply be me.”
All music excerpts in episode are used with permission from Gon.
Note: Guests create their own bio description for each episode.
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