Fate of the Titans
Lars Jensen's dad gave him a guitar when he was eight years old, and spent the next 20 years wondering when the kid would grow up and get hip to his own tastes: kitchy 40's big band and barbershop quartets. Lars would have none of that, but his insatiable ears took him in lots of other directions. There are dilettantes, and then there are people with an uncanny ability to cultivate roots wherever it suits them. Lars is one of those. After spending his teens honing his performance skills on tunes by Cat Stevens, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Steely Dan, etc, Lars continued his studies at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, majoring in Music Theory and Composition. His professor introduced him to John Cage (in person!), and inspired him with the wide -open possibilities of composing in the conservatory world. He also studied jazz guitar in those days. After college, he hit the road with his brother's dance band, to further develop his guitar and bass chops, and began writing songs. After a couple of years, he headed to California. In San Francisco, he found fertile ground for his creative urges. After forming, and then disbanding, a musically ambitious (tho marginally successful) rock band, Done With Mirrors, Lars decided it was time to take the solo route. He had by then picked up the mandolin, fascinated by it's possibilities for solo accompaniment, and hit the popular open mic circuit, also taking gigs in local clubs and cafes. Inspired by the sharing of songs among other creative musicians in that scene, Lars' songwriting began to find it's focus. At the same time, another musical world had opened up to him: Balinese Gamelan music. This tuned bronze percussion orchestra tradition from Indonesia had interested him since high school, but upon hearing it performed for the first time, Lars was spellbound. After attending a workshop offered by the successful non-profit group Gamelan Sekar Jaya, he was invited to join. This vibrant community of artists (and phenomenally talented Balinese artists-in-residence) has been a mainstay for him for 14 years. Most of the time, he simply enjoys the challenges of mastering the complex music, at lightening tempos, as a member of the orchestra, but he has also twice been invited to compose for the group. One of his pieces was featured on a performing tour to Bali. With the release of his first CD, Fate of the Titans, Lars reveals himself as an accomplished singer/songwriter, as well as a multi-instrumentalist, and arranger, of uncommon imagination and range. With some exceptions, all of the instruments and vocals on this disc were composed, performed (or sequenced), and recorded by Lars alone.