Paul Stranahan is a drummer, composer, band leader, marimba player and teacher.
Paul Stranahan’s Insomnia (PSI) is an offshoot
of the Trio and is dedicated to adventuresome, all original compositions.
It will mix everything from free form avant-garde to progressive rock
to jazz-fusion and whatever else it wants to on any given night. PSI
has a NEW CD out, which features Jeremy
bass and Chris Bober on guitar on most of the
Barna and Jeff Charmek play guitar on an additional two songs. The latter
have also teamed up with Paul in the band Broadview
released a self titled CD in 2005. Check out some live performances of the band by clicking HERE. To email Paul... email@example.com.
PSI - Paul Stranahan's Insomnia -
Red Side Visible - From left to right: Tim Mirth, Paul Stranahan, Christopher Herald, Jeremey Poparad, and Tim McDonald
Paul was interviewed by WCLV 104.9 FM's John Simna on Sun. May 18th. The interview in it's entirety can be found by selecting this LINK. The best way to listen to this is with the Flock web browser.
Artists Who Have Performed in the Trio:
Jeremey Poparad - GuitarIst for PSI www.myspace.com/poparadmusic
Christopher Herald-Saxophonist for PSI
Alan Gleghorn- Electric Bassist for PSI
Tim Mirth - Guitarist for PSI www.myspace.com/mirthfulmusic
Kip Reed - Bass
Jeremy Bleich - Bass
Jeremy has performed and/or recorded with Coung Vu (Pat Metheny Group), Jeff Coffen (Bela Fleck), Matt Murphy (Simon Shaheen), Chris Jonas, Rick Alias (Ragamuffins), Carmen Castaldi (Joe Lovano), Rich Stein (Lauren Hill) and Jason White.
Jeremy's exploration of arabic
and middle eastern improvisation has led to serious study and practice
of the oud. His approach to this instrument straddles the tradtional
and modern in a similar way as his bassplaying. He has played the
oud in collaboration w/ Mustafa Stephan Dill (SAMA trio), Andrew
Stoltz (laptop musician/composer), and Rahim Alhaj (Iraqi oudist).
“Jeremy Bleich’s free-jazz shredding and spooky low-string grooves give weight to this fearless bass/drums/sax trio’s stream of consciousness explorations.” -Bass Player
on birth: "awesome and magnificent". - Wire (U.K.)
|Dan Bruce - Guitar
Daniel Bruce was the 2000 recipient of the Bowling Green State University Special Achievement Award, as well as numerous Music Talent Awards throughout his four years at the university. He was nominated to the 2000 Ohio All-State Intercollegiate Big Band, Convention Center. In August Mr. Bruce graduated with a Bachelor of Music Performance in jazz and classical guitar, and moved to the Cleveland area where he has been performing and teaching locally. He has performed at the Palace Theatre in a number of productions, including Jason Robert Brown's musical, "Parade". Mr. Bruce has also played in a number of local jazz venues such as the High and Dry and Club Isabella's.
Bob Fraser - Guitar
B.S.E.E. degree Case Institute of Technology. Adjunct Faculty:
University of Akron, Cleveland State University. Played on Maureen McGovern's "The Morning After". Performed with the Cleveland Orchestra under Pierrie Boulez and Christoph Von Dohnányi.Theatre orchestra musician for State,Palace, Hanna, Cleveland Playhouse. Performed with Luciano Pavarotti. Jazz performances with Maria Schneider, Pat Pace, Bill Dobbins, Chip Stephens, Howie Smith, Grover Washington, Marion McPartland. Played on numerous radio and TV ads, Kitchen Aid, Mayflower Movers, American Electric Power, General Electric. Published with Jim Kalal by Mel Bay, "Yuletide Gathering".
Ki Allen - Vocalist
An encounter with singer Ki Allen is nothing less than extraordinary. She has the uncanny ability to charm an audience and at the same time perform as a musician's vocalist. Whether musician, jazz or blues enthusiast, Allen will always show you something new about the music you love. Allen constanly challenges herself. Her range is ever expanding and her phrasing poetic. Through performances in live concerts, television, and night clubs, Allen has developed a sophisticated following of devoted fans.
Aidan Plank - Bass
Aidan Plank has studied acoustic bass at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music, with Dave Morgan, principal composer for the Jazz Unit, and Kevin Switalski, the assistant principal bassist of the Cleveland Orchestra. He has performed with numerous orchestras in the Ohio area, the Jazz Unit, the Cleveland Jazz Orchestra. He has also done a lot of freelance work with a wide variety of musicians.
PSI-Paul Stranahan's Insomnia concert at Cleveland State's Drinko Recital Hall - Sunday, November 11, 2007:
Paul on drums
Jeremey Poparad on guitar
Alan Gleghorn on bass
The Full Band
Paul on drums
Paul on drums
Sweet cymbals and gongs
Pictures of the Trio from the Musica Gig - February 2007:
Here is the full interview Paul had with OhioOnline:
Who or what got you interested in music?
I came from a musical family and both my parents were in the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus. My Mom really wanted me to play classical piano so I naturally picked drums which was the instrument I thought was as far removed as possible from what she wanted me to play. I remember in 5th grade music class when the teacher had everyone bring in their favorite record and she would play one song from each student. All the others brought Marry Poppins and Chittie Chittie Bang Bang and I brought in the half hour live version of Led Zeppelin’s “Dazed and Confused.” The class was a little shocked, I think. I should have known then I wanted to be a musician. It took me awhile longer to figure that out.
Are you an Ohio native? Do you live in Ohio now? Give background if you went to any schools in Ohio.
I grew up in Hudson, Ohio and graduated from Hudson High. I then went to Denison University in Granville Ohio for a year and a half. I was going to be a German major but I got much more interested in music. I then transferred and graduated with a B.A. in Music from Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. I went to Minnesota for a few years and then moved back to Cleveland in 1997. I got married not too long ago and now live in South Euclid.
Were you in any bands previously big in the state before this
that either recorded or were well known from playing out?
When I lived in Columbus the main two bands I played in were the Lost Marbles (It described the band members quite well) and Move. The first one was an original rock and funk band. We played throughout the state. The second one was mostly original fusion music. We did a fair amount of recording which was a good learning experience for what I’m doing now. Since I moved back to Cleveland I performed and recorded with the jazz/rock/fusion band Rare Blend and the experimental group Broadview Collective. More recently I’ve been really focusing on my own music.
What national artists have influenced your song writing?
On the rock side of things I would certainly say Led Zeppelin (as if you couldn’t tell from my 5th grade story), Frank Zappa, King Crimson and one of my favorites these days is the super complex metal band Meshuggah. On more of the jazz side of things I would say Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Tony Williams, Bill Bruford, John Scofield, and more recently the Claudia Quintet and Tim Berne.
Describe your music.
I think my music reflects of all my influences hopefully all mixed up together in a unique way. I certainly like playing from a jazz perspective which means to me that improvising in the moment and having group interplay is very important. On the other hand, I enjoy a band that is well rehearsed and has worked up some interesting compositions and is obviously not a thrown together group. I hope my music is a cool mix of structured compositions with interesting improvisations.
What national band would you match up with in concert? Have you ever played with them?
We haven’t pursued opening act slots with national acts very much. It is certainly an option we’d like to explore. We would like to do shows with bands and artists such as John Scofield, Allan Holdsworth, King Crimson, Tribal Tech, John Zorn, the Bad Plus, and Claudia Quintet. An advantage of being an opening act is that the people are there to listen to a concert as opposed to being at a place which just happens to have a live band. Often in those situations, the band unfortunately gets relegated to background music.
What Ohio band have you run across that you matched up with? If not, have you heard of any you'd like to split a bill with?
This isn’t something we’ve done very much of. If there’s a band out there that would like to do a show with us then by all means, don’t be shy and please contact us.
Is this the first disc you've had out? If not, what is the
number of releases before this one? The new ones title is what?
This is the first CD with the name PSI-Paul Stranahan’s Insomnia. PSI is an off shoot of the Paul Stranahan Trio. The Trio has a well reviewed CD out called “Climbing Somewhere.” PSI does a few songs of mine from the self titled CD of a band I had called Broadview Collective. PSI also does some songs from the CD called “Passage” by PSI member Jeremey Poparad. I was happy he asked me to play drums on his CD and it came out very well. I’ve also played drums and contributed a few songs to two Cds from the the band Rare Blend. Those Cds are called “Infinity” and “Evolution Theory.”
Where was the new disc cut?
We recorded the CD at Greek Isle Productions which is owned and operated by Michael Papatonis in Strongsville. I contacted Tri C to find out about their recording facilities and they put me in touch with him because he teaches recording there. As it turns out, we went to college together at Capital University but neither of us realized we were in the same area.
How did you enjoy the studio you used? Was it a home studio or outside one? Pros and cons of each if needed.
We had a great experience at his studio. It is at his home but to say it’s a home studio certainly doesn’t do it justice. He has lots of great sounding gear and he knows what sounds good for different styles of music. A lot of studios just know about rock and have no idea about jazz. He always came up with good suggestions too as to what might make the CD sound better.
Favorite Ohio venue to play?
I’d have to say it’s Pete’s Tavern in Cleveland Heights. Pete is very supportive of live music and is open to different styles which is great. Basically if you do a good professional job and the people there like you, then Pete is happy. The food is good too!.
How did the band gets its name?
I would like to give a little background on the name PSI-Paul Stranahan‘s Insomnia. Basically, I was trying to do all the music under the Paul Stranahan Trio name. However, most people who hear any name followed by Trio automatically think straight jazz. We certainly do enjoy that type of music but when we would do the more "out there" progressive stuff, someone who was expecting straight ahead jazz might be turned off. Likewise, when someone who really liked the progressive stuff and then heard us when we were doing background dinner music at a restaurant, they might be pretty bored. So, to make a long story not quite as long, when we play a place where we can do pretty much all original music and don’t have to worry about how loud it is, we’re PSI. I think by having the name Insomnia it certainly implies an edge to it which is good. (Also, I usually write music late at night when I can’t get to sleep.)When we’re playing a place where we’re going to do some jazz standards and hopefully some originals and it’s a place where we have to watch the volume somewhat, then we’re the Paul Stranahan Trio.
Has your disc (either the new one or a previous one) gotten airplay anywhere else in Ohio or the U.S.? If not, how about overseas?
We’ve gotten air play on all the college radio stations in town and even did a live hour long performance on WRUW which is Case’s station. We’ve been played on WCPN and a lot of college stations in Ohio. My trio CD has been played on an internet station based in Germany. Since the PSI CD hasn’t been out very long, I’m hoping to get it out there more.
Long term plans?
I want to keep growing and learning as a musician and composer. I certainly want more performing opportunities for the band. I’d love to do some touring here in the States and in Europe. Sometimes when you’re a band from out of town or from another country people are more interested. That’s kind of too bad because everybody is local somewhere.
Final thoughts on anything we didn't cover?
I certainly want to thank the other musicians in PSI for doing a great job on the music and being so easy to work with. Jeremey Poparad plays guitar and Allan Gleghorn plays bass. We’ve sometimes been able to add Chris Herald on alto saxophone to the group and he brings a fresh new dimension. Tim Mirth has also filled in on guitar and done very well. I hope people can come out and see the band. Check the websites for updated schedules.