By Sarah Ellen Rindsberg
This girl rocks in Chappaqua! Tori Shortreid is a singer songwriter and instrumentalist; at the age of 12 she plays multiple instruments such as piano, guitar and bass. Tori recalls being musically inclined at the earlier age of three. When she was eight-years-old, she asked her classical piano teacher whether she could play her own compositions in the lessons. And if you were wondering, she does have a strong tie to Music in Chappaqua–Proprietor Janet Angier is her proud mother.
An invitation to see her perform at home is gratefully accepted by this writer. Shortreid eagerly picks up her acoustic guitar in preparation for a rendition of “When You Say Goodbye,” one of her original creations, inspired by her older sister Michaela’s departure for boarding school. In the introduction to the song, Shortreid explains the underlying inspiration: “We’re very close. Writing the song was a good way to express myself about her leaving.”
In the latter part of “When You Say Goodbye,” the pain is palpable: “Leaving you tears me apart, missing you pulls out my heart.” Fair warning: the melodious refrain, Ooo-oo ooo-oo, When you say goodbye all I wanna say is hello, where did you go,” will have the delicious effect of planting itself in your head in the form of an earworm – the phenomenon of having a song “stuck” in the cortex. It’s simultaneously haunting and awesome.
To listen to a gorgeous rendition, type Tori Shortreid in the search bar on youtube.
The rhythm gains momentum quickly in the next selection entitled, “Time Machine.” The ivories begin to sing in a fashion not unlike Billy Joel’s. As Shortreid plays, her artistry really shines through.
Stylistically, Shortreid sees her work as “indie or alternative rock.” Her emotive powers and confident voice are reminiscent of Feist. Shortreid describes her amazing range: “I can reach a low D and a B flat in the sixth octave.” (A low alto to a high soprano in layman’s terms.)
Musical influences abound. Shortreid enthusiastically calls up the names on her playlist: Coldplay, Crash Kings, Paramore, Panic!, Imagine Dragons, Sleeping with Sirens, and Train. She also has a mentor in Nashville who has been instrumental in refining her songs.
In school, Shortreid’s favorite subject is science. “I really like the hands-on projects,” she says. No surprise, coming from this confident young woman who crafts her own musical creations. Her extracurricular activities include being a member of the middle school chorus at Bell.
With her time demands–practicing an hour and a half or more daily and homework–Shortreid remains remarkably laid back, placing a high priority on having fun. Drawing anime and acting in her friend Siena Martin’s videos are some of her additional favorite pastimes.
After laying down tracks for a new CD at Jon Cobert’s recording studio in Chappaqua, what’s up next for this talent? In the summer, she will be sharing her knowledge with Music in Chappaqua campers. For high school, she plans on attending the Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan, where Michaela–whom Shortreid refers to as “my muse”–is currently in residence.
Keep your ears attuned to this young woman. Her stage presence and talent render her a rising star.
The composition of this piece by Sarah Ellen Rindsberg was greatly enhanced by the accompaniment of Shortreid’s tunes.