Acoustic Folk Duo FOR ERNEST Release “Found and Seen” in the Name of Love and Hope

 Exploring the contents of our grandparents’ houses as children can be a profound sensory experience, a journey back in time for our imaginations, and a map of clues to who we are, where we came from, and who we can become. For Michael Saracino, it was the wonderment of his childhood discoveries of Christmas cards from Duke Ellington, scribblings from Louis Armstrong on a Blue Note napkin, and his grandfather Ernest’s own simple words of advice that molded those deep, lasting impressions. In his lifetime, Ernest Orlando was a part of establishing the Toronto Jazz Society along with lifelong friend, pianist & composer Norm Amadio, which helped bring touring jazz musicians to the city, which brought touring jazz musicians into Canada and provided them a place to perform. “If you want to play music forever, that’s great”, Ernest had told Michael as a boy. “Just make sure you have a plan.”

When Ernest passed, Michael Saracino’s desire to make music a lifelong pursuit was solidified. Today, after a decade of writing songs and performing across three continents, he and his partner in both music and life, Tara Lynn Stanclik, have their musical plan, and it’s all in the name of For Ernest, now based in St. Catharines, ON. Following the success of their first EP Buildings, released in July 2023, acoustic folk duo For Ernest, featuring Michael on guitar and vocals, and Tara on keyboard and complementing harmonies, is already finishing up their second EP, Additions.

Despite their musical plan, For Ernest’s latest single, “Found and Seen” is one that ironically began with an accident. While rehearsing a more somber song about a relationship at its end, “a slip-up on one of the chords suddenly allowed a more hopeful progression to emerge, and a new melody followed”, Michael explained. The lyrics for the new song came just as quickly as the chord slip, echoing that drastic breakthrough in transformation from despair to hope:

“Now the fog is rolling out

And breaks in the clouds are easing my doubt

Heart is wide, my eyes are clear

And they are locked on the one who has melted my fear

And now I’m…

Whole and hopeful, found and seen

You’re a fire in my winter and the first breath of spring.”

Listen on Spotify here:

Michael and Tara admit that the words were written in under an hour and are taken from their own experience in meeting eight years ago and feeling truly seen for the first time, after failed relationships and a period of reflection. “It came from a song about endings, yet had the energy of fresh beginnings, so we decided it would become a closely connected follow up, a sequel of sorts, about a new hope blossoming after some time spent alone.”

Once the lyrics were set, Michael and Tara called upon Niagara-based banjo player Dave Matthews to put the final touches on the recording. “He added a rolling banjo line to float over top of the entire song and reinforce the wave of calm and joy. Once he recorded his parts in our little barn studio, the song felt complete.”

Though “Found and Seen” was not originally part of Michael and Tara’s plan, its origin honors an evolution from loss into hope and inspiration, while paying tribute to jazz patron legacy Ernest Orlando. As Michael said of the chance chord-slip, “It was as though the song was always there, and we just had to be aware enough to get out of its way.”