AC employee forms unique one-man band

“It all started at Taco Bell.” Ethan Ortega, an administrative assistant in the English as a Second Language department at Amarillo College, began by telling how he put together Retrospection, his unique band with only one member.Many musicians share a similar origin story of being young and emotional, needing some sort of an outlet to, in a sense, stabilize themselves, and Ortega’s story isn’t much different. At around age 13, Ortega picked up a guitar because he could “hear his future” and found his way to “articulate something internal.” Fast-forward a few years, and Ortega seems to have put together one of the most unusual musical groups in Amarillo. Retrospection started in spring 2014. The Retrospection album titled Instinct was released this week. Ortega writes the songs and invites other musical artists to lay down their own interpretation of how their part fits the song. Along with Ortega, Broderick Adams helped produce the album, John Ruben played drums and Austin Bagwell played bass. Ortega said his own style and sound have been shaped largely by the ’70s and ’90s era music that he grew up listening to, hence the name Retrospection. “Instinct ended up being really fitting because if I overthink something, I’ll end up taking it out for these reasons. “And instead of letting me overthink it, he (Adams) would just say, ‘Let’s do it,’” Ortega said. Not only did the writers and producers force Instinct upon the album in their own way, but also the accompanying artists by their way of letting the music flow. Retrospection has been playing around Amarillo at places like the Golden Light Cafe and the 806. Ethan said the show the band played at the Palace in Canyon was the best one yet. “You know, I’m not going to let things happen to me,” he said. “I’m going to go out and happen to things. And yeah, I’ll probably screw up along the way a few times, but I’ll learn from that, and I’ll keep happening to things ’til I get it right.”

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