Archive for the ‘2011 Album Review’ Category
The new Winter Poem album by Secret Garden was released with much fanfare in November of 2011. It was during my interview with Fionnuala Sherry about her solo release Songs From Before, when Secret Garden fans heard news about Rolf and Fionnuala’s new Winter Poem release.
Secret Garden’s new Winter Poem album has all original arrangements from Rolf Lovland, along with the award-winning Expo Suite that he composed for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai China. If you haven’t purchased their newest album yet and you want to sample, you can listen to Secret Garden’s newest release at Valley Entertainment or Amazon using the links below.
On Winter Poem, Rolf and Fionnuala remain close to their signature sound that has made them an international success, but they have also taken on a fresh approach on their newest composition which guarantees their fans something special. Once again the outstanding Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry is happily the centerpiece artist on Winter Poem, plus Secret Garden has enlisted several exceptional Norwegian and Irish musicians for their vibrant new release.
One guest is dynamic vocalist Moya Brennan from Celtic group Clannad, who sings on The Dream, which is one of many new songs you can listen to right now. Another guest vocalist is Fionnuala Gill who sings on song Mary’s Lament. Tracey Campbell and Espen Grjotheim perform on song Powered By Nature.
Secret Garden’s Winter Poem was scored, arranged and produced by Rolf Lovland, and in addition to fine instrumentals by Secret Garden, the special guest vocalists, their new album features the Czech National Symphony Orchestra.
A Secret Garden concert tour in Norway recently gave fans a chance to hear songs from Winter Poem, and songs covering 16 years as an acclaimed music duo with millions of fans worldwide. Secret Garden fans and new visitors have a chance to win an autographed 8 CD collection of Secret Garden albums including the new Winter Poem album. Simply visit Secret Garden’s site, click on the top banner and enter your email address for current news and information on Secret Garden.
Sample and purchase Winter Poem at secretgarden.no and Songs From Before at fionnualasherry.com. Sample or purchase Winter Poem at the Hearts of Space Records Label at valley-entertainment.com. Find more information and read an interview with Fionnuala Sherry on my Secret Garden page. Photos are courtesy secretgarden.no.
David and Steve Gordon are two prominent names people across the globe identify as one of the most prolific artists in today’s international music scene. Plus, the quality arrangements this team of brothers create on a regular basis have made them highly successful, and rightfully so.
Since the founding of their esteemed Sequoia Records label 28 years ago, the award winning Gordon Brothers have rightly earned the honorable reputation of being legendary music producers.
The Gordon Brother’s early formation of new age nature sounds was the inception of their adventurous journey into the more diverse styles of musical arrangements they produce today, which is an comprehensive array of new age, world, electronic, ambient, relaxation, plus an extensive collection of groove and chill out music.
Enthusiasts of groove and chill out music know that David and Steve Gordon are consistently “in the groove themselves” by their great selection of multicultural world fusion albums, which expertly blend ethnic drums and exotic song melodies into world class instrumental music.
David and Steve Gordon are indeed influential when composing their own music creations, plus their compilation albums that highlight top artists from around the globe are another significant component during their role as award winning DJs. Selecting international musical talents from around the world, the top quality artists on Sequoia Record’s playlist lineup can likewise be found on many of their relaxation, groove and chill out releases.
Groove Tribe is the Gordon Brother’s new groove album featuring a vibrant blend of electronic music with ethnic percussion rhythms that creates a distance miles apart from many other forms of multicultural world music. This arrangement contains the calming metrical rhythms and vibrant electronic harmonies that keep the Gordon Brothers in the forefront of new age and world music styles. It also highlights their ability to fashion a wide selection of popular music in a variety of sub-genres.
Groove Tribe has 11 songs of electronic groove and chill out music with world drums and musical instruments. Every song carries the relaxing yet vibrant trademark sound of quality in which David and Steve Gordon are famous. This album is an exotic assortment of smooth song melodies in step with ethnic percussion rhythms so it’s no wonder Groove Tribe has been a bestselling choice for many people.
For those who may be less familiar with their music, or would like a starting point to sample their albums, the Gordon Brothers make finding the right selection easy for you by cataloging their most popular, bestselling releases in a variety of styles and formats.
Visit the sequoiarecords.com homepage and David & Steve Gordon’s music page, and sign up for their Sequoia newsletter. Here is where you can listen to or buy Groove Tribe and find their bestsellers. Photos are courtesy sequoiarecords.com.
Spectrum by Hennie Bekker is one of the best relaxation albums I have heard so far from the award winning artist who has entertained multitudes of people over the course of several decades. Hennie Bekker from Canada, who was born and raised in Africa and lived in England, brings an entire world of experience to his music, and believe me it shows on his newest release.
An Anthology Of Relaxing Instrumental Music is the subtitle of his Spectrum album, which I found to be an wide assortment of melodic songs pointing to the diverse abilities of a truly world-class musician. The entire life work, credits and achievements of Hennie Bekker could easily fill the page of this article alone, but I can briefly say the review of his life work is very impressive.
Hennie Bekker is a multi-platinum musician who has spent his entire music career exploring a wide array of genres, from new age, electronic, instrumental, world music, and practically everything in-between. His nature inspired soundscape designer albums in the Kaleidoscopes, African Tapestries & Hennie Bekker’s Tranquility series are fine examples of his ever increasing variation in style, as is his highly acclaimed work with Dan Gibson’s Solitudes – Exploring Nature with Music series. Their Solitudes series was so popular the releases reached gold, platinum, double and triple platinum status.
Hennie Bekker chose another new direction by becoming a leading member of the techno/dance 3 member group BKS. The group BKS ended up winning a prestigious Juno Award from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), which is equivalent to an American GRAMMY® Award. Film scores and recordings for television and radio can also be included in his growing list of lifetime achievements.
Spectrum is a relaxing album highlighting the entire range and variety of this artist who has composed and produced over 60 albums to date, along with his compositional arrangements and collaborations that number well over a thousand. In a way Spectrum can be considered a “Best of Hennie Bekker Album” since of the 14 songs total, eleven of these songs are recordings selected from his finest music collection to date.
I couldn’t help but think that it would be worth a minute of your time to check out the world-class music Hennie Bekker has spent his entire lifetime perfecting. Visit henniebekker.com to sample or purchase Spectrum, or visit his amazon.com page. Photos are courtesy henniebekker.com.
Jeff Oster is an important name in the music recording industry, and by all accounts, he is an outstanding flugelhorn and trumpet performer like no other. I can say this about the classical and jazz trained horn player with confidence, even before sampling the first of eleven songs on his jazz fusion album he released titled Surrender.
Surrender is Jeff Oster’s fourth of his three prior releases; True, Released & At Last. For those as familiar with Jeff Oster like I am, then you recognize he is a dynamic session artist whose horn parts have played a vital role in music released from a multitude of top artists in the New Age and World music genres for many years.
While Jeff Oster has won album awards of his own, many of his collaboration releases won awards too, performing on studio recordings with artists like Fiona Joy Hawkins, Jamie Bonk, Matt Millecchia, Kori Linae Carothers, Lawrence Blatt, Ann Sweeten, Shambhu, and many more top new age artists producing music today.
Jeff Oster is likewise a strategic recording artist with GRAMMY® Award-Winning Will Ackerman, at his Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont. My point is, besides Jeff Oster’s Album of the Year award, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album award and Best New Age Song award, he is an important artist having an essential role in the success of other artist’s albums too. In turn, musicians on his album are Diane Arkenstone with vocals, and Bryan Carrigan on synthesizer and drum programing.
Surrender features 11 contemporary jazz infused songs that mirrors the true nature of his abilities as a horn instrumentalist, which is the specialized work of a true music professional. And while one can say Surrender is designed as a new age fusion album with a strong urban jazz influence, closer inspection reveals a style of its own. In many ways there is an elegant and sophisticated tenor on each of the eleven songs, yet a poised and relaxed impression too, all in one smooth motion.
Recommending Surrender was truly an easy decision. Jeff Oster has a fine album, plus the chances of Surrender becoming an award winning album at the Independent Music Awards or Zone Music Reporter makes this release extra noteworthy.
While anticipating the award status of any new album is a challenge, I do know Surrender has the distinction of being outstanding music most will appreciate too. Co-produced with Bryan Carrigan, who also co-wrote, recorded and mixed, Surrender, Jeff Oster is a vital flugelhorn and trumpet specialist. This is true, whether it be his own project or an album for another, each are equally important.
Visit the jeffoster.com homepage to sample or purchase or visit his amazon.com page. Find more on my page for Jeff Oster. Visit producer, engineer and recording artist Bryan Carrigan at BryanCarrigan.com. Photos are courtesy jeffoster.com.
Candice Night, lead vocalist of the award winning group Blackmore’s Night, and her new solo album Reflections is drawing a lot of interest upon its release this week. The attention given to her new Reflections album is only logical since Candice Night deserves a considerable amount of admiration even before her solo stride into new musical horizons.
Reflections is a contemporary release that presents Candice in a modern day exodus from the prosperous Blackmore’s Night renaissance group she and husband Ritchie are most recognized for. Regardless, you are sure to love the pleasing contemporary tone and mood on every arrangement.
Renown for her silky vocals and striking on-stage presence, Candice Night is repeatedly compared to other popular female singers like Karen Carpenter and Stevie Nicks by those who know her best, but I can easily name one more popular artist to the list.
The music celebrity I am thinking of is Candice Night herself knowing she is an amazing singing songwriter who really needs no comparison, having already realized a highly successful identity of her own.
In another noteworthy development, Candice has a starring role as an actress in the film House of Eternity, which has a end of 2011 release date.
Candice Night’s worldwide presence as the lead singer and songwriter for Blackmore’s Night just happens to be the perfect introduction for her first solo release. In turn I am sure Reflections will advance her career to even higher acclaim by the 10 instrumental and vocal songs of crossover music in modern variations of popular, country, rock and contemporary themes you are sure to love.
The guitar backed popular tune Gone, Gone, Gone has a modern country design while Wind is Calling (Hush The Wind) is a breezy song with warm intimate vocals that are pleasing to the heart and mind. Another adorable melody is Call It Love.
The beautiful crossover song Call It Love is deeply moving, and a fine complement to her impressive capabilities as a gifted singing songwriter who is acclimated to an expanded variety of popular music arrangements. Even though gold records, prestigious music awards, television appearances and sold out Blackmore’s Night concert tours are a good way to measure the magnitude of her success to date, steadfast confirmation of her achievements can be discovered simply by listening to her sing.
This is true either with Blackmore’s Night or on her solo album Reflections, that is about as good as it gets in terms of a vocal/instrumental album.
In fact, Candice Night’s Reflections is the best contemporary vocal album I have heard this year, so it’s not hard to imagine Reflections achieving one or more category awards for “Best Vocal/Instrumental Album of the Year.” And people who know me best know I don’t say this often. As a songwriter her lyrical aptitude and point of view finds its inspirations go hand in hand with nature, and even more so on Reflections.
Candice Night reached an inspiring turning point in her life when daughter Autumn Esmerelda Blackmore was born. While her presence as lead female vocalist performing world tours with husband Ritchie Blackmore and the entire renaissance troupe are indeed admirable, this momentary departure by her solo stride and change into new music horizons gives listeners a clear panoramic view of an immensely popular artist, and her ever expanding array of talents.
Visit candicenight.com and read her history page. Purchase mp3 downloads and pre-order CDs now. Her Reflections CD is available October 11th at Amazon.com. Visit blackmoresnight.com for news and info and my pages for Blackmore’s Night. Photo and cover art are courtesy candicenight.com.
AOMusic has a beautiful World Fusion music release after their up-and-coming albums Twirl & Grow Wild which share the identical trait of being lively, world-beat music rhythms you are sure to love. To me, what makes AOMusic special, aside from the beautiful melodies, are the central performers themselves knowing every artist is a veteran music professional.
AOMusic’s new release is enthusiastically titled – and Love Rages On! If the colorful album cover and title doesn’t immediately catch your attention, the 9 brilliant songs that integrate World Fusion music with inspiring children’s choir will. Already familiar with AOMusic, I am excited to tell you all about this special group!
Richard Gannaway, Jay Oliver, and Miriam Stockly are the leading artists in AOMusic. Between the three artist’s careers, they have worked with popular music celebrities like; Sheryl Crow, The Eagles, Joe Walsh, Queen, Freddie Mercury, George Michael, Chaka Khan, Jimmy Buffett, Celine Dion, Bonnie Raitt, Tina Turner, David Arkenstone and Mike Oldfield. Believe it or not this all-star music celebrity lineup is a partial list, but it gives you a pretty good idea about the high level of quality these artists are recognized for. And there is much more!
AOMusic shares a genuine message of unity with – and Love Rages On! – It is on this release where ethnic harmonies of children’s choirs from four continents are united with superb world music rhythms and contemporary instrumentals.
Founding artist Richard Gannaway also sings vocals and plays stringed instruments. Jay Oliver performs keyboards and synthesizers. Miriam Stockley, who is a key member, sings vocals on this release after joining Richard Gannaway and Jay Oliver during the time of their second album Grow Wild which went Top 5 on Zone Music Reporter’s Top 100 airplay chart.
And Love Rages On! – is a colorful and vibrant album that will make your heart soar! AO Music takes intricate World Music rhythms and beautiful choir music to the highest level. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if AOMusic – and Love Rages On! – is the recipient of one or more “Best Album of the Year Awards for 2011” when review publicists and music sites announce their best album awards at the beginning of 2012.
You will recognize the beauty of this release even more if you are familiar with lead vocalist Miriam Stockley, who makes a grand impression on Adiemus releases. Miriam Stockley ascertains herself an amazing talent with AO Music. Other essential members in – and Love Rages On! - are Sandeep Chowta who plays Indian flute tracks, and regular contributing artists Andy Georges (strings), George Bernardo (percussion), and Doug Lunn (bass guitar).
AOMusic and its central performers contribute more than a slogan of international unity in their music, having been involved with the projects AOMUSIC 4 HAITI campaign, the global benefit Project Peace On Earth, and the Beijing Olympic Committee by composing the theme music for the 2008 Summer Olympiad.
And Love Rages On! – Genuinely support their values while beautifully communicating their “One People, One World” perspective of solidarity, which couldn’t be more appropriate given the current social issues experienced worldwide. In terms of the unifying harmonies you will hear on their release, I believe you will find enough inspiration to go around it will make the whole world sing!
The children and boys choirs featured on this release are; CRC Children’s Choir (Beijing, P.R.C.), Martve Boys’ Choir (Tbilisi, Peoples Republic of Georgia), Bishop Bavin St. George’s Children’s Choir (Johannesburg, South Africa), Bishop Bavin St. George’s Children’s Choir (Johannesburg, South Africa), Chorus of Light (Orlando, FL), and Rainbow Mountain Children’s School (Asheville, NC).
Grammy nominated composer David Arkenstone has teamed up with Emmy Award winning director Jan Nickman on a new project. Together they have created an amazing nature film in unison with David’s magnificent instrumental soundtrack CD. When the film and cinematic music score are experienced as a single collective, it’s easy to see their project together is more than admirable, it is an absolute masterpiece!
The Echoes of Creation soundtrack by David Arkenstone is an excellent new release from the award winning, three times Grammy nominated composer who has produced a lengthy list of great instrumental albums over the course of his long career which spans decades. His popularity as a favorite artist of many persons including myself is apparent when you consider he has sold over one million albums throughout his career. In addition, recognition has arrived in other forms since he has been listed in the top 10 Billboard New Age charts twenty times.
David Arkenstone and his popular music repertoire can range anywhere from Ambient, Celtic, Contemporary, World, and New Age Fusion, is a unique characteristic of his vast discography which practically guarantees there is a favorite album for just about everyone. As an accomplished musician he is accustom to playing a wide variety of instruments, some of which include electronic keyboards, piano, cello, flute, harp, mandolin and a number of guitars. David is also a percussionist, sings vocals on some of his albums, and even tours as a concert performer.
The Echoes of Creation film highlights a variety of inspiring landscape footage of the Pacific Northwest, California and Alaska which was filmed from an eagle’s eye point of view. Some of the photographic footage captures scenes of three thousand years old sequoias, to an aurora borealis, and many more natural landscapes and scenic settings. With the holiday season drawing nearer, what an excellent Christmas gift the CD/DVD would be!
The soundtrack CD matched with the colorful nature film was photographed in high definition and aired nationwide on Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) and contains poetic narration by Karen Hutton. There are a variety of formats, so if you prefer the CD soundtrack or film on DVD, there are several purchase options.
David Arkenstone’s recent CDs entitled Celtic Journeys & Ambient World are both great albums too. They go a long way in pointing out the remarkable diversity of his song writing aptitude by using album title comparison alone. When you consider David Arkenstone’s impressive capabilities as a multi-instrumentalist and experience as a popular artist, it’s clear David was the perfect choice for this nature inspired film. View the Echoes of Creation official trailer on my page for David Arkenstone.
Visit the davidarkenstone.com homepage to sample or purchase the CD soundtrack. Visit echoesofcreationmovie.com to order Echoes of Creation on CD or DVD formats. Photos are courtesy davidarkenstone.com.
Mark Barnes is a multiple award winning composer and producer with several exceptional album releases available, and another new project on the way entitled Alive which is nearing completion. After listening to his two most current CD releases, I can almost say with near certainty that the Alive CD will be comprised with more dramatic instrumental music with cutting edge electronics like I heard on his first two albums. I enjoyed meeting Mark so let me tell you more about him.
Mark Barnes has enjoyed the honor and distinction of producing award-winning music over the years, having won the Independent National Artist of the year award in 2008 from the Phoenix Music Awards.
He was the recipient of the Hollywood F.A.M.E. Award for Music & Cinema at the 18th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards, and a top 20 finalist in the instrumental category for the 11th annual edition of Unisong, an International Songwriting Contest.
In 2009 Mark Barnes won the Soloist of the Year Award at the 19th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards, and Composer of the Year award at the 20th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards in 2010. Another recent honor was the 2010 Genre Award in Music at the Pride in the Arts Music Awards, which was sponsored by Rainbow World Radio.
Mark’s most recent music award was for Best Original Song composition at the 2011 TCI Film Festival with co-writer and two-times Academy Award Nominee Carol Connors. Their win for best song was for a documentary-drama film score song titled A City Within A Dream.
The Awakening & Temporal Infinity is the two most current releases from Mark who is a U.S. resident from the state of Florida. He also happens to be a touring musician currently planning his 2012 concert tour that will present his live performance combined with digital animation and live action video. His objective is to display a stunning visual effect in correlation with each song so that concert attendees can visualize his music. To me, I can picture the effect similar to an audio visual concert designed for the hearing impaired.
The Awakening is the most current album featuring 14 songs that are an ethereal blend of New Age, Ambient and Electronic. Like most of the albums and individual downloads I sampled, The Awakening is an album that seems to highlight his skill as a pianist and composer who possess a full repertoire of engaging melodies. Likewise there is a magnificent counterpoise to his piano compositions by the synthesizer element which extends the range and depth and gives each piece a deep feeling of inner beauty.
The title song The Awakening & To The Edge Of The World are moderately time piano pieces that are good examples for his personal style of instrumental and synthesizer arrangements, some of which have strong percussion backing.
The Prayer was the best song I thought by portraying the deeply emotive melody on an epic scale that is comparable to the grand instrumentals in Back To Bali. The song Sunday Morning Dance is more of an exception to other songs since the primary focus here is a lively paced electronic techno rhythm with strong percussion to match.
Mark Barnes who is a voting member of The Recording Academy (Grammys) has another fine New Age, Ambient, and Electronic release titled Temporal Infinity. This earlier album is perpetually uplifting like The Awakening, but of a gentler variety on the 13 song composition. I thought both could be a best album or best song award winner.
The Awakening & Temporal Infinity each has their own melodic perspectives while giving a perfect illustration of this artist’s style and diversity. When listening to both albums the two interconnected aspects of his classic based melodies with expert synthesizer complements made me appreciate the fact I was listening to not only a multi-award winning composer and producer, but a seasoned music professional.
Visit markbarnsmusic.com to sample/purchase or visit his Amazon.com page. Photos are courtesy Mark Barnes Music. Visit carolconnors.com to read about the amazing career of Carol Connors, who herself will be the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in Composition this November at the Los Angeles Music Awards. Congradulations Carol Connors!
New Age Music and popular, mainstream music by celebrity artists is becoming even more diverse these days. Many artists within the New Age genre often have additional musical influences including Popular, Progressive, Rock, Adult Alternative, Soul, Folk, Jazz and other subcategories. Likewise, many of yesterday and today’s top artists who produce popular hit music have ventured into song melodies considered far from the swift currents of mainstream music.
Tasmin Archer is a popular artist from the UK who became an international sensation back in 1992 with the release of her very first album entitled Great Expectations. Being one of my favorite artists for many years after hearing her first release, I can tell you her other albums like ON, Bloom & Shipbuilding are a variety of songs that can be viewed as popular or mainstream music, but ascertaining one specific music influence in her music becomes much more challenging. She is indeed adventurous!
Tasmin Archer’s smash hit song Sleeping Satellite from Great Expectations led to international recognition, reaching number one top album in the United Kingdom and Ireland, in addition to reaching international chart success in many countries.
The wonderful Great Expectations album with 11 songs reached number 8 in UK Albums Chart and attained gold disc status at years end. Tasmin was later bestowed another honor when she won an excellence in music BRIT award for the Best British Breakthrough Act.
Tasmin Archer has a sense of adventure on Great Expectations you will discover. Her lyrical point of view on all of her albums is straightforward, with a down to earth expression in touch with current day ecological and social issues.
The accompanying musicians are John Hughes and Robbie McIntosh on guitars. Keyboard players are John Beck and Paul Wickens. The percussionist is Charlie Morgan and Gary Maughan played a Fairlight synthesizer. Backing vocalists with Tasmin Archer are Tessa Niles and Carol Kenyon.
Shown below is the extraordinary song video called Sleeping Satellite from the Great Expectations album by Tasmin Archer.
There are plans for a new album by Tasmin Archer in 2012 which is welcomed news!
Cover art courtesy tasminarcher.com.
Acclaimed composing Jazz pianist Lisa Hilton has released her newest instrumental album entitled Underground. Lisa’s continuity for producing trendy and progressive music that takes the high road over the years may not have surprised those who know her best. After the release of 12 significant recordings, her earlier albums have indeed helped pave the way to place her name recognition alongside other top Jazz artists.
Lisa Hilton from Southern California was raised in a family of musicians after having taught herself to play piano and compose music at an early age, before setting her sights on formal educational studies in classical and twentieth century piano. Her early love of music in a variety of styles became the early foundation before a transition into the contemporary Jazz excursions in which Lisa is so highly regarded today.
The progressive nature of her work as a pianist have not gone unnoticed either since her songs have received airplay prominence on hundreds of radio stations including the United States, Canada and other countries internationally. This includes syndicated programs like NPR Morning Edition, Sirius XM Radio, along with numerous online radio stations which have led to strong radio chart listings at College Media Journal, Earshot Jazz and JazzWeek radio charts.
Lisa Hilton’s thirteenth album entitled Underground features her band performing 9 songs that are quite adventurous in compositional style, even by her own standards. Recording and producing an album every year since 1997, her band features world-class musicians Larry Grenadier on bass, Nasheet Waits on percussion, and J.D. Allen performing tenor saxophone.
Together this talented group does a magnificent job of openly communicating Lisa’s reintroduced vision of Jazz expressions as a team, and during their key roles in the spotlight as soloists.
The title song from the Underground album is lively and up-tempo with great counter rhythms, which offset the quietly laidback moments in Just A Little Past Midnight & B Minor Waltz. The bands interactive poise is apparent on the stylish song Blue Truth and throughout the classic swing and sway of Jack & Jill during Lisa’s extensively driven movement up and down the keyboard.
Lisa Hilton is a great talent who personifies Jazz improvisation with creativity and imagination. While Underground, Nuance, & Twilight & Blues reflect her achievements as a Jazz musician, and are refined lexes in their orientation to New Age albums, her distinguished piano performances of improvisation either as a soloist or with the band under her direction is definitely worth a listen. Lisa Hilton’s newest release is boldly expressive in Lisa’s already exploratory viewpoint as a Jazz pianist. Clearly an innovative escapade in elegance, Underground is like a smooth journey down a newly paved road.
Photo courtesy Michael Weintrob. Cover art courtesy lisahiltonmusic.com.
If one takes a minute to listen close enough, beautiful ambient music is all around us. It’s only natural those who live in the countryside have more time available to enjoy the serenity of a peaceful atmosphere verses those who live in an urban environment. Regardless of where you live, undesirable noise can strike any time of the day or night just like clockwork.
Coburn Tuller from the Springfield Missouri area, truly enjoys the best of both worlds. Not only does he live on the outskirts of a metropolitan area where annoying noise is at a minimum, but he also invented a musical instrument that produces peaceful and relaxing timbres any hour of the day or night he desires. The inherently unique musical creation he fabricated is named The Tones, and the relaxing qualities produced from this innovative instrument are the foundation for his first exclusive new release titled Butterfly Tones.
Coburn Tuller is first and foremost a talented musician, having reached a level of expertise on numerous instruments over the years including acoustic and electric guitar, dulcimer and piano. Coburn conceived the idea for his music innovation during walk around midnight back in 1996, when he heard wind chimes lightly touching in a gentle breeze.
While most of us are familiar with the sound of various wind chimes, and would think nothing further about this blend of manmade and natural ambience, the random series of sound fascinated him and sparked his imagination. Coburn then theorized this ambient sound could be taken to a whole new level, and determined that aluminum tubing of accurate length, diameter and dimension would produce an original sound modulation when struck with a mallet. He then accepted the challenge and spent the next 15 years perfecting his one of a kind instrument – The Tones.
Butterfly Tones features 9 songs of melodic bell timbres that are without a doubt one of the more unique forms of music I have ever heard. The Tones itself is a musical instrument that stands over 8 foot tall, and consists of 3 pyramid structures supporting 90 aluminum and brass tubes of various size and dimension, which range from 7 inches to over 6 foot in length.
If one were to classify the musical invention, I would imagine it would most likely be categorized as a directly struck idiophone like tubular bells or a xylophone, both of which are percussion instruments most often used in an orchestra arrangement. But their distinctive sound also enables the creation of an independent melody.
The 9 songs on Butterfly Tones highlight this instrumental freedom of expression to create some beautiful pieces. During Coburn’s performance you will notice like I did that every note struck produces a clear and precise harmony rather than a series of arbitrary sounds. One of the most interesting effects is the natural tone reverberation in every octave of the bells which can linger for minutes during a song.
This natural resonating characteristic of bell tones is apparent on every piece, where multiple layers enhance a distinct harmony while Coburn ascends and descends through the scales using select octaves and tempos. I also noticed the array of notes struck in the bass range often transfer the background theme for each song in the treble range, but the delivery of treble notes likewise act as a counterbalance for bass notes during each arrangement. I would also say the vibrant resonating sound produced is either close to, or the equivalent of the same note intervals and harmonic pitch found on the diatonic scale. Regardless of which musical scale is used, the tones sound perfect in pitch on every octave and ring true.
Coburn Tuller has discovered a steadfast new source of peaceful ambience whose finely balanced sound qualities are available day, night, or anytime the bell tolls. If you listen for yourself I am sure you will agree this exclusive album presented on CD or MP3 has an elegant rhythm and symmetry for relaxation you can count on, just like clockwork.
Photos are courtesy butterflytonescd.com.
Jon Anderson and progressive rock music group Yes, are a featured topic here at Music World for the past couple of months. My earlier news articles are primarily about Jon Anderson’s 2011 concert tour and his new release – Survival & Other Stories, but I also had the opportunity to interview former lead singer Jon Anderson. This was quite an honor since I have been a fan of Jon and the group Yes for many years.
The musician lineup of the GRAMMY® Award winning music group Yes has changed over the years, but their exceptional blend of progressive rock arrangements, with symphonic and classical music blends remain as popular with today’s Yes fans as it was yesteryear when Jon Anderson graced the stage.
Fly From Here is the new album from Yes. It’s easy to see why Fly From Here is such a highly anticipated new release, being their first original album in 10 years. I have heard samples at Amazon, and can attest to the fact this release is indeed special. Recognized around the globe for providing Yes fans much more than just a pretty album cover, the group Yes remain the definitive superstars of progressive rock music!
Currently Yes has their U.S. Summer Tour With Styx, with July and August dates scheduled. The Yes European Winter Tour has scheduled dates in November and December. Current members of the band are; Benoît David (vocals) Steve Howe (lead guitar) Chris Squire (bass guitar) Geoff Downes (keyboards) Alan White (percussion). Fly From Here had early release in Japan, France, and Europe, with availability in the U.S. beginning July 12, 2011. Cover art courtesy yesworld.com.
In the latest news about Yes, the new Yes live album entitled In The Present – Live from Lyon is available on CD and DVD. The latest Yes tour news for 2012 are plans for live performances in Australia, New Zealand and Japan.
Visit the official yesworld.com website to find tour info and shop the Yes online store or Amazon.com to sample and purchase Fly From Here. Find out Jon Anderson’s tour info and his new album on our pages dedicated to Jon Anderson.
If you have ever heard the facts about our universe that there are over 1 billion galaxies other than our own, and there are more stars in the sky than grains of sand on every shore, then you know these truths about our universe make the interstellar space above us seem infinite and hard to envision.
Fred Thrane from Sandpoint Idaho has incorporated those fact based linear notes on the inside CD cover of his debut album Angels of the Sun, but in a related topic much closer to home and easier to picture is the like a grain of sand approach in which he composed and launched his first instrumental album. Presenting his exclusive talents on CD for his first official introduction, Angels of the Sun yields an expansive diversity in what you would expect to hear on a debut album, so it is a release that can be appreciated by a variety of people.
Angels of the Sun features diverse styles ranging from New Age, Flamenco and Contemporary, which likewise ascertain his aptitude as an accomplished guitarist of various styles. Relying on his strong background as both a student and music educator, I thought Fred Thrane has released a wonderful first album. Everything began when he picked up the guitar for the first time during his teen years studying Classical and Flamenco guitar.
The next phase of his education was Classical Guitar instruction during college years at UC Santa Barbra. Fred later transferred to Cal State Hayward, where he majored in guitar and earned a master’s degree in music, with a specialty in Classical Guitar. For the next 5 years he took lessons from distinguished guitarist Rey de la Torre. Fred Thrane then reached a turning point when he began his teaching career as Professor of Music at San Jose State University and Foothill College while educating students in Classical Guitar. It was during this time period he had composed some of the melodies for this release.
Angels of the Sun features 9 engaging songs, and brings with it the foresight and experience of a music professional that has devoted much of his life acquiring the skills needed to produce an album which is singular in its existence yet further reaching in its appeal among many.
Dennis Murphy and Jim Norris are two performers who provide accompaniment on this release. While Denis plays bass and Jim contributes the variety of percussion parts, both complement the nucleus of Fred’s composition by magnifying his melodic theme, and then adding a good measure of vibrant harmony of their own.
The more extravagant Flamenco styled songs Big Sur, Fandango in Four, Farruca & Moraga Raga were my favorites. Like most songs on this instrumental album, you will find they are quite lively and up-tempo with great percussion enhancements which are in harmony with the energetic atmosphere one would expect to hear on Flamenco music. The Title Song, Dawn Dancer & The Third Heaven are more serene in tempo and rhythm, but they too are engaging and consistent in theme.
Finding a forte in blending New Age, Flamenco and Classical styles into a single orchestration, Fred Thrane is a music professional who shines on his first release by his diverse experience as a guitarist. More than capable of arranging a select number of music influences into a single improvisation of wonder, I can see where Angels of the Sun will please a wide variety of musical tastes. In the end, this makes his first release seem more like a universal commodity.
Hubble Telescope cover image courtesy NASA, B.D. Moore and J.J. Hester.
The New Age Music Circle is an online community forum founded by international composer, producer, and music circle host Suzanne Doucet. Having a membership roster well over a thousand members from around the world, the Circle forum is the leading discussion platform where top New Age artists, industry professionals, and music fans alike can share music, videos, post information about events and participate in a variety of circle forum discussions.
Sounds from the Circle 111 is the 2011 CD release from Circle members who submitted their New Age, and related sub genre music for consideration. Host and founder of the music circle, Suzanne Doucet then produced this rather special album which contains 40 songs and holds over 3 hours of music. It takes around 4 months to compile Sounds from the Circle albums and organize the songs for a smooth and uniform arrangement of the 40 quality songs offered in a variety of melodic themes. The CD can be played in mp3 compatible CD players or in computer CD-ROM drives, which will download into an iTunes player. The album can likewise be purchase and downloaded on iTunes.
Sounds from the Circle 1 & 11 are two earlier compilation albums in a similar format which became a popular playlist of songs for online radio stations, including the popular 365 Stars radio station my friend and colleague B.T. Fasmer hosts. For the artists, Sounds from the Circle releases have distribution involving important music conferences and trade shows like INATS & MIDEM. Another nice feature for the fan is the cover insert that lists each artist’s name, track, album title and website which makes it easy to find more about the artists of special interest to you.
Sounds from the Circle 111 features some great musicians, and is in fact a unique compilation album like no other you will find available in 2011. Created in the universal atmosphere among friends who belong to the New Age Music Circle, the far reaching diversity of performing musicians on this international release becomes another integral quality that makes this release special. John P. Olsen
New Age Music World has featured six out of the forty musicians listed on the album over the years. Bill Wren begins with the first song En Mai from the One Day in a Life album. Kori Linae Carothers has her song Blue Ice from the Trillium album. Marc Enfroy has the song A Good Heart from Unconditional, and David Mauk has his title song from the Ground Swell album. Jeffery Fisher is another with Bird Dance from Satyagraha (Songs of the Earth) and then Suzanne Doucet completes the Sounds from the Circle CD with final song OM from her As it is Now release.
Jonas Kroon has released his first cinematic album during 2011, and it didn’t take very long to answer the essential question of whether I believe his first release entitled Melo would be of interest to my site visitors. Another point that answers the question of whether Jonas Kroon and Melo would be the perfect candidate is the quality of his first album, along with the proven experience he has demonstrated as a music specialist, even though this is technically his first release.
Jonas Kroon is a Norwegian composer, producer and artist taking full advantage of his tenure in the music business to produce one of the most unique debut albums I have heard in recent memory. As one might imagine this artist from Norway reveals his years of experience directly into his first product which sounds more like something you would expect from a musician with several best of the year releases or chart topping albums.
Riviera is a Sweden based global music company with a branch in Oslo Norway, where Jonas is currently employed producing artistic scores for the firm. During his time with Riviera, Jonas produces commercials, feature films, and television programing which have clearly given him an edge for his first release. Developing his talents along the way with a company handling accounts like IKEA, Burger King, McDonalds, Volkswagen, Saab and Volvo does make his technical edge and cinematic expertise noticeably sharper.
Melo is a 2011 AMAdea Records release having a unique identity of its own character since Jonas had the freedom to compose his first album without the usual constraints of what various clients may have expected for him to produce. The 14 songs represent a renewed focus on creating cinematic music composed to his personal taste and perceptions which has led to a great album. After reading the list of film composers he favored including Hans Zimmer, Danny Elfman and Howard Shore, I couldn’t agree with him more on his choices of top film score composers.
Melo is very much Cinematic with a composite of World and Ethnic influences from beginning to end, relying on electronic and symphonic elements along with wonderful percussion rhythms. The up-tempo songs Her Er Eg, Fakir Fusion & Into the Wild were my top favorites, along with violin and guitar version given on The King, with each featuring exotic without lyric vocals and orchestra instrumentals. However the more moderate in time songs Element, Zanzibar & Highland are just as worthy by highlighting colorful vocals with rich instrumental setting of cello, flutes, guitars, keyboards, violin and percussion which is a prominent feature on the entire album.
Melo is likewise the name of the 14 member band of international musicians Jonas selected to become the foundation for his album. The 14 member band whose first concert was in 2007 at the Paul McCartney Auditorium in Liverpool England was off to a great start right from the beginning. Formed in 2006, the band members in Melo represent the nations of Norway, Sweden, UK, Poland, Bosnia and Hungary.
Jonas Kroon didn’t have a long track record of earlier releases, chart topping albums or top music awards, but his musical aptitude and what he produced made top honors with me. The new release Melo easily makes my list as a new release to be commended and who is to say what the future holds, so let’s hope we hear more. Along with several other review publicists that have written positive reviews about him, Jonas has earned my respect, for which there is no question.
The following musicians are Melo band members performing with Jonas Kroon who provided vocals, keyboards and programing; Jostein Austvik (drums) Alex Braathen (percussion, vocals) Sondre Sandhaug (bass) Goran Obad ( electric guitars, saz, oud, tambura) Mateusz Rostad (violin) Birgit Nerheim (violin) Line Haukland (cello) Silje Karlsen (vocals, flutes) Kjersti Vatnan Ekman (vocals, flutes) Thomas Wicklund Larsen (vocals) Trym Bjonnes (vocals, didgeridoo).
Photo and artwork courtesy Oda Hveem & Jonas Kroon.
Picture yourself as a singer on stage in front of a large crowd of people with all eyes upon you. Now, even if you are well accustomed to performing on stage, and are within your comfort zone in front of an audience and do well, keeping audiences entertained year after year is of course a completely different story. To survive and remain a long-term success, everything is dependent on your abilities as a vocalist and the quality of the lyrical message you wish to deliver.
Jon Anderson, former lead vocalist and lyrical messenger for the group Yes, is while I write this review, standing on a stage entertaining audiences during tour venues in the United States, Canada, and Mexico, which is in support of his concept album – Survival & Other Stories. What I find most impressive about Jon Anderson is the fact he has been not only capturing, but keeping a firm grip on audiences with his music for the past 5 decades, and so it goes without saying that Jon Anderson is a wonderfully gifted vocalist with a exciting message people truly want to hear over and over again.
It was during my recent 2011 interview with Jon Anderson where he specified that while on stage, concert goers would hear original Yes songs, along with Jon & Vangelis songs. In addition he articulates the biographical aspects about his life to an audience, what the songs mean and how they were created, along with singing songs from his newest release – Survival & Other Stories. Jon also acknowledged the importance his fans are to him, which are of course the lifeblood for any artist.
Jon Anderson is a music superstar, even to those other than his most loyal fans who regard him as one of the greatest music icons past and present. While true he is best known as the former lead singer and key lyricist of the Progressive Rock band Yes, his prolific solo music career continues to be as positive and significant today as it was years ago, when people like myself were buying his vinyl records!
Jon Anderson’s influence and starring role in music over five decades is legendary, and one can say Jon’s divine voice and lyrical message is clearly unforgettable. Presently, it is estimated over 38 million records were sold during his years as the dynamic lead vocalist with Yes, and his successful solo career to date. Even today people are discovering the earlier works from Yes, in addition to his numerous collaborations with other top artists, and personalized solo projects.
Survival & Other Stories is a concept album Jon created after he nearly perished from a serious illness. The silver lining began after his recovery when this unique project began to take shape. During this time period, Jon published a message on his website inviting artists to submit their music for this new endeavor.
When musicians from all corners of the world turned in their ethnic music over the internet the substance of something beautiful was born. Jon then mixed, composed, and co-produced with wife Jane Anderson the first of three concept albums, Survival & Other Stories which has a collection of 11 songs with wonderful orchestrations unified with Jon’s heartfelt vocal energies clearly articulated both musically and lyrically as optimistic and positive.
The first song New New World which opens with bold drum cadence, snare taps, and dancing strings makes a clear distinction this release is like no other yet his lyrical propensity and alto tenor range vocals reassure the listener this release will be just as impressive as the melodies he released decades ago. Unbroken Sprit is a moving piece with a light percussion backed melody, while Love Of The Life & Big Buddha Song touch upon politics and religion with spirited instrumentals backing verses of inspiration.
The blend of harmonic ethnicities continues in the moderately arranged melodies Understanding Truth, Effortlessly, Love And Understanding & Sharpening The Sword. All songs are identifiable in a sense by vocal recognition, yet each has a varying metrical rhythm and unique melody which gives every song a singular timbre and atmosphere. Gentle introspective moments are prevalent qualities in the more serene songs Incoming, Just One Man & Cloudz.
Jon Anderson without a doubt has a wonderful story to share, and in the auditory sense, his new release has a personalized point of view that comes across as musical magic. And while many artists have abandoned their music careers or quietly faded away by stepping off and never returning to the stage, Jon Anderson has clearly reached the expert level while entertaining his audiences onstage and in the studio. As it turns out, 2011 now appears to be an exciting year for everyone.
On the 10 page CD cover booklet are all song lyrics and a memoir style narrative from Jon. The global musicians listed on specific songs are; Jamie Dunlap, Peter Kiel, Jann Castor, Dan Spollen, Kevin Shima, Stefan Poddell, Steve Layton, Jeremy Cubert, Christophe Lebled, Ryan Fraley, Daniel Reinker, and Paul Quinn.
Visit jonanderson.com for music news and concert info. Survival & Other Stories can be pre-ordered from Gonzo Multimedia and Amazon.com prior to June 6 release date. Read our 2011 interview article on our pages dedicated to Jon Anderson.
Concert photo courtesy jonanderson.com. Big Stock Photo – dws.
In an exciting new release notice, international music sensation Fionnuala Sherry is preparing for the North American release of her solo debut album entitled Songs From Before by Hearts of Space Records. If you are among her millions of enthusiastic supporters in Canada and the United States you may already be mindful of the early applause given to her solo album, having been an instantaneous achievement upon the initial release in Europe during 2010.
The Irish born Fionnuala Sherry is the celebrated violinist, vocalist, and fairer side of the music duo Secret Garden, which she shares with equally gifted Norwegian composer and pianist Rolf Løvland. Together as a team the pair of music professionals are admired and loved by millions for their award winning melodies, some of which were performed by stars like Barbara Streisand, Josh Groban, and UK prominent artists Westlife.
Fionnuala Sherry herself arrives from a family of musicians who began her music career at an early age, and I can say with near certainty that it was not luck of the Irish or mere happenchance that she is presently one of the most popular musicians produced in modern day Ireland. After graduating with honors from the College of Music of Trinity College, she relocated in Dublin to continue her musical ambitions. During her tenure as a seasoned professional she remained a member of the RTE Concert Orchestra for 10 years. In addition she has performed with a broad range of top artists over the years, including The Chieftains, Sinead O’Connor, Van Morrison, Chris de Burgh and Bono of U2 fame, along with her role in several Hollywood film scores with the Irish Film Orchestra.
Songs From Before is as you can imagine, uniquely personal by her wonderful expressions on violin with instrumental accompaniment, remaining true to character in regards to the fine melodies for which Fionnuala is famous. Her contemporary instrumental album highlights some of Ireland’s most beloved melodies, and some unreleased material. The modern theme reproduces songs made for the popular music standards of today, which brings us back to the lineage of her solo release.
Secret Garden as you know is where Fionnuala shares a starring role with composing musician Rolf Løvland from Norway. Together their achievements run deep, having won the Eurovision Song Contest in 1985 and 1995 with sold out concert tour performances to multitudes of people worldwide. It is estimated they have sold well over 5 million albums as the music group Secret Garden, some of which were platinum or gold records, along with their recording status on the Billboard New Age charts.
Fionnuala Sherry breathes new life into the 10 songs which have been in the planning stages for years. Some born of Irish heritage, her modern revisions capture traditional moments with charm and charisma during a fine performance on an English John Edward Betts violin from the 1790 time period. The overall sound quality is rich and opulent, uplifting at one moment to deeply poignant in another. Descriptive words like elegant and graceful are often overused, but truly merited in this case. I felt every song has a melodic tenor of sophistication without being overly classical and beautiful in depth without a veiled shroud of mystery.
While fame and success as the fairer side of Secret Garden is a principal achievement which precedes her solo release, Fionnuala Sherry’s Songs From Before is an shining example for her all inclusive music heritage. The 10 pieces are a moving experience and inspirational beacon showing her in a new light. May the light continue to shine far and bright.
Visit fionnualasherry.com homepage and valley-entertainment.com music store for pre-orders, and Amazon.com or iTunes when officially released in June 2011. Visit Fionnuala and Rolf at their secretgarden.no homepage and music webshop page.
Cover art courtesy of fionnualasherry.com.
It really doesn’t matter how old you are, but I would be willing to take a guess and say that there was a time in your life when everything seemed much simpler. Living the carefree life as a youngster might be the best way to describe this positively uplifting feeling that everyone has experienced at one time.
Keith Driskill has created an acoustic guitar album that gives one the impression of those lighthearted days by gentle guitar melodies of inspiration. His release A Time of Innocence is an acoustic guitar album that at least, momentarily shuttles the listener to a relaxing state of mind by its peaceful down to earth purity.
Keith Driskill performs superbly on acoustic guitar using the fingerstyle technique, and as it turns out, he is pretty well versed in articulating the emotional imagery of those carefree days, and does so with amazing clarity. Finding an early fascination in learning how to play the guitar at age 10, Keith began to explore and develop his own skills during the early years as a youngster growing up in Kentucky. This may have had something to do with the present day Utah resident’s abilities at expressing the simplistic period of our youth by fine guitar melodies.
A Time of Innocence is a New Age, Solo Guitar album with traditional Folk music elements. The 9 songs are best defined as serene and peaceful, yet there is a broader modulation of warmth and depth, which makes A Time of Innocence something rather unique and special. On the surface you will find light guitar rhythms comingle and reside in time with more complex tracings of depth and refinement which is a nice counterpart to the lighter more serene qualities.
The song Lover’s Farewell is the melody I felt best compliments this adaptation. The equally relaxing Moonlight Lullaby & Fireflies each convey an elevated atmosphere of inspiration. It may be less important how I phrase the description of Keith Driskill’s acoustic guitar music, just so long as wonderfully uplifting music is incorporated when summarizing his solo guitar endeavors. While true none of us can return to the carefree days of our youth, Keith’s guitar melodies offers a moment to reminisce about those lighthearted days of our past that ironically turn out to be important to most of us during our adult years. It’s an easygoing acoustic expression about A Time of Innocence.
Photos courtesy driskillmusic.com.
It’s a great time of celebration for fans of 2002, and I would imagine a time of celebration for Randy and Pamela Copus, the husband and wife duo that are the heart and life force of 2002. After nineteen years as top New Age music producers, Randy and Pamela are nearing a significant milestone in their lengthy music careers by an upcoming 20 year anniversary as an award winning, Billboard charting music duo.
Randy and Pamela Copus of 2002 have just released an exceptional new album titled Damayanti, which is centered around a mythical love story from the distant past. It was nineteen years ago when 2002 first began producing music with their first album titled Wings. Since then, it’s as if their popular celestial melodies have soared among the clouds in an ascending flight of their own.
Many would agree the New Age Billboard charting 2002 music duo Randy and Pamela Copus are without a doubt, one of the finest musicial groups producing music today. Their true to life popularity is apparent by the number of times 2002 has been listed as a favorite musical group, having charted 9 times in the New Age Billboard Charts within the past 10 years, equaling 270 weeks total on the New Age charts.
2002 was likewise featured artists in the December 2003 Magazine issue of Year in Review at Billboard by being listed right alongside several other top New Age artists you are sure to recognize including Enya, George Winston, Jim Brickman, Manheim Steamroller and Yanni. Sharing the airwaves and limelight at Billboard with other top music artists does ascertain their prominence and reputation as a chosen favorite for many people.
Damayanti by 2002 is on their recently introduced Galactic Playground Music label. The album has 10 opulent songs, and while it is not an immense departure from earlier albums, this bit of info should be taken as good news. You will find Damayanti reveals a wonderful change in tonal atmosphere which does make it stand out from earlier predecessors, plus I imagine it will be another radio favorite on the airwaves.
Flight of the Swan is a moving and graceful piece by the free flowing guitar and flute melodies backed by light chorales and steady percussion rhythm. The serene piano and flute pairing in Challenge From Heaven is divine, while the imaginative flute and guitar arrangement in Cycle of Time, Destinies & Enduring Love equally broadcast the celestial elegance which personifies the complete 2002 musical identity.
Damayanti was created in comparison like earlier 2002 albums by Randy Copus playing piano, electric cello, guitar and bass, while Pamela Copus played flutes, harp, keyboards and a WX5 wind instrument. On this album however their young daughter Sarah Copus sang some of the vocal parts.
Even now with their unending popularity and recognition, 2002 today remain steadfast in their creative ambitions of producing quality orchestrations. Their close attention to instrumental and technical details during every album production seems to result in a complete reinvention of themselves every time, as is the case with their brand new release Damayanti. Like any true to life story with a happy conclusion, I expect 2002 will continue to be a chosen favorite for many people in the years ahead, which should give Randy and Pamela Copus another reason to give pause, reflect, and to celebrate.
Visit the 2002music.com homepage and then sample / purchase or go to their Amazon.com page. 2002 recently produced an album with Marc Enfroy titled Unconditional, so read more on our pages for 2002 and Marc Enfroy.
Cover artwork courtesy Cindy Grundsten.
Kelly Andrew from Denver Colorado is an admirable composing musician I wrote an album review about recently. You might recall I spoke very highly of his instrumental debut album titled Olympus. There was a pretty good reason I recommended his first effort to our visitors since Olympus really is one appreciable album!
In fact, I had even earlier stated in my album review that Olympus has some of the finest orchestrations I have heard in recent memory, and his classic symphonic music with contemporary instrumentals backed by full percussion, is a music symphony that will stand the test of time. Like all of my album reviews, there shouldn’t be any reading between the lines with that statement. Kelly has a second album with a night to day contrast in style titled Reflections.
Kelly Andrew is a great musician who is far from being a new composer since he is actually identified for creating a wide array of music having composed and arranged over 35 original singles, some of which were performed and recorded with the University of Colorado Choir.
One point I would like to make is that even if Olympus was his debut album, Kelly Andrew is a great composer too, well-seasoned with over 15 years of experience producing his individual brand of music in a variety of influences. Some of his arrangements are expressions in New Age, Cinematic, Contemporary, Symphonic, Soundtrack, Neo-Classical, World music, and a wide range of original orchestrations.
Reflections by Kelly Andrew really did surprise me after listening to this 11 song recording. Reflections is a second great album, but the surprise is most apparent in the way he composed the two albums. While his first has deep orchestrations and a bolder atmosphere, Reflections is an impressive contrast in style, and it is pretty clear his second album Reflections is even more aligned in the Cinematic or Soundtrack category.
The 11 songs are a selection of instrumental ensembles with Kelly Andrew on piano, keyboards and synthesizer. Aditional musicians are; Marcy Baruch (vocals) Randy Chavez (guitar) Christian Teele (percussion) Bijoux Barbosa (bass) Kailin Yong (violin) James Brody (oboe) Rachel Ellins (harp) and Rodney Garnett (flutes). Musicians from the Colorado Symphony Orchestra provided the strings section.
Reflections has a wonderful blending of New Age, Contemporary Instrumental, Symphonic music, and again commendable. Kelly Andrew’s change in direction has produced a second great album, and I would certainly recommend his first and second, with a third appreciable mention being the smooth transition in style conveyed by the artist himself.
Album artwork by Kelly Andrew.