Former students form band; dedicate album to late music professor

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Aeonic Impulse (Left to Right): Gasper Gray (Lead Vocals) Jordan Salfity (Lead Guitars/Backup Vocals) Ryan Rappaport (Rhythm Guitars) Fernando “Fernie” Guerrero (Drums/Percussion) Pete Bucci (Bass) Photo credit: Gaius Roberts

As smoke fills the air, the sensation of relaxation overpowers the body and the beat of the music circulates through your soul.

That’s the feeling of attending an Aeonic Impulse performance.

The band, composed of five members, four of whom are former El Camino students, have released their first album, “A Night for the Troubled,” which is dedicated to former EC music professor Chris Mello, who passed away in 2014 after battling cancer.

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"A Night for the Troubled," Aeonic Impulse's first album, is dedicated to former EC music professor, Chris Mello. Photo courtesy of Aeonic Impulse.

“He (Chris Mello) was my guitar teacher for about a semester at EC,” Ryan Rappaport, 25, rhythm guitarist, said. “He was a great guy. He was an incredible guy.”

Rappaport, along with 25-year-old lead guitarist Jordan Salfity, 20-year-old drummer and percussionist Fernando “Fernie” Guerrero, bassist Pete Bucci, and 26-year-old vocalist Gasper Gray are former EC students and the creators of Aeonic Impulse.

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Aeonic Impulse performing their show on Thursday, Sept. 15 at Suzy's Bar & Grill in Hermosa Beach. Photo credit: Gaius Roberts

The band was formed in July 2011 by these members, with the exception of Fernando Guerrero, who joined later.

Mello died at the age of 38 in June 2014, but had a career that included working with big names such as Norah Jones, Vanessa Williams and The Dixie Chicks.

Aeonic Impulse was writing a song at the same time they found out about Mello’s death, and as a tribute to Mello, the band was inspired to produce a song called “View of the Sunrise,” which is dedicated to Mello’s memory.

“Mello was my mentor, he not only taught me about music, (he taught me) how to play better, and how to think better, (to) think outside the box and how to develop chord progressions (and) solos,” Salfity said. “He actually taught me how to be a better musician.”

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Former El Camino students Salfity (right), Gray (middle), Guerrero (background), Rappaport (first right) and Bucci (far right) with their band, Aeonic Impulse opening their set. Photo credit: Serina Torres

Aeonic Impulse is dedicated, which makes it hard not to appreciate the enthusiasm transmitted through their music. Because of Mello’s impact, they not only have fun, they pour their hearts into what they do and they work very hard to achieve their goals.

“It is a lot of work,” Bucci said. “It’s a lot of fun, but you have to practice, practice, practice; without practicing you won’t be able to (go far).”

Aeonic Impulse has dedicated their album to Mello and is setting the example of how one professor can impact the future for upcoming artists, or any student.

“He was so memorable, I always tell all my close friends that Mello, until this day, is the voice in my house, whenever I am playing something and performing live, he is the one telling me, you can do better,” Salfity said.

“A Night for the Troubled” can be purchased on iTunes for $5.94, or by visiting their website and purchasing it for $6.