Archive for the ‘Award Winning Music’ Category
Award-winning Soundtrack: The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
This week Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross earned a GRAMMY® Award in the Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media Category for their soundtrack score The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. Identical to the movie itself, this lengthy soundtrack with 39 songs paints a dark and deeply mysterious sound-scape by the two artist’s electronic score composed from an equally enigmatic viewpoint.
However when listening to this award-winning soundtrack outside the context of the movie, does The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo still earn the appreciation it deserves? This appears to be the case. The Social Network Soundtrack from 2010, which won a Golden Globe and Academy Award, is another prize movie score of Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross earning this team well-deserved admiration of music buffs and moviegoers alike.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Soundtrack by itself is a masterful collection of electronic music. Now given the prestige of award-winning status and the backing of the motion picture regarded as an epic thriller, this cinematic movie soundtrack by itself has become a success by progressing into the popular arena of a trendy modern classic.
The soundtrack with 39 songs is available in a 3 audio CD box set or mp3 digital downloads. The song video shown below is the 8 minute long Official Trailer with background score. Find The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo at Amazon.com. Cover courtesy Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross.
Best Soundtrack Music Score: Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross win GRAMMY® Award for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media by their film score album titled The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.
The 55th GRAMMY® Award Winners in 81 categories were recently named during a live presentation ceremony. The show publicized as “Music’s Biggest Night” was aired live during a televised broadcast on the CBS Television Network.
The ceremony held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 10, 2013 included a series of show performances while honoring top artists for their achievements by one or more awards of 81 Best Album Award categories.
Composers Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross were presented with a GRAMMY® Award in the Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media Category, determined by voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo Soundtrack earned Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross the prestigious, top Music Award.
The GRAMMY® Awards first inaugurated in 1959 was formed to recognize artists for their achievements in the music recording industry. To give you an idea how popular this awards presentation has become, the Annual Music Awards is ranked in viewership popularity as one of the highest rated television special programs.
Last year’s televised live Annual Music Awards ceremony reported 39.9 million viewers worldwide. The prime-time awards presentation in 2013 with an equally long list of popular celebrities who performed live during the presentation ceremony is expected to be another record breaking year for television viewership.
The five additional Nominated composers and their Soundtrack Scores in the 55th Music Awards for Best Score Soundtrack For Visual Media are: The Adventures Of Tintin – The Secret Of The Unicorn Soundtrack by composer John Williams, The Artist Soundtrack by composer Ludovic Bource, The Dark Knight Rises Soundtrack by composer Hans Zimmer, Hugo Soundtrack by composer Howard Shore, and Journey: Official Game Soundtrack by composer Austin Wintory.
Sample or purchase the album soundtrack by Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross titled The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo at Amazon.com. Read the complete list of prizewinning artists and albums in all 81 Best Album Categories at Grammy.com. Photos are courtesy Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross & Big Stock Photo – AnmFoto.
Best World Music Album: The Recording Academy bestows Ravi Shankar a 55th GRAMMY® Award in the Best World Music Album Category for his album The Living Room Sessions Part 1.
The 55th GRAMMY® Award Winners in 81 specific categories were announced during a live presentation ceremony. The show publicized as “Music’s Biggest Night” aired live during a televised broadcast on the CBS Television Network.
The ceremony held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 10, 2013 included a series of show performances while honoring top artists for their achievements by one or more awards of 81 total Best Album Award categories.
Selected Best World Music Album in category #51, a Music Award was bestowed to Ravi Shankar posthumously. Award recipients in all categories were determined by voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences.
Ravi Shankar won the Best World Music Album GRAMMY® Award for his album titled The Living Room Sessions Part 1.
The GRAMMY® Awards first inaugurated in 1959 was formed to recognize artists for their achievements in the music recording industry. To give you an idea how popular this awards presentation has become, the Annual Music Awards is ranked in viewership popularity as one of the highest rated television special programs.
Last year’s televised live Annual Music Awards ceremony reported 39.9 million viewers worldwide. The prime-time awards presentation in 2013 with an equally long list of popular celebrities who performed live during the presentation ceremony is expected to be another record breaking year for television viewership.
The four additional nominees and their albums in the 55th Music Awards for Best World Music Album are: Folila by Amadou & Mariam, On A Gentle Island Breeze by Daniel Ho, Jabulani by Hugh Masekela and Traveller by Anoushka Shankar. For album reviews and interviews with additional Award-Winning and Nominated artists at this site find further reading and information on my main pages.
To sample or purchase The Living Room Session Part 1 album visit RaviShankar.org. You may also sample or purchase The Living Room Session Part 1 at the store page for Ravi Shankar at Amazon.com. To read the complete list of award-winning artists, including all award-nominees in all 81 Best Album Categories visit Grammy.com. Cover art and photo are courtesy ravishankar.org. & Big Stock Photo – AnmFoto.
Echoes Of Love by Omar Akram: The Recording Academy has named Omar Akram a 55th GRAMMY® Award-Winner in the Best New Age Album Category for his album Echoes Of Love.
The 55th GRAMMY® Award Winners in 81 specific categories were announced during a live presentation ceremony. The show publicized as “Music’s Biggest Night” aired live during a televised broadcast on the CBS Television Network.
The ceremony held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 10, 2013 included a series of show performances while honoring top artists for their achievements by one or more awards of 81 total Best Album Award categories.
Selected top album out of 6 albums total in the New Age Music Category (#30) a Music Award was presented to Omar Akram. The recipients in all 81 categories of this prestigious music award were ultimately determined by voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).
Omar Akram won the GRAMMY® Award in the Best New Age Album Category for his album titled Echoes Of Love.
The GRAMMY® Awards first inaugurated in 1959 was formed to recognize artists for their achievements in the music recording industry. To give you an idea how popular this awards presentation has become, the Annual Music Awards is ranked in viewership popularity as one of the highest rated television special programs.
Last year’s televised live 54th Annual Awards program reported 39.9 million viewers worldwide. This year’s prime-time live awards presentation with a long list of popular celebrities is expected to be another record breaking year for television viewership.
I have interviewed a number of GRAMMY® Award/Nominated artists and written album reviews about their albums over the years. If you are new to this music blog, on my main pages you can find more information about artists in this year and past years award competition in the Soundtrack, Americana, Instrumental, New Age, and World music genre categories.
To sample or purchase Echoes Of Love visit the artist at OmarMusic.com. Visit the record label RealMusic.com and find Echoes Of Love at Real Music online store page for Omar Akram. To view the complete list of award-winning artists and their albums in 81 Best Album Categories visit Grammy.com.
Cover art and photo are courtesy realmusic.com & Big Stock Photo – AnmFoto.
With the festive celebration of New Year’s Eve behind us, New Year’s Day 2013 marks another new beginning in so many ways. If you made a New Year’s resolution this year, there will be challenges in the days, weeks and months ahead, but as you know, every challenge presents itself with a new opportunity to claim a personal victory of your own.
Hello everyone, my name is John P. Olsen. As the site and interview host for New Age Music World I can tell you from personal experience the artists I represent are resolute to do their very best with each new album they produce.
I have the opportunity to meet the majority of artist I write about, and felt this was the perfect occasion to publicly express the deep admiration I have for the artists I have met, and tell you of their determination with producing the finest new music they hope will ultimately meet our approval.
Many of the artists I encounter earn a living by their talents as a musician, so it’s partly the reason each year they aim high and are determined to do their very best at producing new music you will purchase for yourself and tell your friends about.
There is a lot of competition in the music industry worldwide as you can imagine, and I am pleased to say the artist’s with new instrumental albums in 2012 have done exceptionally well in achieving their goals in 2012. Their high ambitions have paid dividends by rewarding us with an outstanding collection of new albums and songs during the past year.
This year like every year I am given the opportunity to sample the newest music in most cases before the album has been released to the public. In 2012 nearly 200 releases were sent to me for review consideration so in general terms I can say it was an outstanding year for some of the finest new songs and albums in all categories of Americana, electronic, instrumental, new age, soundtrack and world music.
Like stated on my profile page, I am here to represent the artists and their music not self-promote, however if you like an artist at New Age Music World, you are invited to tell your friends at Facebook and other social media networking sites.
I can assure you the artists will appreciate any extra publicity you can give them by telling your friends through social media networks. With that said, permit me to tell you about a select group of artists who I admire and believe have produced an instrumental album you will enjoy too.
Today I am pleased to present my yearly award recommendation for the Best Instrumental Albums I sampled or wrote an album review for during 2012. The 12 Best Instrumental Albums are listed in alphabetical order by the album title. Included are direct links to the artist’s site so you may sample or purchase songs and albums direct from the artist or music stores. Big Stock Photos by Fotomy, EvgenaD & Ambrits.
1. 15th Anniversary Concert by Artists of Eversound.
One of the best vocal and instrumental compilation albums produced in 2012 is the 15th Anniversary Concert recording, featuring a live concert performance by the artists representing the Eversound Label. The 15th Anniversary Concert recording is a special compilation album with 12 songs of beautiful melodies, upbeat rhythms, and a selection of wonderful vocalists from Eversound. This special edition available on CD or DVD was recorded in Santa Barbara, California during 2012. For record label Eversound the finest quality artists is what makes this collection special!
The Artists of Eversound on The 15th Anniversary Concert album are Stuart Hoffman, Cara Tower, Curtis Macdonald, Manuel Iman, Suzanne Ciani, Diane Arkenstone, Steve McPeters, Amanda Blue, Eduardo del Signore, John Adorney and Daya, with special guests Fuzzbee Morse, Richard Hardy, and supporting 10 piece ensemble. To sample or purchase the 15th Anniversary Concert and 10 Year Anniversary albums with 2 CDs with 35 songs from 20 albums visit EverSound.com.
2. Badlands by Eric Tingstad.
Badlands is the new Americana album from GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist and record producer Eric Tingstad, who is a seasoned songwriting guitarist in a variety of instrumental music genres. Eric Tingstad’s diverse range of music styles are Americana, alternative country, ambient, blues, jazz, new age, rock and more. The 12 songs on Badlands is a moving canvas of Americana music at its finest, honoring traditions of American roots and Western culture in contemporary style.
Badlands is unique to most instrumental albums by the prominent lap steel and pedal steel guitar parts in unison with a professional team of artists performing on English horn, bass guitar, organ, violin oboe, trumpet and percussion. Eric Tingstad’s lifelike rendition colorfully illustrates a beautiful portrait of the desert Southwest with vibrant transparency. The surreal beauty and splendor of Badlands is a picturesque representation of contemporary Americana music. Sample or purchase Badlands, and for information on Cheshire Studios production services visit EricTingstad.com.
3. Believe by 2002.
The contemporary instrumental album Believe by the Billboard Charting music group 2002 is truly a commendable album in this collection of best albums from 2012. Believe is the 14th quality driven album by Pamela, Randy and newest member and daughter, Sarah Copus. The 10 instrumental vocal songs Believe is more progressive from previous releases by a majority of songs covering a variety of rock influences, plus more songs with inspiring vocals and lyrical verses you are sure to enjoy.
The music group 2002 won the admiration of people worldwide after the release of their first album Wings in 1992. The year 2012 marks a 20th year anniversary for the professional, award-winning group 2002. Believe has received the highest praise from the most important and respected critics of all, being their fans. Randy and Pamela Copus have reached a level of success they envisioned 20 years ago, and taken it to the very next level by producing a hit album said to be the best music by 2002 yet! Visit the band and sample or purchase Believe at 2002Music.com.
4. Bindu by Michael Brant DeMaria.
Bindu has a unique distinction in this Best Instrumental Albums publication by Michael Brant DeMaria’s Nomination for Best Album in the 55th GRAMMYr Awards set for February 10, 2013. This is the fourth Nomination within the past four years, for the esteemed recording artist, psychologist, author and lecturer. Michael transforms his capacities as a healthcare professional into therapeutic music designed to help people manage life’s challenges. Bindu is the pinnacle of healing music, which illuminates Bindu’s prestigious status as an award winning album.
Michael Brant DeMaria’s leading role as an artist has resulted in many of the best albums for meditation and healing. The esteemed recording artist and integrative psychotherapist Michael Brant DeMaria is conceivably one of the most accomplished artists in the healing/meditation category. This year could result in a long overdue GRAMMY® Award. Bindu, Gaia, Ocean & Siyotanka have made #1 on ZMR’s Radio Chart. Find Bindu and new album The Maiden of Stonehenge at Ontos.org.
5. Chariots of Fire: The Play by Vangelis.
Chariots of Fire: The Play is 11 songs of new orchestral music in 2012 by legendary cinematic composer Vangelis. It was a triumphant year for Vangelis himself when his Chariots of Fire (song) was selected for the Official London 2012 Olympic Games theme music for official opening and award ceremonies. The Original Chariots of Fire Soundtrack, which won Vangelis an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score, is said to be the most recognizable motion picture soundtrack score ever produced.
Chariots of Fire: On Stage by Vangelis, is a brand new Olympic themed theatrical movie soundtrack score created for the theater stage adaptation showing in the UK of the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire movie. With a lot of international press news given to one single song Chariots of Fire, let’s not overlook the entire album is remarkable. The masterful piano and keyboard composition Chariots of Fire by Vangelis was the perfect theme song for the many moments of inspiration during the London 2012 Olympic Games. Find Chariots of Fire: The Play at Amazon.com.
6. El Dorado by Luna Blanca.
International Nouveau Flamenco ensemble Luna Blanca has created an exhilarating new wave of excitement with their new instrumental project in 2012 titled El Dorado. The cosmopolitan sound qualities of the 14 songs on El Dorado express the diverse ethnicity of Nouveau Flamenco with classic sophistication and grace. Recognized for their energetic songs backed by lively world music rhythms, the sunny casual atmosphere is the greatest musical characteristic of the band Luna Blanca.
El Dorado is an outstanding release expressing the inherent music qualities that first began Luna Blanca’s rise to fame and admiration as a leading Nouveau Flamenco ensemble. Like earlier album Provence, passionate acoustic phrasing and compelling world rhythms blend brilliantly on El Dorado. Based in Bocholt Germany, members are founding guitarist Richard Hecks, with pianist, and co-composer Helmut Graebe, guitarist Bino Dola and artist Clemens Paskert on bass, percussion and keyboards. Find El Dorado and new LP Obsession at LunaBlancaMusic.com.
7. Fiesta by Tribali.
If energetic world music and ethnic percussion sound like a fine way to celebrate your day, look no farther than the newest album titled Festa, by international concert recording band Tribali from Malta. Like another 2012 release titled The Traveller, the Festa album by Tribali, with 13 songs has a level of energy off the chart in terms of the animated atmosphere. It’s an amazing feat of magic in the way they cross blend influences ranging from world music, new age, folk, reggae, rock, and jazz.
The variety of instruments in Tribali music is equally broad incorporating didgeridoo, electric sitar, murchunga, guimbri, cahon, hang and tabla, with more traditional guitars, keyboards, vocals, violin, trumpet and percussion. Placing an emphasis on cultural multiplicity in every project the ethnic tradition of international Maltese band Tribali is a great way to revel any time, any place, any day. There is also talk of the group Tribali representing Malta at the annual worldwide Eurovision Song Contest. Visit the band at TribaliMusic.com to sample or purchase Festa & The Traveller.
8. Let Mother Earth Speak by Dennis Banks & Kitaro.
One of the most memorable album reviews I wrote of many this year was the album Let Mother Earth Speak, with 9 songs by two distinguished figures who deliver a universal message of peace by spoken word and traditional Native American music. Released on September 11, 2012 the message of peace on Let Mother Earth Speak is given by famous Native American activist and musician Dennis Banks, and international new age celebrity, and GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Kitaro.
Let Mother Earth Speak is a narrated life history of Native American Dennis Banks, an Anishinabe from the land of the Ojibwa people. The authenticity in the voice of Dennis Banks is compelling in the manner he uses spoken word and traditional Native American Indian songs to encourage a more peaceful existence in life. The masterful instrumentals by Kitaro on keyboards, Native Indian Flute, percussion, and ethnic woodwinds equally embolden this unifying message of peace. Visit the Domo Music Group pages for Dennis Banks and Kitaro and Let Mother Earth Speak.
9. The Gathering by Will Ackerman.
The Gathering is an exceptional instrumental music compilation album from the acclaimed, GRAMMY® Award-winning guitarist and music producer Will Ackerman. Famous worldwide for his talents as a producer the Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman is a legendary artist, producer and leading figure in the instrumental music recording industry. Will Ackerman’s legacy of quality as producer and founder of Windham Hill Records endures today at the Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont.
The Gathering is an exclusive music collection of 22 top-quality songs by 22 great artists, Will Ackerman hand selected for this release. The artists comprised on this special compilation album were selected from the many fine musicians who had their album produced at his state-of-the-art Imaginary Road Studios. Will Ackerman has produced albums for over 84 artists, including famous artists like Alex de Grassi, Michael Hedges, Michael Manring, Shadowfax, Liz Story and artist George Winston. Find The Gathering at CDBaby.com and visit WilliamAckerman.com.
10. The Piano by Best of Reviews New Age.
One of the finest solo piano/instrumental albums in 2012 is a compilation release titled The Piano. This exclusive collection of piano music with 17 top-quality songs by 17 great pianists was produced by Reviews New Age founding editor and blog host, Alejandro Clavijo from Spain. This compilation release has drawn a lot of praise for the comprehensive selection of today’s top quality artists performing their best piano songs. Many artists are top ranked pianists, while other artists are equitably recognized names in the new age solo piano music category.
The Best of Reviews New Age: The Piano featuring 17 songs compiled of the best song selections from 17 top contemporary pianists is great for persons acquainted with the solo piano category. Many artists on this release are celebrated for their popular piano with instrumental albums too. The Piano by Reviews New Age is perfect for persons new to the specialized solo piano music category and want to start with a superb introductory album. Visit ReviewsNewAge.com for The Piano.
11. Thirty-One Nights by Nicholas Gunn.
Instrumental recording artist Nicholas Gunn has always been intensely passionate about flute music, and never has this been made clearer than his instrumental album Thirty-One Nights. The 13 songs on Nicholas Gunn’s 14th release is significant by the uncompromising instrumental qualities. This is to be expected of the acclaimed flutist Nicholas Gunn, who made Billboard’s Top 10 Charts, with 55 consecutive weeks overall on Billboard’s New Age Charts, and over two million in album sales.
The platinum selling recording artist Nicholas Gunn enlisted two professional artists on Thirty-One Nights. On a number of songs vocalist Dana Kemmerle sings soft poetic verses and acoustic guitarist Chris Fossek give depth and balance to the 13 songs with world music influences. Recently Nicholas Gunn announced a change to electronic dance music with the name (We Are) Nexus. The classically trained flutist Nicholas Gunn is a master at instrumental music, so expect this to continue with his new endeavor (We Are) Nexus. Find Thirty-One Nights at NicholasGunn.com.
12. Yanni-Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico by Yanni.
For international concert and recording artist Yanni, the year 2012 was another successful tour season of sold out concerts during his North American Concert Tour. For the millions of Yanni fans, comprised of people from all nationalities, and possibly every country in the world, last year resulted in an outstanding concert recording titled Yanni-Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico. The stormy, windswept concert venue held a silver lining by turning out to be one of Yanni’s best concert recordings, which was televised on Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) and made available on CD or DVD.
Yanni-Live at El Morro, Puerto Rico is a concert album featuring many of Yanni’s most popular songs and several songs from 2011 studio album titled Truth Of Touch. For the leading international concert celebrity with around one billion admirers, Live at El Morro is an exceptional recording showing the passion in which he delivers to an audience every time. Yanni and his world-class orchestra give instrumental solos that can only be described as stunning! Find music and concert info at Yanni.com.
This concludes my Best Instrumental Albums 2012 recommendation. Earlier I wrote two publications titled Best Electronic Albums – 2012 and Best New Age Music – 2012, so find more recommendations of the finest electronic and new age albums I sampled or reviewed in 2012. Check back for news, concert info, interviews and new music in 2013.
With the close of the calendar year nearly upon us, time passes with the rhythm and tempo of a metronome in the days prior to the final countdown to New Year’s Day 2013.
Hello everyone, my name is John P. Olsen. In my role as interview host and review publicist at New Age Music World, I was given the opportunity to sample or review many of the best electronic albums and songs electronic music artists worldwide produced and sent to me during 2012.
Resembling the cadence of a metronome as well were the new albums arriving at nearly the same pace and frequency. The high volume of albums made me even more determined to present to you the finest electronic albums from 2012.
Like previous years, I wrote album review publications or sampled a respectable number of albums released in 2012, of the nearly 200 releases in all music categories sent to me for album review consideration this year.
For the artist specializing in electronic music high-tech synthesizers and equipment are the instruments used to create an extraordinary orchestra of sound. The latest technological innovations have enabled creators of electronic music to design ingenious compositions using computers, keyboards and the latest music software programing.
Even to the music purists who favor live instrumentals, artists who compose and record electronic music are likewise identified for their talent. Clearly their artistry is equal to the artist who plays a real orchestral instrument. Another undeniable element is the select number of top quality albums produced by today’s best artists in the Electronic music genre.
The year 2012 was an exceptional year for some of the finest new songs and albums in the categories of instrumental, new age, soundtrack and world music, and I can tell you electronic music is not the exception. Today I am pleased to present my yearly award recommendation for the best electronica releases I sampled or reviewed in 2012.
The 12 Best Electronic Music Albums are listed in alphabetical order by the artist’s name. Direct links are included so you may visit each artist to sample or purchase songs and albums direct from the artist or select from their online stores. Big Stock Photos by Binkski – Lijuan – Method3.
Best Electronic Albums & Songs in 2012.
1. Oceans by 7and5.
First on the list of best electronic albums in 2012 is the Oceans album with 10 vibrant songs by 7and5. The artist title 7and5 is the name independent artist John H. Nixon creates inspiring electronic music. Earlier 7and5 albums In A Moment’s Time, Trading Stories & Hope, Destiny, & Choice, are some of my personal favorites. If you are like me, dynamic energy and upbeat rhythms are the qualities I admire most about 7and5 music.
The Weather Channel, with millions of U.S. television viewers nationwide, is one source where songs by 7and5 are often heard during TWC’s Local on the 8’s weather radar. Known for its cinematic qualities, music by 7and5 often makes TWC’s popular playlists, and was also selected for The Weather Channel’s Top 10 Viewer’s Best Music of 2011 list. The 10 vibrant songs on Oceans easily made my favorite album list in the new age electronic, chill out, techno category. Sample or purchase Oceans at 7and5Music.com.
2. Windows by Bryan Carrigan.
The ambient electronic album Windows is one of the most exclusive music releases in this Best Electronic Albums publication. This is due to the experience of the Los Angeles, California based artist Bryan Carrigan, a multiple award-winning producer and owner of Precision Sonic Studio. It was only recently he began producing music in his own name. After Passing Lights & Focus in 2011 is third electronica album Windows, with 10 songs.
The 10 songs on Windows are designed and professionally layered with elegant precision. Windows is an intriguing album and one of the best in the ambient new age music style. Bryan Carrigan is famous for his work in the Hollywood film industry and recording studios by his role of producer, engineer, synth programmer, and sound designer for superstars like Aerosmith, Alanis Morissette, Barry Manilow, Frank Sinatra, No Doubt, Quincy Jones and Vanessa Williams. You may sample or purchase Windows at BryanCarrigan.com.
3. Liquid Mind X: Meditation by Chuck Wild.
Liquid Mind albums, including this newest release with 6 songs by Emmy® Nominated songwriter and recording artist Chuck Wild are already a chosen winner in many respects by consistently making popular best album lists and chart topping positions. Case in point is the most recent chart success for Liquid Mind X: Meditation by acquiring the #1 position on the iTunes USA Top 10 New Age Chart in September of 2012.
Chuck Wild has acquired prestigious awards and recognition for his music, but let’s not overlook the fact Liquid Mind albums and songs are simply some of the best music made for relaxation, sleep, and mediation. Chuck Wild is a master at producing calming music, and never has it shone more clearly than the elegant ballet of ambient sound you will hear on his newest album Liquid Mind X: Mediation. Find more great albums by Chuck Wild and sample or purchase Liquid Mind X Meditation at LiquidMindMusic.com.
4. Family Values by Craig Karolus.
The new album Family Values with 8 songs is an admirable electronic music release by independent artist Craig Karolus. Family Values is a tribute album dedicated to celebrate the lives of living family members, and of four beloved family members of Craig Karolus who passed away in 2011. Although the circumstance of this tribute album is deeply personal, Craig has openly expressed each song by a magnificent illustration, expertly adapted to thoughtfully reflect his family member’s personal character in song.
Craig Karolus has only recently begun to market his music, but I also thought Craig is one of the best new artists. His debut album Standing On Top from 2011 is another fine album I believe is of the highest quality like Craig’s 2012 release Family Values. The significance and depth of his tribute music to family members is inspiring, clearly reflected in his graceful and elegant new album. Find Family Values at CraigKarolus.com.
5. Connected by David Wright.
Connected is an electronic instrumental album with fine vocal overlays by leading UK artist and producer David Wright. The 14 songs on his twenty-fourth release Connected are masterfully created in David Wright’s signature style, which as a whole is comprised of nearly the entire range of musical tastes. It’s David’s expertise in an all-inclusive style, and sense of adventure that decisively makes Connected his best album to date.
Producer of award-winning music like the epic album Connected, David Wright is founder of the popular UK Based AD Music Label, and co-founded the electronic rock group Code Indigo. Other ventures are an electronic music project with David Massey named Callisto, and new age group named Trinity. David Wright is also the owner of Planet Recording Studio, which provides the audio mastering services for many AD Music label albums. Sample or purchase Connected at ADMusicOnline.com and DavidWrightMusic.com.
6. Exogenesis by Eloy Fritsch.
For Brazilian electronic music composer Eloy Fritsch, his fascination with synthesizer music has transitioned into an equally fascinating discography of synthesizer based electronic albums over the years. When sampling songs from his albums, I discovered the award-winning composer’s new 2012 album Exogenesis a progressive stride beyond the majority of electronic releases from 2012, easily making the best electronic albums list.
Eloy Fritsch has a diverse repertoire while composing electronic symphonies, exploring the categories of synth pop, new age and space music, along with founding the Brazilian progressive rock band Apocalypse. The 13 songs on Exogenesis are extraordinary, finding inspiration in the arrangements of Jean Michel Jarre, Vangelis, Klaus Schulze, Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson and Kraftwork. However it’s clear Eloy Fritsch invents original compositions in his own masterful style. Sample or purchase Exogenesis at Ef.Mus.br.
7. Mysterious Garden by Julian Ray.
For Canadian recording artist Julian Ray producing electronic music on today’s technologically advanced equipment is more than an excellent way to express the unlimited boundaries of one’s creativity and imagination. For Julian keyboards and synthesizers are essential instruments used to create sonic harmonies like heard on his newest album in 2012 titled Mysterious Garden. The 10 original songs are arranged in his signature style, which is remarkably unique and far from commonplace.
Mysterious Garden is a new recording showing an array of Julian’s unique style as a producer of ambient space music. Decisively dissimilar all from other electronic music composers, Julian Ray is a member of the Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada, (SOCAN), and is actively working on his newest project for 2013. Visit Julian Ray to sample or purchase Mysterious Gardens at JulianRayMusic.com.
8. Alive by Mark Barnes.
Multiple award winning composer and producer Mark Barnes has another hit album by the 2012 release Alive, which features 20 brilliant electronic, instrumental songs. Alive is comprised of dramatic instrumental music set to cutting edge electronics. Every single song on Alive is animated with a cinematic atmosphere that can only be described as beautiful. The Awakening & Temporal Infinity are earlier releases you are sure to love.
Mark Barnes has the honor and distinction of producing award-winning music, including a prestigious Hollywood F.A.M.E. Award for Music & Cinema. Mark Barnes won the Best Original Song composition at the 2011 TCI Film Festival, with co-writer and two-times Academy Award Nominee Carol Connors, for a documentary-drama film score song titled A City Within A Dream. Mark Barnes has a flair for producing award-winning music, and this is true for 2012 release Alive. Sample or purchase Alive at MarkBarnesMusic.com.
9. In Mutatio Tempora by Matzumi.
The album In Mutatio Tempora with 10 songs is a brilliant electronic music release sent to me by an artist who lives in Germany. Some of the information about her was in German so I can’t tell you as much about her except Kathrin Manz is the artist who goes by Matzumi. Kathrin Manz performs live concerts in Europe, and in my eyes, qualifies as one of the very best albums I have listened to this year in the Electronic, Ambient genre.
One interesting aspect of Kathrin Manz is her style, which conveys an elegant synthesis of ambient, techno, house music, and electronic dance in the fashion of Tangerine Dream, yet shows her gifted ability as composer of original music. Like Tangerine Dream, songs by Matzumi are cinematic, and a precise fit for the Film Score and Soundtrack genres. In Mutatio Tempora, on the Wolf Entertainment Label is an electronic album fans of Tangerine Dream would love. Sample or purchase In Mutatio Tempora at Matzumi.de.
10. Drifting In Dreams by Michele Ippolito.
For classical trained pianist Michele Ippolito, the 11 songs on Drifting In Dreams is the perfect way to share the joyful expression of her uplifting ambient song melodies to others. Performing on a Roland 90EX keyboard, Michele Ippolito is joined with co-producer of Drifting In Dreams, Vince Ippolito. So you know, Vince Ippolito is a performing artist and leading producer working with countless celebrity names in the music industry.
Michele Ippolito’s music is a calming wave of ambience, showing her skill as a composer at the professional level. Michele’s first album Mystic Moods is airing at Music Choice Soundscape Channel, and made radio charts and Best Album Nominations at ZMR, like second album In The Clouds. They also own a professional recording studio in Dixon, Illinois named Ippolito Recording/Production Company. Visit the professional team of Michele and Vince and sample or purchase Drifting In Dreams at Vippolito.com.
11. Kailasa by Mingo.
Mingo is an outstanding electronic music composer with an interesting history, even more so by his 2012 album titled Kailasa, with 10 songs superbly acclimated to the variety of ambient new age music. Mingo made his mark by emerging into the techno scene of the early 1990′s, exploring an ecosphere of electronica styles ranging from ambient, new age, space music, synthpop, and into the realm of experimental, futuristic avant-garde.
Early success resulted in worldwide recognition and airtime on online radio stations like National Public Radio (NPR) program Hearts of Space, and one of the longest airing ambient, space music radio programs named Stars End. Mingo’s inventive persona is unmistakable in Kailasa, an outstanding song collection aimed towards the ambient new age domain. Find more electronica albums by Mingo like Relaxation Series: Zen Ultra, The Light That Bends, Narcosys, and sample or purchase Kailasa at MingoSphere.com.
12. Deep Alpha by Steven Halpern.
Deep Alpha has a unique distinction in this best electronic album awards publication by Steven Halpern’s Nomination for Best Album in the 55th GRAMMY® Awards set for February 10, 2013. With 14 songs at over an hour in length, Deep Alpha is an exceptional blend of electronic instrumental music from esteemed artist Steven Halpern. Nearing a 40 year milestone in his career his albums frequently make the Top 10 Charts at Billboard.
The best-selling recording artist Steven Halpern is accepted as one of the earliest originators of healing music. With over 6 million albums sold, accolades for his music are just as numerous. Credited for his early music and scientific studies of therapeutic music, his leading role has resulted in many of the best albums for relaxation, yoga and stress relief. For esteemed recording artist Steven Halpern, 2013 could yield a long overdue GRAMMY® Award. Sample or purchase Deep Alpha at InnerPeaceMusic.com.
This concludes my Best Electronic Albums – 2012 recommendations. For more exceptional new releases this year, check back soon when I present the Best Instrumental Albums – 2012 on New Year’s Day 2013.
It stands to reason when searching for the best new age music ever on the internet, only the very finest music available is what you are looking for. Thanks to search engines, online music stores, and social media sites, finding the best albums in all popular music genres has become much easier. Even music blogs like this site play an essential role by publishing their yearly award recommendations for best new albums of the year.
Hello everyone, my name is John P. Olsen. In my role as interview host and review publicist at New Age Music World, I have sampled many of the very best new age songs and albums artists worldwide produced in 2012. Like previous years, I have had the opportunity to write review publications for a respectable number of new age, instrumental, and world albums released in 2012, of the nearly 200 new albums in all categories sent to me for review consideration this year.
While the new age music genre in general covers an extensive range in compositional style with varying elements from one album to the next, there are a number of factors that help me determine which artists I believe have produced a quality album nearly everyone will enjoy listening to in the fascinating new age music category.
One characteristic everyone can count on like all other music category are the select number of top shelf music recordings artists created that seem to rise above and stand out from the rest. With so many new releases in 2012 to choose from why wait any longer? Today I am pleased to present my yearly awards recommendation for the 10 best new age albums I have sampled or reviewed in 2012.
My selection of the 10 Best New Age Albums is listed in alphabetical order using the artist’s name. If you would like to find new music from many of today’s top new age artists, this publication includes direct links so you may visit each artist to sample or purchase music direct from the artist or select from their online stores.
Best New Age Music Albums in 2012:
1. Intuition by Dan Kennedy.
The contemporary piano instrumental album Intuition, by Dan Kennedy is a stylish collection of 10 songs total, with several new age solo piano pieces. The extensive list of professionals providing instrumental include David cullen, Jeff haynes, Jill Haley, Steve Holley, Mehuman Jonson, and Premik Russell Tubbs. Together the artists have performed with Whitney Houston, Paul McCartney, Pat Metheny, Santana and Cassandra Wilson.
Dan Kennedy, who began his career playing improvisational piano music in coffee shops, delivers a wonderfully diverse atmosphere on his newest release Intuition. Produced by GRAMMY® Award-winning Corin Nelsen, Dan Kennedy’s sensational Intuition conveys his forte with creating an upbeat, rhythmic brand of contemporary music in classic fashion. Find the artist at DanKennedy.us and sample or purchase Intuition.
2. Tomorrow Will Tell The Story by Echo Us.
Tomorrow Will Tell The Story is a progressive concept album featuring 12 songs illustrated by an experimental range of musical textures, brought to life by Ethan Matthews, Echo Us guitarist and founder of the progressive rock band Greyhaven. The group’s primary artists are GRAMMY® Nominated singer and songwriter Henta, and harpist Raelyn Olson.
The most interesting feature with Tomorrow Will Tell The Story is the futuristic blend of electronic landscapes set to vocal overlays in a neo-classical, ambient fusion. The deep enigmatic atmosphere, unlike anything you have heard before will leave you breathless! Tomorrow Will Tell The Story is the second release in a multi-album concept project, and follow-up to earlier releases The Tide Decides & Echo Us. Find more about the artist at EchoUs.net and to sample or purchase Tomorrow Will Tell The Story. Look for another release by this unique group named Echo Us.
3. Glimmerings by Elika Mahony.
International recording artist Elika Mahony has given the world one beautiful piano and instrumental album with her 12 original songs on Glimmerings, whose tonal depth and beauty go far beyond what I first anticipated. Currently over thirty online radio stations worldwide, like UK based One World Radio and Celtic Radio are apparently reaching the same conclusion by their constant online radio airtime.
The 12 songs on Glimmerings are mainly solo piano pieces. Beautiful as the solo piano songs are themselves, the piano and instrumental songs Realization & Final Journey are equally beautiful and expertly conveyed by international, award-winning cellist, Bo Peng. Elika Mahony, who was born in the United States and raised in Kenya, now lives in China where she is truly making a grand impression on persons from every corner of the globe. Find more about the artist at ElikaMahony.com and to sample or purchase Glimmerings.
4. Symphonic Arts by Gleisberg.
Symphonic Arts by Gleisberg is a 2012 release of 10 orchestrations that are uniquely bold and dynamic while embracing a classical atmosphere on this new age instrumental album. Rudiger Gleisberg is a music teacher from Germany, renowned for creating works of music far from conventional for over 25 years. Clearly the year 2012 is no exception.
Symphonic orchestrations are the best way to describe the graceful songs which were recorded with members of the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra of Odessa, Ukraine. The cinematic depth and beauty of rich orchestrations are what make this release special. Rudiger Gleisberg’s extraordinary talents as a composer and instrumentalist are vividly apparent in Symphonic Arts. You may find more about the artist at R-Gleisberg.de or visit BSCmusic.com to sample or purchase Symphonic Arts by Gleisberg.
5. Beyond the Turning by Heidi Breyer.
Beyond the Turning features 14 eloquent piano instrumental songs by artist Heidi Breyer. This is her third album, and follow-up to Another Place and Time, an album produced by founder of Windham Hill Records, Will Ackerman. Another Place and Time earned Heidi 2 ZMR Awards in 2010 for Best New Artist & Best Instrumental Piano Album.
Beyond the Turning, produced by GRAMMY® Winning producer and engineer Corin Nelsen, is another magnificent testimonial to the talents of composing pianist Heidi Breyer. An elemental variation in moods and influences is what makes Beyond the Turning shine from the rest. Artists include Eugene Friesen, Charlie Bisharat, Samite, Michael Manring, Steve Holley, Jeff Haynes, Jill Haley and David Cullen. You may find more about the artist at HeidiBreyer.com and to sample or purchase Beyond the Turning.
6. These Are the Moments by Michael Dulin.
New Age recording artist Michael Dulin has delivered his very best collection of 16 songs from six of his most popular piano albums over the years with These Are the Moments. The 16 songs at over an hour in duration are mainly solo piano pieces, with several songs having instrumental accompaniment and song finale by vocalist Jeania Major.
For the modern day composer and concert pianist Michael Dulin, who happens to be a classically trained pianist and Juilliard School graduate, composing emotionally compelling music is purely a natural process. Included are in this wonderful album are two of my favorite songs, Moonlight Sonata & Winter Dreams, featuring Jeania Major, who was a finalist in a Cirque du Soleil national talent search. Listen to Michael Dulin’s best of the best album at MichaelDulin.com and to sample or purchase These Are the Moments.
7. Between The Shores of Our Souls by Mirabai Ceiba.
Passionate beauty in the form of heartfelt vocals intertwined with a warm instrumental setting are the divine elements for Between The Shores of Our Souls by Mirabai Ceiba. Peaceful harmony and poetic verses are gently brought to life on the 10 songs that are magnificently serene and light to the touch, yet show inner depth and romantic intensity.
Mirabai Ceiba is comprised of guitarist and vocalist Markus Sieber, and harpist, keboardist and vocalist Angelika Baumbach. Top ranked instrumental artist join Markus and Angelika on Between The Shores of Our Souls, like Norwegian trumpeter Nils Petter Molvaer, cellist Noah Hoffeld and Yoed Nir, Megan Gould on violin and viola. Jamshied Sharifi performs keyboards, bass, and strings, and Benjamin Wittman on percussion. Find more about the artist at MirabaiCeiba.com and to sample or purchase Between The Shores of Our Souls.
8. Lovers by Paul Avgerinos.
The new electronic instrumental album Lovers is a serene collection of 11 songs by one of today’s best producers of ambient music, Paul Avgerinos. Recognized as a pillar in the new age music industry today as he was yesteryear, GRAMMY® Nominated composer Paul Avgerinos is a constant, award-winning frontrunner in the ambient music scene.
Paul Avgerinos is owner of Round Sky Music record label, Studio Unicorn recording producer, and an artist with a long history of winning best album and song awards over the course of his career. In addition Paul has performed with major symphony orchestras and toured with legendary artists Charles Aznavour, Liza Minelli, Buddy Rich, and composed over one hundred music scores for major television networks HBO, PBS, and Lifetime. Find more about the artist at RoundSkyMusic.com and to sample or purchase Lovers.
9. Sounds from the Circle 4 by Suzanne Doucet.
Sounds from the Circle 4 is the fourth MP3 compilation by members of Suzanne Doucet’s New Age Music Circle online community forum. Produced by Suzanne Doucet, Sounds from the Circle 4 is one of the best song collections of new age and sub-genres in 2012. Like all Circle Albums the fourth release is a quality driven song compilation sampler.
The diverse music styles heard on all Sounds from the Circle albums include acoustic, ambient, chill out, classical, contemporary instrumental, electronic, groove, meditation, neo-classical, piano, progressive, world, and vocal. International artists from Argentina, Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, Germany, Norway, Spain, the United States, and other countries make this release special. Join or visit Music Circle members at NewAgeMusik.Ning.com. Sample or purchase Sounds from the Circle IV at iTunes.
10. Mountains Take Wing by Timothy Wenzel.
Instrumental new age recording artist Timothy Wenzel has a decisively elegant music recording for 2012. I was amazed to learn the 12 electronic, acoustic songs on Mountains Take Wing is his first release. For Timothy Wenzel, who lives near the mountains of West Virginia, composing majestic songs inspired by nature is a natural process.
Mountains Take Wing reaches a full palette in rhythm and harmony like heard in the title song Mountains Take Wing & Christopher’s Dreams. Timothy Wenzel has already been a finalist in prestigious music awards including Hollywood Music in Media Awards, UK Songwriting Contest, USA Songwriting Contest, and West Coast Songwriters International Competition. Find more about the artist at TimothyWenzel.com and to sample or purchase Mountains Take Wing, and another 2012 album, A Coalescence of Dreams.
This concludes my Best New Age Albums in 2012 recommendations. Look for more outstanding new releases this year when I present the Best Instrumental Albums – 2012 on New Year’s Day 2013.
Cover art courtesy of each artist. Big Stock Photo by Paul_Lewis.
Hans Zimmer: Top Movie Soundtrack Composer.
When naming the best movie soundtrack composers, Hans Zimmer is one of the top movie soundtrack composers I and millions of people worldwide would think of right away. With an endless list of award-winning movies there are a number of top motion picture composers who have thrilled moviegoers with film scores considered their best movie soundtracks.
Hans Zimmer can claim an illustrious career having won numerous awards including an Academy Award, 2 Golden Globe Awards, 4 GRAMMY® Awards, a Classical BRIT Award and World Soundtrack Award.
Along with some of the best movie soundtracks by Hans Zimmer, top cinematic recording artists Danny Elfman, James Horner, James Newton Howard, Thomas Newman, Howard Shore, and John Williams, have kept moviegoers on the edge of their seats, including soundtrack recordings by Klaus Badelt, Ennio Morricone, Brad Fiedel and Philip Glass.
Even with the top recording artists listed above this is far from a complete list of who’s who in today’s movie recording industry. Many people would debate the fact there are many great composers who should be included, and I couldn’t agree more.
Hans Zimmer is a celebrated composer nearly everyone would agree upon. Famous worldwide for award-winning movie soundtrack scores in the electronic and orchestral category the song video is a selection of official scores from the movie soundtracks Inception, Modern Warfare, Madagascar, The Last Samurai, Pearl Harbor, Pirates of the Caribbean and The Da Vinci Code.
Songs by Hans Zimmer are Time, Mombasa, Safeguard, Code of Conduct, Zoosters Breakout, Spectres in Fog, A Way of Life, Tennessee, Brothers, Jack Sparrow & Chevaliers De Sangreal. The Best of Hans Zimmer is a 2 disc collection available at Amazon.
Life of Vangelis – TV Interview with Chariots of Fire Composer.
If you are following the London 2012 Olympic Games, you may have noticed the song Chariots of Fire playing during the Official Olympic Torch Ceremonies, Opening Ceremonies, and during every Medal Award Ceremony. The electronic instrumental song, often referred to as a composition in the new age music category, is an epic melody with an inspiring theme.
If you have ever wanted to know more about an Official London 2012 Olympic music composer, this exclusive interview with Vangelis takes you deep inside the artistic process of creating brilliant music compositions like Chariots of Fire. The famous music score is not the main topic, but this particular interview is quite remarkable by the depth in which Vangelis opens his heart and mind about his work and lifetime achievements.
In the newest Interview with Vangelis on the Al Jazeera Satellite Television Network, interview host Tony Harris asks the questions about the role music plays in today’s modern society, his creative process as a composer and award-winning film scores, plus a conversation about his life’s work and legacy.
There is also a special segment of Vangelis music scores set to memorable images of top news events that have occurred during the past year. It’s easy to see why Chariots of Fire by Vangelis was the theme song selected for the Official London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. It is after all, one of the most recognizable cinematic movie scores in the world.
Along with a top slot in the Official Olympic Ceremonies, Vangelis and his beloved Chariots of Fire, is the song played during (every award presentation) during the London Olympic Medal Awards Ceremonies. In addition, the London Philharmonic Orchestra has reproduced 5 new Chariots of Fire song remixes from the original Vangelis composition.
The new Vangelis album titled Chariots of Fire (On Stage) was recently released on July 23, 2012. The Olympic themed movie score is an original theatrical play soundtrack with 11 songs of new orchestral music by Vangelis, which was created for the theater stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire movie. The theatrical play adaptation timed with the London 2012 Olympics, recently premiered at the Hampstead Theatre in London, England.
The Al Jazeera interview is an exclusive new look into the life of Vangelis, being the latest television interview in the past 20 years with the esteemed composer. There is an array of segments showing his achievements, and the ways his music has been utilized internationally. This new interview is perhaps the most in-depth interview with the modern day cinematic composer.
The round of personalized interview questions given by Al Jazeera English Anchor Tony Harris was excellent news coverage. Mr. Harris did an outstanding job procuring a rare glimpse of Vangelis, and his inner perspective as composer.
This interview around 25 minutes in duration was uploaded on YouTube January 22, 2012 and is titled Talk to Al Jazeera: Vangelis: A Message of Hope. For more about Vangelis visit the best site dedicated to Vangelis at Elsew.com and find more on my section for Vangelis at New Age Music World. Sample or purchase Chariots of Fire (On Stage) at iTunes. Photo and cover art from YouTube & Amazon. Big Stock Photo by Adrian Grosu & Pkruger.
Vangelis – Official Music for 2012 London Olympics.
With the start of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games set to begin on July 27, 2012, it seems fans of the Greek composer Vangelis have clearly scored an early victory by way of an official Olympic music news release about a famous instrumental soundtrack score composed by Vangelis.
The song Chariots of Fire was earlier reported to be the official 2012 Olympic music for the athletic games opening ceremonies, and now Kate Mansey, a journalist for London newspaper The Sunday Times, reported on another new development regarding Vangelis. Her source of press information for the latest news announcement was direct from the producer of the victory award ceremonies Nicci Hallifax.
The song Chariots of Fire by Vangelis is now confirmed to be the official 2012 Olympics theme music to be played during every medal awards ceremony for the duration of the historic athletic events. In addition to the medal award ceremonies, the song was played during the opening events and will be performed during relay of the Olympic Flame.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra has reproduced 5 new recordings or remixes of the original Vangelis composition Chariots of Fire, which won Vangelis an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. The Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire movie is based on the inspiring story of two British athletes competing together at the 1924 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France.
Chariots of Fire (On Stage) by Vangelis, is a brand new Olympic themed theatrical movie soundtrack score released days ago on July 23, 2012. The theatrical play soundtrack has 11 songs of new orchestral music by Vangelis, used for the theater stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire movie. The play adaptation showing in the UK premiered on May 9, 2012 at the Hampstead Theatre in London, England.
Available in audio CD and digital download formats, sample or purchase the original Chariots of Fire at Amazon.com and Chariots of Fire (On Stage) at Amazon.co.uk. For information about the theatrical shows, visit the London, England based website ChariotsOfFireOnStage.com. Big Stock Photo – MOKreations.
The official 2012 London Olympic music by Vangelis, having an inspiring and universal theme is clearly a winning choice. The 5 new Chariots of Fire song compositions performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra are as follows:
1. Energy Song Version – Up-tempo song remix.
2. Heritage Song Version – Down-tempo song remix.
3. Extreme Song Version – Jazzier style song remix.
4. Prime Time Song Version – Pop music song remix.
5. World Stage Song Version – Original orchestral song remix.
Olympic Themed Music – Chariots of Fire (On Stage) by Vangelis.
With the London 2012 Olympic Games starting on July 27, 2012, official music for the Olympics will be an equally significant component for the historic athletic games that will be viewed by millions of people worldwide.
The song Chariots of Fire by Greek composer Vangelis was played during the Olympic opening ceremonies, and named the official 2012 Olympics theme song. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has 5 new song recordings (remixes) to be played during every medal award ceremony and Olympic Flame relay.
Chariots of Fire (On Stage) is an Olympic themed theatrical movie score with 11 songs of new orchestral music by Vangelis with a release date of July 23, 2012.
The stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire movie that was partially inspired by the 2012 London Summer Olympics premiered on May 9, 2012 at the Hampstead Theatre in London, England.
The Chariots of Fire Original Movie Soundtrack claimed a victory for famous composer Vangelis, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score for the film based on the inspiring story of two British athletes competing together at the 1924 Summer Olympic Games in Paris France. Below is the Chariots of Fire song video from the original motion picture.
Official Music for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London:
Another official song to be performed during London Summer Olympics for 2012 is the song Survival by the British group Muse. The theme song by Muse, which has the lyrics “Life is a race. And I’m gonna win” is also going to be aired on TV worldwide as athletes enter the stadium and prior to the medal award ceremonies.
The London Olympic Soundtrack to the opening ceremony is going to be released as an audio CD and digital release. This music release entitled; Isles Of Wonder: Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games will contain music by Paul McCartney, Underworld and other artists performing during official athletic events and ceremonies.
Another planned release is A Symphony of British Music: Music for the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. There will be additional concerts and music with direct ties to the London Olympics, plus some songs by artists are being kept secret until the official opening ceremonies.
Olympic theme song Chariots of Fire, composed by Vangelis will get you into the spirit for the historic sports event. Find the audio CD or digital downloads for Chariots of Fire (On Stage) at Amazon.co.uk. Big Stock Photo – Jimbarber.
New Age Music World is pleased to present an in-depth, 2012 interview with GRAMMY® Award-winning guitarist, producer, and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman.
John P. Olsen: Thank you for accepting my invitation for this interview Will. It’s funny since I feel like I already know you in a way since I have written, and plan to write, reviews for artists who have their newest album produced by you at your Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont. It’s a privilege to finally meet you Will.
Will Ackerman: Hi John, I’ve been admiring what you’ve been doing online for some time and am delighted to have a chance to talk with you.
John: Many of these artists have received award recognition with albums that you produced. Many are now top ranked artists. To what degree does a producer ultimately affect the success of a music recording would you say?
Will Ackerman: Perhaps this is a crafty test of my humility? I hope I pass. Perhaps this is a question better asked of the musicians I’ve worked with. They’re better able to tell you how, specifically, I influenced their work. The process of producing is not at all formulaic for me; each project and human being has their own specific needs and my job is, as much as anything, to be conscious of what their needs are. How active I am in shaping a project is also a very individual matter.
In some cases I am simply helping to create a standard of excellence for the players to achieve in their recordings and in other instances I’m getting into the arranging of the work itself and being very active in envisioning how the material might be dramatically affected by additional production. It really is all over the place and I guess I’d say that my proudest achievement is to figure out where I can best be of help and respond to the person I’m working with rather than imposing the same set of Ackerman rules upon everyone.
John: Some may have a limited knowledge of a record or music producer’s role, and how a producer can greatly influence an artist’s instrumental music composition. Would you provide some details specific to your production services?
Will Ackerman: Again, the role of producer is simply all over the place. Looking back to Windham Hill days, I think of how my utterly subjective and spontaneous decision to edit George Winston’s Colors/Dance into the epic ten minute piece we know as opposed to the three minute piece it was intended to be is an example of how my instincts manifested themselves.
Likewise the decision engineer Steve Miller and I made on the dramatic guitar sound for Michael Hedges’ Ariel Boundaries was a milestone. Michael was initially outraged with the liberties we’d taken with what he heard as a simpler acoustic piece. Steve had provided an opportunity and I jumped at it. Michael needed to take a walk for about an hour before coming back to the board to listen, still somewhat incredulous that both Steve and I loved the sound.
I think this story tells a lot about how I work. It’s very subjective, intuitive and flexible. It’s a series of almost binary questions… yes and no… go there or don’t go there? I simply have to trust my instincts and earn the artists trust in those instincts as well. However much success I’ve had and can point to, each new artist I need work with needs to learn that they can trust me. That trust means more to me than anything. I take it very seriously.
John: I have more questions related to your present day role as a producer, but would you first like to tell us how your career began and how your business has progressed over the years?
Will Ackerman: I recorded my first album in 1975. An engineer named Scott Saxon offered to allow me to record free of charge if he was listed as producer and received a royalty. Not having a lot of dough in those days, I easily agreed. Scott then produced my second record, It Takes a Year as well. In watching Scott I learned a lot and at some point decided that I knew enough about recording and had a familiarity with my own tastes sufficient to allow me to trust in my abilities to call myself a producer.
In terms of how my endeavors have changed over the years, it’s easy to point to GRAMMY® nominations and awards, platinum and gold records, millions of records sold and all that. I’m proud of that of course, but I can say with utter sincerity that what I am proudest of is that I’m better at what I do than ever because this is a process of learning about people, learning about yourself and trying to find what’s unique in that combination with every single human being you engage with.
John: In 1976 you founded, and made famous, Windham Hill Records label. After selling Windham Hill Records you chose the name West River Records for your new release The Gathering. Is West River Records modeled in a similar design as Windham Hill Records?
Will Ackerman: I had begun recording in 1975 with my debut guitar album. I had managed to put together a network of 6 independent distributors and was getting a surprising amount of radio airplay out of that recording when those distributors started asking “what’s going to be next of your label.” I didn’t even know I had a label (the Windham Hill name only came into being in 1976 with the awareness that I could release more records into this pipeline) and was stunned to learn that they would distribute anything I brought out. That’s now naive I was.
Windham Hill became huge. We were doing 30 – 40 million dollars in business annually by 1992 when I sold Windham to BMG in May of that year. I then had a three year non-complete clause and delved into spoken word recordings with a company named Gang of Seven. I absolutely loved that label, but I didn’t have the same success with it that I’d enjoyed with Windham Hill Records.
Virtually on the day that my non-compete with BMG ended in May of 1995 I created Imaginary Road Records with PolyGram, signing a contract with Chris Roberts who had been a friend for many years. Chris Roberts remembers me driving up to the record store he managed in Portland, Oregon (Everybody’s Records) in my Volkswagen bus asking if he’d take 5 copies of my first recording on consignment. Dawn Atkinson, who had been the second most prolific producer for Windham Hill Records was my partner in this.
West River Records is actually a brand new name, created for the release of The Gathering. Imaginary Road Records would have been the ideal name, but because that name is owned by Universal Records via the sale of PolyGram to Universal (and there are still titles in print on that label) we needed to look into another name. My Imaginary Road Studios looks over the West River Valley in Windham County, Vermont and I liked that sound of that.
John: In addition to your role as producer, you are a twice nominated, GRAMMY® Award-winning guitarist. What were some of the turning points in your career, and how did these events affect your career as a producer going forward?
Will Ackerman: The whole thing was a Tiger by the Tail kind of experience. Windham Hill Records grew routinely at 600% a year, sometimes going into even greater growth. There were so many milestones, whether laying Carnegie Hall, playing Red Rocks and the Hollywood Bowl. Touring Europe and playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Touring Japan and playing at the Imperial Palace. Our first Gold Record, our first Platinum Record. The list is long and is more a feeling to me than a set of tangible events. It was impossible to hold on to anything, as you reached for it, it was gone because we were moving forward so quickly.
John: In Search Of The Turtles Navel is credited as one of the earliest, founding recordings in the new age genre. What characteristic qualities do you feel define the compositions we recognize today as new age music?
Will Ackerman: I’ve never been a proponent of the term “New Age” to be honest. Going into the reasons for that would be didactic at best. I’d rather talk about what I know, which is Windham Hill. Windham Hill, at least initially, was about acoustic instrumentation. It was about melody and heart.
I’ve learned to take pride in the fact that the music can be listened to enjoyably while washing lettuce in the afternoon (as a woman from Idaho once described to me in a letter) or being the music someone who is soon to leave this earth chooses to listen to in their last hours. Both are honors paid to the musician who provides that pleasure or solace. To me, that is reason enough for being as a person and for Windham Hill Records to have represented a genre unto itself.
John: I read that none of your guitar recordings use standard guitar tuning, which permits an unconventional acoustic sound. Are there any advantages to playing guitar using non-standardized tuning?
Will Ackerman: I don’t know that there are any particular advantages. Most people would probably say that it’s more bother than it’s worth. I happen to like the sound of open tunings and, after years of contemplating the reasons for my utterly obsessive adherence to constantly changing tunings I’ve finally come to an understanding of my process. I’m playing a trick on myself. By creating a new tuning I am removing intellect completely from the process of “composing.” I simply don’t know the landscape I’m in and so have nothing but emotion to guide me.
I’m lost, but in a beautiful, emotionally connected way. I inevitably find a bit of an alpha state and wander about in that landscape until I find various paths which I employ intellect to connect later. So the music is about emotion, not thought. It’s about heart, not mind.
John: New age music is like any music genre by progressing over the years. What do feel makes a good new age or instrumental recording?
Will Ackerman: I listen to all sorts of music. I honestly can’t remember who said it, but I’ve always loved the quote “There are only two kinds of music; good music and bad music.” Obviously I’m not going to pretend to be the arbiter of those definitions tangibly, but I know what I like. I know what I’m looking for as a producer and in these two elements I think this is as close to a Holy Grail as I can offer.
Firstly, does the artist have a musical “voice?” In other words, does this artist sound like everybody else or is there something unique, however hard to pinpoint, in their music. I can hear 2 guitar notes from BB King or Mark Knopfler to know who it is and I can hear two chords from Erik Satie to know who it is.
Secondly, is heart or ego driving the music? This is obviously a judgment call as well, but it’s as clear as can be to me. Maybe another way of asking the question is “am I hearing the truth,” or “do I believe this person?” I have to believe who I’m listening to and investing my heart in, both as a listener and as a producer.
John: Your new West River Records compilation album The Gathering features a lot of great instrumental artists exactly like your highly successful Windham Hill Samplers, which achieved gold or platinum recording status. Do you feel the artist’s songs on The Gathering have the potential for equal prominence?
Will Ackerman: The record industry is a very different thing today. Even at the major record labels, they refer to 100,000 CDs sold as “the new million.” In other words, the potential of the marketplace even with legal downloads, is probably 10% of what it was. A gold record used to be 500,000 records sold and platinum were 1,000,000. There were a lot of gold and platinum records being handed out in those days, but if we had to wait for achievement of those kinds of numbers today, there would be only a handful of them.
The good news is that the internet can spread the word about good music brilliantly to every corner of this planet. Part of my ambition with The Gathering is to create strength in numbers to some degree. Rather than sit back and let each of these artists fend entirely for themselves, I’ve chosen to move more into the public realm again and, as with the Windham Hill Samplers, say “this is great music… these are great players… these are artists your life will be richer for taking the time to get acquainted with.” I’m doing this interview and others and will not balk at any opportunity to express my faith in these players and in this recording. I genuinely believe we can achieve a much greater visibility together and that we’ve literally just begun.
One last point is, I think, important to mention here. The known Windham Hill Records audience is easily identified and we certainly want to let those millions of people know about The Gathering. But what is also heartening to me is the number of emails from kids under 20 I’m getting now. These are kids who are digging through their parents LPs and finding music that they love. I’m guessing that maybe 10 -15% of my emails are from kids in this age range and it’s clearly a growing number and percentage. How great it would be to find a young audience who loves this sort of music, much as my generation found the forgotten American blues players in the late 60′s and 70′s (certainly with the help of the British Invasion). I’ve been contemplating a Gathering sort of recording for some time and now that it’s here I know it’s the right choice.
John: When selecting an artist’s song for a compilation album like The Gathering, what key elements do you look for in terms of the music qualities?
Will Ackerman: Understand that all the people on The Gathering are people I’ve chosen to produce. These are all people I have the highest regard for as musicians and as human beings. Without being at all lazy, I’ll refer you to my answers a bit earlier on in this dialogue. I need to feel these musicians have a voice that is uniquely theirs and I have to believe that they’re telling me the truth musically.
John: In regards to your production services, you have enlisted engineer and co-producer Tom Eaton. Plus, many of the session musicians in your productions are themselves, award-winning artists who have their own careers. What do you look for when selecting a session artist for a client’s recording?
Will Ackerman: I think you’re asking me how someone ends up being a session player for my productions? The answer is to be the best on the planet and be consistently so and be a genuinely kind, patient, generous human being. Whether we’re working with bassist Tony Levin who’s recorded with John Lennon, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, James Taylor and a million others or Steve Holley who’s the drummer for Paul McCartney and Elton John, the people who add to our work here are consummate professionals who are able to pour their hearts into the music and do so in a remarkably ego-less, kind, considerate and caring way.
The criteria for who works here go way past simple talent. Imaginary Road is my home and I’m only letting wonderful people into my home. I don’t care how talented you are; if you’re not able to wear your heart on your sleeve don’t bother to turn up. We use Keith Carlock (Sting and Steeley Dan) as a drummer too along with Arron Sterling (John Mayer and Sheryl Crow). Only last year I met Premik Russel Tubbs who plays sax and wind synths for us.
Premik has become part of the family and has played with Santana, Herbie Hancock, Sting and Billy Joel just to name a few. Violinist Charlie Bisharat and I met when he was playing with Shadowfax on Windham Hill. He and I remain great friends and we work on sessions together often. Charlie Bisharat’s played with Beck, Mary J. Blige, Black-Eyed Peas, Fiona Apple, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and the list goes on.
We have a stable of players who are simply too great not to use often: Four time GRAMMY® winning cellist Eugene Friesen just happens to be a neighbor here in Brattleboro and has been a close friend for twenty years now. English horn player Jill Haley drives up from Reading, PA to play for us. Pat Metheny’s percussionist Jeff Haynes has been a dear friend for decades now and lives just over the Green Mountains from here.
Trumpet and Flugelhorn player Jeff Oster has a place in Vermont and we get him in here for sessions as often as possible; singer Noah Wilding was crazy enough to marry me so she’s pretty much local too. Jeff Pevar, who records and tours with everyone from Ray Charles to Crosby, Stills and Nash, does guitar work for us too. We’ve just added the incredible talents of Gus Sebring, French horn player for the Boston Symphony to our list of friends. The talent pool we draw upon is considerably larger than this, but you get the point.
John: Let’s say for example I am an artist scheduled to have my music produced by you at Imaginary Road Studios. What can an artist expect when they arrive, and is there a set schedule or itinerary for the duration of an artist’s visit?
Will Ackerman: There is absolutely nothing that is formulaic here. Projects have taken days or months. No two projects are the same. There is a tremendous amount of dialogue that takes place between me and the artist before sessions begin and out of that a plan very specifically designed for the project emerges.
This isn’t a matter of someone simply turning up and starting the recording process. By the time we begin we’ve probably selected 80- 90% of the material, have worked out the arrangements and have some ideas as to what the additional instrumentation will be. That said, we’re never completely right. Some of the music will inevitably change and evolve. You have to really listen to what you’ve recorded and hear what’s it’s telling you.
Part of producing is knowing when your preconceptions are no longer valid, but that the music has evolved into something new. It’s part of my job to realize when we have to abandon preconception and allow the music to instruct us. Some of the best music comes about by being open to change and allowing spontaneity to be in charge when it’s productive.
John: When you are in a recording session, do you find yourself constantly motivating an artist in the desired direction, or do you and the artist connect automatically?
Will Ackerman: Once again, John, every person and every session is different. Thankfully, that is the case as the newness keeps me on my toes and aware.
John: How do you make an emotional connection with an artist Will?
Will Ackerman: I’m a musician so I know what it takes to make music that is connected to emotion. How people get there varies greatly. What doesn’t change is the trust that has to be established. If people are going to allow vulnerability into their hearts and music they have to trust me and it’s my responsibility to make that possible for them.
John: Do artists ever have any common misunderstandings about your occupational or leadership role as producer?
Will Ackerman: There is nothing dictatorial in the role. I do have strong opinions and I’m not reticent to express those opinions, but at the end of the day, I’m working for the musicians and their needs and wishes are the ultimate arbiter of where we’re headed.
John: Have there been artists you simply can’t work with?
Will Ackerman: Yes, but thankfully that was long ago and my instincts about people and my understanding of myself (including a realistic evaluation of my own strengths and weaknesses) have made for a decade of very happy encounters. It’s hard work and very stressful, so we try not to record for more than a couple of days in a row.
Learning how to keep spirits up even when everyone is very tired and spent is an important part of the process, but simply knowing that everyone needs rest to be productive and happy is a surprisingly important piece of the puzzle. This is where being a bit older actually helps. One comes to understand their own limitations better which is actually more freeing than limiting.
John: You have produced music for esteemed artists like George Winston, Michael Hedges, Liz Story, Alex de Grassi, and many more top-ranked artists in the music industry.
This may be a hard question to answer Will, but do you believe some of your more recent artists, including debuting artists, have the potential to reach the same success? And if so, do you have any advice or a strategy you would offer to artists wanting to improve their performance skills or advance in their music career?
Will Ackerman: I think it’s a matter of scale to some degree. CD sales are way down and legal downloads don’t begin to compensate for the real losses in pirated music. At the same time we’ve gotten to the point where there is very little a major label knows about the current music business that the average internet-savvy teenager doesn’t know.
In fact the average teenager may be far hipper and more contemporary and imaginative than the guys who are still at desks at the big companies. One line I’ve used in talking with people is why give away 90% of the profits to an organization that doesn’t understand the marketplace any better than the average teenager?
I don’t think this is an exaggerated perspective at all and I think the question is valid. We see established acts reaching the time of contract expiration with major labels and just leaving the majors and creating their own labels with web presence and touring being focal points of their endeavors.
Artists recording on their own labels are keeping 100% of the profit rather than getting maybe a 12% royalty from a major label. Keeping an eye on budget becomes more important than ever (as there are fewer sales and less gross income) and the objective now seems to be about creating a constant internet presence rather than making one huge marketing effort in order to recoup the investment in recording or video etc.
Radio exposure is still important, especially with all of the internet music outlets. Getting reviewed, as always, matters in a big way and given all the websites devoted to niche markets there is more opportunity for attention than ever. Ultimately, however, it’s all about harnessing the internet and touring to cement a relationship with an audience and hone one’s craft.
I recently met a young woman name Kina Grannis who created this incredible video for YouTube. It took 3 months to make the first 10 seconds of this and nearly 2 years to finish. It’s a stop motion video shot against a constantly changing backdrop of paintings done with jellybeans. You heard me right, jellybeans. The video is brilliant, as is Kina, and I believe she’s now had something like ten million hits on this YouTube single. Jelly Belly heard about this and are now underwriting her touring and she just finished a tour of major markets in Europe, then traveled to the far east and Australia as well as the U.S. All of this fueled by a very clever video that her friends help her create.
In looking at the New Age market, I see people still doing a video of a babbling brook and posting it as if there is anything compelling in this. It was novel in 1984 when I did the world’s first digital audio laser discs with Pioneer Home Video and Paramount, but that’s been done and done and done. Be clever. Take a chance. Do something different. You may fail, but it’s ordained that you’ll fail by being one of a million people doing the same thing.
In terms of live performance, George Winston and I would play a benefit for any 5 watt radio station in the U.S. who would give us airplay and we were willing to work from the ground up. I can remember audiences of 6 people where I gave everything I had.
I think you have to have that commitment and the talent to offer something very special to the world, but what is learned on the road is valuable on so many levels and connects you with your audience.
Getting a sense of an audience’s reaction to a new piece, getting a feel for what’s working and what’s not (both for you and for the audience), is something most effectively done in front of a live audience. They’ll tell you a lot about what will be effective in the marketplace. So in answer to your question; yes artists in any genre can still break out onto the world stage, but to really succeed these days you almost certainly have to have brilliant and original (not necessarily expensive) videos and I continue to believe that live performances are an invaluable training ground.
John: Technology has undoubtedly changed since the time when you first began to produce. What are some examples of how new technology changed the way you produce music in the studio today?
Will Ackerman: Fundamentally, the only deep change is digital and I do a great deal to refrain from a complete embrace of what is contemporary. I’m convinced that digital is not all for the best, though the manipulation of digital information in editing, for instance, is just simply brilliant and is an important part of our process here. My principal microphones are VERY expensive matched pairs of Neumanns. What we do with microphone positioning and configurations are literally unique and very much on the cutting edge.
Despite the fact that we’re understandably regarded for our audiophile recordings, our methods are bordering on heretic. I like that. The Hemmingway preamps are rare and a brilliant part of our arsenal. I sometimes use analogue process even in the highest quality digital recordings if I feel there is something to be gained. My own Returning album, which won the GRAMMY® in 2005, was run through Studer heads as part of mastering, for instance.
And there’s Tom Eaton. Tom’s been with me for over a year now and is simply the most talented engineer I’ve known in my entire life. A pianist himself (he actually plays a range of instruments) Tom brings an academic knowledge of music to the room that my intuitive side is grateful for. I was recently having trouble explaining to Tony Levin what I wanted in a piece and Tom took a minute to talk with me and then hit the talk back and said to Tony, “Tony, Will’s hearing it on the one.” It would have taken another 10 minutes for me to finally explain what I was hearing.
I’ve come to respect Tom’s opinion as much as anyone I have ever known. Increasingly he and I are co-producing and the recordings are the better for it. Tom knows the Windham Hill Records catalog better than I do and this history also informs his understanding of where we’re going and why. He respects my position in the producer’s chair, but he always has my ear and no one in my history has been able to command more attention with a gentle, “I was just wondering if.” The man’s simply brilliant and has brought more to my production environment than anyone in my history. He’s also a wonderful, bright, funny human being who has become family in a very short while.
John: You have a one of a kind Steinway piano, and other high-tech equipment at your studio. Is having the highest quality equipment available for artists to use during their visit, one of the most essential components for your productions?
Will Ackerman: Our Steinway is simply magical. I have never recorded anything that compares to it in my entire career. It came here by chance a decade ago as a rental and it simply never left. I just told the owner that he’d have to come up with a price. I called him and told him this and took the rest of the day off and nailed the load-in doors shut and resided the building. He had to sell it to me. When you think of how important the piano has been to my career and how much piano recording I’ve done and you realize that I’m begin utterly honest when I tell you that this is the finest sounding recording piano I’ve ever worked with, that’s a pretty dramatic statement.
There are many quality products that I don’t need. We actually don’t have a lot of toys here. It’s very fundamental stuff. I have some very purist ideas about how to record instruments and it begins with the fact that I want to be inside the instrument. I want to be more proximate to the instrument than almost any producer on the planet.
I want to hear guitar recorded so that it sounds as it does to me when I’m holding it. I want the piano to move from left to right, bass to the high notes and feel like you’re sitting at the piano. I don’t want to soften edges a lot. I don’t want the recordings to be dreamy even if the music itself is. I want the listen to be deeply aware that this is a piece of wood and steel they’re listening to. I think this is partly why I just shy away from keyboards (however good their sampling has become) so much. I love the world of acoustic music. It’s what drives me, and I’m always searching for ways to get even closer and more detailed in my listening and recording. I’ve recently made a discovery about cello, for instance, that pleases me a great deal.
John: I am sure your professional role of assisting artists the best you know how is personally rewarding. How would you best describe the personal rewards of helping artists become successful?
Will Ackerman: It’s one of two things in my life that imbue my life with what I hope is worth and meaning.
John: Thank you again for giving me and everyone a moment of your time Will. I have a deep respect for your work, and I hope we have a chance to interview again in the future. I am sure there will be fans and artists worldwide reading the newest Will Ackerman interview in 2012. Is there anything you would like to express to the artists and fans that have supported you over the years?
Will Ackerman: First of all, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who agreed to be on The Gathering. My deepest thanks to these wonderfully talented and lovely human beings;
Masako, Paul Jensen, Stanton Lanier, Kathryn Kaye, Rudy Perrone, Fiona Joy Hawkins, Jeff Oster, Dean Boland, Frank Smith, Todd Boston, Rocky Fretz, Shambhu, Kori Linae Carothers, Peter Jennison, Denise Young, Devin Rice and Erin Aas, Lawrence Blatt, Ronnda Cadle, Ann Sweeten, Ken Verheecke and Patrick Gorman.
My thanks too to all the musicians I’ve been blessed to work with. There are musicians I’m producing now and musicians I’ve just finished producing that we didn’t have room for on The Gathering. I hope our success with this project is such that we’ll have a chance to release a second volume.
I hope your readers will support The Gathering. We purposefully decided to make this affordable. At $12 and 74 minutes it’s a bargain and getting turned on to 22 new musicians is a pretty great experience in life. We hope you’ll think of The Gathering as gifts and just a thank you to those in your lives. We’ll be deeply grateful for your help. Will Ackerman.
Visit WilliamAckerman.com and the Imaginary Road Studios. You can sample or purchase The Gathering at CDBaby.com. The majority of artists Will mentioned on The Gathering compilation release have album reviews at this site. Visit my pages dedicated to Will Ackerman and artist tags located in a right hand module. Photos are courtesy williamackerman.com.
Music Review: Solitary Treasures by Darlene Koldenhoven.
Professional recording artist Darlene Koldenhoven has released an exceptional new vocal album entitled Solitary Treasures. This is much to the delight of fans who are familiar with her extraordinary vocals that have carried her to international fame.
For those who think they may not have heard the GRAMMY® Award winning, 3 time nominated artist Darlene Koldenhoven sing, I would be willing to say in fact you have.
Darlene Koldenhoven, who has a Masters in Voice and Bachelors in Music Education, was a featured vocalist who performed with celebrated international concert artist Yanni. Renowned for the quality of his concert performers, Darlene Koldenhoven was the star vocalist during the legendary Public Broadcast Service (PBS) concert Yanni – Live at the Acropolis. Film, television shows and concert tours are other venues where Darlene has amazed audiences with her incredible 5 octave vocal range.
Darlene Koldenhoven has performed with Robin Williams at the Academy Awards, American Idol specials, London Royal Philharmonic and a multitude of TV series. Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, and the late Whitney Houston are several music celebrities she has performed on stage with over the years. Darlene likewise has a platinum album for her vocals on the progressive rock stars Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and several Gold and Platinum awards.
Solitary Treasures is like a showcase album that highlights Darlene’s extraordinary talents that have brought her fame as one of the best vocalists in the music industry. The 12 songs on Solitary Treasures is a vocal instrumental album exploring the versatile talents of Darlene Koldenhoven, a star who often performs with stars of equal caliber.
Solitary Treasures is a instrumental vocal album entered musically by a fine classical setting, but pop crossover instrumental songs, romantic ballad, adult contemporary, and world music are recounted with a wonderful sense of balance from the first to last song. Solitary Treasures is her third vocal instrumental album within the past year, after releasing her equally significant albums True Stories & Angel on Ivories.
The PBS viewing audience for Yanni – Live at the Acropolis by the way is estimated to be 1.5 billion people worldwide with one venue alone, so chances are Solitary Treasures is simply a great way to get reacquainted with star vocalist Darlene Koldenhoven.
Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) selected their best album awards for 2011, in an award publication made available on March 11, 2012.
Many of the artists Zone Music Reporter selected for an award also happen to be artists I have written reviews for or interviewed last year.
There are a also a number of artists I cover who were selected as album award qualifiers and award nominees, in addition to the artists chosen for the best album in ZMR music award categories.
The ZMR best album award categories for 2011 are; Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic, Best Instrumental Album – Piano, Best Vocal Album, Best Electronic Album, Best Ambient Album.
Zone Music Reporter also has album award categories for Best Neo – Classical Album, Best Relaxation – Meditation Album, Best Chill – Groove Album, Best World Album, Best Native American Album, Best Holiday Album, Best Cover Art.
The artists I have featured at New Age Music World that won ZMR Awards for Best Albums in 2011 are shown by the album cover art below. You also have the opportunity to visit each artist’s dedicated page featured at my site by an album review or interview publication. Simply click on the album cover arts shown below to visit their dedicated pages. The artists I didn’t have a chance to write about this year are shown in text below too, along with their best album award for 2011.
Some artists Zone Music Reporter chose as award qualifiers, nominees, or selected for best album were recognized in my Best New Age Music Albums in 2011 publication I wrote on January 1, 2012.
You can read about these artists on my Best Albums Awards section. In my role as interview host and review publicist, I have the opportunity to get to know many of the artists who are ZMR award candidates.
It is always great news when I hear a number of the outstanding artists I know personally receive recognition for an album they produced in 2011. I will again be writing about top artists in 2012 by an album review or interview who will win an album award sponsored by ZMR in 2013.
New Age Music World provides full news coverage of today’s popular artists and top music celebrities. You can read my interview with Kitaro from last week, and my interview with Yanni that will soon be published. You can read reviews of their great albums from 2011 too.
The Kitaro and Yanni interviews are exclusive publications only at this site. An interview with 3 time GRAMMY® winning, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart may be announced, so look for the news soon. The new Mickey Hart Band album is titled Mysterium Tremendum.
Congratulations to every artist who won a ZMR Award for Best Album in 2011!
1. Best Album Of The Year – Surrender by Jeff Oster.
2. Best Vocal Album – Autumn Sky by Blackmore’s Night.
3. Best Electronic Album – Spectrum: An Anthology of Relaxing Instrumental Music by Hennie Bekker.
4. Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic – Elements (Live and Uncut) by Matthew Schoening.
5. Best Contemporary Instrumental Album – Spectrum: An Anthology of Music by Hennie Bekker.
6. Best Chill – Groove Album – Surrender by Jeff Oster.
7. Best World Album – … and Love Rages On! by AOMusic.
8. Best Holiday Album – A Midnight Clear: Christmas in Mitford by Bill Leslie.
Best New Artist – Where I Belong by Sajjad, Best Instrumental Album – Piano – Red Leaf, Grey Sky: Piano Improvisations by Catherine Marie Charlton, Best Ambient Album – Resonance by Takashi Suzuki, Best Neo-Classical Album – The Royal Albert Hall Concert by Ludovico Einaudi, Best Relaxation – Meditation Album – BLISS by Paul Avgerinos, Best Native American Album – Many Paths by Lorrie Sarafin, Best Cover Art – Red Leaf, Grey Sky: Piano Improvisations by Catherine Marie Charlton.
Visit ZoneMusicReporter.com and ZMR Awards page for Best Album in 2011. Find more great albums from 2011 produced by top ranked artists in my Best New Age Albums in 2011 publication. Big Stock Photo copyright Pkruger & Stuarthe.
Kitaro is a GRAMMY® and Golden Globe Award-Winning musician in the forefront of today’s international music scene. One notable fact about his artistry is its universal appeal, bringing forth a message of peace, respect and unifying cultural connection of Eastern music with Western music.
Kitaro is a music icon recognized worldwide as a primary founder of the New Age Music Genre, but then again, the principal influence heard in his instrumental classics are uniquely his own, and in a classification by themselves. This is a point of admiration about Kitaro’s music that simply cannot be overstated.
Over the course of his distinguished music career which spans over three decades, Kitaro has produced an extensive collection of beloved instrumental classics to millions of people from every nation.
Kitaro began his innovative music career with the release of his debut solo album entitled Astral Voyage in 1978. From this time forward, Kitaro has been a leader in the music industry. The recipient of a GRAMMY® Award, 14 nominations and a Golden Globe award, Kitaro is an artist accustomed to winning prestigious awards and acclamations for his quality work year after year.
You will discover Kitaro’s music compositions are masterful in style and theme. The Silk Road series, Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai series, Thinking Of You album, and Impressions of the West Lake are some of his most prized work.
New Age Music World host John P. Olsen had an opportunity to interview Kitaro in the early part of March 2012, prior to Kitaro’s performance at a special multimedia, live concert event in Uruguay called FAROSUR. Today we are pleased to present their conversation to Kitaro’s international fan base and to all site visitors.
Kitaro Interview in 2012;
John P. Olsen: Hello Kitaro, thank you so much for accepting my interview invitation. It is a privilege to host your newest interview in 2012, here at New Age Music World. I was already very familiar with you, and the music you produce, plus I enjoyed reading even more about you while preparing for our interview together. You are indeed one of the most fascinating artists I have ever interviewed Kitaro.
Kitaro: Hello this is Kitaro, Thank you for inviting me to this interview.
John: Let me begin by saying, you are an artist who has acquired worldwide, international fame. You were born in Japan, but have lived in America for many years too. Your music regularly has a fusion of ancient or ethnic instruments with modern electronic synthesizers. What first gave you the idea for integrating instruments with near opposite sound qualities?
Kitaro: I started my music career in high school, that’s era (end of 60′s and beginning of 70′s). I listened to so much music from other countries, mostly from USA and Europe. I was very surprised by impressionable sounds. I felt like I opened the door of the new world. It was a synthesizer.
John: In regards to ethnic instruments and electronic synthesizers, do you find it a challenge to unite the two classifications of instruments in your arrangements?
Kitaro: For me, it was not difficult to combine these elements. It’s a very enjoyable moment.
John: Has living in countries around the world with varying cultures been the greatest influence with your music, and if so, how much of a role does social culture influence your music?
Kitaro: I still have a home on mountainside in Japan. It’s a 250 years old home. I learned many things; living culture, nature, life – how important these element are for our lives. Also I believe that my music is one of the elements of nature.
John: You were honored with a Japan America Society Art Without Borders award in 2002. Can you tell us about the organization and the reason they presented their premier award to you?
Kitaro: I believe most of the members of this organization want to make a better relationship between Japan and USA through our work.
John: Your Love and Peace Planet Music Tours have made your music accessible to concert audiences worldwide. Your music has universal appeal. It is what sets you apart from other artists, and makes you special. How do you make the connection of unity with your concert audiences?
Kitaro: I believe music has a power to influence audience’s mind and soul. So, we are trying to make peaceful mind within our sounds.
John: Since people of various countries often have their individual tastes in music, have you ever performed concerts to fit the tastes of Eastern or Western audiences, or do you always strive for universal sound qualities?
Kitaro: Sometimes when we visit another country and perform, we try to re-arrange the song to fit the audience and perform some of the songs which people know as a popular song. It’s very fun for us too.
John: You are proficient on a number of traditional instruments like guitar, keyboards, and percussion. What indigenous instruments do you play, and what do you feel are the natural melodic qualities of each one?
Kitaro: I have traveled many countries and collected many traditional musical instruments. And I’m still trying to play and make beautiful sounds of these instruments. Since each instrument has a deep culture influence of each country, it is a timeless process for me.
John: Of the many orchestral and ethnic instruments you play, which instrument(s) do you feel best speaks from the heart, or are your collection of instruments simply a tool for your own inner expression?
Kitaro: I’m trying to have an experience of different cultures to see the behind of the sounds and instruments.
John: Percussion instruments likewise have a special place in your heart too. I read each year you make a customary pilgrimage to Mount Fuji to perform a formal drum ceremony. Would you like to tell us about the Wadaikos tradition?
Kitaro: Rhythm and beat is our PULSE and our BLOOD. I have never learned drumming but we can play some, because drumming is a simple thing but deep – following our heart beat.
About Taiko-drum ceremony at Mt. Fuji in Japan: It has been already 24 years since we started. This ceremony is not complicated explanatory thing. It’s very simple.
This is an appreciation for this Mother Earth and to create ties to it through drumming.
We invite many people from the young to the old. Any ages can come to Mount Fuji. Then we play drum together on the full moon night in September every year. Same as many spiritual Native tribes doing, we try to connect to spiritual moments through the drumming.
John: Your instrumental music is an unlimited collection, or in a universal category of its own style. Although your music can’t be defined by one music style or genre, your earliest albums began the structural foundation for the New Age Music Genre.
When you first began producing music decades ago, did you envision the instrumental music you were producing at the time was to be a major influence, past, present, and future with the new age genre?
Kitaro: I have never thought of becoming ”New Age Music” like an individual Genre. But I believe this kind of sounds and music is what we need. I’ll keep going on my music.
John: You have a long and enduring relationship with Tangerine Dream founder Klaus Schultz. What is your association with Klaus Schultz, and how did your friendship begin?
Kitaro: In my First recording at England during the 70’s, we tried to propose him if he could produce for our Band, because we like Tangerine Dream sounds. Our Band (Far East Family Band) focused on progressive and electric music since we started the band.
John: I read you and the late Takeshi Kato, who was the Chairman of the Korg Corporation also had an enduring relationship over the years too. Would you tell us about your friendship with Takeshi Kato and the influence he has made with your music?
Kitaro: Mr. Kato supported many musicians, not only Japanese musicians but musicians from all over the world for more than 40 years. In early days of company “KORG,” he and I always worked with engineer discussing and explaining what kind of sounds we like to have, then engineer tried to create machine. In those days, we have still used analogue technology (I still like this technology).
He passed away last year – He was like my FATHER.
John: I am truly sorry to hear of your personal loss. I didn’t realize you were so close. Takeshi Kato will be missed by many people worldwide. You have collaborated with many equally great rock music artists like Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, on The Light Of The Spirit, and progressive rock YES vocalist Jon Anderson, on Transcendent Dream, both of which were highly successful albums. Your soundtrack and modern day opera Impressions of the West Lake was likewise a partnership with international filmmaker Zhang Yimou. Would you please tell us about your projects with Zhang Yimou?
Kitaro: Mr. Zhang Yimou offered me to make original music for “Impression of the West Lake” in 2007. First, it was their idea – Then I had a trip to China to have meeting with production people. And they showed me my recent DVD ”TAMAYURA,” which is a collaboration with Butoh Dance company performed at traditional Japanese Garden.
Mr. Zhang Yimou told me that they wanted to make the stage like this – I was so surprised, and the production was not easy. Because work continued with construction and composing music at same time, depending on stage direction handled by Mr. Zhang Yimou. We always waited for his comments. During the project, I enjoyed working with him so much for his dynamic direction and mind.
John: You were honored by a Composer Award at the 51st Golden Globe Awards for your wonderful Soundtrack for Heaven & Earth, a movie directed by Oliver Stone. Would you like to tell us about your soundtrack compositional work with film director Oliver Stone?
Kitaro: This Film was a third film of Vietnam War by Mr. Oliver Stone, as for my understanding. I learned many things; film score, filming, production and etc. I had a trip to Vietnam with him (Mr. Stone), his crew, actors and actresses. Since the film director decided everything; sounds, editing and all the details, even when my composition has done, he needed to confirm if music is right for the scene. And it took four years. His work had a lot of intention. That is good mood for me.
John: The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series was conceived during the days after the tragedy of September 11, 2001 (9/11). What was the setting, and the reasons for you to produce the Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series?
Kitaro: I focused on thinking about what is ”world peace,“ then I came up with this project. It has not finished yet. It’s still on the way to become “World Peace.” I believe Human will make “World Peace” someday.
John: The Silk Road Series is said to be one of your many arrangements considered a musical masterpiece. What were the circumstances surrounding the production of your highly acclaimed Silk Road Series?
Kitaro: I had been influenced by the theme of Silk Road which is an ancient road between Asia and Europe.
My imagination has grown so much with this theme at the time NHK offered to me to make music for Silk Road. Also I had a trip to China and Soviet Union (old day) after finishing composition. It was a fun trip. All of the places I visited were peaceful. But they changed too much today.
John: You composed the soundtrack for a Japanese television documentary series that ran for five years titled Silk Road. How does the soundtrack music differ from the Silk Road series album collection?
Kitaro: I had a travel to Silk Road by “SOUND.”
John: Your music has earned you a GRAMMY® Award and 14 Nominations over the years. These are significant awards and nominations. Are album awards and acclamations of your musical works important to you at all, or do you consider them simply a testimonial of your many achievements?
Kitaro: Awards are not my goal.
John: Over the years while attending the GRAMMY® Awards, you have had many opportunities to form friendships with other artists who were under award consideration like yourself. Could you tell us about your experiences while attending the awards ceremony?
Kitaro: When I got 43rd Grammy Awards, my friend David Foster was on stage and he called my name. David said “congratulation” and I could release my tension and relax and talk.
John: I am certain there will be a number of debuting and professional artists who will read our interview. Many artists maybe look to you like a mentor, and hope to achieve the level of success you have reached in your career. Do you have any words of advice you can offer, or a strategy an artists should bear in mind during the course of their music careers?
Kitaro: Each artist has a different theme. So it’s not easy to say something. Maybe only I can say is, “You can compose and create Music for another person, simply just as a gift for another all living thing and for this planet. That would be GREAT. Trust your feeling.”
John: On March 27, and March 28, 2012 you have a special live concert event in Uruguay. It is a premiere event conceived by Emil Montgomery called FAROSUR. I read this is a multimedia artistic show, and collective group effort. Who are some of the artists involved?
Kitaro: This event will be a great friendship concert between Emil. Suzanne Ciani and I will perform some of the music (new song) together. We will perform every song from our HEART.
John: What is the theme or purpose of the FAROSUR concert event?
Kitaro: My understanding is “WORLD PEACE.” It’s beyond everything.
John: Your philosophic viewpoint is a matter of record. It is one of peace, respect and unity, shared by many people. What does it “feel like” to be a respected artist, who has an opportunity to express your message of peace worldwide?
Kitaro: We hope music effect all over the world. People can feel and think about future.
John: During your international concerts around the world, you have performed live before audiences of over 50,000 people. Would you like to tell about your experience meeting people worldwide, what it means to you personally, and how it influences the music you produce?
Kitaro: We always appreciate that many people come to see our performance. But our performance is not only our performance. We are performing with an audience, making collaboration.
John: I would love to release some news for your fans about a new Kitaro album or a concert tour in the planning stages. Is there any additional Kitaro news you would like to announce today?
Kitaro: I’m working and producing a Native American person’s (Dennis Banks) song which is related with Nature, living with Nature, songs coming from life style and spiritual experience.
John: Your music is very much on the forefront of today’s music scene. Interest in your music has grown tremendously over the years, and you have a wonderful story to share. It has been a privilege to host your newest interview in 2012 Kitaro. I hope we have a chance to visit again to update everyone on the current news about you. In closing for now, is there anything you would like to express to our readers, and the fans that have supported you throughout your career?
Kitaro: I really appreciate all of listeners and audience and all of living things on this planet.
“Thank you so much.” Kitaro
Photos are courtesy kitaromusic.com and domomusicgroup.com.
Kitaro is a GRAMMY® and Golden Globe award-winning artist who earned acclaim and respect from the beginning of his music career. Over the past 30 years Kitaro has remained passionate with his music creations, maintaining the highest quality standards as a composer, while delivering voluminous concertos to music fans worldwide.
With volumes of Kitaro CD albums and song downloads to choose from wouldn’t it would be advantageous if the best albums by the legendary artist Kitaro were sold as a single collection? Now it is!
Domo Music Group makes the decision making process easier by offering a limited edition of Kitaro’s best albums. This extraordinary collection isn’t cheap, but when you average the cost per CD, and bonus DVD, it turns out to be an economically priced collection.
The Ultimate Kitaro Collection – Silk Road Journey is an extensive selection of the best albums by Kitaro. The Ultimate Kitaro Collection includes 15 CD albums and the Yakushiji Live DVD. Of the 15 CDs total, you will find most are albums in which he received either a GRAMMY® Award or received nomination.
Kitaro’s GRAMMY® Award winning Thinking Of You is included, along with other favorite albums like The Impressions Of The West Lake soundtrack, Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volumes 1 -4, The Best Of Silk Road, Peace On Earth CDs, and more.
I am pleased to announce I have an interview scheduled with Kitaro in the near future. New Age Music World is preparing to roll out the red carpet for Masanori Takahashi, and the millions of international fans who would like to read the newest interview with Kitaro in 2012. Until the new interview with Kitaro in 2012 is published, view the video below for The Ultimate Kitaro Collection – Silk Road Journey.
Mannheim Steamroller has a “best of the best album collection” in their newest Fresh Aire Music series, which turns out to be an outstanding newer album addition for the millions of Mannheim Steamroller album collectors worldwide.
The Fresh Aire music on this 2 CD collector’s edition does revisit earlier songs, but with specialized reproduction enhancements, next generation digital sound on this release is extraordinary. You can have your favorite songs in one neat little CD package!
The Fresh Aire Music of Mannheim Steamroller is the title of this 2 CDs special collector’s best album edition. Even if you already have some of the previous albums, or own the entire 8 CD album collection of the Fresh Aire series, I discovered there are several advantages to purchasing this particular “best of album.”
The dynamic instrumental sound is even better today as the original songs, some of which were released decades ago. I thought the band founder and director Chip Davis did a wonderful job of selecting the 25 songs on the 2 disc album collection too.
Mannheim Steamroller has released 8 Fresh Aire albums altogether in their definitive series. The Fresh Aire 7 album had earned Chip Davis a GRAMMY® Award, and with every single one of the eight albums having a one after another linage of being certified gold, it’s as if this new Fresh Aire release comes with an instant pedigree. Some songs date back to 1975 when Chip Davis first introduced his exclusive blend of instrumental new age music to the world for the first time!
Chip Davis compiled the 2 CD best album collection playlist from the previous 8 certified gold albums in the definitive Fresh Aire Series, on this special, value priced album. Most are up-tempo instrumental songs that are crisp, bold, and vibrant in every sense, and chances are you will find every one of your favorite songs like I did.
If you follow the Billboard New Age Charts, you know Mannheim Steamroller’s best albums are in the Top 10 New Age charts nearly every year. Especially during the Christmas holidays.
Musicians on The Fresh Aire Music of Mannheim Steamroller album collection are Chip Davis, who performs multiple instrumentals. Jackson Berkey is the primary keyboardist, and The London Symphony Orchestra was introduced into the mix on several songs. Strings, woodwinds, and brass sections were performed by Arnie Roth (violin), Ron Cooley (guitar), Bobby Jensen (oboe), David Kappy (French horn), Eric Hansen (bass, lute, and classical guitar).
Mannheim Steamroller’s music awards of 16 gold records, 7 platinum records, 4 multi-platinum records, and concert tours have made Mannheim Steamroller one of the favorite groups of all time!
Visit MannheimSteamroller.com to sample or purchase The Fresh Aire Music of M.S. and 2012 Concert Tour information. You can also discover a great selection of gifts at the Mannheim Steamroller store. Photo is courtesy Sherri Durrell & MannheimSteamroller.com.
Music of every popular genre is a stimulus that is proven to touch our emotions in a variety of ways. This broad statement has been recited well enough that everyone should be in agreement, knowing firsthand that music can induce sensations and emotional responses from exhilaration to melancholy, and every emotion in-between. Some songs can relax a person to the point it will lull them to sleep.
The Liquid Mind Musical Healthcare® experience developed by Emmy® nominated songwriter and recording artist Chuck Wild, is one of today’s most advanced forms of music designed specifically for sound relaxation and sleep therapy.
Of the 11 best-selling Liquid Mind albums, Dream: A Liquid Mind Experience is the newest relaxation album from Los Angeles based composer, Chuck Wild, a 2009 recipient of a President’s Award from the American Music Therapy Association.
Relax: A Liquid Mind Experience is another sleep enhancing album by Chuck Wild that spent 71 consecutive weeks in Billboard Magazine Top 10 New Age Chart.
Chuck Wild of Liquid Mind is a top recording artist with over 30 years of experience in the music industry. During his lengthy tenure, Chuck Wild has composed over 125 songs, some of which were employed in the television and film industry. Many of you may already be familiar with him like I was since Chuck is a popular artist associated with the high profile groups Missing Persons, Paula Abdul, Frank Zappa, the late Michael Jackson, and a host of top-ranked, pop music icons.
Relax: A Liquid Mind Experience is a Best Selling New Age Album at Amazon, and Liquid Mind VIII: Sleep, was recently the #1 album in the U.S Top Ten New Age Chart at iTunes. This is in direct correlation to his top-ranking status as an artist.
Dream: A Liquid Mind Experience, on the Real Music Label, is a popular Liquid Mind album getting a wide awake, positive yes response from Billboard and iTunes in 2012. Liquid Mind relaxation albums have consistently made the Top 10 Album charts and Top 10 Song charts at Billboard and iTunes.
Chuck Wild is a musician, and not a physician, so he doesn’t make scientific claims about his calm music for relaxation therapy. However his composing techniques do involve non-rhythm, musical metrics and specific filtering of mid and high range frequencies to achieve like physical responses of scientifically supported research. Developed to treat his individual anxiety disorder, the free flowing music is a stimulus intended to help direct other people into a calming state of relaxation. Perhaps his peaceful music will help you get to sleep too.
Even the title Liquid Mind suggests an orchestration that carries a balanced cloud of relaxation. It is like a mental picture portraying his calming song melodies in the form of two words. Perfect for people who like to experience the full spectrum music has to offer, the focus on made for relaxation music is crystal clear.
Liquid Mind albums may or may not put you to sleep, but once you experience the balanced sound qualities for yourself, an image of comforting music that floats weightlessly in your mind becomes even clearer.
Visit LiquidMindMusic.com and sample or purchase his albums and digital downloads at RealMusic.com or Amazon.com. You can get a free mp3 of the song Serenity from the Liquid Mind V: Serenity release. Photos are courtesy Chuck Wild.
The 54th GRAMMY® Award Winners in some categories were released before the televised presentation held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12, 2012. If you want to see results of your favorite artist or genre, all categories for GRAMMY® Award winners and nominees will be shown when they are released.
Pat Metheny won a GRAMMY® Award in the New Age Music category for his What’s It All About album. Selected best out of five albums total in the new age music category, Pat Metheny’s 19th GRAMMY® award was selected by voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).
The GRAMMY® Awards, inaugurated in 1959, was formed to recognize artists for their achievements in the music recording industry. Andreas Vollenweider’s Down To The Moon has the honor of being the first new age artist to win a GRAMMY® in the New Age category in 1986. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences had earlier classified the award as Best New Age Recording.
The World Music Genre category was first initiated in 1991, when Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart won an award for his Planet Drum album.
While the New Age Music Genre and some others only have an award category for Best New Age Album, maybe someday more categories like Best New Artist and Best New Age Song will be added, and included in the televised broadcast.
Visit PatMetheny.com to sample or purchase. Sample every nominee’s album on the article I wrote titled 54th GRAMMY® Nominees; Best New Age Album. If you want to read more about NARAS history, you can visit the Wikipedia page for GRAMMY® Award for Best New Age Album.
Photos are courtesy patmetheny.com & grammy.com.
New Year’s Day 2012 symbolizes another brand new beginning for everyone. Knowing this, I can assure you many artists are beginning, or are contemplating their new albums for 2012. As the year progresses, it will be a privilege to keep you informed about the best new age music albums with my review and interview publications.
Hello everyone, my name is John P. Olsen. In my role as review publicist and site host for New Age Music World, I have sampled some of the best new age songs and albums music artists worldwide have produced last year. Like previous years, I have had the opportunity to write review publications for a proportionate number of the best new albums released in 2011. Today I am pleased to present my recommendation for the 12 best new age music albums I have sampled or reviewed in 2011.
When it comes to new age music, I can tell you many of the popular artists I write about have produced some of the best new age music to date! For me, it takes only a moment to recall the collective number of excellent new releases public relations persons, music promoters, and new age artists sent to me for a review during 2011.
While true I couldn’t review every CD or MP3 album from 2011, I have listened to every release sent to me and many more, so I am confident of my assessment in regards to the overall quality artists have produced this past year. In fact I am certain most, if not every new age promoter and review publicist would express a similar, if not identical viewpoint.
Every artist has given their best in 2011, and so begins the process of determining who will win the various best album awards by high profile organizations like the GRAMMYS® or Billboard magazine.
Finding the best new age albums for your listening experience is even easier in 2012, thanks to the internet and online stores like Amazon and iTunes, where you have easy access to sample or purchase your favorite music in either CD album or MP3 formats. Similarly, online internet radio and television radio stations make finding new music you can call your favorite a relatively easy task.
The GRAMMY® Awards, Billboard Charts, Independent Music Awards or Zone Music Reporter is a great source for discovering some of the most popular music available today.
Regardless of whether a top album award is determined by voting members, album sales, popular choice, online radio airtime or broadcaster votes, each organization is an excellent source to discover some of the best new music available.
Likewise, I am confident you will find some of my January 1, 2012 recommendations made today about the best albums from 2011 will be included in various top album awards ceremonies later this year.
My Best New Age Music Albums in 2011 recommendation is listed in alphabetical order of the artist tags at my site, using each artist’s first name. If you are interested in finding popular music from some of today’s top artists, my 12 best albums publication includes direct links so you may sample or purchase my music recommendations at the artist’s website or on their music page at Amazon.com.
Best New Age Music Albums 2011;
1. Damayanti by 2002.
Damayanti is the newest release from 2002 featuring 10 celestial song melodies in the graceful style only 2002 can produce. You can tell the beautiful songs on this quality orchestration is a 2002 production, but this is a compliment about 2002, who made the list of top new age artists in Billboard Magazine’s Year in Review, December 2003 issue.
Damayanti does embrace a magnificent change in tonal atmosphere from earlier albums, and supports the cinematic aspects of their work that have made every one of 2002’s music releases special. Based on a legendary love story, Damayanti features instrumentals of Randy Copus performing piano, electric cello, lead guitar and bass guitar.
Pamela Copus performs flutes, harp, keyboards and a WX5 wind instrument. Their young daughter Sarah Copus sang some vocals on Damayanti, and I read Sarah is again going to be a vocalist on the new album from 2002 entitled Believe.
The heart and spirit of 2002, Randy and Pamela Copus are nearing a significant milestone in their music careers by a forthcoming 20 year anniversary as the award winning, 2002 music duo. After having charted at Billboard with 9 of their albums, and sharing the limelight at Billboard as equals with artists like Enya, Mannheim Steamroller, Jim Brickman and Yanni, Randy and Pamela Copus of 2002, truly do have many reasons to give pause, reflect, and celebrate their 20th year as esteemed new age artists.
2. And Love Rages On! – by AOMusic.
And Love Rages On! – by AOMusic is a brilliant world fusion release with 9 colorful songs of instrumentals and vocals. AOMusic shares a genuine message of unity on their 2011 release with an album title proclaiming – and Love Rages On! It is on this very unique release where ethnic harmonies of children and boys choirs from four continents are united with superb world music rhythms and contemporary instrumentals.
The principal members of AOMusic are Richard Gannaway, Jay Oliver, and lead singer Miriam Stockly. Founding artist Richard Gannaway sings vocals and plays stringed instruments. Jay Oliver performs keyboards and synthesizers. Miriam Stockly is a beautiful vocalist in – and Love Rages On!
During the combined careers of the three artists, they have worked with popular groups like; Sheryl Crow, The Eagles, Queen, George Michael, Jimmy Buffett, Celine Dion, Bonnie Raitt, and Tina Turner. This all-star celebrity lineup is a partial list, but it does give you an idea of the high level of quality Richard, Jay, and Miriam are recognized for.
The children and boys choirs featured on And Love Rages On! – are youth choirs from Africa, America, China and the People’s Republic of Georgia. Additional key members are Sandeep Chowta who plays Indian flute tracks, and regular contributing artists Andy Georges (strings), George Bernardo (percussion), and Doug Lunn (bass guitar).
Integrating world fusion music with lively world-beat rhythms and select children’s choirs from four continents, the heartfelt singing by children from varying countries have helped unify and transform this exclusive world fusion release into something very special!
3. Autumn Sky by Blackmore’s Night.
Autumn Sky is a new album from the legendary renaissance inspired new age and folk Rock touring band Blackmore’s Night. Debuting at #1 on Billboard’s New Age Chart, Autumn Sky has 15 classic songs of Blackmore’s Night best music to date. Traditional instruments of keyboards, violin, woodwinds, acoustic and electric guitars are integrated with hurdy-gurdy, mandolin, vintage instruments, and elegant vocals by Candice Night.
Ritchie Blackmore and Candice Night are GRAMMY® nominated artists who are the core essence of Blackmore’s Night. Autumn Sky serves as a platform to accentuate Cadence Night’s talents as a vocalist, along with ancient and modern instrumental fanfare for which this group has become internationally famous.
The entire seven member troupe of Blackmore’s Night performs in dramatic fashion by wearing renaissance attire during their popular concerts, fairs, and festival events.
The international success for Blackmore’s Night is truly impressive. The elite musical focus they have engraved for themselves has resulted in an enormous following in North America, South America, Europe and Japan. Their melodies have gained crossover prosperity by the enchanting lyrical vocals and fascinating instrumental music that often contain the metrical structure of music dating back to the seventeenth century.
Blackmore’s Night is a true champion by their consistent ability to create transcending music that varies with every new album they have produced. This bold renaissance inspired band which transports progressive music into contemporary times is a model for success, past, present and future. Blackmore’s Night fans will be pleased to know Ritchie and Candice are working on a follow-up album to Autumn Sky.
4. Reflections by Candice Night.
The Reflections album is an excellent solo release from Candice Night, lead vocalist of the legendary renaissance inspired new age and folk rock touring band Blackmore’s Night. Candice Night’s worldwide presence as the popular lead singer and songwriter for Blackmore’s Night has proven to be the perfect overture for her exclusive solo release.
GRAMMY® nominated Candice Night, who is the recipient of numerous gold records and prestigious awards, along with husband Ritchie Blackmore, find musical inspiration from the beauty of nature. You will find Candice Night’s vocal and lyrical point of view is even more a focus of attention on Reflections.
Candice Night’s new solo album, made of her own creation is popular music produced in a more contemporary, crossover theme from the renaissance motif of Blackmore’s Night. One constant characteristic of her solo release is her incomparable vocal and lyrical qualities, which turn out to be an expert expression throughout her first new release.
One cannot talk about Candice Night without pointing out her leading role as singer in the forefront on Blackmore’s Night albums. The songs on Reflections are diverse in many ways from the renaissance themed Blackmore’s Night albums as one would expect.
Best of all, Reflections reveals another aspect of Candice Night, and her many talents for producing popular crossover music in a contemporary theme you are sure to love. Candice Night’s Reflections is an online radio favorite worldwide, and Reflections made #4 at Zone Music Reporter’s Top 100 Chart during the month of October, 2011.
5. Echoes of Creation by David Arkenstone.
Echoes of Creation is a masterful 10 song soundtrack from the award winning instrumental composer David Arkenstone. On Echoes of Creation, the three times GRAMMY® nominated musician David Arkenstone teamed up with Emmy Award winning film director Jan Nickman. The inspiring nature film by Jan Nickman, in unison with David Arkenstone’s magnificent instrumental soundtrack is an absolute masterpiece!
Diverse in his song writing aptitude, David Arkenstone, and his always popular music collection is an array of ambient, Celtic, contemporary instrumental, world, electronic, and new age fusion.
It is this unique characteristic of David Arkenstone’s ingenious songwriting abilities and extensive discography which practically guarantees there is a favorite album for just about everyone, including Echoes of Creation.
Many of you may have watched the televised Echoes of Creation film and soundtrack since the film aired nationwide on Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) in 2011. In this case, the Echoes of Creation soundtrack is a beautifully articulated cinematic music score I am certain nearly everyone will appreciate.
David Arkenstone’s popularity as a favorite artist is apparent when you consider he has sold over one million albums, and has been listed in the Top 10 Billboard New Age charts twenty times. It is clear David Arkenstone was the perfect choice for Jan Nickman’s nature inspired film. The collection of songs on Echoes of Creation is a sure winner, and an easy decision to make in my best new age albums recommendation.
6. Groove Tribe by David & Steve Gordon.
Groove Tribe is the Gordon Brother’s new groove/chill out album featuring 11 songs in a vibrant blend of electronic music with ethnic percussion rhythms miles apart from many other forms of multicultural world music. Featuring electronic groove and chill out music with world drums and musical instruments, each of the 11 songs on Groove Tribe convey the relaxing yet vibrant trademark quality in which David and Steve Gordon are famous.
David and Steve Gordon are two prominent names people identify as one of the most prolific music team in today’s international music scene. After founding their esteemed Sequoia Records label 28 years ago, the award winning Gordon Brothers have earned the reputation of legendary music producers.
Groove Tribe has the calming metrical rhythms and vibrant electronic harmonies that keep the Gordon brothers in the forefront of new age and world music styles. It likewise highlights their ability to fashion a wide selection of popular music in a variety of sub-genres. The Gordon brother’s new album is an exotic assortment of smooth song melodies in step with ethnic percussion rhythms so it’s no wonder the songs on Groove Tribe are presently a bestselling choice for many people.
David and Steve Gordon’s compilation albums are another significant component of their work together during their role as award winning DJs, which showcase top artists from around the globe. Selecting the best international talents, top quality artists on Sequoia Record’s playlist lineup can be found on many of the Gordon Brother’s compilation releases.
7. Songs From Before by Fionnuala Sherry.
Songs From Before is Fionnuala Sherry’s first solo release, and her personal revision on some of Ireland’s most beloved melodies. Born of Irish heritage, Fionnuala Sherry is an extraordinary violinist extensively known as the fairer side of the internationally acclaimed music duo Secret Garden.
Songs From Before is a contemporary instrumental album with 10 songs, including some previously unreleased original compositions that highlight her expertise as a professional violinist and vocalist. Her solo release became an instant success, and was chosen #3 in the Top 25 at Echoes in August 2011.
Fionnuala Sherry’s solo release Songs From Before in entirety is a moving experience and inspirational beacon showing her in a new light, yet remains true to character in regards to the remarkable violin melodies for which she is famous.
The overall sound quality on Songs From Before is rich and opulent, uplifting at one moment to deeply poignant in another. I felt every song has an elegant tenor of sophistication and depth without being overly classical. Fionnuala’s modern revisions of Irish song melodies capture traditional moments with new-found charm and charisma. Fionnuala Sherry is a longtime RTE Concert Orchestra member, and has performed with top artists including The Chieftains, Sinead O’Connor and Bono of U2 fame.
While Fionnuala Sherry’s fame and success as a partner with Norwegian composer and pianist Rolf Løvland of Secret Garden has earned them admiration by millions of people as a music team, Fionnuala Sherry can claim a brilliant success of her own by the release of her first solo album Songs From Before. Rolf and Fionnuala together have a beautiful new Secret Garden album entitled Winter Poem.
8. Spectrum by Hennie Bekker.
Spectrum is a wonderful collection of 14 songs pointing to the diverse abilities of a world-class musician. Spectrum is a relaxing album that accents the entire range and variety of award winning Hennie Bekker. The highly prolific Bekker has composed and produced over 60 albums, and over a thousand compositions and collaborations.
Hennie Bekker is a multi-platinum artist who has spent his entire music career exploring a wide array of genres, from new age, electronic, world music, and acclaimed nature soundscape albums. His work with Dan Gibson’s Solitudes – Exploring Nature with Music series was so popular the albums achieved gold, platinum, double and triple platinum status.
Hennie Bekker is also one of three leading members of the techno/dance group BKS. The group BKS won a prestigious Juno Award from the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (CARAS), which is the equivalent to an American GRAMMY® award. You can include film scores, television and radio recordings in his long list of achievements as a musician. Presently, Spectrum is the #1 album in Zone Music Reporter’s Top 100 Chart for November 2011.
Spectrum – An Anthology Of Relaxing Instrumental Music is like a “best of Hennie Bekker album” by the wide range of melodic songs on this impressive album. Of the 14 songs total, eleven songs are recordings selected out of his rather extensive music collection. Hennie Bekker from Canada, who was born and raised in Africa and lived in England, brings a world of experience to his music. Take a minute to sample Spectrum, and the world-class music of Hennie Bekker.
9. Survival & Other Stories by Jon Anderson.
Survival & Other Stories is a concept album from music celebrity Jon Anderson, former front man, and lead vocalist of the group YES. The concept album has a collection of 11 songs of wonderful orchestrations unified with Jon Anderson’s heartfelt vocal energies, beautifully articulated as optimistic, upbeat and positive.
Jon Anderson’s influence and starring role in music over five decades is legendary. One can say Jon’s divine voice and lyrical message is an unforgettable story people want to hear.
It is estimated over 38 million albums were sold during his years as the dynamic lead vocalist with YES, and his successful solo career to date. Entertaining millions of people during his lengthy career, Jon Anderson without a doubt has a wonderful story to share with the world.
Jon Anderson began the concept for Survival & Other Stories after he nearly perished from a serious illness. This unique project began to take shape after his recovery. It was during this time period when Jon published a written message on his website inviting artists to submit their music for his new Survival & Other Stories project.
Select musicians from all corners of the world sent their ethnic music over the internet for consideration, and the genesis of something beautiful was born. Jon then mixed, composed, and co-produced with wife Jane Anderson, the first of three concept albums.
While Jon Anderson will always be recognized as the legendary lead singer and key lyricist of the progressive rock band YES, Jon Anderson’s prolific music career continues to be as inspiring and significant today as it was yesteryear. Jon has been performing concert tours with former YES member, and acclaimed keyboardist Rick Wakeman, in support of their live album The Living Tree in Concert Part 1. Jon is also on tour with numerous live solo concerts scheduled for 2012.
Visit jonanderson.com to sample or purchase Survival & Other Stories by Jon Anderson, or you can find at Amazon.com. Read our interview together and my album review for Survival & Other Stories on my pages for Jon Anderson.
10. Unconditional by Marc Enfroy.
Unconditional is a cinematic piano release from pianist Marc Enfroy featuring 10 classic songs. Award winning pianist Marc Enfroy created Unconditional in a partnership with Randy and Pamela Copus of 2002, who are another award winning, Billboard Charting band. Unconditional is a passionate musical portrait by the beautiful union of contemporary instrumentals and piano music.
Marc Enfroy’s new release from 2011 is an innovative contemporary instrumental release that was bound to be a success right from its conception. It’s a newly born sound creation you are sure to love.
The attributes of Unconditional are best defined by the fine piano performance from Marc, unified with beautiful performances of flute, strings, bell tones and chorales. Produced by Randy Copus of 2002, Pamela Copus sings vocals, and Jack Chen plays flute, in an exclusive fusion of professional talents.
Marc Enfroy’s music career first emerged after the death of his sister Suzanne Whiting to cancer, but it was from the profound loss of his sister his progressive music legacy arose.
Finding inspiration in memory of Suzanne, Marc proceeded to compose music for the senses, and as it turns out, Marc Enfroy indeed has the natural gift of a true artisan. Empowered by design to take flight, the uplifting composition of inspiring song melodies on Unconditional is the ultimate music experience to celebrate life.
11. Winter Poem by Secret Garden.
Winter Poem is an exciting new release from Secret Garden. The fabulous lineup of 11 songs on Winter Poem is made up of original arrangements from Rolf Løvland. Featuring professional violinist Fionnual Sherry, the mainly vocal instrumental release includes the award-winning Expo Suite Rolf composed for the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai China.
Norwegian composer Rolf Løvland and Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry of Secret Garden are a successful music team who has sold over four million albums. Along with the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest award, they have performed before thousands of people worldwide at live concerts covering many countries.
On Winter Poems, Secret Garden preserves their signature sound that has made them an international success, but they have taken a fresh approach on their newest composition by featuring special guest musicians. The outstanding Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry is happily the centerpiece artist, plus Secret Garden’s vibrant new release is special by the inclusion of exceptional Norwegian and Irish musicians.
One guest is dynamic vocalist Moya Brennan from Celtic group Clannad, who sings on song The Dream. Guest vocalist Fionnuala Gill sings on song Mary’s Lament, while Tracey Campbell and Espen Grjotheim perform on song Powered By Nature. Winter Poem also features instrumentals by the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Popular music given by a popular music duo is a good indication that you will love every verse of Winter Poem. Secret Garden recently completed a live concert tour in Norway.
12. Truth Of Touch by Yanni.
Truth Of Touch is a passionate reflection of what Yanni does best, which is to create personal interaction with an audience through his extraordinary music abilities. Famous for his exceptional live concert performances, this time around Yanni’s social interaction is shared with his fans by virtue of his magnificent studio version of 15 songs. The hour long symphony of refined music harmony is an original composition, and fascinating expression from the international superstar Yanni, and his select orchestra.
Yanni is conceivably the greatest influential musician of our time, and Yanni’s exceptional abilities as a gifted composer and keyboardist by are by themselves a true testament to his universal appeal.
When taking into consideration the extraordinary artists and vocalists by his side, the collective inspiration pay tribute to a universal, heartfelt music experience. On Yanni’s Truth Of Touch album the energy and excitement of their performance is palpable.
Yanni – Live at the Acropolis began his historic rise to stardom, and it may have been the first venue where many of you witnessed Yanni’s grand entrance onto the world stage. It is estimated over 500 million people from 65 countries have viewed this top public television fundraising program for the American Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) alone. Yanni – Live at the Acropolis alone to date has sold 7 million copies worldwide.
Truth Of Touch is an sensational studio composition of pure refinement. The phenomenal caliber of musicians Yanni enlisted on Truth Of Touch is boldly demonstrated on what I feel is Yanni’s greatest electronic and instrumental music composition to date. Yes, we have heard many exceptional new albums and songs in 2011 from a variety of artists, and what better way to close than by recommending one of the best new 2011 albums produced by one of the world’s most exciting international concert artists we identify simply as Yanni.
This concludes my Best New Age Albums in 2011 recommendations. Later in 2012, I plan to write several feature publications about the various best new age album awards presented by high profile music organizations. Thank you for your visit today, and I invite you to visit New Age Music World again soon.
Cover arts are courtesy of each individual artist. Big Stock Photo copyright – BSoriano – Stuarthe – Edobric – Baloncici.