To know where you’re going, you have to know where you’re from. To prevent pigeonholing and defy typical genre labeling, Jeremiah M. Soto calls his musical endeavors Solace. Formed in 1994 in Redlands California, Jeremiah embarked on a quest to discover his fascination with Arabic rhythms and arrangements. But, to truly understand where and how this came about, we must start at the beginning.
While sitting in a high school math class, commenting on the football shaped head of a class mate and the lack of antiperspirant diligently neglected by the teacher, Jeremiah met longtime friend and musical explorer Dann M. Torres. Many hours were spent pining over and emulating the musical works of Lowlife (from Scotland, not the American rock band), Depeche Mode, The Cure, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Dead Can Dance, Bauhaus and Slowdive. Dann played the bass, guitars and sang. Jeremiah, played keyboards, drum programming and …..sang (yes, I know…some of you might be perplexed, but it’s true). It resulted in a unique gothic harmony heavy in drum programming, bass chords, dead pan vocals and processed guitars. 40 songs were written along with an endless supply of snippets and test recordings, probably to never see the light of day, but fondly remembered as a pinnacle point of Jeremiah’s beginnings and musical development.
In 1991, Dann and Jeremiah reached a plateau and decided to expand their musical horizons by incorporating more musicians into the fray. With the addition of bassist Laura Grissom and vocalist Julie Blodgett, a new name was needed, thus Eventide was born. Highly influenced by Dead Can Dance, Eventide released a 6 song cassette EP as well as being included on Hyperium Records compilation, “Heavenly Voices Volume Two” and Projekt Records, “Of These Reminders”. Excelling in their sound and confidence, Eventide played many local shows and gained notoriety as the Dead Can Dance of Southern California. Jeremiah considers the Eventide years as a renaissance of musical development and creativity. Anything and everything was possible and nothing was beyond reach with every idea considered. But as fast as it started, it ended in themiddle of 1995, Eventide disbanded. Unknown to Jeremiah, another renaissance was about to begin.
The very first event Jeremiah attended was Belly Dancer of the Universe. Yes, that was him, shy, unassuming, wearing a black backpack filled with Rhythm of The Dance cassettes, giving out free demos and even selling a few. From this humble beginning the genre of tribal fusion music began to take shape as Jeremiah embarked on his career as the musician behind Solace. Solace has defied labels and mediocrity since its inception in 1995. Widely recognized as a founding player in the tribal fusion music scene, Solace crosses into world music, Arabic percussion, electronica and ambient sounds with the lush haunting arrangements that his music is known for. Each Solace album is a book that tells a story, each song a chapter of complex musical arrangement that conveys emotion and theme. While his music has been irresistible to tribal fusion belly dancers across the world, music lovers are drawn to his evocative and haunting albums. According to Jeremiah, “The bottom line is I abhor mediocrity and labeling. I don’t follow trends; I don’t cater to anyone but myself musically. I am NOT gothic or new age, I’m Solace and I try to create one of the most enjoyable things to me: honest, story driven music that will hopefully defy time. That’s all I want to do. All I ask of you is to listen to my music; my music is my bio, my life story, my catharsis. Enjoy.”
Burden of Sleep (2009-Present)
Jeremiah has been fascinated with Short Wave radio frequencies for the last 5 years, especially Irdials. These recordings of Irdials are numbers and noise stations: mysterious shortwave radio stations of uncertain origin believed to be operated by government agencies to communicate with deployed spies. He collected them from a group called the Conet Project. Burden of Sleep is reminiscent of sleepless nights, not wanting to sleep because he was afraid he would miss something. Inspired by the haunting nature of the recordings he utilized the samples to guide him on how the music was made. To Jeremiah the transmissions conveyed loneliness and abandonment, and he utilized the piano to further deepen the melodic voice and lush undercurrent of the EP