Harkness finds that human existence is a many-splendored thing in his new single and video Ciao To The Beauty — showcasing today on Tinnitist.
The title track from the enigmatic Toronto artist’s forthcoming album, Ciao To The Beauty embraces ’60s pop flair while incorporating modern alternative rock and exciting musical experimentation — not to mention a typically out-of-this-world video. Not bad for a song that originated on another continent.
“Many years ago, I went on a solo trip to Brazil on holiday,” Harkness explains. “The gorgeous environment and the open, joyful character of the people had a profound effect on me — as did the fantastic local music that seemed to always be playing in the open air. I would stroll aimlessly for hours finding cool percussion instruments to buy while soaking up what felt like so much explosive energy all around me. One of the peak moments was my visit to Falls de Iguazu, where hundreds of waterfalls can be seen, heard, and felt to your very core. It was there that Ciao To The Beauty was born.
“The song celebrates beauty and hints at the question: Why do we feel the need for an abundance of possessions and assets in order to find happiness? It suggests that all we could ever want is ours if we just stop to embrace what is already right in front of us. Ciao To The Beauty encourages the listener to recognize the destructive tendencies of a self-centered existence. The lyrics go as far as to say, ‘Look up at the sky, kiss yourself goodbye’ to encourage a whole new perspective to live by.”
Along with his love of life, Harkness displays his love of multi-instrumentation on the track. Ciao To The Beauty incorporates tuba, marimba, flute, bassoon, glockenspiel, and plenty of layered harmonies. Despite his alien appearance, Harkness’s artistry relies on performing with real musicians, in real tones created by humans versus machines. His flair for creating detail-oriented tracks that take the listener on a sonic journey is unparalleled into today’s musical landscape.
A musical childhood would grow and develop the young Harkness’s insatiable thirst for artistry. His father fronted The Al Harkness Orchestra, a band consisting of horns and winds along with a traditional rhythm section; his mother played French horn and piano beautifully. While his mother gave him his first piano lessons, Harkness learned his essential life lessons from his father’s vast record collections. By age 12, he’d learned his first guitar chords, and by 17, he quit school to begin a professional musical career that took him around the world.
Harkeness’s debut LP The Occasion arrived in 2021 and his next project is slated for March of 2023; two four-song EPs are expected in the lead-up to next year’s album.