To me, this entire album means a lot. It shows the capability of the human spirit and how much one can achieve in the face of tremendous adversity. It also shows the compassion that artists share for one another, and the nature of music to transcend all boundaries. Being an almost entirely instrumental album, Becker’s songs and story are universal. While he was unnaturally gifted as a musician, his greatest gift was his optimism and power of will.
Jason Becker was a prodigy of the highest order. He wrote his first neoclassical shred album at the age of 17, drawing the attention of some of the best musicians and producers around the world. He soon joined former Megadeth guitarist, Marty Friedman. Together, they created the speed metal duo, Cacophony. After 2 successful records that redefined shred guitar, Becker was asked to play guitar for former Van Halen frontman David Lee Roth. He was only 20 at the time. But, just as he was set to take the world by storm and seize the title of ‘greatest guitarist of all time’, he was diagnosed with Acute Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), and would never play the guitar again.
But that didn’t stop him. In 2018, Becker released his first album since his diagnosis nearly 30 years prior. He composed all of the music by himself, using a camera to track his eye movements and program notes into his computer. He then called up some of the biggest names in music to record the music for him. The title track of the album, Triumphant Heart, features his former bandmate, Marty Friedman, Friedman’s wife Hiyori Okuda, and violinist Glauco Bertagnin. While he wrote all of the music without plucking a single string, the song is beautifully composed and injected with Becker’s personality. Like a modern Beethoven, Becker was able to overcome his limitation with his incredibly musical mind to create a truly inspirational album.
Listen to the track here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tH6TozjHAw4
Submitted by Prashant Srinivasan Sarkar