Jason Becker looks back at Triumphant Hearts.
I couldn’t be happier with the music, and how my closest fans and friends received the album. I am so grateful to everyone involved with the making of this album, yet I couldn’t be more disappointed that not one national TV show wanted to tell the story, and one year later, my focus is more on healing than celebrating.
Jason’s mother, Pat Becker, shares her memories and thoughts about Triumphant Hearts.
After watching so many years of hard work and focus on this music, it was very exciting to finally see it come out for the world to hear at last. It’s a little hard to imagine how much work, talent, discipline, love of music, sleepless nights, decisions, angst, patience and nerves were involved with the process. I was there and I find it hard to believe. Starting with Jason, who had the vision and created songs he had thought about for so long; some songs were intricately planned and carried out, some songs evolved and changed, some were a surprise.
As I have noticed through the years, whenever Jason has a project, he attracts the best people to help him. Beginning with his buddies, Mike Bemesderfer and Dave Lopez, who are always there to encourage him and do anything in their power to make what he envisions possible. And we can add Dan Alvarez and Gary Rosenberg to that list, who both worked for him in any way they could to help with funding, setting up musicians, co-producing and anything else required at the time. It was such fun to watch Jason and Dan, who is fastidious, (I think even more than Jason) and loves Jason’s music, work together until they were satisfied. Jason always has the last word, but sometimes Dan brings him around and that’s always funny. Shota came along and rounded up an orchestra, went to Bulgaria to orchestrate while we watched Jason and Dan direct their playing. It was two early morning, rainy days and it was thrilling. Musicians/students from San Francisco State came to play some early stages of classical pieces and it was just beautiful. Jason’s brother Ehren and his friend and band mate, Matt Easton spent an afternoon singing the beginning stages of “Hold On To Love” for a demo, even before the words were complete.
Steve Knight from Flipsyde came to Jason’s home studio and recorded “We Are One” with all his heart. I loved it when he said, “play your guitar, Jason!” And, we can’t forget Serrana, who, along with Dave Lopez, knew Codany Holiday and invited him to sing what became the final version of”Hold On To Love.” He took no breaks and worked a solid 5 hours. It was amazing to watch.
I got to go to Fantasy Studios and watch the best vocal singers around put life and energy into his work. They all gave him such respect and love and appreciation for his compositions.
Each week something new would come in. A beautiful solo from another astounding player, a violin solo no one could have played. A cello from heaven, guitar solos sent with the love and care of, not only the professional musicians they were, but humble folks who loved Jason enough to give him pieces of their own hearts and music.
Of course, none of this could have been done without Serrana, Marilyn, Elizabeth, Gary, Nancy, Angela, and all the loved ones who care so much for Jason.
I would be lying to say I wasn’t disappointed that there were no Grammy nominations for this beautiful work. To me, this album is filled with the heart and soul of a person, coming out in the most exquisite notes, making heart-melting melodies; the very definition of music. And how was it done? By eye movement and love. It would have been so nice to have that acknowledgement. But, in the end, this music is Jason’s life. He cannot speak or play anymore, but he is still able to convey such love and beauty with his own story. He is able to touch hearts, and his accomplishments are staggering to me. I loved reading the reviews, also filled with love, appreciation and understanding of what he had accomplished. Thank you, one and all for that. And Jason’s fans continue to astound me with their love, generosity and support. This album could not have happened without them. And those are the miracles I see in this story and this music. That it can be done by someone who has been given so much talent and love, as well as so many challenges, and that so many people are willing to help in any way they can to make it as possible and as easy as they can for him to do it. If that isn’t a miracle, what is?
Share your thoughts and memories of Triumphant Hearts one year later… leave a comment below.
Celebrate Triumphant Hearts with another listen.
I feel sad and disappointed that the rest of the world does not have the ability to understand and affect your beautiful music Jason. It is unfortunate that there is not a Grammy nomination for this beautiful work of art that you have created.
However, God will continue to fill you with blessings and your family and all the people who help you materialize your talent. I wish a speedy recovery for you, that you can spend the holidays at home surrounded by people who love you. I send you a strong and warm hug. Blessings to you…
This beautiful album deserves more recognition and praise. Thank you Jason and all involved for your hard work and love that just pours out of each track. I love Fantasy Weaver, Hold on to love and River of Longing. I hope you continue to share your amazing visions and ideas with us and I wish you all the best.
Thank you Jason.
Thought that was an amazing song and really enjoyed listening to it.
I adore this album. They say the eyes are windows to the soul and through this beautiful album we truly see Jason’s! This is an album I truly enjoy and I thank you for making it. David Mark Pearce 2019
I was waiting for the Grammy too, I was waiting fot the recognition of an entire world for not just an incredible album but an incredible story of you.
Is not a Grammy but you touched my heart and I know I’m not the only one. Thats the best recognition you can have, you are an example, an inspiration, a true hero and an incredible musician.
This album shows that you are not just an amazing guitar player, you are a musician completely.
I love you, I respect you and I admire you in a way you can not imagine.
For you and your family, my best feelings… winners of life.
Mynor from Guatemala
It’s been a whole year already and it is still so amazingly beautiful and exciting to listen to and yet it feels like those songs have always been there.
I strongly believe in the power of music. It doesn’t matter if we don’t speak the same language, music carries all those emotions that we all feel.
Only few genius like Jason can channel the universe and make people feel so good with his music.
Yeah it’s a shame such beautiful music is not recognized like it should. Hopefully one day the whole world will hear it. In the meantime I managed to turn one of my friends into a big Jason Becker fan. That’s not much but one at the time we’ll get there.
Thank you for sharing your beautiful gift, especially in these twisted and strange times we are living in.
Again thanks to you and all your family and friends for everything. Much love to you all.
I’m not even sure how many times I wrote to a certain daytime talk show host to even just finish reading the letter I wrote about Jason…with a news story link included. With that aside Triumphant Hearts continues to amaze me daily. Time travel is possible as the music creates visual scenery and emotions with every passing note. In the long term view of things, I’m just grateful we still have you here, living, breathing, inspiring, and creating. You have forever touched many lives, mine being one. You and your family and friends are in our daily prayers. Love you Brother.
I’ve got to admit, I am not much of a fan of shredding, but I do like a lot of what I have heard throughout Jason’s career. There is something different from him.
With Triumphant Hearts, I wasn’t sure what to expect. This album is truly remarkable on its own. When you add Jason’s story and, what I imagine to be, painstaking hours, days, years with help from family and friends to make it a reality, it is bewildering and miraculous… just like Jason, his family, and friends.
“Hold on to Love” especially has a place in my heart. Not only is this song just very well written, but the recording of it, the musicianship, and production is nothing short of phenomenal. I don’t know Jason, but I feel that I understand him from this song alone. The singing, soloing, and the song as a whole allows me to sonically and spiritually envision Jason is playing and singing every note himself.
A note to Jason… be very proud of this album. I wish you and your family the best in health and happy holidays. You have gained a new fan in me. I will share this album and your story wherever I can.
This is a powerful, beautiful thing to send out this holiday season. To my nephew Jason’s words, I want to respond that, first, given the cards you’ve been dealt, you could be in no better place in your life, for the simple fact that the work you did on this project could not have been better, could not have had better results in the music itself, and could not have attracted better angels of collaboration, support, and audience reception. I understand your disappointment about the music and media industries, but from my perch (mainly as one who feels he’s also done million-dollar work for nothing but love in his life and felt the burn of being more ignored than not from such quarters) my main reaction phrases like “Their loss,” “No good deed goes unpunished,” and “Pearls before swine.” But hey, that’s just a curmudgeon old uncle’s drunk talk on his sour-grapes wine. I hope you experience your healing process AS your celebration, and even feel relieved and grateful that you’ve been so overlooked by that world. You are in the best company, of artists like Van Gogh, Herman Melville, and countless others (especially the African American masters of the music that have so richly fed and fertlized yours) whom the world ignored or worse on its fancy walk into oblivion, even as the eternal light and shine of their work rose like the dawn on its darkness.
To my sister Pat I just feel like saying, as always, hats off to you for being such a good writer. Then, for having such good things to say. Then, for also dealing with the cards YOU’VE been dealt in the impeccable (i.e., unimpeachable) way you have. Like Jason, I can’t imagine you being in any better place in life, in terms of your response to it, of giving it all your best in response to its worst, and of attracting and keeping all the better angels you have and need. (As for those angels you mention, my response, also as always, is awed and humble gratitude for your love and care, even though my life is distant from Richmond and I don;t know any of you. I still feel my connection with the Beckers as a deep taproot beneath that distance, and am grateful for my place in their life and lives, even as I rue missing out on the close daily contact you all share, especially with Jason and Ehren and his family.)
Feeling infinite pride and solidarity with you all this season, and looking forward to whatever comes next in amazement at what has come so far.
Love, Unkee Mike
Typo correction: “my main reaction IS phrases like” etc. Also “don’t know,” not “don;t know” Maybe you can just fix those on your end? And not post this one?
DOH! One more correction: “fertilized,” not “fertlized”
The world is so full of constant onslaughts of sensationalistic information, that when something true and honest comes out, it is rarely initially noticed. But what today’s pop songs don’t have is the honesty and emotional sincerity that stand the test of time! I understand that some initial success could really have helped out the family, but stay on the bright side (which you have become amazing at doing), your work is out in the universe, and will be there for countless generations to hear and enjoy. I think about Eva Cassidy, who lived a life of a weeknight singer/songwriter at a jazz club in D.C, until her life was cut short by cancer… but after she was gone from this world, gained international success, recognition and profound respect of her art. The music of Jason will love on long after all of us are gone! As long as you are alive, keep writing wonderful music. Namaste!
I truly love Jason ,even though I don’t know him personally I feel like I do.I would give my life for him,he is very strong willed.unlike me. Love Jason stay strong.God Bless You and your family forever!
No matter how disappointing the Grammy stuff is, please do not let this affect your mood. God bless you with amazing talent. Meanwhile, it is a pity that not everyone is blessed with the ability to understand the masterpieces. It is their loss. I am so lucky that I can enjoy such a wonderful album created by you and you friends. We love you and your music, Jason!
Your music is beyond beautiful it should have a lot attention and respect where is your award it’s unbelievable how much talent you have I just love your music
Incredible Album ! As far as the media is concerned, I can’t use the language online that I would use to describe most of them . As my late Father always said “consider the source”. Don’t be too surprised . Look at what they promote. Your music is way above it . Keep on creating , that is what is important.
Congratulations to Jason for this album, I had to listen to VALLEY OF FIRE a good hundred times !! It’s a really beautiful piece.
Growing up in India, I used to listen to Jason on the way to work and I hated my job so life was dreary. One song in particular, “higher” would take me out of my sadness and touch something beautiful in me. This was the feeling of the love of life and why being alive has the quality of beauty. I could only feel it through this music, and felt like this was proof of a light at the end of a tunnel. You and your music have served life and given so much like a sun shining and sharing it’s warmth, without appreciation, without asking anything in return. I know it must be hard not to feel that return of approval, but know that regardless of it your music is helping life love life. Bless you Jason and Pat.
I’m happy to hear about Jason’s continued contributions to music. I am the same age and remember seeing him on the covers of magazines and hearing his music….he is a super talent and a champ. Wishing him the best on his continuing journey through life.
Jason, thank you very much for the album, woke up in me, pleasant sensations that I did not know. It is pleasant to hear from the first song to the last. I would pay for more music like this 🙂
Unfortunately, a lot of music that is beautiful like this one that you have given us, is not immediately recognized by the media, they are blinded by the plain commercial. But consider our great heart recognition.
I feel so so so angry about those people who have no eyes. You must be a legend of this century, you can stand side by side with Bach,and the whole world will appreciate you, but unfortunately, time has not yet come. When people wake up from the ecstasy of fast food culture, they will regret to miss such beautiful work of art! I hope you will believe that moment will come. Recently, my mind has been playing Magic Woman in a loop, and that’s kind of people I want to be. HOLD ON TO LOVE! Love from China💗
Happy Holidays Jason! Don’t worry about the Grammy, it’s not legit anyway!
As great as led zep was they never won one and were only nominated once in 10 years. They tried to make up for it with a lifetime achievement award.
They routinely are clueless in the distribution of their now meaningless award.
Do not be disappointed, do not let them extinguish your creative voice.
Jason is a superb musician in my eyes. I hope Jason can play his own songs on guitar in Jannah (Paradise.)
Jason’s song Altitudes is epic, dramatic, and expansive.
His song River of Longing is nostalgic.
I feel sad to hear that your beautiful work did not make a nomination. I listen to your music for about 9 years now and still being touched by it.
I put in a play request for Hold On to Love with a donation for a good purpose on one of the most popular radio stations here in The Netherlands, so that number will be played and heard by alot of people.
I wish you good Hollidays and thank you for your beautiful music.
Marco, The Netherlands