DAVID OTIS TELSON
It’s hard to trace my thoughts back to the time when I started playing guitar at the age of 8, but there were two particular events to which I can attribute my early decision to dedicate myself to music: the first was a concert by Al Green at the Apollo, and the second a concert by the Beatles tribute band Fab Faux, led by Will Lee. The power I felt, and the way the audience responded so enthusiastically was so inspiring that I started to write my own songs. I began listening to both R&B and the Beatles music in a different way, trying to understand the elements that made it so wonderful to me. Today, as I have expanded my investigations into many different worlds of music, from Bach to Jobim, from Radiohead to Stevie Wonder, from Miles Davis to grunge to Argentine folklore, I continue striving to expand my musical vocabulary and still be me and not somebody else.
I have a good anecdote that explains for me the magic of making music: when my Dad was young, he’d spend hours practicing the piano. His father, a doctor, spent all his free time doing home carpentry. One day his father said “Why do you spend so much time playing piano- you play so many notes, and they all just disappear into the air. I take two pieces of wood, a nail and a hammer, and (holding it up in the air) look what I’ve done!” The special thing about music for me is that it is an abstract, non-material entity, and it can still reach someone years after it was written. Whether it’s the Beatles 50 years ago or Bach 300 years ago, it transcends not only time but place. It’s essentially a universal language which I not only feel the need to speak, but also seek the opportunity to express myself to someone else, finding a means of communication that is not only true to my own experience, but also finds a commonality with that of the listener.
David Otis Telson was born in New York in 1994, and lived in Buenos Aires from 2002-2013, when he moved back to the U.S. to attend Berklee. His mother, Isabel de Sebastian, is an Argentine rock singer and songwriter who in 2014 won the Argentinian grammy for Best Female Pop Album for her CD "Isabel de Sebastian," on which David played electric guitar. His father, Bob Telson, is a pianist and songwriter who won Oscar, Tony, Pulitzer, and Grammy nominations for his work in film and musical theater. David moved back to Buenos Aires in 2021, and is in the process of completing his first record.