EAST LANSING, Mich. — Ace Noface, a 38 year old man with Lou Gehrig’s disease, today announces the release of a piano rock CD, “Toxic Charm.” His goal is to leave a musical legacy behind, and raise awareness of ALS. May is ALS awareness month. Words like “inspiring” get used so casually that their meaning loses power. But in the case of Ace Noface, and his new album, Toxic Charm, one immediately becomes present to the true meaning of words like inspiration and courage. The musician, living with a terminal illness, is facing his fate with courage and conviction by creating rich and resonant piano-based rock that is in turn hypnotic, jarring and spellbinding. Ace’s life and music is the ultimate example of living what is possible in the face of any circumstance.
Listening to Toxic Charm, you can hear the plaintive vocals, the resonance of the piano and the rolling presence of the rhythm section – it’s a huge sound for such few instruments, but it makes sense, given that Ace makes the most of what he’s got.
At one time the bassist for an indie-rock band, in 2005, Ace was diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, better known as ALS or Lou Gehrig’s disease, an incurable and degenerative neurological disorder. The diagnosis, obviously, was devastating. Ace remembers, “I really shut down for six months. I spent most of my days playing on the Internet and listening to music – I couldn’t deal.”
But a musician friend took a stand for Ace, and informed him what might be possible. “He told me that even though I couldn’t play an instrument anymore, I had to continue making music,” Ace recalls. “He said that he knew that was what I had to do to make some sense of the diagnosis and give meaning to the rest of my life, as opposed to just suffering. So I developed a sense of purpose for my life – probably more than any other time.”
To begin, Ace had to learn a whole new way of making music; using one finger, some computer software and email. It was a daunting task, but Ace quickly found a benefit. He explains, “When I’m writing music or lyrics I completely get lost in it – I forget that I have any kind of disability.”
The example of his work, his defiance in the face of a grim fate, and the songs on Toxic Charm that will be his legacy. Ace concludes, “When faced with a difficult situation, everyone has a choice to make – to let it define you as a person, or make the most of the time you have left. What I’m committed to leaving behind as a legacy is the truth I’ve learned: Anyone can achieve their dream, no matter what the circumstances.”
The entire CD can be heard here: www.acenoface.com