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Worth at Caldera

Portland singer, songwriter brings an 'emotional experience' to Ashland
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Singer-songwriter Worth says his music is a “spiritual and emotional experience.” Photo courtesy of Shaun Mendiola
 Posted: 2:00 AM February 27, 2014

"The hardest thing to find is a great songwriter," says Portland singer-songwriter Worth. "I don't need to be the best singer or the best player, but I want to write songs that connect with people."

At his current rate of musical output, Worth's ability to connect with fans grows more likely by the day. In September of 2012, he released his first solo album, titled "Six-Foot Soul." The 12 songs and 12 interludes became the first installment in "The Identity Triptych." Exactly a year later, Worth released the second installment of 24 tracks, "Two."

"I used the word triptych rather than trilogy because it refers to three-paneled religious art," Worth says. "I felt that was more fitting of the spiritual and emotional experience with these albums."

If you go

Who: Worth

When: 9 p.m. Saturday, March 1

Where: Caldera Tap House, 31 Water St., Ashland

Cover: $5

Call: 541-482-7468

Worth will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Caldera Tap House, 31 Water St., Ashland. There is a $5 cover charge for the 21-and-older show. He will be joined by saxophone player Morgan Quinn.

The albums that make up the triptych are concept albums whose themes follow an emotional progression, Worth says. "Six-Foot Soul" is about knowing oneself before one can know someone else romantically, while "Two" consists to love songs chronicling the tragedy of love. The third installment, "D(i)os," — planned for release later this year — is about finding balance between the two preceding themes.

The 12 songs on each album are interspersed with 12 interludes that Worth created with the help of fans.

"For the first album, I asked people to send me recordings of what the word 'worth' meant to them," Worth says. "For 'Two,' I asked for a message to a lover. I took these voices and sampled them over improvisational music to create these collages of music and dialogue. They're kind of emotional palate cleansers."

Worth's journey into music began while he was a sophomore at Stanford University.

"I was studying traditional philosophy there, and I had some experience with being a hip-hop DJ," Worth says. "I became interested in theater, and you have to sing if you want to do the musicals. Once I started singing, I picked up the guitar and just really enjoyed it."

Even though he didn't plan to play music before college, Worth believes the ability was always in him.

"We're all artists before we create in any type of medium," Worth says. "Before we start to create, we feel that 'thing' deeply."

Concept albums appeal to Worth more than the standard format.

"I think every album should be a concept album. It's more meaningful when you have connected songs that should be listened to together. I don't really write pop songs or with singles in mind," Worth says.

"There are people who will connect with one or two songs on the albums, while others will take the time to listen to the album as a whole piece," he adds. "People consume music differently today."


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