David D’Alessio is cleaning his apartment. He jumps from topic to tangent, hair disheveled,  rarely returning to subject, but stays on task cleaning because, he interjects,  “It makes space.” He stops for a moment and recites the wisdom of a poetry teacher, “If you want lightning to strike, you have to spend a lot of time in an empty field.”  He adds, “I’m just keeping my field empty.”

Given the task before him, it’s ironic this Hawaiian-born musician now lives in one of the most noise-cluttered cities in the world: New York City.  Although “Karmic” describes his circumstance too-- his parents were native New Yorkers-- D’Alessio has come full circle from the quiet sands of the North Shore to the clamorous streets of Manhattan.  His geography like his music is filled with thematic oppositions: love and war, winters and summers, fear and fearlessness.   “Different places are like different colors. New York adds another color to my scheme.   If you stay in one place, you’ll only know that place.   Perspective is intrinsic to your environment,” he grunts, while scrubbing the grout of bathroom tile.  After one point five hours of this purge he abruptly gets up, not finished, and says he’s going swimming.

David learned to swim in Tucson, Arizona where he attended college, launched his local-mojo music career and studied massage therapy.   Like most swim enthusiasts, he touts it as the ultimate exercise.  Like most local heroes, his music didn’t rise out of Tucson.  Like most massages therapists he conveys his enthusiasm in laconic, nearly toneless speech.   In New York City D’Alessio has fused these diverse interests into one persona.  He would like to be known as Therapist and not masseur.

For D’Alessio, music and massage have brought him self-awareness both physiologically and emotionally.   He discusses the arc of his career with themes evoked in his songs.   In the powerfully motivating,  “Throw Yourself In Front of It,” D’Alessio encourages his listener to tune out fear and take a self-inventory, “Don’t play with fire/don’t break the ice/don’t ask your friends/you know what’s right.”.  In the candy-hooked “Sophia” D’Alessio’s rhyming whimsy is delivered easily on his in the sturdy tenor of his singing “When I was broken mistaken misspoken/ and grace seemed out of reach/ you gave a grin and took me in/so I could find my feet”  He prefers the loftier notion of Therapist as it applies his talents But before he makes his intentions seem too lofty, he also notes that being a masseur can fun too.  

Voice, craft and identity are the essential components of songwriting for D’Alessio.  Each element, he insists, must be in balance for a song to be successful.  He begins to cite Eastern Medicine, Five Element Theory and other bits of Arcania when addressing a new song he plays. “The guitar needs to breathe more; it’s keeping the chi stagnant.”  If housecleaning is an act of Feng Shui, working on his recording is an act of similar finesse.  D’Alessio’s gazes at his mix and his eyes sink into the meditation of making his arrangement “breathe 

D’Alessio frequently draws on Lao Tzu and other Eastern philosophers when discussing his approach to craft.  A song is a living, breathing organism--alive, with organs, tissue, cells and feelings.   And then he jumps to Darwin and how simple proteins were probably fused by lightning in the Protogeyic Earth (he makes up words freely) and from there these proteins went on to become us, complex mammals with a Cerebellum.  “Most songs don’t get past the amoeba stage” he says, “but the good ones take root and evolve into vast and complex beings.”  

He’s a bit of dreamer, coming across with big ideas, perhaps slowed down by his attempt to keep his life in balance..