So Far Away
This second album from the young artist, Mariah Ver Hoef, brings together elements of the different genres she loves. Her songs are often poignant and insightful, dealing with the issues of change and growing up. "Roses, Lace, and Ruffles," a heartfelt song about the falling out between herself and a childhood friend, and "Deep Ground," a reflection of our impact on history, both illustrate her ideas on the passing of time. "Let Go" addresses the problems of being a teenage girl while still trying to remain positive. Some of her songs also have strong nature themes, such as "Copper River," "Summer Skies" and "Lady of Sea Winds." Pulling it all together, Mariah Ver Hoef has managed to create an album of songs that almost everyone can relate to. Being born and raised in Fairbanks, Alaska has certainly influenced Mariah's music. Striking changes in light and weather, landscapes of great natural beauty, individuals with a strong sense of personal identity and the opportunity of quality music and theater productions are all part of her hometown and have contributed to Mariah's unique sound. Educated at home her entire life, Mariah has always had time to pursue her interests. She started her music career at age 5, when she began classical training on the violin. She was immersed in music from a young age, listening to her brother play before her, singing constantly at home, and attending many concerts, operas and musical events. After Mariah saw visiting Irish guitarist Finn McGinty in concert when she was 10, she decided to learn how to play guitar. The next day she pulled out her mother's dusty Yamaha acoustic guitar and, with an old book, taught herself to play within the week. She became proficient by figuring out covers of her favorite artists, but it wasn't until her family spent the next year in Seattle that Mariah wrote her first song. Homesick for Alaska and her friends, she began writing and when her whole family happily moved back to Fairbanks her songwriting took off. She wrote almost a song a week for the first year after she returned, and started laying down recordings. Eventually these tracks started to take the shape of a CD, and with the help of her family, she self recorded, mixed, produced, and manufactured her first record. On her 14th birthday, she released 'Memories' under the stage name of Mariah Z. Less than a year later, Mariah made the decision to record her second album, "So Far Away", at 10th Planet recording studio. She also wanted a fuller sound than her first CD, which was simply her voice and guitar, and the owners of 10th Planet, the outstanding local musicians Robin Dale Ford and Pat Fitzgerald, helped her by adding backup on bass, piano, electric guitar and percussion. A fellow home-schooler and accomplished musician, Sabe Flores, provided some beautiful cello tracks on "Deep Ground" and "Lady of Sea Winds" as well. Mariah, competent with several other instruments, also played tin whistle, mandolin, and violin along with acoustic guitar parts on this latest album. Currently taking classes at the local university, Mariah spends her time with her friends, enjoying the outdoors, and making music. She performs at local venues and is enthusiastic about the release of her new CD. She is 15 and lives with her parents, older brother, and three pets. Her favorite color is purple.