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Heard on CultureShift

Jazz Saxophonist Marcus Elliot ‘Broken Seeds’ Bear Big Ideas, Emotions

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Image credit: WDET's Meta Stange

Elliot discusses how experiencing grief Inspired creating his hew album “Broken Seeds Vol. 1” and his upcoming performance at the D.I.A. on November 22nd.

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Marcus Elliot sat down with WDET’s Sam Beaubien to discuss his latest album “Broken Seeds Vol. 1.” 

The album features Elliot with his trio, Brian Juarez on bass, Everett Reid on drums, performing music that is inspired by Elliot’s life experiences over the past few years.

These songs come from a place of heartbreak, as I composed them during some very hard and difficult times in my life,” Elliot says. “Writing these songs helped me appreciate what it means to grieve. I am learning that grief is not an emotion or a thing you get over or through, but rather a way you move through the world.”

Moving through the world has allowed me to open my self to moments of great joy that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise.” - Marcus Elliot, musician

The trio came in to WDET’s Studio A to perform the song “Heart Seam” and Sam Beaubien talks with Elliot about his experience making the album.

Click on the player above to hear an interview and performance with the Marcus Elliot Trio, and watch the performance above.

The Marcus Elliot Trio will be performing at the Detroit Institute of Arts on November 22nd at 7 pm and 8:30 pm. Admission is free with ID


 On learning to find joy in grief

These songs come from a place of heartbreak, as I composed them during some very hard and difficult times in my life. Writing these songs helped me appreciate what it means to grieve. I am learning that grief is not an emotion or a thing you get over or through, but rather a way you move through the world. Moving through the world this way does not mean you don’t experience joy or happiness. In fact, I am learning that moving through the world this way has allowed me to open my self to moments of great joy that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise. For that, I am very grateful.”

On the meaning behind the title ‘Broken Seeds’

I decided to call the collection of songs ‘Broken Seeds’ because, for a seed to become a tree or a flower, it must break open. The seed can no longer exist as it once did before. I think about this in relation to our hearts and heartbreak. It is a very humanizing thing to experience heartbreak, and I feel it is something worth acknowledging and recognizing its value. Although it is painful and does not necessarily happen when we want it to or how we want it to happen, it is very valuable.”

The analogy of a seed is also used in Elliot’s compositional techniques. Each song begins with a small musical statement the grows into a spiritual journey.

When I composed these songs, they started as very small ideas. Melodic seeds if you will. When I brought them to my band, the musicians created the perfect conditions for these small ideas to brake open into what you hear on this album. The songs are no longer the ‘small ideas’ they were before.”

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Sam Beaubien, Creative Producer

Sam Beaubien is a musician, composer, producer, and educator in Detroit. He is also the founder and leader of the acclaimed ensemble, Will Sessions.

sbeaubien@wdet.org

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