Frontier Faces music and video created by Chico State grad

Luis Santos composed this original piece of music to honor first responders. His students and friends helped while sheltering in place.

Posted: Jul 12, 2020 6:20 PM
Updated: Jul 12, 2020 7:34 PM

NOVATO, Calif. - A California State University Chico Music Department graduate who now teaches multimedia skills to high school students in Novato has produced a video dedicated to front-line responders. It is called "Frontier Faces (While We Sleep)." The entire video of the composition is embedded at the bottom of this story.

Luis Santos worked on the original composition with his friends and his students, who recorded tracks from their homes while they sheltered-in-place. His co-producer and musical partner is Marcel Berteaux.

Among the performers are students Nihal Nazeem, Nick Brandis, and Rohan Ayyar. He also worked with Zed Milette on trumpet and Pete Grant, a world-class pedal steel player.

Santos said, "I first wrote it late night on guitar. I didn't know the purpose of the piece yet."

He had been prompted by a friend to use a capo on the 4th fret of his guitar with DADGAD tuning, which is an alternate guitar tuning used by many musicians. 

Darrel Mc ElMurry, who first introduced him to alternate tunings, told Santos the new composition reminded him of a march with imagery of a father who is reminiscing a son lost at war.

Santos said, "It was around this pandemic time that demanded so much of those who had to continue serving us -- healthcare workers, public servants, grocery clerks and many more on the trenches -- hence the term front liners."

The complete composition is posted on Youtube.  It is called "Frontier Faces (While We Sleep)," by Luis Santos.

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