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“Over Alders” is the new rendering of local veteran musician, Jason Henderson Amare, and newcomer-to-the-scene, Tiffany Mericle, both formerly of the award-winning band HEMA. Moving away from their rock-and-roll past, the two envisioned compositions with a balance of storytelling lyricism, musical poetry, and unexpected dynamics.
How "Over Alders" Came to Be:
Jason has been playing the Portland music scene off and on for nearly a decade, both in bands and as a singer/songwriter. Most recently, he was front-man to the band HEMA. After attending several shows, Tiffany soon learned many of the songs and began singing harmonies while in the audience. Soon, Tiffany was asked to come on stage and sing along; she eventually became the fifth member of the band, playing keyboard and singing backup vocals. When HEMA went on an indefinite hiatus, Jason and Tiff decided to keep singing together, and the new project was born.
Jason has always loved music, but never had the means as a child to get formal training in any sort of instrument. When he first got a guitar at the age of 16, he was so desperate to make music that he laid it across his lap and picked at the strings for hours. Soon, through sheer determination and trial-and-error, he taught himself how to play. After teaching himself guitar, he was able to learn several other instruments, including piano, bass, drums and anything else he could get his hands on. He began composing music immediately, starting with a song he composed when his grandfather passed away, and he has written songs consistently for the past 20 years. He hears music everywhere, and can often be seen tapping and plucking any random assortment of objects—including his dog, cat, and wife—to see what kind of sounds they make. He believes the world is made of music. Everything creates a unique vibration
Tiffany has always been a creator, but this is the first time she has tried her chops at composing songs. With a BA in art and a minor in creative writing, her love and talent for the arts is undeniable—and the chance to expand her creativity to music has been an exciting and uniquely fulfilling adventure for her and her audiences. Much like Jason, Tiffany never had any formal musical training. As a young girl, she was struck by the beauty of Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata, and sat at the piano, painstakingly piecing it together until she memorized it. She has been a singer her entire life, often picking out intricate harmonies as she sings along with the radio, recordings, live bands, and the voices in her head. (One of which is obsessed with a can opener. More about that later.) Playing keyboard with HEMA allowed her to experiment more with her talents, and this new project will open even more doors for her. Tiffany believes that music is something of a universal language, and it is one of her great loves.