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Archive for the ‘Grammy Awards’ Category

Concert Tour – Mysterium Tremendum by Mickey Hart Band.

Former Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart has always been an artist identified by his progressive music, both as a percussionist for the iconic Grateful Dead band, along with his 3 time GRAMMY® Award-Winning albums, and innovative sound excursions with his group the Mickey Hart Band.

The Mickey Hart Band “Above The Clouds Concert Tour” in 2012 is underway, with concert reviews for the bands performances getting admirable music reviews for their giant leap into progressive new sounds that becomes somewhat problematic when you try to categorize or brand his music.

Mysterium Tremendum is the Mickey Hart Band’s new album in 2012. Call it progressive rock, pop, adult contemporary, new age, world, or whatever you like, but identical to their new Mysterium Tremendum release, The Mickey Hart Band’s music is unlike anything you have previously heard. There is a variety of innovative sounds matched with great instrumentals and vocals.

During the Mickey Hart Band Tour – 2012, they perform a number of songs from their fantastic new album Mysterium Tremendum, just released on April 10, 2012. It’s a great album that shines by a contrasting fusion of music genres during every one of the 12 songs total. Possessing deep percussions, vocals and heavy rhythms, the divergent mix is extraordinary.

Can you envision the Mickey Hart Band will be among those in the New Age or World music categories in the GRAMMY® Awards in 2013? If there were an innovative music category, the Mickey Hart Band would definitely be the winner! Mickey Hart is a constantly evolving musician with no final conclusion in sight for the former Grateful Dead drummer who has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and earned the Grammy Lifetime Achievement award.

Band members are; Mickey Hart, Crystal Monee Hall, Tim Hockenberry, Dave Schools, Gawain Mathews, Sikiru Adepoju, Ian “Inkx” Herman and Ben Yonas. The YouTube song sample video below is live music from the Mickey Hart Band Concert Tour.

Visit MickeyHart.net to sample or purchase Mysterium Tremendum, and check out the band’s 2012 Concert Tour schedule. Special VIP packages are also available. Below is the current Mickey Hart Band 2012 Concert Tour schedule for 2012. Please note concert dates shown below are subject to change, and more concert dates may be scheduled once confirmed. For concert updates and most accurate concert info visit MickeyHart.net tour page. Photos are courtesy mickeyhart.net.

Mickey Hart Band – Concert Tour Dates 2012;

April 17, 2012 – Carrboro, NC – Cat’s Cradle

April 18, 2012 – Asheville, NC – The Orange Peel

April 20, 2012 – Live Oak, FL – Wanee Festival

April 21, 2012 – Atlanta, GA – Sweetwater 420 Festival

April 22, 2012 – Birmingham, AL – WorkPlay Theatre

April 23, 2012 – Fayetteville, AR – George’s Majestic Lounge

April 25, 2012 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater

April 25, 2012 – Dallas, TX – Granada Theater

April 26, 2012 – Austin, TX – La Zona Rosa

April 27, 2012 – New Orleans, LA – Tipitina’s

April 28, 2012 – Mobile, AL – Soul Kitchen

April 29, 2012 – Memphis, TN – New Daisy Theatre

May 7, 2012 – Bend, OR – Tower Theatre

May 8, 2012 – Vancouver, BC – Vogue Theatre

May 9, 2012 – Seattle, WA – Neptune Theatre

May 10, 2012 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom

May 11, 2012 – Ashland, OR – Ashland Armory

May 12, 2012 – Spokane, WA – Knitting Factory Concert House

May 14, 2012 – Missoula, MT – The Wilma Theater

May 15, 2012 – Boise, ID – Knitting Factory Concert House

May 16, 2012 – Salt Lake City, UT – The State Room

May 17, 2012 – Denver, CO – The Ogden Theatre

June 30, 2012 – San Francisco, CA – The Fillmore

July 21, 2012 – Bridgeport, CT – Gathering of the Vibes

July 22, 2012 – Thornville, OH – All Good Music Festival

July 22, 2012 – Thornville, OH – All Good Music Festival

September 5, 2012 – Woodstock, NY – Bearsville Theatre

September 6, 2012 – Charlottesville – The Jefferson Theater

September 7, 2012 – Harrodsburg, KY – Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival

September 11, 2012 – Ozark, AR – Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival

September 14, 2012 – Ozark, AR – Yonder Mountain String Band’s Harvest Music Festival

October 13, 2012 – Columbia, MO – Blue Note

October 14, 2012 – Pensacola, FL – Vinyl Music Hall

October 15, 2012 – St. Petersburg, FL – The State Theater

October 17, 2012 – Ft. Lauderdale, FL – Revolution

October 18, 2012 – Live Oak, FL – Magnolia Fest – Amphitheater Stage

October 19, 2012 – Atlanta, GA – Variety Playhouse

October 20, 2012 – Black Mountain, NC – Lake Eden Arts Festival

Visit MickeyHart.net Concert Shows Page for future schedule updates.

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.

Visit DarleneKoldenhoven.com to sample or purchase albums, or visit Amazon.com. Photos are courtesy darlenekoldenhoven.com.

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

Visit the DomoMusicGroup.com homepage, their Kitaro page, and Domo Music Group store page for Kitaro.

Photos are courtesy kitaromusic.com and domomusicgroup.com.

Legendary musician Kitaro continues the time honored tradition of bringing his ageless instrumental classics to millions of fans worldwide. The year 2012 is after all, much like another other year in the past, where fans of popular new age music can find many selections of the best new albums and songs all from a man who goes by the name Kitaro.

The fascinating story of Kitaro is legendary. Beginning his music career over 30 years ago, Kitaro’s intriguing journey to prominence arose with the release of his first album entitled Astral Voyage back in 1978.

Crossing many milestones along the way, Kitaro is a true innovator who remains in the forefront of the music recording industry today, just as he was the vanguard in the new age music scene years ago.

Fans of Kitaro know his discography has not only increased in volume, but has increased in popularity as time goes by too. In recent years to the present, some of the best new music from Kitaro has progressed in diversity more than ever, but the admiration for his work is at all times constant. It may leave many of us wondering what motivates or inspires him.

Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai – Volume 4 from 2010 is one of his best albums in the Ku-Kai series. The 4 CD Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai album collection is inherently monumental, and in an exclusive class by itself. The motivation for Kitaro’s Ku-Kai series as many fans may know arose after the global events on the fateful day of September 11, 2001.

On 9/11 Kitaro was on a jet from Japan traveling en route to Los Angeles when the transcontinental flight was diverted to Hawaii for 5 days due to the tragedy. It was during this time of disbelief and uncertainty Kitaro envisioned the Ku-Kai series as a means of uniting the world by music embracing a universal message of peace.

Peace thru music is not a new concept on the surface, but I, like other people find his personal belief and inner conviction with producing Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai, an honorable concept of peace and unity that is profound nonetheless.

The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series is an earthly travel that transports the listener to 88 sacred temples located on Shikoku Island in Japan. The music is a serene journey in its own right. The true to life excursion made over 1100 years ago on Shikoku Island in Japan endures to this day.

The music in Kitaro’s modern day journey has an itinerary of refined harmony made for reflection. Every instrumental song on the series is comprised of bells from one of the holy temples, integrated into the series with Kitaro’s internal vision of peaceful harmony in music and in life shown externally. It may be why many consider  Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series the best new albums by Kitaro.

Nearly every day I describe an artist’s album and its qualities, but rarely do I focus or reveal the intrinsic motivation of an artist’s instrumental creation. Ku-Kai series Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 & Vol. 4 earned Kitaro a GRAMMY® Nomination in the Best New Age Album category, which basically speaks for itself. The admiration for Kitaro and his music that unites the world is, of all things, real and constant.

Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai  – Vol. 4 has 8 songs titled; Lotus Mountain, Yakushi, Magic Seeds, Reflection Of Water, South Wind, Circle Pray, Requiem & Ritual Winds. I have the privilege of interviewing Kitaro in the near future. During our interview I hope to reveal the central element that inspires one of the top instrumental music producers today.

Visit the Domo Music Group Kitaro pages to sample or purchase Kitaro’s music, and then visit DomoMusicGroup.com. Read Kitaro’s Ku-Kai page at Domo Music Group for more about this special series. Photos courtesy 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.

Visit the Domo Music Group Kitaro pages, and purchase The Ultimate Kitaro Collection at the Domo Music Group Store. Photos are courtesy domomusicgroup.com.


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 and Fresh Aire album at Amazon.com. Photo is courtesy Sherri Durrell & MannheimSteamroller.com.

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.

With all of the attention given to the state of Florida in U.S. politics, the time is right to revisit the television soundtrack to Miami Vice by Jan Hammer. While the TV show is history, Miami Vice Theme song, Colombia, & Crockett’s Theme song and entire Miami Vice Original Soundtrack have already won the popular vote.

Miami Vice: The Complete Collection is a soundtrack with 42 Jan Hammer songs. The entire collection is a classic, like the Original Miami Vice Theme, New York Theme, and my favorite, Crockett’s Theme. Wonderful harmony is heard in laid back songs Tubbs And Valerie, Rum Cay, & Crockett’s Return. The 42 songs on Jan Hammer’s Miami Vice Complete Collection is one of his finest albums.

Jan Hammer is a GRAMMY® Award winning artist recognized for his high octane electronic hit music, but there is much more to the composer, keyboardist Jan Hammer, than his chart topping hit songs and albums like the Miami Vice Complete Collection. Jazz fusion, pop, soundtrack and film music are mainstays, but the entire musical expression of Jan Hammer is pretty diverse, as is his professional associations with other legendary music icons.

Jan Hammer was a Mahavishnu Orchestra member, led by John McLaughlin. Mick Jagger, Carlos Santana and Jeff Beck, are some of his music associations. The fashion statement of wearing a sport coat with white tennis shoes may be out of style, especially for a politician, but Jan Hammer and popular hit songs in his Miami Vice soundtrack are still in vogue. The video is from The Best of Miami Vice twentieth year anniversary. During the interview style narrative with Jan Hammer, he and his fans discuss the impact Miami Vice Original Soundtrack made in music history, featuring song Crockett’s Theme. Visit JanHammer.com to sample or purchase, or visit Amazon.com. Album artwork is courtesy Jan Hammer.

Al Conti is a GRAMMY® nominated musician people worldwide recognize as a composer with a natural ability for producing some of the most vibrant, story based albums in the new age and world music genres.  Al Conti’s ability to intermingle his story based tales of intrigue into every one of his award winning albums, in part, originates from his life experiences and extensive international travels.

Al Conti is a nominee for the 54th GRAMMY® Awards in the Best New Age Album category, selected for his 2010 album entitled Northern Seas.  Along with Al Conti’s GRAMMY® nomination in the new age genre, Northern Seas was also selected in Amazon’s Top 10 list for Best New Age Albums of 2010.  Earlier albums Scheherazade, Poeta & Shadows have made other “best album of the year” and “top 10 album charts” at other organizations.

Northern Seas is the fourth album from Al Conti, and a fine release that highlights his abilities as composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist.  The storyline on Northern Seas chronicles the ancestral homeland and Nordic heritage of Scandinavia with wondrous glory.  The rich instrumental landscape captures your imagination, and valiantly stands the high ground on this resolute masterpiece aptly named Northern Seas.

Northern Seas features 10 songs in a fascinating blend of new age and world fusion with a Celtic inscription on several songs.  There is a unique atmosphere by using ancient instruments in parity with traditional instruments.  Al and contributing artists create a unique feel blending kantele, harp, hurdy gurdy, pump organ, accordion, and tribal drums with piano, violin, cello, acoustic and electric guitar.

The folklore of Norse traditions brought to the surface by Al Conti is deep, rich, and intriguing while portraying a tale of Norsemen during a time of Viking sovereignty.  Every song on Northern Seas is crisp, clear and refreshing, as if detailing the pristine landscape and panoramic mountain vistas by the deeply spacious tonal qualities.

New Age Music World host John P. Olsen had the opportunity to conduct a December 2011 interview with Al Conti, a 54th GRAMMY® nominee in the Best New Age Album category.  Today we are pleased to present their up-to-date interview to Al Conti’s fans and to our site visitors – several days prior to the New Year 2012.

GRAMMY® Nominated Al Conti Interview;

John Olsen:  Thank you for consenting to my interview, Al.  First I would like to congratulate you on your GRAMMY® nomination for Northern Seas!  This is great news. It always pleases me when I hear an outstanding artist and their work are given the recognition they deserve.  Northern Seas has many fine qualities, many of which were pointed out by a number of positive reviews at your site, AlConti.net.  I was glad to be among those to contribute an album review, and I hope to have conveyed the award-winning potential, and some of the finer aspects of your work in the album review I wrote earlier.

John:  Aside from the fact Northern Seas is in the category for Best New Age Album, I feel Northern Seas is to some extent the most progressive of the five GRAMMY® nominated albums by a variety of instrumental qualities.  Do you agree, and if so, do you feel having a nominated album that varies instrumentally from the rest will work to your advantage?

Al Conti:  Hello John, it is my pleasure to be here with you!  Many reviewers have commented before on how my work is rather different than much of the New Age music available these days.  Some have called my work ‘cutting edge.’  Personally, I feel that New Age music is very rich in its diversity, and my work is a part of that spectrum. Whether my music’s edge works to my advantage or not, I am not sure.

During the nomination process, I have indeed heard from many peers, mostly from other genres, how they found my music to be so different.  I guess it has, in the end, worked to my advantage.  The ironic thing is I never strive to compose music that is different, per se, but just to be true to myself as an artist and simply create what comes from within me.  The rest is all excruciating work!

John:  On Northern Seas you pair old-world instruments of kantele, harp, hurdy gurdy, pump organ, accordion and tribal drums with modern instrumentation of piano, violin, cello, acoustic and electric guitar.  I am familiar with the majority of songs on your earlier albums Scheherazade, Poeta & Shadows, but I would like to know, if this blend of ancient and modern instruments is consistent throughout every one of your four releases?

Al Conti:  Since my album Scheherazade, I’ve been drawn consistently to rediscovering ancient instrumentation, and this also blends very well with the mystical landscapes I like to explore.  People have responded very well to the use of these instruments.  There is also something beautiful to me in bringing instruments and sounds into a modern content.  It feels like I am in some way honoring the past by bringing these instruments into a more contemporary setting.   I am never quite sure what will come out of me musically and I am always challenging myself as an artist with each release.

John:  Would you tell us about the outstanding artists who performed instrumentals with you on your GRAMMY® nominated release?

Al Conti:  I have been blessed to have worked with some amazing people, and continue to do so.  For Northern Seas I wanted to work mostly with local talent, and except for Francesca Genco (vocals), all are Vermont artists.  Among the contributing talent in Northern Seas there is the immensely-talented violinist Hannah Beth Crary, who was truly magnificent to work with and my trusted guitarist and engineer André Maquera.

John:  You also have a team of music professionals you depend on for technical details and final production.  Would you like to mention the people who helped you finalize Northern Seas?

Al Conti:  While I do a big part of an album’s mixing myself as I compose, I depend heavily on André Maquera, of West Street Digital, in Vermont, for the final mixing and mastering on my projects.  I have worked with him since my first release, Shadows, and feel he understands my approach so well at this point as to know how to work with whatever I bring his way.  Mastering is also a very arduous process and my hearing can only handle so much.  Aside from the actual music engineering and recording, I work with a fantastic team of people that help oversee the other aspects of my career, without whom I could not do what I do.

John:  What do you feel are the most positive attributes of Northern Seas?

Al Conti:  I think Northern Seas went in a different direction than my previous album Scheherazade.  I feel it showcases my versatility as a musician and composer.  My audience can hear a more classically-oriented side of me in my album Poeta, a more exotic and sensual one with Scheherazade and a more aggressive and brooding, yet also fun and hopeful side with Northern Seas.

John:  In addition to your GRAMMY® nomination, Northern Seas made the Amazon Top 10 list for Best New Age Albums of 2010, and  many of your earlier releases were also awarded  “best of the year”, “top 10 charts”, and other “best album lists and top 100 charts.”  What do you believe has been the most important influence that has led to your overall successes as an award-winning composer, arranger, producer and multi-instrumentalist?

Al Conti:  I compose what comes through me, and this changes depending on the project I am working on at any given time.  I tend to go to a certain emotional place when I compose and the right material flows through me.  When a project is finished, it is as if someone has turned the creative faucet off, and nothing else comes through, so I know I am done.  I believe that the key to anyone’s success, especially in this business, is made up of various elements such as what I mentioned above, coupled with hard work, perseverance, gut feeling, luck, timing and fate.

I also believe it is important to follow one’s own path and not be overly influenced by what other artists do.  While there may be a music trend we all follow and music that influences our style, it is good to do what really comes from the heart and not try to imitate someone else. I simply do what I do, surround myself with a magnificent team and we all pull forward in our own way, but in the same direction.

John:  Every one of your new age albums is based a theme or legend and portrays a story.  What is the story based representation or theme behind Northern Seas, and how did you arrive at the concept for Northern Seas?

Al Conti:  Northern Seas is based on Norse mythology.  While my previous album, Scheherazade, was based on the teller of the fantastic Arabian tales, Northern Seas was a little more complicated to nail down as a concept.  I did a tremendous amount of research when the idea for this project first came to me.  I could have based the album on a particular Norse myth, but I felt that there were many important ones that would have been left out.  The album as a concept takes many of the Norse myths and weaves them into one cohesive narrative.

John:  How do you transpose an inspirational or story-based theme into a musical arrangement?

Al Conti:  This is also something that is very hard to describe, because I do not have a specific formula that I follow.  Each project is based on a particular myth or tale.  This already sets the parameters I will work within because each part of the world and its respective culture has a definite music style, which I then follow.

Scheherazade was Middle Eastern; Northern Seas is Nordic, Celtic and Germanic.  But I also do not want to compose an album that is fully regimented by a culture’s musical style and mood, thus I tend to modernize the music to make it more appealing to a Western audience.  As such, I end up with the music I compose, which is peppered with world cultural influences, yet remains primarily New Age.  I do believe my past as an actor also thoroughly influences my approach to my music compositions because I innately tend to approach my music composition as a film.

John:  At your music blog – alconti.blogspot.com – you detail how producing music has changed for you since the earliest years when you first began producing music.  What are some of the changes you have made over the years, and the challenges you face while producing music today?

Al Conti:  Many of the changes are dictated to me by the music industry that I am a part of.  I feel one of the biggest mistakes artists can make is to not accept the fact that the music business is, first and foremost, a business.  Since I came from an acting background, well versed in the complex workings of that business, I simply translated acting to music and brought along with me the same work ethics I had from that part of my life.  I also feel each project I undertake lays the groundwork for the direction of my career.  Because I am also a perfectionist, nothing I compose is ever good enough for me and I always strive to better myself.

John:  Has having your own Shadowside Music label been a major influence with the manner you produce and market your music?

Al Conti:  Absolutely.  I can decide what I want to create without having to answer to someone else’s idea of what I should be creating.  I also have full control over every aspect of my career and creative output.  Because I happen to also be the producer and arranger of my own albums, I can truly follow my gut instinct and move forward from there.  Of course, I knew that the path I chose was plagued with risks and I did not know if these would pay off until they did.

Much like an actor producing and directing his or her own film, producing one’s own album can either make or break you.  For me, luckily, it was the former, not the latter.  It was a great risk, but I took it head on.   I am at a point now in my career where I can honestly say that the path I chose has indeed paid off and I can continue forward knowing I am doing what I am supposed to be doing and that it is working out well.  As people now ask me for advice, I find myself saying, “Hey, my path and how I walked it to this point has worked for me, but it may not work for you at all.”  Thinking of many successful artists, I venture to say you’ll find each got there in very different ways.

John:  Early in life you were determined at a very young age to become an actor.  You appeared in commercials and were an actor in the acclaimed As The World Turns American television series.  By all accounts Al, you had achieved the acting career you envisioned for yourself.  What was the turning point where you decided to change direction to pursue a music career, and how did this change to a new career transpire over the years?

Al Conti:  I do not think any artist will ever say, “Yes, I achieved what I artistically set out to achieve,” because we’re always looking forward to the next creative project.  As an actor, I do not think I ever fulfilled that which I strived to achieve since I was a child, and I believe music has allowed me to express artistically in ways acting did not.  I also came to a place in my life where I did not have the need to play someone else to express myself.  With music, regardless of the project, I am always expressing my truest self through my work, yet I can be an actor at the same time because my projects are pretty much like a film that is being played out musically.

John:  I read you were born and raised in Buenos Aires, Argentina.  Your grandfather was a concert pianist, and your mother was a classical ballerina.  What are your thoughts – do you believe talents in the arts, in fields like theatre or music, are heredity, or, do you feel non-genetic factors play more of a role with inclinations toward an individual’s profession?

Al Conti:  I cannot honestly say.  I know I was born an artist, which as a child created nothing but problems for me in school.  But because my parents and grandparents (and even beyond that to my extended family) were and are artists in their own way, I was lucky in that they completely encouraged me.  I do, however, believe that we are born with the talents we will hopefully hone throughout our lives, whether you are an artist, teacher, lawyer, social worker or whatever. I tried being other things than an artist and failed miserably.

It was clear to me that I could only work in the arts.  This is why I cringe when parents force their kids to play the piano or do anything else artistic if the child really has little inclination in that direction. It would have been the same for me if, say, my parents had forced me to be right handed while my inclination was to be left handed.  As an actor, I saw some sad things happening with parents who would bring their children into auditions.  Not pleasant!

John:  While living in Argentina, you grew up listening to ethnic music from many parts of the world, plus you have extensively traveled the globe.  Would it be fair to say your music is a vehicle that describes many of your life experiences and international travels?

Al Conti:  I think as artists we take everything we have gathered throughout our lifetime and put it into our work, because what we do comes from the deepest fibers of our beings.  Because I was raised in different cultures, this broadened my horizons culturally.  I innately know how one culture can function differently from another.  When I compose music, based on a certain culture, the way that culture expresses itself deeply affects how I compose.

John:  You have led a diverse life compared to many people.  You now reside in the state of Vermont in the United States.  What is it about the state of Vermont you adore?

Al Conti:  I have always felt at home in Vermont.  It is a state with deep French Canadian roots, which in many ways resembles the culture in which I was raised.  Those cultural roots can still be felt in Vermont.  While I have lived in a few different states in the U.S., Vermont is definitely the only one I have ever felt like calling my home.

John:  I read at – alconti.net – you are currently working on your fifth album.  I would love to release some Al Conti news for your fans and our readers today if possible.  Can you release any information about your newest, fifth album project?

Al Conti:  I usually tend to be very private about what project I am currently working on. I blame my past as a superstitious actor for this!  I never want to jinx the project.  There are also the legal ramifications of my talking about it at such an early stage.  What I can say is that the album’s progress is half way, and I am excited that there are some very well-known guest New Age artists that will be participating in the project.

I can also say that the album will be more on the lines of my previous work Scheherazade, and I think people will be very happy about that, even though it is far from that album’s Middle Eastern theme.  As an artist, I never want to repeat myself musically, so I strive to keep moving forward.  While I know that many people loved Scheherazade, and it would be easy for me to fall back into another Middle Eastern theme, I refuse to do so.  My current project is based on yet another beautiful legend and I will let my audience discover it as the time approaches.  It is tentatively scheduled for release in September 2012.

John:  During your work with humanitarian organizations, you teamed up with television celebrities Kevin Bacon, Jessica Alba, and Shelly Morrison for a charitable benefit.  Can you tell us about your contributions with humanitarian organizations over the years?

Al Conti:  As an artist with a certain level of success, I always feel I need to give back.  Because I have been touched by many situations in my life, I feel like those are the ways I can give back.  Unfortunately, we live in a world that has many, many causes we could rally for, but eventually, one can only do so much.

I have chosen carefully the charities I align myself with.  AIDS, Leukemia and Alzheimer’s, as well as breast cancer, have all affected people I care about.  In my own way, I try to raise awareness about these illnesses.  I find that when people like what you do they are more apt to listen and take notice.  When recently asked by a dear friend and fellow New Age artist about how I felt regarding my GRAMMY® nomination, I replied that I feel like this now allows my heart to give more.  I truly mean that.

John:  I read you are also involved in a wellness organization called The Spa Buzz, an organization that helps spread the message of wellness through activities like their awareness-raising bus tour.  Would you like to tell us about your contributions with The Spa Buzz organization?

Al Conti:  Yes, I was involved with this event as they toured the country promoting a message of health and wellbeing.  This is something my team initially brought to my attention and I agreed to take part in it by lending my music to the project and attending events on the East Coast, because I truly believe people can be healthier, pay more attention to and be in tune with their bodies.  The Spa Buzz did a great job for health awareness, and promoted the way music can contribute to wellness along the way.

John:  You have enjoyed a remarkable career as a musician, Al.  What do you find most rewarding as a professional musician?

Al Conti:  I think, as I mentioned before, the more success I find as a musician, the more I am able to give back to others.  Once I heard a saying that went: “When you get to the top floor, make sure to send the elevator back down for somebody else.”  I never forgot that.  While I do not think I am anywhere close to the top floor, I do believe that with a certain amount of success, there comes a responsibility to give back, and the universe sends our way those who can benefit from what we have to give, and vice-versa.

John:  Thank you again for taking time out for our interview.  I wish the best for you in the 54th Annual GRAMMY® Awards scheduled for Sunday Feb. 12, 2012.  In closing for now, is there anything you want to bring up, or express to your fans and the people who have supported you over the years?

Al Conti:  There are always a few things, for sure.  One is something I always speak of when able to, and that is the sad state of music piracy.  Since I have been involved in the music industry, I have become increasingly aware of the ravages that the illegal download of music is doing to artists worldwide.  Many people do not even realize that they are actually stealing music.  While some do indeed believe that we, as artists, should work for free, most simply do not realize the impact they have on the economy with even just one song illegally downloaded.

Independent musicians now form a large part of the music industry and they do not make millions, far from it.  Many can barely survive on the income they receive from their music work.  I would hope the right amount of respect be given to their efforts by actually purchasing their work rather than downloading it illegally.

A fellow artist, Loreena McKennitt, is a big spokesperson for this, and she has actually had to lay off people from her company because the illegal downloads of her work have made it impossible for her to maintain their employment.  This is extremely sad for me to see.  No one would ever accept to work for free, why should artists?

Thanks so much for this time, John, and for the work you do for New Age music!

John:  I get to know many artists personally, and I feel the same way too about the music piracy issue of illegal downloads.  I am pleased to be in a position to help get the message across.  I look forward to writing more about you soon Al.

Visit the alconti.net homepage and his music store where you can sample or purchase all four albums, and keep up with the latest news.  You are invited to visit Al’s official blog at alconti.blogspot.com and Facebook page. Read my Al Conti page.

Photos are courtesy alconti.net and with additional photographer credits of – Michael Mattern, Patrick Cote, John Young, Gerrit Ohm, and Kay Dillenberger.

Al Conti is a nominee for the 54th GRAMMY® Awards in the Best New Age Album category. Al Conti is one of five new age artist nominees, one of which will be selected for top album honors next year in 2012 when televised live on CBS in Los Angeles on Sunday, February 12, 2012 at 8:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Northern Seas is Al Conti’s GRAMMY® nominated album that highlights his abilities as a top composer, arranger, and multi-instrumentalist who has produced a total of four exceptional story based releases so far. Plus, I read at the alconti.net website there is new Al Conti album currently in the works, so I will bring you more about Al Conti’s new album soon.

The storyline on Northern Seas chronicles the ancestral homeland and Nordic heritage of Scandinavia in a manner you will find glorious. The rich instrumental landscape captures the imagination by 10 songs in a fascinating mixture of new age and world fusion music, with a Celtic tonal expression on several songs.

I have an interview with Al Conti in the near future. In my interview, I plan to cover a variety of interesting topics about Al Conti, including his GRAMMY® nominated new age album Northern Seas, along with his story based album compositions that have earned him the reputation of top new age artist. Pending my Al Conti interview publication, below is his Northern Seas high definition promotional song video for Veil of Mist.

Visit alconti.net to sample or purchase at his music store. Photos are courtesy alconti.net.

The 54th GRAMMY® Award Nominations for the New Age Music genre category were recently announced several days ago during a live presentation and concert at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live in Los Angeles. The televised CBS broadcast which aired on November 30, 2011 began the official countdown to announce the 54th GRAMMY® Awards for 2012.

The 54th Annual GRAMMY® Awards will be televised live on CBS from Staples Center, in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 12, 2012. The CBS Television Network will air the live awards program at 8 p.m. ET/PT. I know two of the five artists nominated this year, and have written album reviews for Al Conti’s Northern Seas album and Michael Brant DeMaria’s Gaia album, if you would like to read my album reviews of two nominated releases for 2012. I published an interview with Michael Brant DeMaria in January of 2011, and there is an earlier Michael Brant DeMaria interview in 2009, for more about Michael.

The GRAMMY® Nominees for Best New Age Album are shown below alphabetically. I have sampled all five albums and can say they are all great releases. You can sample or purchase each GRAMMY® Nominated album by clicking on the direct links to each CD or MP3 album at Amazon.com.

54th GRAMMY® Nominees for Best New Age Album;

1. Northern Seas by Al Conti – Shadowside Music. Sample Northern Seas at Amazon.

2. Gaia by Michael Brant DeMaria – Ontos Music. Sample Gaia at Amazon.

3. Wind, Rock, Sea & Flame by Peter Kater – Point Of Light Records. Sample Wind, Rock, Sea & Flame at Amazon.

4. What’s It All About by Pat Metheny – Nonesuch. Sample What’s It All About at Amazon.

5. Instrumental Oasis – Vol. 6 by Alejandro Zamora – Z-Records. Sample Instrumental Oasis – Vol. 6 at Amazon.

 Read more about the 54th GRAMMY® Awards at Grammy.com and here is the complete list of GRAMMY® Nominees.

Photos are courtesy of their respective artists & grammy.com.

Grammy Award Daft PunkTron: Legacy Soundtrack by Daft Punk is an exceptional electronic and orchestral movie soundtrack that became the award winning music score for the movie Tron: Legacy.

The original film score by Daft Punk has high acclaim from many within the music and film industry, plus the YouTube video below of song Derezzed has been viewed over 8 million times!

Tron: Legacy Soundtrack won an award for Best Original Score by the Austin Film Critics Association, nominated for Excellence in Production Design for a Fantasy Film from the Art Directions Guild. In addition, Daft Punk’s Tron Legacy reached the top 10 charts at Billboard.

The award-winning movie soundtrack by Daft Punk was nominated Score of the Year from the International Film Music Critics Association, and GRAMMY® nominated for Sound Editing.

Daft Punk is the GRAMMY® award-winning music duo comprised of French artists Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. Recognized worldwide for their innovative electronic techno music, Daft Punk at present has been honored by 2 GRAMMY® Awards and 7 nominations.

Shown below is a YouTube video of the song Derezzed. You can sample or purchase the Tron: Legacy Soundtrack at amazon.com, or Tron: Legacy DVD at amazon.com, and visit daftalive.com. Big Stock Photo by AnmFoto.

Grammy nominated composer David Arkenstone has teamed up with Emmy Award winning director Jan Nickman on a new project. Together they have created an amazing nature film in unison with David’s magnificent instrumental soundtrack CD. When the film and cinematic music score are experienced as a single collective, it’s easy to see their project together is more than admirable, it is an absolute masterpiece!

The Echoes of Creation soundtrack by David Arkenstone is an excellent new release from the award winning, three times Grammy nominated composer who has produced a lengthy list of great instrumental albums over the course of his long career which spans decades. His popularity as a favorite artist of many persons including myself is apparent when you consider he has sold over one million albums throughout his career. In addition, recognition has arrived in other forms since he has been listed in the top 10 Billboard New Age charts twenty times.

David Arkenstone and his popular music repertoire can range anywhere from Ambient, Celtic, Contemporary, World, and New Age Fusion, is a unique characteristic of his vast discography which practically guarantees there is a favorite album for just about everyone. As an accomplished musician he is accustom to playing a wide variety of instruments, some of which include electronic keyboards, piano, cello, flute, harp, mandolin and a number of guitars. David is also a percussionist, sings vocals on some of his albums, and even tours as a concert performer.

The Echoes of Creation film highlights a variety of inspiring landscape footage of the Pacific Northwest, California and Alaska which was filmed from an eagle’s eye point of view. Some of the photographic footage captures scenes of three thousand years old sequoias, to an aurora borealis, and many more natural landscapes and scenic settings. With the holiday season drawing nearer, what an excellent Christmas gift the CD/DVD would be!

The soundtrack CD matched with the colorful nature film was photographed in high definition and aired nationwide on Public Broadcasting Stations (PBS) and contains poetic narration by Karen Hutton. There are a variety of formats, so if you prefer the CD soundtrack or film on DVD, there are several purchase options.

David Arkenstone’s recent CDs entitled Celtic Journeys & Ambient World are both great albums too. They go a long way in pointing out the remarkable diversity of his song writing aptitude by using album title comparison alone. When you consider David Arkenstone’s impressive capabilities as a multi-instrumentalist and experience as a popular artist, it’s clear David was the perfect choice for this nature inspired film. View the Echoes of Creation official trailer on my page for David Arkenstone.

Visit the davidarkenstone.com homepage to sample or purchase the CD soundtrack. Visit echoesofcreationmovie.com to order Echoes of Creation on CD or DVD formats. Photos are courtesy davidarkenstone.com.

Mark Barnes is a multiple award winning composer and producer with several exceptional album releases available, and another new project on the way entitled Alive which is nearing completion. After listening to his two most current CD releases, I can almost say with near certainty that the Alive CD will be comprised with more dramatic instrumental music with cutting edge electronics like I heard on his first two albums. I enjoyed meeting Mark so let me tell you more about him.

Mark Barnes has enjoyed the honor and distinction of producing award-winning music over the years, having won the Independent National Artist of the year award in 2008 from the Phoenix Music Awards.

He was the recipient of the Hollywood F.A.M.E. Award for Music & Cinema at the 18th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards, and a top 20 finalist in the instrumental category for the 11th annual edition of Unisong, an International Songwriting Contest.

In 2009 Mark Barnes won the Soloist of the Year Award at the 19th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards, and Composer of the Year award at the 20th Annual Los Angeles Music Awards in 2010. Another recent honor was the 2010 Genre Award in Music at the Pride in the Arts Music Awards, which was sponsored by Rainbow World Radio.

Mark’s most recent music award was for Best Original Song composition at the 2011 TCI Film Festival with co-writer and two-times Academy Award Nominee Carol Connors. Their win for best song was for a documentary-drama film score song titled A City Within A Dream.

The Awakening & Temporal Infinity is the two most current releases from Mark who is a U.S. resident from the state of Florida. He also happens to be a touring musician currently planning his 2012 concert tour that will present his live performance combined with digital animation and live action video. His objective is to display a stunning visual effect in correlation with each song so that concert attendees can visualize his music. To me, I can picture the effect similar to an audio visual concert designed for the hearing impaired.

The Awakening is the most current album featuring 14 songs that are an ethereal blend of New Age, Ambient and Electronic. Like most of the albums and individual downloads I sampled, The Awakening is an album that seems to highlight his skill as a pianist and composer who possess a full repertoire of engaging melodies. Likewise there is a magnificent counterpoise to his piano compositions by the synthesizer element which extends the range and depth and gives each piece a deep feeling of inner beauty.

The title song The Awakening & To The Edge Of The World are moderately time piano pieces that are good examples for his personal style of instrumental and synthesizer arrangements, some of which have strong percussion backing.

The Prayer was the best song I thought by portraying the deeply emotive melody on an epic scale that is comparable to the grand instrumentals in Back To Bali. The song Sunday Morning Dance is more of an exception to other songs since the primary focus here is a lively paced electronic techno rhythm with strong percussion to match.

Mark Barnes who is a voting member of The Recording Academy (Grammys) has another fine New Age, Ambient, and Electronic release titled Temporal Infinity. This earlier album is perpetually uplifting like The Awakening, but of a gentler variety on the 13 song composition. I thought both could be a best album or best song award winner.

The Awakening & Temporal Infinity each has their own melodic perspectives while giving a perfect illustration of this artist’s style and diversity. When listening to both albums the two interconnected aspects of his classic based melodies with expert synthesizer complements made me appreciate the fact I was listening to not only a multi-award winning composer and producer, but a seasoned music professional.

Visit markbarnsmusic.com to sample/purchase or visit his Amazon.com page. Photos are courtesy Mark Barnes Music. Visit carolconnors.com to read about the amazing career of Carol Connors, who herself will be the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award in Composition this November at the Los Angeles Music Awards. Congradulations Carol Connors!

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7and5 2002 Acoustic Ocean Adiemus Al Conti Alexander Zhiroff Alphaville Anewday Ann Licater Ann Sweeten AOMusic Arturo Mayorga Arun Shenoy Asher Quinn Atticus Ross Audiomachine Australis Balligomingo Benedikt Brydern Ben Woolman Bill Leslie Bill Wren Billy Sherwood Blackmore's Night Bob Ardern Bradley Joseph Bruce Kaphan Bruce Mitchell Bryan El Cadence Spalding Candice Night Celtic Woman Chad Lawson Charlee Brooks Charlie Adams Christophe Lebled Christopher Boscole Chuck Wild Ciro Hurtado Clannad Clifford White Coburn Tuller Colin O'Donohoe Cormac De Barra Craig Karolus Craig Urquhart Daft Punk Dana Teboe Daniel Alcheh Darlene Koldenhoven David Arkenstone David Clavijo David Gordon David Hoffman David Lanz David Mauk David Nevue David Wahler Davol Denise Young Dennis Banks Devin Rice Diane Arkenstone Enigma Enya Eric Chapelle Eric Tingstad Erin Aas Evan Wish Eversound Records FED Fiona Joy Hawkins Fionnuala Sherry Fred Thrane Gabriel Vivas Gandalf Gunnar Madsen Hans Zimmer Hennie Bekker Howard Shore Isaac Shepard James Hood James Mattos Jan Hammer Jason Carder Jeff Oster Jeffrey Fisher Jeff Woodall Jim Brickman Joey Curtin Johannes Linstead John Adorney John Williams Jon Anderson Jonas Kroon Jose Luis Serrano Esteban Josh Groban Julian Ray Karen Olson Karl Jenkins Kathryn Kaye Keith Driskill Kelly Andrew Ken Elkinson Kevin Bluemel Kika Kane Kitaro Kori Linae Carothers Laura Sullivan Lauren Jelencovich Lawrence Blatt Libera Liquid Mind Lisa Downing Lisa Hilton Lisa Lavie Lizary Rodriguez Rios Louis Colaiannia Luna Blanca Mannheim Steamroller Marc Enfroy Marie Therese McCartin Mark Barnes Mars Lasar Mary Simpson Masako Matthew Labarge Matthew Schoening Matt Millecchia Medwyn Goodall Michael Brant DeMaria Michael Cretu Michael Stribling Mickey Hart Band Mike Oldfield Ming Freeman Moya Brennan Nicholas Gunn Nick Farr Nitish Kulkarni Omar Akram Pangean Orchestra Paul Avgerinos Paul Jensen Paul Sills Peter Jennison Peter Kater Peter Sterling Placido Domingo Psicodreamics Randy Edelman Ravi Shankar Riad Abdel Gawad Rick Wakeman Rolf Lovland Royce Campbell Samvel Yervinyan Sarah Brightman Sarah O’Brien Seay Secret Garden Shambhu Spencer Stanley Steve Bowe Steve Gordon Steve Hackett Steven C Steven Halpern Steve Orchard Sue Brescia Susan Boyle Suzanne Doucet Tangerine Dream Tasmin Archer Terri Liles Mason The 9 Muses Timothy Crane Todd Boston Tomas Michaud Trans Siberian Orchestra Trent Reznor Trevor Jones Tribali Tron Syversen Uwe Gronau Vangelis Vicki Logan Victor Espinola We Are Nexus Will Ackerman World Music Yanni Yes Yoel Del Sol Yo Yo Ma
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New Interview with Yanni
New Interview Yanni 2014
James Hood Interview
James Hood Music Interview
Moya Brennan Interview
Moya Brennan Interview
Diane Arkenstone Interview
Diane Arkenstone Interview
Interview with Chuck Wild
Chuck Wild of Liquid Mind
Will Ackerman Interview
Interview with Kitaro
Interview with Peter Kater
Peter Kater Interview 2013
Nicholas Gunn Interview
David Lanz Interview
Al Conti Interview
Michael DeMaria Interview
Eric Tingstad Interview
D. Arkenstone Interview
Jon Anderson Interview
Secret Garden Interview
Jim Brickman Interview
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