Jason Hawk Harris
He was rooted in the orchestral influence of modern classical music from the 20th and 21st centuries. He loved the theory, the disjunct forms and the rawest of emotional palettes. It all started with a fondness for Queen, whose albums accounted for some of the most frequently-heard records in Harris’ Houston household. The band sounded progressive, mixing the punch of rock & roll with the complexity of symphonic music. From there, Harris discovered Debussy and Mozart, then Stravinsky and George Crumb. He eventually enrolled in music school and graduated with a degree in composition, which he immediately began putting to use.
After writing thousands of measures of classical music, though, Harris found himself drawn back to the country, folk, and rock music that had soundtracked his early childhood. He’d grown up listening to classic crooners like Hank Williams, Roy Orbison, Jim Croce, Patsy Cline, and Elvis. That music had laid a sort of musical bedrock that couldn’t be ignored. Later, after hearing bluegrass musician Michael Daves playing a stirring guitar solo, Harris knew he needed to somehow incorporate his country-loving childhood into his songs.