The Forest ARE a collective of Local artists and musicians
Kate Atanian - Vocals
Kate Hails from the salty land and sea of Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Lifelong modern day siren enjoyed a few years reign as Rock & Roll Queen of the Cape, before running off the Boston to learn counterpoint and theory at Berklee College of Music. Now happily married to fellow Berklee grad Alex, she ends every day with a loving husband, beastly dog, and Taylor guitar.
Walter Bitner - Keyboards
Musician and writer Walter Bitner has been playing keyboards of one kind or another for more than 45 years.
A veteran music educator, he taught in private and public schools for more than twenty years, founded and directed Music City Youth Orchestra 2007 – 2012, and directed the piano, choir and orchestra programs at Nashville School of the Arts 2008 – 2014.
Walter has collaborated or performed with a wide variety of artists over the last three decades including Pete Seeger, Tracy Silverman, Jeff Coffin, The Chieftains, Music City Baroque, the Nashville Symphony, and the Nashville Symphony Chorus. Walter is Director of Education & Community Engagement for the Nashville Symphony, and writes about music and education on his website Off The Podium at walterbitner.com.
Alex Blizniak - guitar
Growing up in the political wasteland of the DC-metro area, Alex has been playing guitar, singing and writing songs since grade school. After first seeing Elvis and The Beatles on PBS programming at a young age, he was inspired to make rock and roll music, and it’s humble roots, the centerpiece of his life. After attending Berklee College of Music in Boston, Alex came to Nashville with his now-wife, Kate Atanian, where they have settled in, enjoying all that the Music City has to offer.
Eric Brewer - Vocals, guitar
Native son of West Tennessee, Eric Brewer has been singing and writing songs for the past two decades. Steeped in the traditions of southern gospel, rock, and blues music, Eric joined his first band, as lead singer and lyricist of Eddie Nochowski in the late 1990’s. Focusing primarily on performing original rock music, the group recorded three full length albums and maintained regional success.
Brewer graduated from the University of Tennessee at Martin in 2004, and shortly after moved to Orlando Florida where he continued to write, record, and perform original material with two different bands. A rock trio called Casimir Effect, and later a male/female folk duo called Arms Harbor.
Returning to Tennessee in 2008, Eric currently lives in Nashville, and has released one full length original album, and one EP as the band Low Electric Revival, and continues to evolve his exciting singer songwriting style.
Andrew Guinn - Drums
Andrew enjoys working nights, trolling message boards, and rocking out in his drum-filled basement. Always a team player, Andrew is a great complement to the group through his musicianship, generosity and ability to function with limited sleep.
Danesa Harper - Vocals
Danesa harper has been a lover of music ever since she can remember. Growing up, she was very invested in her musical growth by singing and writing songs, as well as performing in choir, singing everything from madrigals in chamber choir to Mozart solos with a full orchestra, and in musical theatre playing everything from Laurie in Oklahoma to Velma in Hairspray! She also enjoys playing the piano and guitar. The expression of an inner conflict, the complex set of emotion, and experiencing that special connection with the music is what made her fall in love with The Dark Side of the Moon. She feels so honored to have been invited to contribute to the performance of this album and this experience!
Brian Hull - Visual Designer
From his website: Emmy Award-winner Brian Hull is renowned for bringing compelling original ideas with arresting visual style to fruition. With 40 years’ experience in entertainment, Brian Hull is known for implementing high standards of quality and creativity into any project in which he is involved. While working on literally hundreds of successful productions he has created compelling and engaging works with his outstanding ability to translate inventive original ideas to completion.
Currently in his 15th season writing and directing shows at Dollywood Theme Park, Brian, has worked in the theme park industry for three decades. During the early 1990’s he developed and was Professor U.B. Sharp of the “Professor’s Backyard” for Opryland USA in Nashville, TN.”
Michael McLemore - Bass
Born and raised in West Tennessee, Michael moved to Nashville around 2009 where he has since taken part in a few different projects as either a bassist or keyboard player. The following lyric sums up how he feels about his role in the band:
“And Harry doesn't mind, if he doesn't, make the scene
He's got a daytime job, he's doing alright
He can play the honky tonk like anything
Savin' it up, for Friday night”
Like a lot of other musicians in Nashville, Michael has a day job and family. Music is his outlet and this project is no different. However, that doesn’t mean he is any less serious and strives to create quality music that anyone can enjoy.
Ryan Middagh - Saxophone
Ryan Middagh is an innovative educator, composer, arranger, saxophonist, band leader and clinician who has traveled the globe sharing his unique blend of talents and musical influences with audiences and music students. Equally skilled as a soloist, collaborator and band leader, Middagh performs at jazz festivals around the world, including tours and performances on behalf of the U.S. State Department. While at home, he is a top-call studio musician in Nashville and performs in a wide array of genres. He has released two albums as a leader and is currently of writing and recording his first professional big band project. Middagh is the director of jazz studies at Vanderbilt University’s Blair School of Music and is an artist and clinician for Conn-Selmer Saxophones and D’addario Reeds.
Kari Ames - Visual Projectionist
Kari Leigh Ames is a multimedia artist working in Nashville, TN. She has been studying the analog and digital techniques of light bending for over 3 years and founded the Labrys Light Show collective in 2016. Visit her website karileighames.com to see more of her work in a variety of fields.