Portizar is a 100% improvised musical collaboration that invites various guests from all genres of the musical spectrum to come and participate in a playful dynamic of musical exploration. This approach does not utilize the pre-arrangement of any notes, chords, keys, or genre of music. This creates a completely spontaneous musical experience that is recorded once, with no do-overs. Since no musical composition is ever played twice, each recording lives as a unique, authentic musical expression of a cooperative sound journey. We often refer to this music-making approach as sonic yoga due to its mind-stretching or mind-opening nature. This metaphor describes the feeling induced by creating music this way. The freedom to truly be playful musically, a sonic adventure to climb aboard a sound ship and explore that which is beyond the known.

“Portizar” is the group name given after many years of playing as Gregjam which was created as a pragmatic solution to label the recording sessions. Portizar refers to Portazar which is the Armenian word for Gobekli Teppei, the oldest known temple structure in the world dating back approximately 11,000 years. It is located at the ancestral Armenian Highlands near Mount Ararat. There are celestial star systems mapped into the orientation of monolithic stones there and the energetic imprints of ritual adoration to the divine feminine. Portizar can be understood as a frequency-activated portal or a doorway into other dimensions. Therefore, Portizar represents a group of willing resonance explorers who are ready to leap into the unknown for a sonic adventure.

Visit the website for more info: PORTIZAR.COM

Album Releases

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Album #1

LET THE GAMES BEGIN

A 100% improvised musical experience that is completely unplanned and recorded live with sound explorers interested in taking a leap of faith into unknown musical territory. It’s a frenzy of untethered sonic eruptions, lucid madness and glorious implosions. This form of totally spontaneous, fun as hell, music creation has been occurring for over 7 years at The EarthStar Creation Center in Venice CA. There is a core group of musicians who facilitate this almost weekly sonic “Lift off”. Guests of various instruments and disciplines are regularly invited to participate in this therapeutic co creation experience.
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The musicians on “Let The Games Begin” are:
Bass: @aaron_wills
Keys & Sax: @mattcavemusic
Guitar: @michaelvestmusic
Synth: @johnx62
Drums: @gregorybeylerian

Album #2

Rhythm of The Streets

Portizar is a 100% improvised musical experience that is recorded at EarthStar in Venice for many years now. We (Michael Vest, John X and I) are blessed by extraordinary co pilots who feel compelled to join us on such untethered adventures into the musical unknown. No outline or predetermined arrangement of notes are used in the creative process.
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“Rhythm of the Streets” is the 2nd release from our group now known as Portizar. It reflects various stages of sonic exploration. From a moldavite-infused talisman furnished by a shaman to activate intergalactic communications and the integration of the mycelial network engineered to bridge with alien consciousness. These earlier recordings reflect the rambunctious excitement of willing star travelers eager to lift off and explore dimensions of the inner and outer cosmos.
The guests for these sessions are artist Eric Ernest Johnson @eejart, composer Nico Borromeo @nico_borromeo & introducing Barry Kramer @barryman777, who is making his debut on this album as a musical force of nature.

Album #3

Journey To Arcturus

“Journey to Arcturus” is the 3rd release from our group now known as Portizar. It reflects various stages of sonic exploration. From a moldavite-infused talisman furnished by a shaman to activate intergalactic communications and the integration of the mycelial network engineered to bridge with alien consciousness. These earlier recordings reflect the rambunctious excitement of willing star travelers eager to lift off and explore dimensions of the inner and outer cosmos.

The guests for these sessions are:

Singer-songwriter Jesse Macht who joined us with his guitar, looper and magnificent spirit. He will be returning on later releases.

Accompanying us on bass is longtime friend & Earthstar family member Dana Lee Anderson. John X loves his “feral” style.  Dana is making his debut on this album as a featured artist.

The earliest track on this album is the “Derelict Space Lounge”. This piece came from GregJam 51 Track 1 and was recorded on February 24, 2016. Our special guests are Jesse & Dana.

Dana returns & joins us for the title track “Journey to Arcturus” on GregJam 57 Track 1 recorded on June 28, 2016. Jesse showed up shortly afterwards & joined us for Track 4 “Viking Lullaby”.

“Mr. Anderson” & “Walking Ranch” are the babies of the bunch. Originally from GregJam 58 on August 12, 2016. Dana was our only special guest and these 2 songs came from Tracks 5 & 3 respectively.

As always, the core group is Michael Vest, Gregory Beylerian & John X Volaitis.

Album #4

Timeless 4th Dimension

“Timeless 4th Dimension” is the 4th release from our group now known as Portizar. It reflects various stages of sonic exploration. From a moldavite-infused talisman furnished by a shaman to activate intergalactic communications and the integration of the mycelial network engineered to bridge with alien consciousness. These earlier recordings reflect the rambunctious excitement of willing star travelers eager to lift off and explore dimensions of the inner and outer cosmos.

The guests for these sessions are:

Singer-songwriter Jesse Macht who joined us with his guitar, looper and magnificent spirit. He will be returning on later releases.

Accompanying us on bass is Portizar brother Hal Cragin.

The earliest track on this album is the “Viking Tale”. This piece came from GregJam 71 Track 3 and was recorded on May 25, 2017. Lead vocal & impromptu lyrics by Michael Vest.

Jesse Macht returns & joins us for the title track “Timeless 4th Dimension” on GregJam 78 Track 7 recorded September 22, 2017.

“Dragonfly features our Earthstar brothers Nico Borromeo on guitar & Hal Cragin on bass.

“Hal Big Band” & “Dancing Girls” are the youngest of the bunch. Originally from GregJam 111 on July 5, 2018. Star bassist Hal Cragin was our special guest.

As always, the core group is Michael Vest, Gregory Beylerian & John X Volaitis.

Album #5

Luscious Faerie Gold

Our 5th release – “Lusicous Faerie Gold”  subliminally merges the dynamics of the luscious goddess archetype, the otherworld dimensions where the faeries are known to play and the illuminating lure of the golden hue emitting from treasures. The treasure is the heart liberated from the clutches of an overactive mind. Lulled into a frequency of groovy vibrations, activated from a courageous leap. A grandiose expression, to hop off the edge and slide into the stream of the groovy now, the lucid presence that is not bound by memorized security systems. A launch into the unknown where the excitement of sonics explored has no definition or boundary, liberated from genre and corporate executives, these jams have no purpose except to be the popcorn trail of a good time had in freeform sonic land.

The guests for these sessions are:

Vocalist Joel Virgel; Faerie family members – composer Juan Luqui & vocalist Olivia Diehl; our Portizar brother Nico Borromeo & KCRW DJ/musician performer Valida Carroll.

The earliest track on this album is the “Cleanup”. This piece came from GregJam 117 Track 2 and was recorded on October 4, 2018. This was performed by the core power trio.

Joel Virgel came by to sing with us on “Somelieu” for GregJam 127 on Januray 17, 2019.

Juan & Olivia (and Nico) joined us for “Faerie Family Reunion” on GregJam 162 Track 8 recorded February 20, 2020.

Valida & our Earthstar brother Nico Borromeo were “instrumental” in creating the title track “Luscious Faerie Gold” (Track 2) & Dewdrops on a Spiderweb (Track 3) from GregJam 163 on February 27, 2020.

As always, the core group is Michael Vest, Gregory Beylerian & John X Volaitis.

Magnificent cover artwork by Michael Vest

Album #6

Night Flyers

Our 6th release – “Night Flyers” subliminally merges the dynamics of the luscious goddess archetype, the otherworld dimensions where the faeries are known to play and the illuminating lure of the golden hue emitting from treasures. The treasure is the heart liberated from the clutches of an overactive mind. Lulled into a frequency of groovy vibrations, activated from a courageous leap. A grandiose expression, to hop off the edge and slide into the stream of the groovy now, the lucid presence that is not bound by memorized security systems. A launch into the unknown where the excitement of sonics explored has no definition or boundary, liberated from genre and corporate executives, these jams have no purpose except to be the popcorn trail of a good time had in freeform sonic land.

The guests for these sessions are:
Earthstar/Portizar family brothers artist Eric Ernest Johnson & composer Nico Borromeo
“Sea Chicken” (T3), “Causeway” (T5A), “Night Flyers” (T7) & “Legit Maharagi” (T6B) all come from GregJam 113 performed on September 12, 2018.

“The Monster” is from our last jam before the lockdown #164 –  on March 5, 2020.

As always, the core group is Michael Vest, Gregory Beylerian & John X Volaitis.
Magnificent cover artwork by Eric Ernest Johnson

As always, the core group is Michael Vest, Gregory Beylerian & John X Volaitis.

Magnificent cover artwork by Eric Ernest Johnson

Album #7

Desert Chase

“Desert Chase” is the 7th release from our group now known as Portizar.

In accordance with the prime objective to abandon the egoic mind and surrender into the sublime matrix of the eternal divine network. Portizar is a sonic portrayal of the Hero’s Journey, to courageously walk the musical path with absolute improvisational flow. Beyond the boundaries of a safe, secure and controlling mind. Join us as we ride the ecstatic explosion of spontaneous musicality and chase the divine into the desert of unknown possibility.

The guests for these sessions are:

All Portizar “inner circle” members – Aaron Wills, Davey Chegwidden, Nico Borromeo & Dana Anderson

The earliest tracks on this album are “Wazzup” & “The Hidden Greek”. Both pieces came from GregJam 61 (Tracks 1 & 5 respectively) and were recorded on October 7, 2016 with our brothers Aaron & Davey.

Dana joined us for the aptly named “Return of Dana” on GregJam 90 Track 1 recorded January 4, 2018.

Our Earthstar brother Nico Borromeo was with us for the title track “Desert Chase” from GregJam 143 recorded on July 18, 2019 & also for “Bauhaus Punk” from GregJam 159 recorded on January 16, 2020.

As always, the core group is Michael Vest, Gregory Beylerian & John X Volaitis.

Cover artwork by John X Volaitis

Album #8

Interstellar Transmission

“Interstellar Transmission” is the 8th release from the group now known as Portizar.

A sonic experiment encapsulating an evening of 100% improvised music creation with master cellist Michael Fitzpatrick. He has performed for keynote ceremonies for Pope Francis and the Dalai Lama who is quoted as saying,

“The emotion induced by Michael Fitzpatrick’s music is so powerful, it seems almost verbalized. His sound is Clear Light.”

This recording captures a sonic voyage into the unknown with four people playing music together for the first time, without any notes or prior discussion. We dimmed the lights and listened deeply to each other, intuitively responding, surrendering into a wondrous void, a cosmic experience of what felt like an interstellar transmission…

The guest for these sessions is:

Cello maestro Michael Fitzpatrick & his Golden Cello.

Originally from Portizar 186 on January 31, 2023.

As always, the core group is Michael Vest, Gregory Beylerian & John X Volaitis.

Cover artwork by Gregory Beylerian