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Without dark there is no light. That’s the duality of the universe we live in. In this regard, sometimes bad things need to happen to awaken a person into a more positive way of living. Former Treaty of Paris front man (2005-2010) and singer/songwriter Michael Chorvat’s story is no different. After the sudden passing of his mother a few years ago, he started searching for meaning in his existence here on earth. The age old questions of, “why am I here?” and “what’s my purpose in life?” consumed him and so his spiritual journey began.
The songs on Michael Chorvat’s first solo album, titled The Light, tell the story of his spiritual awakening. They are meant to serve as an inspirational guide to help awaken others, as well as an affirmation to those who are already awakened. In addition to music, Michael practices Reiki, a healing technique based on the principle of channeling energy into a person by means of touch to activate natural healing in the body. Reiki helps to put the body’s chakras, energy centers of spiritual power, in balance. The Light is a journey through each of the chakras, with each song representing a chakra of the body and guiding the listener on how to obtain happiness, inner peace and self-love by the end of the album.
The concept of duality also teaches one must give to receive. Michael wasn’t satisfied with the thought of releasing music the traditional way without using it to help others less fortunate. That’s why he’s giving half of the profits from the sales of his upcoming album The Light to a charity called Action Against Hunger, a top-rated global humanitarian organization committed to ending world hunger.
“Most artists and bands use music to feed their ego. My intention is to use my music to feed the world.”
- Michael Chorvat, singer/songwriter
By now, Black Prairie has clearly outgrown its roots as a casual side project, solidifying into a primary, creative focus for its members -- a band with its own internal momentum, genuine character and style. Still, it's only become harder to describe what that style is. "I gave up a long time ago," guitarist Jon Neufeld says. When asked what kind of music Black Prairie plays, Neufeld usually just says "soft rock," and walks away.
Black Prairie's fourth full-length record "Fortune" is an unexpected departure -- which is, strangely, exactly what everyone's come to expect from the band. This group of seasoned musicians from Portland, Oregon -- each steeped in traditional American acoustic music -- has become hellbent on taking one imaginative leap after another.
"We're a much more fearless writing team now," says bassist Nate Query. The band that started as an informal collective has now materialized into its own, fully living thing. Getting together to write "Fortune" last fall after a busy year of touring and tackling smaller, unconventional songwriting projects, the band felt like they had a well-bred, spirited animal hitched up and waiting for them -- a horse flaring its nostrils, ready to run -- and they wanted to keep driving it through as many different landscapes as they could.