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Savlon Sounds

grade 8

Songs are like lives. They tell a unique story, each one its own, composed of low notes, high notes and sour notes. These bad notes simply represent bumps in the road, stage fright, self-doubt, but then again from all these experiences bad or good, can come a song.

Jeff Savlon is one of those people who can take his experiences and weave them into an inspiring song. Jeff has enjoyed music, especially Van Morrison, since he was a teenager. When he was 16, after much begging his parents gave him a used electric guitar and, with the help of some friends, Jeff taught himself how to play. He didn’t write his first song until he was in his early 20s’ and living in California, and completely forgets even the title of that song.

Song writing, for Jeff, is an enjoyable process. He does not force himself to write songs; instead he plays around on his guitar, gets the song, and then adds his words. Personal experiences are what inspires his lyrics and I feel that that is what makes Jeff’s music inspiring.

Years after his time in California, he has found himself the event coordinator at The Gulu Gulu Café in downtown Salem. His job is to schedule the bands, and organize the Open Mic Nights that happen every Wednesday at Gulu. He says that the job can be very stressful, having to satisfy the different artists who come through, but at the end of the day the job is extremely rewarding because of all the amazing and talented people he gets to meet, like his good friend Hannah Cranton, who also visited our school with Jeff.

Jeff, like many people, has a passion aside from music and that is writing. He enjoys writing short stories, mostly fiction, and hopes to someday write a book and pursue his passion. One of the things I found interesting was that Jeff says music is only half his passion, the other half is writing.

Hannah and Jeff shared with me some great things about following my passion. They said that we might doubt ourselves, or others will tell us not to follow our passions, but that we need stay true with what we believe. They certainly filled me with a new sense of importance, and desire to fulfill my passions. My passion is writing. Someday I would like to travel the world, and write down all my experiences and let my thoughts and deepest emotions flood onto paper. I don’t know what I would do if anybody tried to take that away from me, and worse if I let them. Hannah and Jeff instilled in me a certain power for which I thank them. This day I learned that no matter what your dreams are, they can be reached, and that nobody can keep you from achieving your dreams.

grade 7

Jeff Savlon is a young inspiring musician, with plenty to teach us. Jeff specializes in acoustic guitar and folk style music. However, it is not ordinary music. His notes and chords always seem to come together perfectly, weaving themselves into perfect harmony. His singing compliments the music, expressing the emotion of his music, usually sounding quite sad and downbeat, this style however works very well with the message he tries to send. Sacremento, the song he played for us, was about the sadness and homesickness that comes with traveling. Personally, I quite enjoy his music. I could tell he clearly enjoys doing what he does, because his face confirms the meaning in his songs with clear passion showing in his face. His friend Hannah Cranton has a beautiful voice that makes his songs sound even more emotional and moving. Hannah’s high-pitched voice works flawlessly with Jeff’s deep voice, creating near perfect harmony.

Jeff was very good with my school as an interviewee. He always answered our questions truthfully and gave clear answers to our younger members. Jeff is extremely modest, maybe even too modest, for he was much better than he gave himself credit for. His polite personality is obvious as he was repeatedly complimenting us and even let one of our youngest members try playing his guitar. Jeff and Hannah were constantly encouraging us to not give up on our dreams, and that we should always do what we love in life if we want to live life to its fullest.

Jeff runs the Open Mic Night at the Gulu-Gulu Café. He gets to hear a lot of great artists of all different music styles. His personal favorite type of music is currently jazz, but it wont be for long because he likes all kinds of music. Personally I like rock and metal; music with a faster tempo. But something about the way Jeff plays makes me like his music. I think that Jeff Savlon is a fantastic musician, and his inspiring message will not be forgotten.

grade 8

Music has the ability to sway my mood and alter feelings depending on the type of music. It is raw emotion but unlike other types of art it moves and changes, like a living creature of sound. Music is quite a wonderful thing and I believe anyone can find peace within it.

A musician I recently met was Jeff Savlon, a very inspiring local artist. His songs seem to send a message that is wrapped in a fabric of melody and words. Unlike today’s popular music that seems to be going a mile a minute, Savlon’s music is soft and slow. My personal favorite of his songs is “Sacramento.” The song feels very calming and at first I thought it was a song from a famous acoustic artist because it was really good. People listening are able to think about the words and understand the actual meaning of the song.

Not only does Jeff Savlon’s music inspire me but how he has become a local leader through music makes me look up to him, even though I have only just met him. Every Wednesday night Jeff manages the Open Mic Night at Gulu-Gulu Café. As one can imagine, that is not always the easiest thing to do since not everybody is cooperative. Even though the job can sometimes be difficult it has brought local people to go to Jeff if they want their music to be heard.

By far the best part of the interview was when Jeff played a song. His fingers slowly plucked the guitar chord, his body hunched, head bowed. A soothing beat pulsated through the air, droning out all other sound except for Jeff’s deep voice singing. Jeff Savlon is a very talented musician and songwriter that has encouraged me to follow my dreams, as he would encourage you to follow yours.

The mission of The Phoenix School is to develop global citizens who are compassionate, creative, and technologically proficient individuals in a dynamic and interconnected world. Student, teachers, and parents of diverse backgrounds join together to integrate the knowledge, values, and leadership necessary for students to participate actively within their families and communities, now and into the future.

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