Archive for the ‘Best New Age Music Award’ Category
Music News: Laura Sullivan, 56th GRAMMY® Award- winning recipient for Best New Age Music Album titled Love’s River.
The 56th GRAMMY® Award winners have been announced on January 26th, 2014, and as expected, there were a few surprises on this year’s recipients of the highly prized music award.
Best New Age Album Award recipient Laura Sullivan is a solo and concert pianist whose award really didn’t come as a surprise to me at all. Laura’s piano and instrumental new age album Love’s River happened to be the first album review I wrote in 2013, and I just knew the eleven songs on her newest album were something special.
Laura Sullivan’s award-winning album Love’s River, on the Sentient Spirit Records Label, is a piano and instrumental album featuring pianist Laura Sullivan and other top music professionals including Will Ackerman, Nancy Rumbel, Eugene Friesen, Jill Haley and Jeff Oster.
The ensemble of award-winning music professionals performing their instrumentals on various songs are Nancy Rumbel playing Oboe and English Horn, Eugene Friesen on cello, Jill Haley on English Horn, Jeff Oster on trumpet and flugel horn. Record Producer Will Ackerman produced 4 songs and played acoustic guitar on the song titled Blessed.
Laura Sullivan is truly a gifted composer and pianist with many achievements as a soloist and concert pianist throughout her illustrious career, and I am pleased to see her win a GRAMMY® Award in 2014.
In the album review I wrote I stated it was exciting to be one of the first to review Laura Sullivan’s newest album Love’s River. I also stated I felt it was destined to be a popular album in 2013. For everyone who knows Laura personally, they may be in agreement that in this case Laura Sullivan’s latest achievement was not one of the few surprises!
The 11 songs on Love’s River are Secrets from the Deep, Wishing on a Dandelion, Awakening to Love, Blessed, Holding Heaven, Moonlight Passage, Love’s River, Calligraphy, River to the Sea, Story of the Rain & Snowfall on Water.
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.
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.
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.
Christmas is the most important holiday of the year for most people. While this is especially true for marketing retailers, they too, along with the majority of people also recognize the supreme reason for the season, and truly enjoy the building anticipation during the preceding days, weeks and months leading up to Christmas Day.
If you are like me, simply listening to Christmas music can help one transition into the holiday frame of mind. And while everyone has their own individual pace for getting into the Christmas mood sooner or later, I can always depend on holiday music to renew my Christmas spirit.
Listening to popular Christmas songs prompts an association of my own past holiday experiences with family and friends. Likewise there is a vast selection of music to choose from since many popular artists past and present, have produced outstanding holiday music for our enjoyment over the years.
The best Christmas albums in all popular genres including new age are very comparable since many artists compose their own revision of traditional Christmas songs. It seems nearly everyone is familiar with mainstream traditional songs, so for many us there is even less of an apple to oranges comparison in terms of genre. Sometimes they are so much alike the easiest way to classify their melodies is to simply call it holiday music.
Along with the Christmas holidays is the yearly task of finding a suitable gift for family and friends. One gift idea I would like to suggest is the gift of music, and it doesn’t matter whether your gift is in the form of an mp3 or CD. Music is a gift idea that is relatively inexpensive, and most people will enjoy receiving any time of the year. The economical gift of music can be the perfect choice for many special occasions including birthdays, and in some cases, weddings and anniversaries.
Finding the best Christmas albums for your holiday listening experience is pretty easy too. There is an increasing number of outstanding Christmas albums I would consider my favorites so permit me to tell you about 12 Christmas albums in the New Age genre. Listed in the order of the artist tags at my site, the 12 best Christmas albums are listed by alphabet using the artist’s first name. If you are interested in popular holiday albums for entertaining or gift giving, below is my list of the best Christmas albums with direct links so that you may sample or purchase my holiday music recommendations.
12 Best Christmas Albums for Holiday Music.
1. A Midnight Clear – Christmas in Mitford (Soundtrack) by Bill Leslie.
A Midnight Clear is an instrumental album with 16 songs of traditional and original music. Bill Leslie has another sensational new release people of all ages can enjoy listening to with A Midnight Clear. Drawing his inspiration from author Jan Karon and her best-selling Mitford series, nine instrumentalists join Bill Leslie on the newest release in November 2011 of the 12 Best New Age Christmas Albums recommendation.
While Bill Leslie is recognized as an award winning musician, Bill Leslie is a 5 time Emmy Award winning journalist and newscaster for WRAL television network, and a recipient of multiple Journalist of the Year awards in North Carolina. He is also the composing director and soloist of his traditional and Celtic fusion music group Lorica. In 2010 Simple Beauty won an award for Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic at Zone Music Reporter.
2. Holiday High by Cadence Spalding.
Holiday High is an inspiring new age Christmas album with 10 songs with a intermingling of traditional and original holiday music from 2009. The angelic vocals by Cadence Spalding are a beautiful performance on Holiday High. The innovative talents of mixing and layering are introduced by another respected new age artist. Together with beautiful vocals by Cadence and the other artist’s special creative touch, Holiday High is a release far apart from many other Christmas albums.
Holiday High is a traditional Christmas album displaying the serene musical qualities of two great artists who have earned a respected position in the music world by their individual albums. Save The World by Cadence Spalding is another New Age release worthy of your consideration. While Save The World is not a holiday release, Cadence Spalding’s debut release won a Best New Age Album Award in 2009 at another blog. Her classical new age popular music is a pleasant mix of ballads finely tuned to perfection in the purest sense, and best describes the question of “what is new age music” best.
Visit CadenceSongs.com to sample and purchase or find Holiday High at Amazon.com.
3. A Christmas Celebration by Celtic Woman.
A Christmas Celebration is a Celtic instrumental vocal album from 2006 with 15 song revisions of traditional holiday music performed with grace and style. This is the second release from Celtic Woman who is made up from a female musical ensemble with Irish origins. Recognized internationally by their charming vocals with instrumental backing, Celtic Woman is a quality group who has earned a worldwide fan base and escalation in popularity over the years.
A Christmas Celebration was certified a Gold album by RIAA in 2009 with a volume of sales reaching over 500,000 copies. Along with international concert tours in the United States and overseas, their PBS television series with special orchestra performances on CD and DVD and over 6 million in album sales, they have entertained a multitude of people worldwide.
The DVD releases A New Journey–Live at Slane Castle is one of their most popular. The CD/DVD editions of Celtic Woman, A New Journey, The Greatest Journey, & Songs From The Heart are equally popular. The sixth and seventh most current albums from 2011 are Celtic Woman: Lullaby & Celtic Woman: Believe.
4. And Winter Came by Enya.
And Winter Came is a 2008 release from superstar Enya with 12 holiday songs with a winter theme. With over 75 million in album sales worldwide, it’s no exaggeration the Irish born Enya is loved by millions by her collection of Celtic, new age, adult alternative repertoire. And Winter Came recalls the enchanting moments of the season with brilliant beauty.
Enya is a phenomenal female artist who has won four Grammy Awards for Best New Age Album, in addition to an Academy Award nomination. Easily becoming one of the most popular award winning female artists in history, Enya and her trademark melodies are the hallmark of year round quality music.
Whether Enya’s holiday album And Winter Came is your first choice, there are more great albums to choose from. The Very Best Of Enya is a popular chose, like Memory of Trees & A Day Without Rain which sold 15 million copies worldwide is a very popular choice. The album Amarantine from 2005 is another fine song collection, and we certainly can’t forget her early classic releases Shepard Moons & Watermark.
5. Christmas Joy by Fiona Joy Hawkins.
Christmas Joy is a brand new 2011 release with 11 songs of four original compositions and seven revisions on traditional holiday music. On Christmas Joy, pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins introduces a bold mixture of classical and jazz influences combined with world music rhythms and instruments of Didgeridoo, Gaelic, Paraguayan harp, soprano saxophone and stringed orchestra. Fiona even lends her vocals on this release. Musicians accompanying Fiona Joy Hawkins on piano and vocals are Philip Aaberg, Will Ackerman, Charlie Bisharat, and Eugene Friesen and Heather Rankin.
Fiona Joy Hawkins Blue Dream album is a piano and instrumental collaboration with other professional artists that received top music honors and again extended the worldwide admiration for her work. Fiona is a multiple awarding winning pianist who covers new age, classical, contemporary, jazz and world fusion music. Recognized internationally by her award winning piano and instrumentals, you can always depend on Fiona Joy Hawkins to create an exciting mix of songs that are without out exception, produced with quality.
6. Christmas for Two by Lisa Downing.
Christmas for Two is a beautiful piano solo album with 12 original revisions of traditional holiday music. Lisa Downing has a special gift herself as a top solo pianist, and this is especially articulated on her holiday music release. Lisa’s collection of original arrangements in traditional Christmas melodies are a mixture of contemplative and energizing pieces which will inspire the holiday spirit in anyone who listens. Lisa Downing has produced another winning album with Christmas for Two.
Lisa Downing did in fact win award recognition with Christmas for Two in NewAgeMusic.nu’s Best New Age Album Award in 2009, and an award for Best Holiday Album in 2010 at Zone Music Reporter. A Delicate Balance is her solo piano, new age, neo -classical release from 2009 that carries with it a special Lisa Downing touch. Along with her business endeavor and talent agency Vision Quest Entertainment, Lisa is a touring concert pianist who performs many concert venues each year, including corporate and private events. She is an esteemed concert pianist who has toured or performed with other renowned artists David Lanz, Suzanne Ciani, Liz Story, Joseph Akins and Peter Kater. Lisa Downing is a great artist who certainly belongs in this Best New Age Christmas Albums recommendation.
7. Keys of Christmas by Louis Colaiannia.
Keys of Christmas is a piano, instrumental and vocal new age album with 9 songs in an assortment of original and traditional holiday music. Due to be officially released on December 1, 2011, Louis Colaiannia is a talented songwriter, pianist and concert performer. When you listen to Keys of Christmas, you can tell right away the classically trained pianist who explores contemporary piano, jazz, new age and chill out music, has in fact produced a wonderful holiday arrangement. Enjoy the season in perfect harmony with Keys Of Christmas.
Louis Colaiannia’s album A Moment Between Eternities is a classic, instrumental new age contemporary release in 2011. The wonderful range in thought and feel with contemporary variations of classical orchestrations express the passion in which Louis composes every one of his album releases. The 9 songs on A Moment Between Eternities are like modern improvisations on classical music by graceful piano songs emboldened by contemporary instrumentals.
8. Christmas Symphony by Mannheim Steamroller.
Christmas Symphony is a new popular instrument album in 2011 with 16 of your holiday song favorites. This beautiful full symphony sound instrumental release is performed with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and includes some vocals. Many of you may know this, but Mannheim Steamroller is the most popular Christmas music artist of all time. And that’s a fact. With 28 million in album sales in the United States alone, and their legendary concert tours, it’s easy to see why they have become so popular.
The vast selection of Mannheim Steamroller holiday albums include Christmasville, Christmas Sweet Memo, Christmas Song, Celebration, Christmas Extraordinaire, 25 Year Celebration, Christmas Angel, Christmas Live & A Fresh Aire Christmas. With this long list of popular holiday albums like Christmas Symphony, it’s easy to find what you are looking for.
Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis, and co-found Jackson Berkey have recently announced their annual holiday celebration “The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis” will soon begin their Christmas concert tour season, so check their website for concerts in your area. Check out their great selection of gifts too.
9. Christmas 25th Anniversary Collection by Mannheim Steamroller.
The Christmas 25th Anniversary Collection from 2009 is a 2 CD collector’s edition of 25 song favorites. The 2 CD song playlist for this excellent edition was selected by Chip Davis himself. If you are like me there are songs you will remember from years past, but it is all about the technical sound enhancements and playlist that makes this release special. After the 25 year anniversary tour last year, Chip Davis continues the tradition of live concerts for audiences around the country.
Mannheim Steamroller has also released a 2 CD disc album in their Fresh Aire Music Series that is a “best of the best” from the popular Fresh Aire series. The 25 songs selected by the band founding director Chip Davis are some of the most popular songs in the entire 8 disk Fresh Aire series. Mannheim Steamroller’s awards of 16 gold records, 7 platinum records and 4 multi-platinum records, Christmas albums and holiday concerts have made them the #1 Christmas music artist of all time.
10. Christmas from Mars by Mars Lasar.
Christmas from Mars is a new age instrumental album with electronic designs on 10 traditional Christmas melodies. This “Best Christmas Albums” recommendation simply wouldn’t be complete without including the 2007 holiday release from Mars Lasar. Recognized for his versatility and talents in electronic instrumental music, Christmas from Mars shines by the aptitude and expertize he conveys in every one of his albums.
Another new age artist performs angelic vocals on this album, so together their individual albums Holiday High & Christmas From Mars each are distinctive in their own way by their special creative touch and technical aptitude that sets their albums apart from many others in the new age Christmas album category. Both artists have earned a respected position in the music world by their individual albums and additional albums they have produced together. Mars Lasar’s most current is a solo piano album with 18 songs entitled Piano Moods From Mars.
11. Christmas Eve and Other Stories by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Christmas Eve and Other Stories are a progressive rock adaptation of 17 songs from 1996 in a 1 CD or mp3 format. If you are familiar with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and their theatrical linage of songs, then you know Christmas Eve and Other Stories is unlike any other artist in my top albums recommendations. While I can advise every one of their songs is non-traditional, I can also say every song is special!
Trans-Siberian Orchestra has two very popular concept theme albums entitled Beethoven’s Last Night & Night Castle. Given their name, it does imply they are a Russian based act, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra is in fact a group based in the United States. Along with a huge fan following, their concert and album sales reach into the millions. Their just as popular Christmas themed album series are The Christmas Attic & The Lost Christmas Eve. Trans-Siberian Orchestra may leave you wondering if they are new age, progressive rock, symphonic, or classical music, but whatever classification you decide, you will definitely be impressed.
12. A Windham Hill Christmas by Various Artists.
A Windham Hill Christmas is an excellent release from 2002 featuring 14 song revisions on some of your most familiar holiday songs featuring Windham Hill artists. In this case, by various artists is a good thing! The Grammy Award winning founder of Windham Hill Will Ackerman even performs on the song What Strangers are These. It’s a wonderful instrumental album with a variety of top artists in the music business.
On A Windham Hill Christmas album there are so many top artists that space doesn’t permit me to list every professional. Popular artists on this release you are sure to recognize are Jim Brickman, George Winston, Tim Story, Tracy Silverman, Alex De Grassi, Liz Story, Paul Schwartz and many more. The hallmarks of this album are a relaxing, right at home feel you will notice right away. It’s some of the best songs available from the experts at Windham Hill.
This concludes my 12 Best Christmas holiday album recommendations. On January 1 2012 New Age Music World will present the Best New Age Music Album Awards for 2011. There are many great releases this year, and I will publish my recommendation for Best New Age Albums on New Year’s Day 2012.
Cover arts are courtesy of each individual artist. Photo copyright Big Stock Photo by Subbotina Anna & ppart.