5 to 4
Haboob (Feztival in the Path of Distortion)
Three Ring Turkish Circus
Sugar Plum Fairy
Melody of Rain
Canyon Thunderstorm Followed By A Drive Into Town To Meet With Whales
The Duet of the Wind Dancers
Memories Of Good Things To Come
Electric Light Parody
UFOs Over Egypt
for their support !
SIDE ONE MUSICIANS (songs 1-7)
Eric Heithaus - Guitar
Jeff Nelson - Bass
Esther Fredrickson - Flute , Piccolo
Emily Erb - Clarinet
Hilary Schacht - Violin
Michael Kott - Cello
Cliff Berrien - Percussion
Mark Clark - Udu
TAZ - Drums
Steve Hill - Lead Guitar
Christopher Ishee - Piano
Brian Wingard - Saxophone
Chief Sanchez - Trumpet
Scott Jeffers - Bouzouki, Oud, Violin, Guitar
SIDE TWO MUSICIANS (songs 8-14)
Eric Heithaus - Bass, Guitars
Esther Fredrickson - Flute , Piccolo
Emily Erb - Clarinet
Karina Wilson - Violin
Michael Kott - Cello
Mark Clark - Percussion
Baird Banner - Drums
Shawn Fratis - Lead Guitar
Guillermo “Bubba” Faz - Percussion
Sly Slipetsky - Clavinet
Christopher Ishee - Keyboards
Brian Wingard - Saxophones
Produced by Eric and Amy Heithaus
Engineers - Art Welter, Baird Banner,
Jeff Nelson, Eric Heithaus
Sheet Music coordinator - Stephanie Greene
Story by Eric, Jake and Amy Heithaus
Story Consultant: Chris Bucket Siler
All Songs Copyright 2016.
All Rights Reserved.
Album cover “Melody of Rain”
by Michael Cheval - chevalfineart.com
Alfa Valova is an experimental, ethno-jazz ensemble and the brainchild of Santa Fe-based composer Eric Heithaus. The project draws from a wide array of textures and modalities,working with members of the Santa Fe Symphony and other local musicians from diverse backgrounds to achieve their rich and unique sound. Through this eclectic soundscape, the story of an alternate universe where music is the key to happiness unfolds: the story of a tiny planet called Alfa Valova.
Releasing their debut, self-titled album in 2016, Alfa Valova’s music explores a fantastical sci-fi narrative wherein the gift of music has been taken for granted by the Valovians of the Sunflower Galaxy, leaving them music-less and ill. It is up to the story’s protagonist, Scout Sunshine, to create the new music that will heal his home planet. Using a mix of traditional Western classical, jazz and rock instrumentation alongside various world instruments such as the Bouzouki, Udu and Oud, each of the album’s 14 tracks adds a new dimension to the whimsical narrative. The debut features original artwork by surrealist painter Michael Cheval with his painting “Melody of Rain” which inspired the song of the same name. The project is currently in the studio recording for a follow-up release that will continue to shape and explore the Alfa Valova landscape.
Eric Heithaus, Alfa Valova’s composer, has been a professional recording engineer, musician and producer for 33 years.
He first fell in love with music as a child listening to his “The Wizard of Oz” LP and by high school was playing in bands, DJing for a local radio station KTRC and apprenticing as an audio engineer at Summit Recording Studio in Tucson, AZ where he’d later become manager. In 2005, Heithaus branched out into video production, earning him an AMC national award for best music video. Alfa Valova’s song “Canyon Thunderstorm Followed By a "Drive Into Town to Meet With Whales” is featured in the award winning documentary “Veiled Lighting.” When Heithaus isn’t in his studio, "Santa Fe Music Videos" he can be found volunteering at local homeless shelters with his wife Amy.
Alfa Valova was a tiny planet in the Sunflower Galaxy. To the people of Alfa Valova, music was like air or water. They could not survive without it. Before they had music the Valovans weren’t completely evolved. Everyone was always at war and unhappy. The people of Alfa Valova believed that their sun was a god named Awondo. They believed the music was a gift to them from Awondo. The music was transmitted from a section of space between Awondo and Alfa Valova known by the Valovans as the Musphere. The first music was simple: a crash of thunder, a drop of rain, a steady drum beat and then a voice. These first sounds inspired the early Valovans to create their own unique music. The harmonic vibrations and rhythmic pulses of music stimulated their auditory cortex which reduced the swelling in their brains and allowed everyone to feel love, be creative and positive. Their society flourished. Music was especially important to the children of Alfa Valova. They became deathly ill if they didn’t hear new music everyday. Adult Valovans became ill at a much slower rate because of a phenomenon known as “song memory.” This was where the brain, after not hearing new music for several minutes, pulled a song from the Valovan’s memory bank and started playing it over and over again until they heard a new song. This kept the adult Valovans alive but made them angry and slowly drove them mad.
For thousands of years, the people of Alfa Valova were happy making music together. However, after many generations, the Valovans began to take music for granted. They forgot to teach their children how to make new music. The children found it was easier to let machines create their music. They stopped compensating the musicians and songwriters. Eventually almost all of the musicians and songwriters starved to death. Only the musicnauts, an elite group of mystics, still made music. They made it not for money, but for the love of music.
In the year 18,920, the planet of Alfa Valova was devastated by Alfven Waves they believed were sent from Awondo. The Alfven Waves erased all the music they had recorded up until that time. The music held their entire history and culture and was a reference for all new music being made. All new music ceased. The people of Alfa Valova believed that Awondo was angry because of their misuse of music. They thought that Awondo had decided that they were not worthy of having music. To punish them for taking music for granted, Awondo sent the Alfven Waves of destruction, erasing all the music, leaving them in a psychotic state of endless war, confusion and illness. Without music, people could no longer communicate their feelings of love for one another. They began to argue and then fight over the reason why Awando took away the music and what they should do about it.
After much debate the Valovan’s decided to build a single-man space ship, the AV Relayer. They would need a musicnaut to guide the ship. The mission was to travel to the Musphere to see if there was any music left floating around out there. The musicnaut would then transmit it back to Alfa Valova.
The Valovans searched for their bravest and most talented musicnaut to travel to the heart of the Musphere. They found Scout Sunshine. His wife Tambourne and his two children, Chyme and Cord, were gravely ill and needed new music or else they would soon die. As the AV Relayer left the Valovan atmosphere. Scout thought about all the years he had trained to become a musicnaut and all the hours he spent alone practicing. He was always struggling to survive and was rarely compensated for his efforts. Now the whole world was counting on him and his musicianship. Scout traveled for many weeks to the heart of the Musphere in search of the missing music. There was nothing to be heard. There was complete silence. Nothing could be seen but a black dot on the horizon. He thought about his dying children and a world without music. he knew that he might never see them again. he guided the AV Relayer toward the black dot in the distance.
As the AV Relayer approached the black dot , Scout discovered it was a spaceship. It was like his own but a far more advanced one. Scout requested permission to come aboard. “permission granted” appeared on his screen and he guided the AV Relayer to dock with the much larger ship. He boarded the ship and was greeted by alien creatures. They had smaller mouths and much larger ears. The alien who appeared to be the captain of the ship stepped forward and addressed Scout. “Welcome Scout Sunshine. We have been waiting for you. We have been tracking your voyage since you left Alfa Valova. We are the Irises. We love music. We believe that music is the best way to communicate love to one another. Our mission is to spread music throughout the galaxy in order to promote peace, love and harmony. We have been transmitting music to your planet for thousands of years. Our ship ceased to function when we were struck by a magnetic storm. All of our songs have been erased and since our ship is powered solely by music, we are stranded.” Scout was devastated. He had traveled so far only to find that the music didn’t come from Awondo, it came from the Irises.
The leader of the Irises, Davi, brought Scout into a small room where there was a large desk. The surface was covered with knobs and dials and VU meters across the back. Next to the desk was a huge tape machine. On the other side of the desk was a window looking out into a much larger room. As Scout entered the larger room he saw a drum kit, a grand piano and an electric organ. Lining the walls were amplifiers, basses and guitars. A very big microphone stood in the center of the room. There was also a music stand with a set of headphones attached to it. Davi explained to Scout, “In case of an emergency, our ship has been equipped with a fully functioning recording studio. It has been seven generations since we have used the studio. No one here can remember how to make music.”
Scout smiled and he picked up a guitar that was in the shape of a star and plugged it into the biggest amplifier in the room. He turned up the amp as loud as it would go. With his left hand he made a C chord and raised his right arm to the 12 o’clock position. He grimaced as his right hand came crashing down on the strings. The amp screamed and the sound reverberated throughout the ship. The music from his guitar began to have an instant healing effect on himself and the Irises and they regained their strength.
Scout recorded an entire album’s worth of songs. As each song was recorded the Irises immediately broadcast them across Alfa Valova. Music began pouring out of every window from every home out into the streets, sending salvation across the entire music-starved planet. Scout’s children, Cord and Chyme, began to recover. As the music played, everyone’s health returned to normal. The Valovans swore to never take music for granted again.
Scout returned to Alfa Valova. Everyone learned to read music and play at least one instrument. Scout taught the Valovans how to write and record their own tracks. Soon each Valovan had their own song. Everyone was jamming and getting along. Harmony had been restored and everyone was in tune. Music had saved the day and not a moment too soon.