What is Final Beginning?
Final Beginning highlights my belief that life is always starting.
Life may seem as if each encounter and moment in time is final, but in actuality, each represents the start of a new understanding or phase in life.
The only boundary placed on time is our method of measurement that we have devised.
Our life’s experiences are birthed and extended out on a timeline that is man-made measurable yet philosophically is innately challenging to fully capture and evaluate when you think of time within the construct of our eternal universe.
Therefore, what you perceive as the ending and the beginning essentially can be considered as one.
Pieces is a personal trilogy of new music created in the aftermath of the tragic 2017 Sonoma County Wildfires that destroyed so much and represents improvisation not only musically, but in practice. We lost our home and everything we owned that night, but the fire unlocked something in me, and I found myself compelled to create like never before. When everything’s gone, you have nothing left to lose. And the fact that we had nearly died in the fire made the next few months feel like a precious gift. A second chance to create again. A second chance to live.
Music poured out of me, but rather than trying to painstakingly recreate all of the songs I had lost, I decided to experiment instead. With donated instruments and a new laptop, I focused on retrieving snippets of songs I had emailed to friends and family over the last 15+ years, and subsequently reimagined the songs on the album. Chopping fragments up and sampling them, adding second movements with a different feel from the original, turning unintentional “mistakes” into intentional effects. It was all exciting, gratifying, and therapeutic, and a completely different method of composing than I had developed for my debut album, Final Beginning.
In less than a year after the fires I had written enough new material for three albums, and the idea of releasing them as a trilogy was born. Impossible was created first, raw and in the moment, and is steeped in the healing force of just being alive and able to write. Drift represents the subsequent period of wanting to be cocooned within movement that was rhythmic and comforting. A yearning for what was. And finally, Essential is about newness and discovery, and about moving forward with authenticity, love, risk, grief, and gratitude into a new world.
Channeling all of the pain and sorrow, joy, and gratitude into this music has been an incredible process. One that opens the conversation musically about love and loss and the healing qualities of low frequencies, rhythmic patterns, and swirling melodies sought out by the heart, for the heart to heal.
EKI SHOLA BIO:
Eki Shola’s vibrant career in music and medicine can be described best by the artist herself, “I create music not only for myself, but to generate a space for the listener. Music is healing.” A talented vocalist and pianist, Eki Shola’s music transcends genre, as she seamlessly draws from jazz, electronica, world, and new music to create a sonic landscape all her own. Her music has been described as “…sound art to be used to trigger thought and encourage love and beauty through rhythm and unique composition.”
Born in London to Jamaican parents, Eki Shola was raised in a musical family. She emigrated to New York in the late 1980s and later as a pre-med student at Cornell University, she played in the jazz ensemble performing with legendary musicians such as Steve Turre and Dr. Donald Byrd. Now living in Northern California, Eki Shola released her debut album, Final Beginning, in 2016 and the album has been reviewed, charted and aired around the world.
In both 2017 and 2018, Eki Shola was awarded the NorBay Music Award for Best Electronica Artist. She has played across the San Francisco Bay Area, London, and New York City and along with sharing the stage with Georgia Anne Muldrow and Lucky Otis, she has been asked to open for renowned artists such as Kitaro, Bebel Gilberto, DakhaBrakha, and Habib Koité & Bassekou Kouyate. After submitting her song “Dreaming”, filmed among the ruins of her incinerated home, Eki Shola was selected to perform at the 2018 NPR Tiny Desk Contest. Honoring the one-year anniversary of the wildfires, her personal story was featured in a PBS TV special, “The New Normal: Visions of Healing”.
released February 22, 2019
Composed, produced, performed, and mixed by Eki Shola
Mastered by Landon Balk
A talented artist & also a physician, Eki Shola’s music transcends genre, as she seamlessly draws from jazz, electronica, &
world to create her own sonic landscape.
Inspired by observing the need for amplifying the voices of underrepresented creatives, Eki’Shola founded Unmute Magazine, a digital publication highlighting BIPOC artists....more