Ballet dancer & musician Eric Larson makes electronically infused pop tracks as Ekurtis who just released the EP Part I, the first of an EP trilogy that will be released throughout summer. Larson cut his teeth in music craft & production with a little help from boyfriend/collaborator Aaron Berk of Hopper Race who offer up the world premiere of Eric’s conceptual film for their collaborative track “Convince Me”. Working in visual pop art manners that abides by a Warholian screen test minimalism; Larson offers up an intimate portrait of the artist’s foray into audio & visual mediums that adheres to the kinetic disciplines of a born dancer.
Incorporating NYU studies in both design & film making, Eric’s video direction works to further underscore the unbound emotion & meanings the exist in the subtext beneath the music’s surface. “When I was writing the songs, I didn’t think too much about what they were about,” Larson remarked about the creative praxis at work with Ekurtis, “During the process I found that I was dealing with this subconscious fear of impermanence. Something is great, and then not, something is terrible, and then awesome.” From latent motifs that dwell upon the cycles that contribute to the temporal world that we all forever struggle to better understand.
The debut for Ekurtis’s video for “Convince Me” ft. Hopper Race’s Aaron Berk applies the focus lens on the verge of something amazing & excitement that is about to happen. The video revolves around a creative array of special visual effects that play upon a movie portrait of Eric as everything from splashes of color & distortions further the anticipatory energy extolled in the alliterations of “we’re only one step away, we’re only one step away”. Exhibiting an array of lighting effects, multiplicities, positioning & facial poses & profiles; Eric is seen singing about the omnipresence of edges that await our single solitary trip into the abyss of the unknown. Every key & beat is met with a new effect that emphasizes each new section & suite of the electro suite. The brinkmanship card is always on the table, where Ekurtis illustrates a conceptual fantasia that revolves around a romantic tale of an undercover soldier & trysts shared with a civilian.
Ekurtis’s Eric Larson talked to us with the following exclusive reflections regarding making the jump from ballet to making music:
Apparently, obsessive art forms are my thing. I loved ballet. It permeated every aspect of my life. If I was at the grocery store I was working my turnout, at a restaurant I was conscious of the shape of my spine and position of my shoulders, even at Disneyworld I was paying attention to the way I walked through the park. I knew that ballet dancers didn’t have a long shelf-life though. They might dance until they were forty if they were fortunate to avoid injuries. I was still at the beginning of my dance career, but I knew it wasn’t going to hold. I wanted something more involved and long-term. I’d wanted to live in New York since I was eight or nine, so I moved here after dancing for a year in my second professional company in Florida.
I tried theatre work for a year and a half, and even though I was getting hired, (mostly based on my dancing abilities) I hated the audition process. Day in and day out I felt like I was at the mercy of the person sitting behind one of those fold up tables they had in every room. I started writing music to give myself something productive to do when I wasn’t auditioning. One day I ran into an actress I’d met a few weeks before who had been a lead in one of my favorite Disney movies growing up. She remembered me and we stood chatting on the corner of 39th and Park for a few minutes. She was on her way home from an audition for a new show where she was up against six other award-winning actresses and she had no say in whether or not she got the job. I realized that this career I was trying out would never stop being a process of auditioning and that realization gave me the impetus I needed to commit full-time to music. Now I have a say in everything. What song I record, what video I shoot, how I edit the video, it’s all in my hands. The responsibility to carry myself forward is one I’ve always been good with, and now it’s what I do.
Ekurtis’s Part 1 EP is available now.