Hanging By a Thread
'Art is one of those rare things in our lives that crosses socio-economic, racial and cultural boundaries,' says Jeff Orr, a performing and recording artist for over 27 years. This understanding of the power of the arts has enabled him to connect with audiences around the United States in deep ways. Whether performing for small, intimate crowds of 25, or larger audiences over 4000, Jeff communicates with the same passion and excellence. 'I may only have one opportunity to communicate to my audience what I want to say, so I will use various art forms in my performances to enhance the experience.' Jeff combines video, lighting, dance, and physical space along with his music to connect audiences with a message of spiritual searching, honesty and hope. 'I hope to be able to share my art with an audience in such a way that it becomes a transforming experience. My greatest compliment is to know that someone's soul has been awakened because of my art.' With his newest CD release Hanging By A Thread, Jeff steps out of the comfort zone of writing for the marketplace and writes from his heart and soul. With a definitive edge, a modern pop / rock sound and emotionally charged lyrics, what stands out when you listen to these songs is the honesty. Jeff shows no fear in tackling the tough issues. His lyrics relate to everyone's journey and cause the listener to feel. Jeff began writing at age nine and the years between then and now have been quite a journey for him both spiritually and artistically. While Jeff came to his faith at a young age and grew up believing that he would continually understand God more, this hasn't always been the case. He has had times of great closeness to God; times he felt his talents were making an impact. But there have also been times where he wondered if God was actually hearing him cry out, times he was ready to give up his dreams altogether. Jeff realized that many Christians and those still seeking spiritual truths are in the same place, facing doubts and questions and wondering how they fit in. It was during recent struggles that Jeff began writing songs for Hanging By A Thread. Jeff admits that he is still on the journey. He has good days and bad days. He still has questions and has come to realize he might always have them. But he has learned to reconcile that these feelings do not take away from his faith. It's a choice whether to believe or not. It doesn't require denying the pain, simply realizing that God is mysterious and untamed. Jeff has had many influences on his musical style; from piano men like Billy Joel and Elton John, to '80's pop bands, Def Lepard and AC/DC to James Ingram and current artists like Vertical Horizon and Switchfoot. While Keith Green was an early influence on him spiritually, more recently he has been moved by the songs of Nichole Nordeman. These varied influences show up in his musical style. 2002 saw the release of Coming Home, an instrumental pop/jazz CD of original music written by Jeff, and the revitalization of Modern Reflections Music Group, the production company Jeff began years ago. Now with the release of Hanging By A Thread, Jeff is excited about the work God continues to do through him. As he has grown and changed, Jeff has come to see that art can freeze a moment in time and it doesn't have to answer all the questions. Great art causes the listener to question and/or ponder. Everyone will see it differently. What connects to the heart of the listener is when an artist is true to their art. Jeff firmly believes 'you can be technically perfect, but without honesty and passion something is lacking.' This same line of thinking permeates Jeff's songwriting. 'When you can take a strong melody and a great hook, and couple that with clear and honest lyrics that really move the listener, then you have a great song,' says Jeff. 'Writing is one of the ways that I can express the deeper parts of my core, to express who I really am.' With over 25 years of writing experience and more than 80 songs to his name, Jeff has been crafting and perfecting his writing technique. Writing in multiple styles, including, Pop, Rock, Jazz, R&B, and Orchestral, both instrumentally and lyrically, many of Jeff's songs have been recorded not only on his own CDs, but also on other artist's CDs. Many of his songs are still performed in front of audiences today. In addition to being a writer and performing artist, Jeff is also an accomplished arranger and producer, working with many artists over the years in multiple musical genres. This experience has allowed him to earn a reputation for artistic excellence and integrity; a combination that breeds success.