• Ben Gage

Behind The Sessions - Zach Freidhof

Zach Freidhof is an Akron legend and force of positivity in our area. He performed at the second Gage House Sessions and shared a tune off his recent release that can be found here.


Zach's songs are mantra-like in their ability to take you to a place of light and love. Knowing him brings the same gift. I encourage you to get to know this incredible person and musician, we can't wait to have him back!




Behind the Sessions


Where do you call home? 

Akron and the Grand Teton Mountains


What first got you into music?

A near death experience. I had wanted to play basketball up to high school, when my appendix burst, nearly killing me. There was a long recovery, and some friends brought me music in the hospital, The Beatles' White Album, and everything just clicked. Music had never really played much of a role in my life prior, and no one in my family had any background in music. I left the hospital wanting to play music. I feel very much called to do this work.

 

What do you enjoy the most about being a musician? What are some struggles?

Music has the power to connect beyond all borders and separations. Beyond all languages. To play a part in bringing about connection, community, and love is an incredible gift and honor. It reminds us of our humanity. It can uplift like few things can. 

Struggles. A big one is getting people to listen, getting to people through the noise and chaos of the world. We've all become so busy and exhausted that we turn away from the connection, Community, and humanity we are all deep down seeking. 


How do you like to start writing a song?

Usually music starts with me sitting with my guitar. Strumming with my guitar brings about melodies and words, and then both sort of come together. It is often a quick process. 


What’s the creative process look like?

Oh that's a good question. I spend as much time in nature as I can. I do what I can to get out of the way so that the creative process can happen. 


Do you sing in the shower? What songs?

Usually I just chant mantras.


How do you feel that the internet/social media effects what you do as a musician?

In some respects, it is an enormous help in getting music out, in getting people to hear, in promoting shows, and booking shows both close by and far away. On the flip side, there is so much being posted everyday, and so much music, getting through the noise is intensely difficult. The fear and anger and overall constant bombardment of information, entertainment, suffering drains attention. At any given time I can use Facebook live, connecting with a hundred people, but having little real, human connection. 


What local musician would you like to collaborate with next?

I will be releasing a new song with A Minus, as well as Angie Haze, and am excited for Holbrook Riles III to remix the next single from my latest record, Shaila. 


Do you like the studio or the stage? Why?

Both the stage and studio are wonderful experiences. The energy and connection from a live performance cannot be matched anywhere. The studio gives an opportunity to work with sounds, and to play out ideas in my head, and grow as a musician.


What’s one of your favorite regional venues?

I love the Rialto Theatre. The Center. 


Best breakfast in the area?

Homemade. There aren't a lot of good vegan breakfast options in the area, sadly. 


Top 2 pizza toppings?

Brussel Sprouts. Mushrooms.


About The Song


What’s the title of this song?

Moran


What was the inspiration behind this song?

This is a song from my recent Shaila project, a project that stems from my reverence of the wild. The whole project is about the power of wild spaces within and without. My soul resonates most strongly with the Grand Teton ecosystem, and so I wanted to write songs in specific places, trying to capture something of the feeling I get, and the power and message that space gives to me. So for Moran, I crawled up on a hill in the shadow of Mt Moran. Moran is a deeply spiritual mountain, sitting 12,000+ feet. This song is what came through that time and place. 


Where were you when you wrote it?

Moran, Wyoming. 


Music or lyrics first?

They both arrived around the same time. The chords for the verse started things out. After writing it, and playing it several times, the groove changed and became what it is on record. 


Do you have a favorite lyric/line in this song?

Celebration of Heart in Heartland. 


Around The Corner


What’s an upcoming show (or two) you’d like to promote?

- Jan 20th - Wolf Creek Winery 7pm. Annual Dr King show. A night I dedicate to his teachings. 

- Feb 8 - Screaming with My Indoor Voice @ The Center (118 W Market St, Akron). 7pm. W/ poet Keith Allison and Gretchen Pleuss. A really special night of unique collaboration. 

- March 21 - Bright Lights Spring Shining show @ The Rialto Theatre. 7pm. With a Band Named Ashes. 


What’s an upcoming project you’d like to promote?

There will be a new Bright Lights record out early in the year. And I'll be performing some new Shaila shows also. This winter I am putting together my second book of poetry, photography and meditations. 


What message do you want to share with your fans?

Be the change we want to see. If we want to live in a better place, we have to begin to build that place by our own thoughts, words and deeds. 


Find out more about Zach:


Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/zachmusic

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/zachbrightlights/

Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/4HtyUkw25n2EgbdXvtLlEK

Website: https://zachmusic.net/ ______________________________________


Gage House Sessions are recording in Akron, OH by Ben Gage (and friends). To find out more visit https://www.bengagemusic.com/gagehousesessions

or shoot us an email.


Gage House Sessions are private, invite only events. If you are interested in attending or performing please email us here.


You must be able to come to Akron, OH.


See all of Gage House Sessions 2 here.

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