OPAL AXIS is Leila Armush and Jim Harris. The disc is made up of compositions by Leila and Jim, who, in spite of different musical tastes, both pursue unique yet accessible music with somewhat ambiguous lyrics. Opal Axis started in 2005, when Leila wanted to start a band and Jim had just come out of one. From the beginning, things clicked, and a working and creative process quickly developed. They attributed this partially to the fact that their birthdays are just days apart; both being Libras, they named the band Opal Axis for Libra's birthstone. In 2006, a classical pianist named Chad joined the band as an auxiliary member. His contributions on both piano and electronics can be heard on the band's current self-titled EP. Opal Axis played a series of shows at coffee houses on the peninsula in 2007, but spent 2008 in the studio recording. Opal Axis is currently back on the live performance circuit throughout the Bay Area. Leila was born in 1981 and grew up in Dallas. As a child, she took piano lessons and learned to play "by ear", which laid the foundation for the composing she began as a young teen. At age 15, inspired by then-favorites Sarah McLachlan and Jewel, Leila began private voice lessons and found her voice. Her high school advisor helped her create CDs of her music, which she sold at school. When she graduated at 17, she had written more than 100 songs. In college, she upgraded from a cassette-tape recorder to a four-track. At that time she also found a deep connection and profound appreciation for the music of Tori Amos, who inspired her to reach a new level of complexity and maturity in both her compositions and lyrics. Throughout college she worked on her own, spending more time cooped up recording in her dorm than socializing. After graduating, she moved from Austin to the Bay Area and decided it was time to work with other musicians. She met talented guitar player Jim Harris in 2005 and together they became Opal Axis. Jim was born in 1965 in Evanston, IL. He started playing guitar at age 12, and discovered synthesizers and electronics in 1987 when playing in a New Edge guitar-synth duet. By the mid '90s he was on his own, composing down-tempo electronic tracks with spoken word and monologues on top. In 1997 he was signed and the self-titled CD R.U.O.K.? came out on Quantum Loop, a sub-label of 21st Circuitry in San Francisco. The CD (a mix of Eno, Pink Floyd, Kraftwerk and Laurie Anderson) got great reviews but sank like a rock, as it was too arty for the general public. Wanting to make music that was more accessible and owning a Celtic Bouzouki (a.k.a. octave mandolin), Jim teamed up with a friend and formed the Capo Brothers, a guitar-bouzouki duet. Since they were instrumental, their high level of musicianship and catchy material allowed the band to play many shows around the Bay Area until life caused the band to go into an inactive state. With time on his hands, Jim answered Leila's Craigslist ad in 2005 and Opal Axis was born. Leila: Vox, production, piano and electronics Jim: Guitars, production and electronics And Chad Glenn; piano and electronics.
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