by Dacia Clay
Caleb Burhans was just 17 when he saw his father die. Yet even while struggling with immense grief and an eventual alcohol addiction, he racked up two degrees from Eastman, worked with artists from Yoko Ono and Arcade Fire to Steve Reich and Meredith Monk, helped found Alarm Will Sound, played with ACME, had his work performed by ensembles like the JACK Quartet, and released four studio albums (one of which—Evensong—was named one of NPR’s Top 50 Albums of 2013).
Many of Burhans’ colleagues and friends didn’t make it out of alcohol and substance abuse. And now, after five years of sobriety, Burhans has come out with a very personal new album called Past Lives that reflects on “years lost to addiction and fallen friends.”
In this audio interview, Burhans talks about what creating is like now that he’s sober, the people behind the music on the album, his collaboration with guitarist and composer Grey Mcmurray, and the music itself.
Music in this interview from Caleb Burhans’ Past Lives.
Audio production by Dacia Clay with production assistance from Nikhil Sarma.
Caleb Burhans’ new album Past Lives is out now on Cantaloupe Music. Click here to learn more.