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In 1998, DeRosa lost nearly all hearing in his right ear. The accompanying aural hallucinations inspired DeRosa to start Aarktica, a mostly instrumental, guitar-based atmospheric project that still remains active over a decade later. Aarktica’s debut release No Solace In Sleep (Silber Records, 2000) was described by George Parsons of Dream Magazine as “…songlike as a sedated Durutti Column, or as ectoplasmic as Flying Saucer Attack sleepwalking through Windy & Carl’s home movies of their trip to Iceland.”
In the difficult years following his hearing loss DeRosa began studying Indian classical vocal music with La Monte Young & Marian Zazeela. His studies with them (& later, Michael Harrison) would be particularly influential to DeRosa & affect all of his musical output from that time forward.
Around the time of Aarktica’s 2003 release Pure Tone Audiometry, Jon Pareles of the New York Times wrote, “Aarktica’s songs are extended reveries, built on loops of guitars & drums & occasional voices. The musical elements hover & circle, float by or bristle with distortion as the songs drift through serenity & trouble.”
Throughout the 2000’s, DeRosa continued performing & releasing music as Aarktica, in addition to playing guitar with New York City chamber pop ensemble Flare. DeRosa also briefly recorded under the name Pale Horse and Rider, releasing two albums of urban country songs during this time. Rob O’Connor at CMJ remarked “DeRosa’s not unlike the downcast end of Springsteen. ‘Jersey Coast Line’ [from 2002’s These Are The New Good Times] could very well be Nebraska‘s 11th track.”
In 2006, DeRosa lent his voice to Stephin Merritt’s opera “The Peach Blossom Fan”, as the role of Hou Fang Yu. Some of his contributions were first featured on Merritt’s Showtunes album (Nonesuch, 2006). “The Peach Blossom Fan” became available in its entirety in 2008 (Nonesuch).
DeRosa continues to record as Aarktica, his most recent releases being 2009/10’s In Sea & In Sea Remixes.
In 2011, DeRosa unveiled
his first eponymous release, the Anchored EP, the first in a series
of solo EPs, primarily released digitally, with limited physical editions
in various formats.
|Jon DeRosa Discography|
DeRosa - Anchored
CD EP 2011 | Silber 103
4 tracks, 16 minutes
$6 ($12 international, $3 download (320 kbps, ~35 megs))
Jon DeRosa Links
Dead Leaves Rising