The music of Sunrise Spiritual Harmony is most accurately defined as spiritual rock. With infectious rhythms, memorable melodies, and impassioned performances this is music that nourishes the body as well as the soul.
Though Sunrise has called many places home, Washington D.C. is his point of origin. Then, at age seventeen, he moved to Paris, France. "It drastically changed my whole life," he explains , "it was so different. There's no comparison between Arlington, Virginia and Paris. It opened my eyes to culture and language. Artists and musicians were everywhere. It's so much more acceptable to make a living out of street music and art."
In response to this artistic awakening, Sunrise learned to play guitar and joined the ranks of street musicians. His travels took him across Europe where he made a living performing in the streets, subways, restaurants and terraces. "I'd sit at the cafes and play guitar all night long," he recalls. He was gaining valuable life experience too, and perhaps meeting some women on the way. "That's why I hung out in Switzerland a lot," he laughs.
But like all idylls it came to an end. Reluctantly, he returned to the U.S., first to New York City, then to Florida. "I'd stay up all night and play guitar on the beach, then watch the sunrise. It was the most beautiful thing I'd seen, " he remembers. After a two-year stint studying music theory in college he returned for a short tour of Europe. Then, back in Washington, he met a group of activists who changed the course of his destiny.
The Peace Park Anti-Nuclear Vigil is a group of activists who have vigiled across from the White House since 1981. When Sunrise met them (in 1986) he divested himself of his possessions and joined them. He worked with the group to feed the homeless and raise political consciousness, and was subsequently incarcerated for 50 days for the "crime" of sleeping in the park.
After his release, another odyssey was in order, a trip to that most European of American cities -- San Francisco. In California, Sunrise built a recording studio, began experimenting with studio techniques, and wrote and recorded his debut CD, It's Alright. Within the borders of these fourteen tracks, he has distilled his musical philosophy to its purest essence, playing all of the instruments himself and delivering a though-provoking debut. In collaboration with other liked-minded musicians., he has also initiated the organization, BASAMA (Bay Area Struggling Artists and Musicians Association), a support/arts network.
With an additional bounty of material -- at least two album's worth -- Sunrise continues to evolve: as a writer, musicians, producer and spiritual entity. "After my mom and dad broke up I didn't really have a family," says Sunrise. "I was always looking for other families." Today he has a new family, not only with a wife and children, but a growing audience, an extended tribe who share his concerns, passions and ideology.
For Sunrise Spiritual Harmony it's been a long road to this place in time. But each day, each lyric and each song continues to provide a signpost for destinations still unseen. "Music is life," states Sunrise.