Avi Wisnia is a Philadelphia-based singer-songwriter who blends bossa nova with 1950’s West Coast Jazz, blues, acoustic folk and contemporary pop. Since his first performance in New York City’s Caffe Vivaldi in 2005, Avi has actively recorded and performed in the United States.
On November 5th Avi will release his new album ‘Catching Leaves’.
Your last album ‘Something New’ was released in 2010. Why did it take so long to release a new album?
“Since my last album, I have been working through a lot of grief, having lost a lot of people close to me. In particular, the death of my brother – also a musician – when he was only 33 years old, it hit me pretty hard. I was always very close with him, he was the person that introduced me to the joy of making music, the first person I ever played with, and when I lost him, I didn’t know what to do with myself. I retreated away from everything that I loved for a time.”
“The process of making this album was a necessary and cathartic one: I had to learn to lean into my grief and sadness and all the feelings of loss and uncertainty I was dealing with. It made me examine the moments that felt so overwhelming and learn to see the beauty in them. This album is a reflection of that time and I’m so proud of the songs that came out of that period.”
What can we expect from the new album?
“My new album ‘Catching Leaves’ is a love-letter to living in the moment, to surrendering to forces beyond our control and finding peace in growth, change, and acceptance. You can hear it in the organic sounds of acoustic instruments and the allusions to nature and the natural world that fill the songs of the album.”
“I tried to keep the arrangements raw and honest, mixing hints of jazz, pop, americana, and the Great American Songbook together into a colorful swirl that’s at once beautiful and bittersweet. While most of the songs are originals, there are a few surprise cover tracks included, in addition to a song I recorded remotely with some phenomenal musicians in Brazil.”
Is this release different from your previous releases?
“This album is definitely a natural evolution of where I’ve been headed musically. It still features my brand of melody-driven storytelling and songwriting in a variety of styles, but I think I also felt more comfortable this time to embrace the spontaneity of recording in the moment and welcoming space and silence into the songs. So there’s really a mix of playful improvising and letting the songs breathe.”
What are you hoping to achieve with this release?
“I really hope that the songs on this album find their way into peoples’ lives. The more I write and the more I put out music, the more I realize that the best compliment I can receive is when someone tells me that my music has contributed to their life in some way, that my music was useful, that it made a difference in their mood or in their outlook, or just in their day. Making music is a way I try to make sense of the world, and I hope my music can help others make sense of it too.”
“It has been so many years since I have had new music to share, I’m just really excited for people to hear these songs and fall in love them.”
In part II you can learn more about Avi’s favourite memories of recording the album and his favourite song on the album.
You can pre-save the new album ‘Catching Leaves’ on all platforms.