BioFORMER GIT STUDENT JAMES SERA
TRADES ELECTRIC FOR SOLO ACOUSTIC GUITAR
AS HE EMBRACES THE ‘REALITY OF THE FANTASY’
ON HIS EMOTIONAL DEBUT ALBUM
James' music has been described as music that "lifts you up and carries you on a wave of instrumental beauty that transverses many moods and atmospheres, whilst retaining a raw and human element." On his self released debut album Reality of the Fantasy solo acoustic guitarist James Sera "Creates a pallet of light, freedom of thought and striking imagery." His music can range from uplifting to haunting, inspirational to gothic. The soulful nine track collection crosses numerous genres and has been described as everything from"atmospheric," "ambient," "psychedelic," and "neo-folk" to "neo-classical with a dash of American primitive."
Drawing his inspiration from individual experience and inner reflection, James’ debut album Reality of the Fantasy is a deeply personal affair, and much of it has an air of melancholy, anger and the regrets and frustrations of everyday life. At the same time, Reality of the Fantasy is a collection of songs that is a quest to find harmony in a world of dissonance and discord, creating a calming, soothing yet hypnotic quality to the music for the listener to experience.
Written over a crucial time in his life, James wanted to musically express something with a different depth and meaning that was a true representation of what was happening to him at that particular time. The stress, pressures, inner revelations and questions about the what-ifs in one’s life all play an imperative role in the nature of his music. Also underpinning this particular body of music is the battle and struggle his younger brother George faces after being diagnosed with an aggressive and crippling form of MS, a theme that hangs deeply over the nine heartfelt compositions like a dark portrait.
Reality of the Fantasy was crafted in collaboration with Grammy-award winning producer/engineer Corin Nelson at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios in Brattleboro, VT.
James has been playing numerous dates around his home region of the New York area, sometimes playing 2-3 hour sets. In his hometown of Brooklyn he can be seen every other Friday night at Greenpoint Gallery's Friday night art party openings and plays a weekly brunch every saturday in Bushwick at the infamous club/coffehouse Goodbye Blue Monday, all of which allows james to freely improvise, experimient and expand on a lot of ideas comfortably and creatively on stage.
"Reality of the Fantasy" was featured as album of the week on the radio show Sideways Through Sound (107.3 Sydney Australia. 9-07-11). and has been hailed as "One of the best instrumental acoustic guitar albums of the 21st century."
James was born in the Bronx, raised in Queens, NY and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY. Aside from playing and writing music, he teaches private guitar lessons. James has traveled extensively throughout the United States and played with several bands. A graduate of the Guitar Institute of Technology in Hollywood, Ca.
"In the right hands, an acoustic guitar can be just as effective as a sonically propelled electric guitar. That’s very true in the case of the 2011 CD from NYC-based James Sera. Sera’s CD Reality Of The Fantasy is one of the best instrumental acoustic guitar albums of the 21st century."
" as whilst there can be no doubt whatsoever that he is a virtuoso guitarist, there is a real passion and emotion in his work that, combined with his unexpected and inspired chord changes and melodic twists, lifts you up and carries you on a wave of instrumental beauty that transverses many moods and atmospheres, whilst retaining a raw and human element that many artists of his caliber tend to lose." (Somojo Magazine)
"It as if with each song, the story is a continuance of the previous chapter (song). And, without being too calm to cause drowsiness or boredom, Sera creates a pallet of light, freedom of thought and striking imagery. Much like Leo Kotke, his artistry is uncluttered and emotive. The fluttering chords and majestic movement is pretty - never fey - but toned into a polished piece. This listener found each song to be imaginative and original." (Suite101.com)
"The guitar work that begins “Reality of the Fantasy” showcases a level of emotion that is a constant throughout the 9 cuts on the album. The care taken in the creation of these arrangements will immediately endear Sera to anyone listening in, all while creating a wholly unique style that resonates through the album. The rich narrative quality of the guitar work is something that is just not heard in much current music, and showcases Sera’s skill as a musician." (Neufutur.com)
"Sera will amaze you with his sharp playing skills as he proves to be one impressive performer.
All nine songs on ‘Reality of the Fantasy’ exhibit an intimate quality where it seems every chord James hits has some sort of feeling & meaning. Sera doesn’t just play but actually brings it all to life thanks in part to his guitar and playing ability." (Skope magazine)
"The simplicity and intricacy of it all allow for different experiences with each track. Each person can feel something different from what is performed, each high and low, each note… Even the album art has a message in it as you see a lone guitarist sitting on an island with the waves resonating outward and a darkened sky. The thought put into the album is outstanding and comes across as you submerge yourself deeper into it all. Not many acoustic albums say quite this much." (flocked Magazine)
"I am enamored with every aspect of Sera’s debut. This is relatively easy, however, as there is only one aspect to his music. Reality of the Fantasy is 54 minutes of sonorous, melodic acoustic guitar instrumentals. These works are sublime; Sera isn’t out to impress with technical craft (although he does), nor is he striving to create songs that will be covered by legions in the future. He simply put out nine tunes whose melodies will cascade slowly into listeners’ consciousness." (Independent Clauses)