Archive for the ‘New Age Music’ Category
New Age Music Review: The Wonder Well by John Adorney.
When it comes to quality new age music the vocalist and instrumental artists on the Eversound Record Label are a reliable source for some of the finest contemporary instrumental vocal music available today.
John Adorney is recognized as one of the very best new age artists on the Eversound Record label, and a featured performer on the record label’s popular compilation releases; The Artists of Eversound LIVE!! – 15 Anniversary Concert & Eversound’s 10th Anniversary compilation albums.
The Wonder Well is the newest album by John Adorney. Judging from what others have said about his eighth album, everyone seems to be in agreement this is the best instrumental and vocal albums he has produced to date.
If you have heard The Wonder Well you would probably agree too. With 11 vocal instrumental songs The Wonder Well is the 2014 follow up to albums John Adorney & Daya – Live! In Concert, River of Breath & The Fountain. Quality driven at every turn, what a super follow-up album this is!
The theme you will hear on The Wonder Well is inspiring music fashioned by modern classic rhythms. The amazing vocalist Daya is again a featured artist, singing on four songs, along with Richard Hardy who plays bamboo flute on the last song. Every track is composed with a free flowing instrumental style, rich in depth and a wonderful melody line at every turn.
After years of reviewing John Adorney albums it never ceases to amaze me how one man can consistently create elegant music year after year. There are rare qualities in all of his albums, and I too agree this newest release is the finest I have heard. Those familiar with his music know this, and people who listen to his music for the first time will quickly discover this.
For any musician, producing one sensational album in a lifetime is an achievement, but rare is the fact John Adorney manages to produce an exceptional album every time. It’s a high goal for any artist to achieve but it’s what we have come to expect from one of the best artists at the Eversound Record Label, John Adorney.
The 11 songs on John Adorney’s newest February 11, 2014 release The Wonder Well are: In Spiritus – featuring Daya, Never Alone, The Wonder Well, At Home, Window to the West, If a Rose Could Speak – featuring Daya, Unbounded, The Cup and the Veil, The Meeting Place, Heartstrings, & Beautiful World.
To sample and purchase The Wonder Well visit JohnAdorney.com. Available on audio CD or digital MP3 formats, you may find John Adorney’s The Wonder Well at Eversound.com Record Label. Cover art design courtesy John & Nathan Adorney.
New Age Music Review: Renowned percussionist for band The Pretenders and Moodswings originator James Hood releases 2014 solo instrumental album titled Ceremony.
If you take the time to listen close enough, synthetic and natural ambient sounds surround us daily. Some sounds are preferable over others, and making the distinction of whether the sound you are listening to is one of beauty or not is naturally up to the beholder. This is especially true when it comes to the diverse forms of music.
Composer, producer and percussionist James Hood is a respected artist who possesses, and has delivered a versatile repertoire of sound to millions throughout his lengthy music career.
If you have heard and are a fan of the popular, ambient electronic group Moodswings, you can thank the group’s originator James Hood for the beautiful melodies he has produced since 1992, to present day.
The ambient electronic song Spiritual High (State of Independence) from the Moodfood album is a fan favorite of the group Moodswings, featuring vocalist Chrissie Hynde from The Pretenders.
Likewise, if you admire the musical sounds produced by music icons Jeff Beck and the pop new wave band The Pretenders, you also have James Hood to thank, having been a band member of these popular bands, each with millions of fans worldwide.
Ceremony is the new solo album by James Hood, officially released today on February 4, 2014. To say this album is an exploration in sound is somewhat of an understatement. Everything about Ceremony expresses a definitive statement in relation to beauty and sound creativity.
What makes this new release special is the performance by James Hood on a relatively new percussion instrument named PanArt Hang. The sound effect of the instrument, classified as a directly struck, or hand played idiophone is one of peace and tranquility.
This exclusive percussion instrument is related to the more recognizable steel drum, but the musical sound qualities are much smoother and produce, in my opinion, a richer less metallic sound texture.
James Hood is a versatile artist whose creative achievements for producing musical sounds of beauty just took an enormous leap forward. The sounds performed on Ceremony are designed to be inherently relaxing, and the result is a remarkably effective one.
Another quality is a cinematic effect, making it a good instrument for movie or film scores. No matter how you perceive this new album, you will be hearing more about percussionist James Hood and his Ceremony album going forward.
Although this is a solo album, the unique sound structure of the PanArt Hang would blend well with an orchestra too. Either way I hope you take the time to listen to James Hood’s newest adventure in sound production.
The 2 disc Ceremony CD’s 11 songs are: Metal Ambulance, Sonic Ashram, Faerie God, Cherry Mandala, Friendly Alien, Angelica, Imaginary Friend, Sweet Acceptance, Fey Bedouin, Biorythmetic & A Goat Called Lavender.
Music News: Domo Music Group announces a special symphonic concert season for new age music star Kitaro in 2014 with the Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra.
GRAMMY® Award and Golden Globe-Winning new age artist Kitaro, is preparing to initiate his 2014 concert season. This piece of music news is a good reason for Kitaro fans to celebrate but this year, as it turns out, was destined to be special one!
In addition to Kitaro’s multiple Nominations, including this year’s 56th GRAMMY® Awards in the Best New Age Album category, Kitaro will be performing with a full orchestra during this concert season. In a press release at Domo Music Group the song playlist will include songs from the albums Silk Road, Kojiki & Heaven and Earth.
The new age superstar’s concert season billed as, “Kitaro Symphonic World Tour in 2014,” is comprised of historic cities in Eastern Europe.
The first live symphony production for this special tour begins in Santa Rosa, California on February 14, 2014, and transverses through Eastern Europe cities of Warsaw, Poland, St Petersburg, Russia, Moscow, Russia, Kiev, Ukraine, Bucharest, Hungary, and Istanbul, Turkey.
The premiere performance with the Santa Rosa Symphony orchestra begins on February 14th in Weill Hall at the Green Music Center on the campus of Sonoma State University in Rohnert Park, California. The Santa Rosa Symphony Orchestra conductor is Stephen Small.
Kitaro is an important artist who has performed with an impressive list of equally important celebrity artists, and this upcoming concert series with the Santa Rosa Symphony is sure to be a once in a lifetime event. I hope to see you there!
For information and concert updates visit the Domo Music Group Kitaro page, and you may purchase tickets at SantaRosaSymphony.com. Please note, for news complete updates, including the most accurate concert information visit DomoMusicGroup.com.
To read my recent interview with Kitaro, album reviews and additional articles, take a minute to visit my Kitaro section. Watch the Kitaro Concert Video below. Photos courtesy domomusicgroup.com.
Kitaro 2014 Symphonic World Tour Dates:
February 14, 2014 – Rohnert Park, California – Weill Hall, Green Music Center
February 19, 2014 – St. Petersburg, Russia – Bkz Hall
February 22, 2014 – Warsaw, Poland – Congress Hall
February 24, 2014 – Moscow, Russia – Crocus City Hall
February 26, 2014 – Kiev, Ukraine – Oktyabrsky Concert Hall
March 2, 2014 – Bucharest, Romania – Sala Palatilui
March 4, 2014 – Istanbul, Turkey – Halic Congress Center
March 5, 2014 – Istanbul, Turkey – Halic Congress Center
March 7, 2014 – Baku, Azerbaijan – Hayder Aliyev Sarayi
Presenting A List Of New Electronic And Instrumental Albums & Best New Age Music Albums So Far In 2014.
January 1, 2014 was a date in time when PR persons, promoters and independent artists began sending me their newest electronic and instrumental albums and new age music for review each year.
In past years at New Age Music World the newest CD albums sent to me each year numbered into the hundreds, and that’s not including numerous digital downloads sent by email promotions. With so much new music to choose from it was a challenge to determine which new albums visitors would agree should be selected best.
Selecting the best new electronic and instrumental albums in 2014 won’t be any different. There will be hundreds of new age electronic, instrumental, progressive rock, and world music albums. Plus there are subcategories like contemporary instrumental, neo-classical, ambient, solo piano, relaxation, chill out, groove and vocal albums.
The album cover art shown below is a sample of the newest music CDs sent to me for review consideration so far this month in 2014. More will be added as I am more active at my non-profit blog, but from the albums listed below I typically select for my pre-release album reviews, news articles and best new music in 2014 publications in various categories.
It appears to be another exciting year of the finest new music produced by some of today’s top electronic, instrumental and new age musicians. Later in the year many of the releases below will make the top 10 radio charts, top 100 radio charts, Billboard, and IMAs in addition to best song, and best album awards by hosts at various music blogs.
I can almost guarantee some new releases at this site will eventually win the world’s most prestigious music awards. Independent artists, promoters and PR persons can find detailed information to submit a new 2014 album for possible review at New Age Music World on my profile page.
Until the top music awards are given find album reviews for the best new releases in 2014 on my main pages, and find the top new age artist list at iTunes.com and new music releases at Amazon.com. Big Stock Photo by EvgenaD & Aysarts.
Best New Music Album Releases during 2014:
Olympic Tribute Music to Sochi Winter Games performed by Karl Jenkins and his new age music group Adiemus.
In light of the dramatic news coming out of Russia lately, anticipation for the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia outshines the dark news of late. For the athletes that will be performing during this historic event their opportunity to achieve excellence and rise above will be a bright visible test of the human spirit.
The official music to be performed during the Opening, Closing and Medal Ceremonies has not been announced by the International Olympic Committee yet but more news about the artists and their songs to be played during the ceremonies will be coming soon.
New age artist Vangelis and his inspiring Chariots of Fire song was a key song played during the London Olympic Games in 2012, so given the inspirational fortitude of the genre, new age music compositions may again be selected for this year’s ceremonies.
Interest in the Olympic Games has never been greater, and for many people the official music is likewise a point of interest. There are tribute songs available you can listen to right now. One tribute song is by Karl Jenkins and his new age group Adiemus. Composed and conducted by Karl Jenkins, Adiemus is a fusion of new age and world music, with choir vocals in many songs.
Adiemus is often compared to Enigma and Deep Forest, and I always felt the young boys choir Libera, directed by Robert Prizeman, should be included too. Regardless of the comparison, Karl Jenkins and the group Adiemus perform uplifting songs designed to rekindle the human spirit, fitting of the athletes goal and their upcoming challenge to light up the world. The self-titled song video by Karl Jenkin’s group Adiemus is one of nine from the Songs Of Sanctuary album.
For more information about the inspiring music of Adiemus visit KarlJenkins.com.
YouTube song video produced by MrFryDeep. Big Stock Photo photo credit – HelleM.
U.S. Army Soldier Peter Jennison plans newest release Coming Home, an album dedicated to military families and personnel, and follow-up album to Longing For Home.
Award-winning artist Peter Jennison is set to begin final recording of his new album in 2014 titled Coming Home. Due to be released this summer in 2014, Coming Home is an album dedicated to service members and their families like his first piano instrumental album Longing For Home.
If this newest album is anything like his earlier album Longing For Home the interest in Peter Jennison’s new music in 2014 will be significant.
Coming Home is unique in its own way musically, but both albums are produced in theme to Peter Jennison’s recollections of his experiences as an active U.S. service member serving his country at a time of war.
The funding for Coming Home is being held at Kickstarter which establishes a platform for the project’s funding, so be sure to help make this important album a reality.
While on active duty, Peter Jennison’s earlier tours of duty were performed in Iraq, Kuwait, and Afghanistan as a U.S. Army Captain and MEDEVAC helicopter pilot. Both albums were composed from his first hand perspective of his two tours of duty.
On Peter Jennison’s Facebook page Peter states he recently spent 3 weeks of studio time with award-winning record producer Will Ackerman at his Imaginary Road Studio.
Longing For Home is a piano instrumental album produced by the production team of Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton so expect Coming Home to be a high quality album too.
Photo and album cover art courtesy Peter Jennison.
New Age Music News: Award-winning music group 2002 delivers an impressive live concert performance during the 10th Annual Zone Music Reporter Music Awards Ceremony.
The Billboard Charting band 2002 gave an impressive performance at the 10th Annual Zone Music Reporter Awards. The ZMR Music Awards Ceremony, and live, on-stage concert by the group 2002 was held on May 17, 2014 at the Joy Theater in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2002 performed several songs from their newest album Trail of Dreams, and played a couple of songs with David Arkenstone and Charlee Brooks. During the feature presentation by the group 2002, Pamela and Randy Copus’s talented 10 year old daughter amazed Zone Music Reporter concertgoers with her abilities as a vocalist and harp instrumentalist.
Sample the newest 2002 album Trail of Dreams at 2002Music.com. Portrait photo courtesy 2002music.com.
ZMR Music Awards – 2002 Live in New Orleans
The Eversound Record Label Company Profile: Read about the award-winning artists of Eversound Records and their newest albums.
It is our pleasure to introduce you to EverSound, a record label committed to producing heartfelt, timeless music by talented artists from around the world.
EverSound’s variety of new age music ranges from instrumental to soft rock, including world and smooth jazz. The label’s versatile artists have produced cinematic music for television and film industries as well.
The lineup of popular artists includes John Adorney, Diane Arkenstone, Ron Clearfield, Michael Whalen, John Mills, Curtis Macdonald, Lino, Manuel Imán and other talented artists.
John Adorney, the label’s top-selling act, is an award-winning composer and producer whose solo albums have garnered glowing reviews by music critics around the world.
John Adorney began studying music at the age of 9. Although his first instrument was the cello, within two years he’d also learned the guitar, profoundly influenced by the Beatles and British Invasion they launched.
He additionally learned the piano and went on to study classical music. By the 1990s Adorney was composing contemporary instrumental material.
John Adorney went on to release several solo albums including Beckoning (1998) and The Other Shore (2002), many of which laid the foundation for the genre through the 2000s as they quickly rose to the top of the New Age radio airplay charts. Adorney’s latest release, The Wonder Well, shows no sign of the composer slowing down anytime in the near future.
EverSound also recently signed the youngest new artist in the genre, 21-year-old wunderkind Nitish Kulkarni. Kulkarni is a rising artist in the instrumental scene and his sound has been likened to that of Yanni.
Influenced by his Indian heritage and American upbringing, Nitish’s music incorporates musical instruments and styles from all around the world. Kulkarni and Adorney teamed up to produce his debut album Synesthetic, which blends together electronic and acoustic sounds from over 50 different musical instruments!
The music critics have been raving about the new album Synesthetic. “This is an artist that has the potential to become a star,” New Age Music Odyssey’s BT Fasmer writes. “Kulkarni’s debut album Synesthetic shows exceptional talent. Without a doubt the most promising debut album in the New Age music genre since year 2000.”
Music reviewer Michael Debbage from Mainly Piano writes, “Synesthetic screams sleeper hit for 2014. By the end of the year, many will be speaking highly of Kulkarni and his solo debut album.”
Read more about Eversound Records and the quality label artists at EverSound.com. You may listen to samples and purchase EverSound’s newest albums and visit EverSound’s YouTube Channel. Photos courtesy eversound.com.
The YouTube video below covers the history of the Eversound Record Label from the very start, all the way through to the popular EverSound 15th anniversary concert CD and DVD album performance recorded before a live audience in Santa Barbara, CA:
New Age Music Review: Sounds from the Circle V – 2013. Fifth CD/MP3 album by New Age Musik Circle Artists.
Sounds from the Circle V is the fifth New Age Musik Circle album, and newest compilation release for 2013. For the past 5 years Suzanne Doucet, founder of the international social network, New Age Musik Circle Forum, and her associate Beth Ann Hilton have released a MP3 compilation album that is boldly unique.
Sounds from the Circle V, which consists of 40 electronic and instrumental songs, and over three hours of music, is yet again one of this year’s most significant releases in the new age music genre and sub-genres, including ambient, chill out, instrumental, meditation, nature, solo piano, space, world music, and many more.
The New Age Musik Circle Forum is an online community of over 1500 artists and fans worldwide. The 40 songs by international artists are in MP3 format, and available as song downloads at iTunes.
For more information about SFTC V, and to become a Circle member visit NewAgeMusik.Ning.com. Visit promoter and publicist Beth Ann Hilton at TheBCompany.com. Sample and purchase the new Sounds from the Circle at iTunes. Album art is courtesy newagemusik.ning.com.
The artists performing on the newest Sounds from the Circle V release for 2013 are: Trine Opsahl, Laura Sullivan, Lia Scallon, Steven Halpern, Omar Akram, Heidi Anne Breyer, Pamela Jamian, Eichstaedt, Fiona Joy Hawkins, Liquid Mind, Michael Hoppe, Hennie Bekker, Ron Sarja, Aleix Riera, Tron Syversen, Clarelynn Rose, Vibeke Sonora, Al Conti, Myristica, 4th Eden, Arun Shenoy, AOMusic, Christaal, JS Kingfisher, Natascha Wilczek, Suzanne Doucet & Tajalli, Aum Orchestra, Jane Winther, David Vito Gregoli, Paradiso, Sabine Van Baaren and Mark Joggerst, Glenn Main, Hollan Homes, Conni St. Pierre, 2mGamma, Louis Colaiannia, Asher Quinn, Sensitive Heart, Timothy P. Orr, and Zamora.
Interview in 2013 with contemporary artist Diane Arkenstone.
New Age Music World interview host and publicist John P. Olsen had a recent opportunity to interview the popular, multi-platinum selling singer, songwriter, and contemporary instrumental recording artist Diane Arkenstone.
During this interview taking place near the spring of 2013 a variety of in-depth topics are covered. Included is a conversation about Diane Arkenstone’s soon to be released album titled Union Road, and the contributing artists who have helped transform her newest vocal and instrumental release into one of her most captivating albums produced to date.
Diane Arkenstone also replies to questions about her experiences as founder of the Neo Pacifica Recordings Label, and the meaning behind the formation of artist titles she has released in a variety of music styles.
Today I am pleased to present an informative and lighthearted conversation with one of today’s leading, and most beloved producers of contemporary music covering a wide variety of instrumental styles.
John P. Olsen: Thank you for accepting my interview invitation Diane! It’s a privilege to host your newest interview for fans and visitors in 2013, here at New Age Music World. I can honestly say I have been a fan and admirer of the music you create for years so our interview is especially rewarding to me!
Diane Arkenstone: Hi John! Thank you so much for your very kind words, I am smiling! And thank you for this wonderful opportunity to connect with everyone here!
John: Let’s begin our conversation with the topic of your brand new album Union Road, due for release next week on March 26, 2013. Earlier this year I wrote a pre-release review for Union Road, I believe it’s clear by what I wrote, I felt your newest release of contemporary Folk ballads is indeed special! Beautiful in every way, Union Road is a uniquely personal album with special meaning to you too, isn’t that right?
Diane Arkenstone: Yes, this is my most personal album yet because the lyrics I wrote are of stories and observations I have personally experienced. I am a story teller and have always loved to write about life which made this album a great joy to create. And a even greater catharsis.
John: Who are the instrumental artists performing with you, and what are their individual contributions which have helped make your release an exceptional album?
Diane Arkenstone: Mader, who is a wonderful film composer from France, and has scored two films for Ang Lee, among many others, produced most of the album with me, and played a wide and wonderful variety of instruments such as mandolin, bass, keyboards, accordion, various percussion instruments and guitar.
MB Gordy, who is a wonderful percussionist and studio musician, played beautiful and exotic percussion on quite a few of the songs as well. Chad Watson, who has played with many, many well-known artists, played bass, and I watched spellbound, as his hands danced all over his fretless bass on several songs.
Eric Rigler, who played the pipes in the film score, The Titanic, added magic with his penny whistle on the first song, Little Cup of Coffee.
David Arkenstone played guitar, bass, keyboards and percussion magnificently, and helped produce a couple of the songs with me for the album. Charlee Brooks and Jane George added beautiful background vocals on two of the songs.
And then, Bruce Watson played some amazing guitar on a couple of songs and has played with many well-known artists for quite a while himself. They are all truly unique and gifted artists in their own right and I am deeply grateful for each and every one of them.
John: Union Road is an instrumental and vocal album with lovely poetic lyrics. Would you like to tell us the point of view you are expressing by lyrical verses?
Diane Arkenstone: Very simply, thru lyric and song, I am telling the stories of situations that I have personally observed in life.
John: Album reviews from other sources and press commentaries are coming in, plus you have given a number of new interviews including Blog Talk Radio and KSBR 88.5 FM Jazz. How is the reception of your new release been so far?
Diane Arkenstone: Oh my gosh, it has been a huge happy welcoming committee! I wrote 77 songs for the album and truly just grabbed a handful of songs that seemed to fit well together and am pleased and elated by the reviews and press!
John: I am not surprised but that’s great news Diane! Union Road is a brilliant album in every way, unique to your earlier releases, and I read there is an earlier first album of contemporary folk songs too. Would you please tell us all about this earlier first album?
Diane Arkenstone: Thank you John for saying that about Union Road! And yes, I released an album in digital format called, Stories. It is a cross between my earlier releases and the Folk/Americana feel of Union Road. It also is an album that sings of stories of life’s observations.
John: In addition to the studio albums you also perform live concerts. This must be an exciting time for you since you are about to begin an extensive tour this spring. Would you give us the details like the concert venue locations and artists who will be performing with you?
Diane Arkenstone: Right now, I am finishing up a number of music projects, so touring may be a bit delayed.
John: Do you have a song set list selected, and in terms of atmosphere and setting, what can a concert attendee expect to experience during a live concert with Diane Arkenstone?
Diane Arkenstone: The songs will be from Union Road of course, plus a few unreleased songs where I play some interesting and exotic instruments and sing. And the band is a group of dear friends who are wonderful studio and touring musicians. Lots of beautiful music, good energy and love, will be present for every show!
John: The artist titles you have either founded or performed in are; Ah Nee Mah, Earth Trybe, Enaid, Adventure Cargo, Marquis Ensemble, Middle Earth Orchestra, and naturally as the duo with former husband David Arkenstone. What are the distinctions of these artist titles?
Diane Arkenstone: ‘Ah Nee Mah’ is our Native American music, inspired by my Cherokee heritage and our love of playing Native flutes and percussion. David and I lived in the Southwest for a few years, next to several reservations and lived a very interesting and beautiful life there.
We wrote several ‘Ah Nee Mah’ albums during that time, which are still selling quite well. And ‘Earth Trybe’ is beautiful world music where we had fun writing and playing many unusual and interesting instruments from around the world. And ‘Enaid’ is Celtic music, and I came up with that name by reversing my first name and then surprised to find out that is means, life/soul in old Celtic/Irish.
‘Adventure Cargo’ is more world music, with more wild instruments, and beautiful songs. The last album for ‘Adventure Cargo’ is called, Following The Equator and it has songs on it that represent the countries along the Equator. It was great fun for me learning about all the countries along the Equator then writing songs for a special place or landmark in each country.
‘Marquis Ensemble’ is lovely, sweet piano music. Reflections from the Wine Country was the first album under the alias, ‘Marquise Ensemble’ and was inspired by my family’s winery. And ‘Middle Earth Orchestra’, is music inspired by the book, The Hobbit.
John: In the 1990’s you founded Neo Pacifica Recordings Label. Would you tell us some aspects of owning your own record label, including the advantages and obstacles to this business venture?
Diane Arkenstone: It has been a great advantage for me, to have my own record company; it is a lot of work but stretched me to new heights in terms of experience and knowledge.
I appreciate the work the major labels do, which is tremendous, but I navigate these waters quite successfully, and prefer knowing what the expenses are and what is going on with manufacturing, distribution, licensing, marketing, publicity, publishing and especially royalties. It is a great sense of accomplishment and freedom, to truly own your music, and do with it as you wish.
John: On the subject of record labels, I read your biography at the Eversound Music Label website where it states; “Diane Arkenstone wrote her first song at the age of three, played piano at five and picked up her first guitar at the tender age of seven.” I am curious to know if you aspired to become a musician at a young age too, or in other words, what were the circumstances surrounding your decision to pursue a career in music?
Diane Arkenstone: I loved writing music at a very young age, but also had a great desire to be an Olympic runner. I worked extremely hard at running but could not keep up with anyone. Music came much easier, and I learned that if you have to force something, it is not right to begin with.
As it turned out, after I kept passing out, we discovered I was born with a ‘special heart’ that required a lot of surgeries to fix things. And along the way since childhood, I have had six pacemakers. The seventh pacemaker and more surgeries are due in a few years. Life is precious.
John: I didn’t realize the challenges you face Diane, and we all wish you well. The music industry as a whole has greatly changed since you began producing music early on to the present. What observations have you made over the years, and what changes in the music industry have affected you most?
Diane Arkenstone: My observations come from a unique vantage point. Having my own label and releasing dozens of albums under different aliases and different genres, I created a lot of niche markets for the music in the mainstream and alternative markets, and it is all still going strong today. And for me, the digital world has been a great success for so many reasons.
John: You have enjoyed a wonderful and successful music career for many years Diane. You are a source of admiration for millions of fans and even colleagues in the music industry alike. What would you say is the best part of being a highly successful, contemporary artist?
Diane Arkenstone: You are so sweet John to say that, thank you! Truly though, I am unaware of such a thing because every day I put one foot in front of the other and focus and do my very best with whatever project is at hand.
John: Well Diane, fans truly adore you, plus you are a role model for many artists. Knowing artists at varying stages of their music careers will read our interview; do you have any words of advice to artists just beginning their music careers?
Diane Arkenstone: If you have a dream, follow it! Be prepared for long hours and depend on yourself as much as possible, and then all that energy you put into your career, will reward you greatly in countless ways. When you are passionate about something, every door you need to walk thru will open, even the ones you have no clue about.
John: Being a prolific artist Diane you have an extensive collection of excellent albums to choose from. I have my favorite albums and songs, and your fans likewise have their favorite albums.
I realize this is a never an easy question for an artist, but for persons new to your music, what 3 albums other than Union Road is a starting point to begin sampling your many outstanding releases?
Diane Arkenstone: Oh my goodness, I love them all! Let’s see, Jewel In The Sun, The Healing Spirit & Aquaria: A Liquid Blue Trancescape, which are all so very different from each other.
John: I would like to thank you again for your generosity by giving fans and myself this opportunity to find out more about you, and your newest projects Diane.
I hope we can get together by another interview someday. Before we close our conversation for now, is there anything you would like to express to the fans that have supported you over the years?
Diane Arkenstone: First of all, thank you again from my heart, John, for this wonderful opportunity to connect and share with everyone, it means the world to me. And I very much look forward to more interviews with you!
And to every beautiful soul who has supported my music, I am deeply grateful beyond words. A million thanks, and a million blessings. And please always be compassionate and loving towards yourself and towards others, it is our most valuable currency and reason for being, for truly, we are all one.
Visit DianeArkenstone.com and discover a great selection of albums in her store download section. Sample and purchase albums and songs by Diane Arkenstone at Amazon.com & iTunes.com. Photos & artwork courtesy dianearkenstone.com.
Interview with Peter Kater in 2013 – Newest interview with multi-platinum selling composer and pianist Peter Kater.
Multi-Platinum selling recording and concert artist Peter Kater is a legendary composing pianist recognized as one the leading new age and instrumental music producers worldwide. GRAMMY® Nominated seven times over the past eight years, along with his own albums he is a consistent producer of cinematic music for the television and film industry.
Peter Kater has composed music scores for over 100 television programs and films, including 11 off and On-Broadway theatrical plays to date. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall in New York City, Peter Kater’s music was played during the NBC broadcast of the 2000 and 2004 Summer Olympic Games and is recognized for his collaboration work with distinguished actors and celebrities in the film and music industry.
Topics for the newest interview with Peter Kater include a conversation of his GRAMMY® Nominated album Light Body and notable achievements during his music career. Peter Kater also replies to questions about important film directors and celebrities he has worked with, and offers encouraging words of advice to artists beginning their music careers.
Peter Kater Interview – New in 2013:
New Age Music World interview host and publicist John P. Olsen had an opportunity to interview Peter Kater in early 2013. Today we are pleased to present a new interview with the esteemed instrumental music composer and pianist Peter Kater.
John P. Olsen: Thank you for accepting my interview invitation Peter, and for taking time out of your demanding schedule. Recently your piano with instrumentals album Light Body was GRAMMY® Nominated in the 55th Annual Music Awards.
Light Body is your eighth GRAMMY® nomination, which is a significant achievement in itself. Would I be correct by saying even though you are accustomed the prestige and recognition Nomination brings, that the Annual Music Awards Ceremony is always an exciting time of the year for you?
Peter Kater: Yes, it’s an exciting time of year and it’s also a time to stay very close to my center and remain true to the reason that I do music, and to connect with a deeper more intimate and profound part of myself, my experience and others. To get swept up into something as external as a Grammy Award or to look outside of myself for my happiness and contentment would be a mistake. However, having said that – yes, it’s very cool to be Nominated.
John: I imagine you have a chance to visit with old friends and perhaps meet new friends during the Music Awards Ceremony. One GRAMMY® Award winning artist you have collaborated with in the past is American flute performer R. Carlos Nakai. Would you like to tell us about your friendship and projects with R. Carlos Nakai?
Peter Kater: R. Carlos Nakai has been Nominated for a Grammy 9 times and unfortunately has not yet won, although he certainly deserves to. R. Carlos and I met in 1989 after I was turned on to his music and invited him to play on a CD of mine. Our first collaboration was on the album Natives.
We improvised the whole CD in a few short hours. We’ve known each other for decades and have had our ups and downs but whenever we get to playing music together either on stage, in the studio or in my living room it’s literally . . . magic. It flows like a mountain spring. It’s a connection we’ve always had. And yet, sometimes the human personality is not quite as fluid.
John: You have also collaborated with an impressive number of projects with popular film directors and award-winning celebrity actors. Who are some notable film directors and celebrities you have worked on projects with over the years?
Peter Kater: My favorite scoring projects were “10 Questions for the Dalai Lama” cause I really liked the film and subject matter and “How The West Was Lost” because it was such an important series (13 hour mini-series) that really exposed the truth of the settlement out west in the U.S. and what the heavy price our Native American culture paid. It was a very sad and poignant series where I found myself literally crying in the studio as I was playing the visual footage.
I also really enjoyed the work I did on Broadway and Off-Broadway theater productions. I was working with the very best in the business, director Marshall Mason: Pulitzer Prize winning playwright, Lanford Wilson and amazing actors like John Malcovich, Joan Allen, Tyne Daley, Ethan Hawke, John Voight and many others. Being in the rehearsal process with these great talents for weeks at a time was definitely a highlight of my career.
I also enjoyed performing in the early years at the Sundance Institute and Film Festival as per the request of Robert Redford who really liked my music. And I have to mention my wonderful 10 years of playing with and for John Denver at his “Choices for the Future” Symposiums in Aspen, Colorado.
I met many famous influential authors and world leaders thru his symposiums. And I would be remiss in not mentioning my work with Kenny Loggins. Actually I could go on and on cause there have been so many amazing experiences but for that I may need to write book.
John: With a list of celebrities like you described I can see why Peter! Earlier releases like Light Body are wonderful arrangements showing your creativity as a composer and musician. Could you describe the theme of Light Body, which is based on seven Chakras?
Peter Kater: Light Body’s theme is of the 7 Chakras starting at the root chakra and working our way up. It was designed to create an experience of acceptance and illumination for people dealing with life changing circumstances from everything from daily stress thru disease and dying.
John: In addition to your superb performance on piano and synthesizers, Paul McCandless and Trisha Bowden have helped you transform Light Body into an outstanding instrumental album that indeed has award-winning potential. Would you like to tell us what musical instruments they perform and enhancements they bring to your recent GRAMMY® Nominated arrangement Light Body?
Peter Kater: Trisha sang some beautiful wordless vocals on the record really giving it a human compassionate feeling. Paul McCandless played oboe, penny whistles and English horn. Paul always adds a lot to any recording project. He is one my musical mentors and heroes.
John: Undoubtedly, a lot has transpired over the years since 1983 when you released your first solo piano album entitled Spirit. At what point during your career did you find the incentive to begin producing serene new age, instrumental piano music made for reflection and relaxation?
Peter Kater: I decided to go into the direction of deeper, more reflective music after I had three National Top 10 Contemporary Jazz albums and was touring playing jazz festivals around the country.
I realized then I definitely wasn’t feeling fulfilled playing that kind of music (even though I wrote and produced it) and wanted my music to fill a need in the world for greater healing, peace, love and compassion.
John: During your career as a music professional spanning three decades, you have released over 60 recordings, and over 100 soundtracks for movie scores for films or television, including off and On-Broadway theatrical plays. Could you tell us about the varying process of composing music for television or theater, verses composing music for an album?
Peter Kater: When you’re working with another art medium like film, theater or dance you’re in an interactive process and need to leave space and room for the other medium. You’re bouncing off each other and as result coming up with material you never would have come up with on your own.
John: Knowing you have lived in the U.S. in the state of Hawaii, has the natural beauty of the Hawaiian Islands been a stimulus to your music?
Peter Kater: Actually living in Hawaii brought me such peace and contentment that I was actually playing less and less music. Therefore my move back to Boulder, Colorado last year has reignited my burning passion for the piano and for writing and recording music. I’ve always done great work from Colorado and it’s been exciting to feel that part of my “being” engaged once more.
John: Along with easy access you give fans at your website you also have Facebook and Twitter social media sites. Have your social media pages proven to be a beneficial outlet for exchanging ideas and information with your fans and visitors?
Peter Kater: I like being connected to my fans and people of like mind and heart and soul. It’s one of the good things about the internet. I enjoy it but I think it’s important to stay present in one’s life in a real physical and tangible way and not get lost staring at the computer screen.
John: I have a question I always like to ask a highly successful artist like you Peter. Would you be willing to offer any advice for pianists or artists in general who are just beginning their music careers?
Peter Kater: Follow your heart. Trust your instincts. Don’t second guess yourself. Don’t ask for too many opinions from others. Play each note like it’s never been played before in this space and time (cause it hasn’t been) and never lie to your instrument. Play what you’re feeling honestly . . . don’t pretend to be confident when you’re feeling nervous . . . don’t pretend to be happy when you’re feeling sad. Don’t be out going with your feeling introspective and don’t hide from your fears or your pain cause then you’ll never find your joy and bliss. And place “authenticity” before all else.
John: I read while taking piano lessons as a youngster, you struggled with early piano instructors because you wanted to improvise on “the classics.” Do you feel this desire to improvise early in life was an important factor with your success today, and if so, would you advise parents with young children taking music lessons to allow them “creative freedom” to explore too?
Peter Kater: I always wanted to play things my own way. But it was important for me to learn the basics and structure as well. In the early years there has to be that balance of learning and enjoyment. But most importantly, find a teacher that really inspires you and makes you feel good about playing.
John: Along with your numerous studio releases you perform live concerts, plus people can book a live home concert with you to perform during special occasions. Will you be performing live in 2013, and what can people expect while attending a Peter Kater concert?
Peter Kater: I’ll be doing plenty of concerts in 2013. Some solo and some with collaborators. I think people can expect a “real” experience. A lot of people have a “moving” experience and some even have a cathartic experience. I think the honesty with which I approach my music is felt within the listeners and as a result “real” feelings emerge and true “experiences” are had. But it’s a very personal and individual thing. Everyone has their own experience.
John: Your successes and achievements during your career is truly remarkable Peter. Of your many achievements, what would you say are the two most gratifying moments during your music career to date?
Peter Kater: The most gratifying thing about my musical career to date is that I’m still passionate about it. I still can sit down at the piano, solo of playing with someone, and have a real experience of wonderment, honesty and excitement. I’m still curious about what’s possible and I still love it. There’s nothing more gratifying than the enjoyment of making music and sharing it with others in the moment. If you’re attached to the past you’re not living in the present. And the “present” is all we ever have.
John: Thank you again for taking time away from your work for our interview Peter! In closing for now, is there anything you would like to express to your fans that have supported you over the years?
Peter Kater: Thanks for your good wishes. I really appreciate them and I appreciate the opportunity to talk about what’s important to me. And I also appreciate, very much, the people that listened to my music and have a personal experience through it that is there’s. The fact that I can create something, or channel something that can add to the life of another person in a positive and impactful way is truly wonderful. That is a gift to me in and of itself.
It’s an honor to be a musician and it’s wonderful to have a life filled with music flowing thru me and out into the world.
Thank you for listening! ~ Peter Kater ~
Visit the PeterKater.com homepage for news, and learn more on this great artist on the Peter Kater profile page and visit his music shop for special offers and to sample or purchase his albums. Photos and cover art are courtesy peterkater.com.
Echoes Of Love by Omar Akram: The Recording Academy has named Omar Akram a 55th GRAMMY® Award-Winner in the Best New Age Album Category for his album Echoes Of Love.
The 55th GRAMMY® Award Winners in 81 specific categories were announced during a live presentation ceremony. The show publicized as “Music’s Biggest Night” aired live during a televised broadcast on the CBS Television Network.
The ceremony held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California on February 10, 2013 included a series of show performances while honoring top artists for their achievements by one or more awards of 81 total Best Album Award categories.
Selected top album out of 6 albums total in the New Age Music Category (#30) a Music Award was presented to Omar Akram. The recipients in all 81 categories of this prestigious music award were ultimately determined by voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).
Omar Akram won the GRAMMY® Award in the Best New Age Album Category for his album titled Echoes Of Love.
The GRAMMY® Awards first inaugurated in 1959 was formed to recognize artists for their achievements in the music recording industry. To give you an idea how popular this awards presentation has become, the Annual Music Awards is ranked in viewership popularity as one of the highest rated television special programs.
Last year’s televised live 54th Annual Awards program reported 39.9 million viewers worldwide. This year’s prime-time live awards presentation with a long list of popular celebrities is expected to be another record breaking year for television viewership.
I have interviewed a number of GRAMMY® Award/Nominated artists and written album reviews about their albums over the years. If you are new to this music blog, on my main pages you can find more information about artists in this year and past years award competition in the Soundtrack, Americana, Instrumental, New Age, and World music genre categories.
To sample or purchase Echoes Of Love visit the artist at OmarMusic.com. Visit the record label RealMusic.com and find Echoes Of Love at Real Music online store page for Omar Akram. To view the complete list of award-winning artists and their albums in 81 Best Album Categories visit Grammy.com.
Cover art and photo are courtesy realmusic.com & Big Stock Photo – AnmFoto.
Deep Alpha by Steven Halpern – GRAMMY® Nominated Album in the New Age Music Category at the 55th GRAMMY® Awards.
The new age album Deep Alpha has a unique distinction from the majority of new age recordings produced in 2012 by Steven Halpern’s Nomination for Best New Age Album in the 55th GRAMMY® Awards set for February 10, 2013.
Steven Halpern is a best-selling recording artist who is widely accepted as one of the earliest originators of healing music. With over 6 million albums sold, you will find his music is a source of admiration for fans and colleagues alike.
Credited for his early music and scientific studies in the field of therapeutic music, his leading role as producer of healing music has resulted in many of the best albums made specifically for relaxation, yoga and stress relief.
New age music albums produced by Steven Halpern frequently make the Top 10 Charts at Billboard. In fact a comparable album titled Deep Theta: High Coherence Soundscapes For Meditation And Healing is presently listed at #6 in the Billboard Top 10 New Age Chart, having held a position in the Top 10 Chart for the past 18 weeks.
Produced by a leading authority in the field of healing music Deep Alpha, with 14 songs at over an hour in length is an exceptional blend of electronic and instrumental new age music produced in 2012 by recording artist Steven Halpern.
Comparable to all of his music the tonal atmosphere is composed with a scientific approach to promote the healing power of music. Having produced over 70 recordings to date, his music is perfect for massage, meditation, stress management and yoga.
For the leading new age recording artist Steven Halpern this year could yield a long overdue and much deserved GRAMMY® Award. When you visit his website you will find special discount pricing on his selection of audio CDs in celebration of his 38th year anniversary, so the time is right to purchase his albums.
Find more about the artist Steven Halpern and sample or purchase Deep Alpha: Brainwave Synchronization for Meditation and Healing at InnerPeaceMusic.com. Photography is courtesy innerpeacemusic.com.
New Acoustic Album by Gandalf in 2013: Pre-release music review for Dreamweaver by electronic and instrumental artist Gandalf.
If you have been an enthusiast of electronic and instrumental new age music for the past 30 years, then you know there are a limited number of orchestral musicians who convey the picturesque imagery of their compositions better than the legendary, Austrian born artist Gandalf.
The imagery he creates with his orchestral music is an important characteristic of the artist that is apparent to those familiar with his work, and yet this one aspect soon becomes obvious to those listening to the great composer of symphonic music for the first time. After all, there is a pretty good reason Gandalf is called “The Painter of Musical Landscapes.”
Dreamweaver is a new acoustic album from Gandalf on the Real Music Label. Scheduled for release on March 12, 2013 the hour long recording of 9 songs is performed by a select ensemble of four instrumental artists.
While sampling Dreamweaver it became clear Gandalf artistically works his magic on his newest project in superior fashion. This is what I had anticipated, however the musical brushstrokes in this composition are chosen from a lighter palette of colors that ultimately prove to be a representation of peaceful serenity.
Gandalf has regularly used electric and bass guitars in rock opera style fashion to represent deep illustrations, but Dreamweaver is elegantly portrayed by lighter instrumentation, which presents a whole new tone and atmosphere for the artist, as for the listener. The four person ensemble convey a more natural sound with importance given to lighter touches of acoustic guitar, cello, flute, piano and drums.
Gandalf is admired for instrumental creations born of brilliant imagination, and this is unchanged. The beauty of Dreamweaver is surreal music qualities crafted in a more personal, naturalistic style. The four person ensemble include Gandalf performing acoustic guitars, piano, and percussion, Merike Hilmar cello, Karin Leitner flutes and woodwinds, and percussionist Christian Strobl.
The 9 songs on Dreamweaver are: Into The Rising Sun (Part 1), Into The Rising Sun (Part 2), Reaching For The Sky, Between Ebb And Flow, Dreamweaver, Shining Like A Jewel, Life’s Blossoms, Written In The Stars (Part 1) & Written In The Stars (Part 2).
Visit the section for Gandalf at RealMusic.com. Prior to March 12, 2013 album release date sample and pre-order the audio CD or digital downloads for Dreamweaver at RealMusic.com. Cover art courtesy gandalf.at & Big Stock Photo – HelleM.
The 55th GRAMMY® Award Nominations for the entire 81 music categories, including the New Age Music genre category, were announced hours ago during a television broadcast presentation and live entertainment event on December 5, 2012 in Nashville, Tennessee.
The opening presentation by The Recording Academy®, presented live on the CBS Television Network, began the official countdown to the 55th GRAMMY® Awards Ceremony for 2013. The program for the evening show in Nashville publicized as “The GRAMMY Nomination Concert Live!! – Countdown To Music’s Biggest Night included past winners and nominees who gave a series of dazzling entertainment performances.
The 55th GRAMMY® Awards Ceremony specified at Grammy.com lists the date of February 10, 2013, when they will reveal the award-winning artists in 81 Best Album Award categories. During the upcoming awards presentation on February 10, 2013, the CBS Television Network will once more broadcast the official ceremony live at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, California at 8:00 p.m. – 11:30 p.m. ET/PT.
I have interviewed or written album reviews for a number of GRAMMY® Award/Nominated artists over the years so visitors new to this music blogspot can read information about artists in this year and past years award competition in the New Age, Instrumental, Americana, Soundtrack, and World music genre categories.
The 6 Nominees in the new age music category (#30) are shown alphabetically. I have sampled all 6 albums and can say they are all great releases worthy of the world’s most prestigious award. You may sample or purchase each Artist’s Nominated album by direct links to each album at Amazon.com. Read more music news at Grammy.com and the complete category list of 81 Nominees at Grammy.com. Photos are courtesy each artist & Big Stock Photo – HelleM.
The 55th GRAMMY® Nominees – New Age Album Category are:
1. Echoes Of Love by Omar Akram. Sample or purchase Echoes Of Love at Amazon.com.
2. Live Ananda by Krishna Das. Sample or purchase Live Ananda at Amazon.com.
3. Bindu by Michael Brant DeMaria. Sample or purchase Bindu at Amazon.com.
4. Deep Alpha by Steven Halpern. Sample or purchase Deep Alpha at Amazon.com.
5. Light Body by Peter Kater. Sample or purchase Light Body at Amazon.com.
6. Troubadours On The Rhine by Loreena McKennitt. Troubadours On The Rhine at Amazon.com.
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.
New Album Review – Boundaries of Imagination by Bryan El.
The year 2012 wouldn’t have been the same without another new album, EP or new songs by the sensational electronic music composer Bryan El.
For the artist from Belgium who specializes in electronic music it has now become clear after his third release there is a conscious effort made on his part to focus on quality verses quantity, with his classical symphonic music.
Two years in the making, this is proven to be the case behind his quality driven 13 new songs on his album in 2012 titled Boundaries of Imagination.
Bryan El’s earlier albums Out of this World from 2008, and Spiritual Evolution from 2010, are some of the best electronic albums in the classical symphonic, music categories. With the introduction of high-tech electronic equipment and newest synthesizers arrives a new-found sense of empowerment, especially when placed in the hands of a great composing artist like Bryan El whose electronic music is brilliantly delivered, time and again with jaw dropping effect.
Boundaries of Imagination is comparable to Out of this World & Spiritual Evolution by the unique Bryan El signature sound recognizable from the beginning song, but there are several distinctions with the 13 new electronic songs from his first two releases.
Boundaries of Imagination is perhaps lighter or more refined than the first two, but a dazzling album focused on intricate detailing and deep melodic phrasing fans are sure to enjoy. Another point of interest I thought significance is the song Angels Cry which features the elegant vocalist Amethyste, whose singing clearly delivers the lyrical verses written by Michael Leonard and Bryan El in wonderful fashion.
It may be unclear if Bryan El is shifting more toward the territory of electronic pop or not, but no matter which direction he travels going forward, it’s like the title of his dazzling new hit album implies, it will arrive at the outer boundaries of imagination.
New Music from Sounds True – Introducing a New Collection of Yoga and Meditation Albums by a Health and Wellness Leader.
The Sounds True Music Label is one of the leading record labels featuring a large selection of top quality artists in a variety of music genres and sub-genres. Founded in 1985 by Tami Simon, her leadership has since transformed Sounds True into more than a successful record label.
Sounds True today is an independent multimedia publishing company with hundreds of wellness and personal development products by leading authors and teachers who are specialist in the health and wellness industry.
Health and wellness products from Sounds True include over 500 spoken word audio titles, learning courses, books, interactive learning kits, instructional DVDs, and of course their best new music in a variety of styles.
The new albums on the Sounds True Label I would like to tell you about today are each unique in their category, and each album is available in audio CD or mp3 digital download formats. A sampling of Sounds True music categories include holiday music, inspirational, yoga, massage, meditation, motivational, new age, wellness, and world music. The four new albums below are by quality artists who specialize in their individual style of music.
1. Yoga Is Union by Tom Colletti is music made for yoga and relaxation. Featuring 12 songs, Yoga Is Union is making a big hit with New York City yoga specialists, where top yoga practitioners selected Yoga Is Union the best yoga album yet. Tom Colletti created an upbeat contemporary album with relaxing qualities made for modern day fitness.
2. Crystal Bowl Sound Healing by Tryshe Dhevney is a meditative album in the wellness department. Featuring 5 peaceful arrangements, Crystal Bowl Sound Healing employs the reverberation sounds of crystal bowls to relax and calm the listener. Tryshe Dhevney is a leading authority and instructor specializing in vocal sound healing and chakra toning.
3. Medicine Melodies by Silvia Nakkach is a health and wellness album from a leading practitioner and consultant recognized worldwide. Presenting 19 songs on Medicine Melodies, Silvia Nakkach introduces a relaxing blend of vocal harmonies on her new album in collaboration with another fine composer and instrumentalist Christopher Eickmann.
4. Gypsy Grooves by Priyo is an upbeat song collection of Spanish melodies by acoustic guitar design. With 15 groove and world music percussion rhythms in the Flamenco guitar tradition, I found Gypsy Grooves a dynamic fusion of acoustic instrumentals and vocals. Acoustic refrains accentuate a wonderful vibrancy while backing poetic verses.
When it comes to some of the best music collections made for relaxation, yoga, or for health and well-being, the large selection of artists from the Sounds True Label may be precisely what you are looking for. Also available is Sounds True Direct Access online membership program offering discounts, free programs and exclusive offers. Included is the Sounds True Radio, weekly radio podcast, free downloads and gifts, plus a great selection of merchandise from their catalog.
Visit SoundsTrue.com to find out more and sample or purchase any of the above albums at the Sounds True music shop. Company banner and album cover artwork is courtesy soundstrue.com.
Pre-release Album Review: The Maiden of Stonehenge by three times GRAMMY® Nominee Dr. Michael Brant DeMaria.
Award-winning Michael Brant DeMaria is a three times GRAMMY® Nominated recording artist, psychologist, author and speaker with a dramatic new soundtrack album for 2012. Four years in the making, The Maiden of Stonehenge is a musical soundtrack to an original theatrical play of the same title co-written by Michael DeMaria and Stephen C. Lott.
Michael DeMaria is an esteemed artist in the new age music community, and like all of his arrangements, The Maiden of Stonehenge is both a significant release and highly anticipated new album in 2012.
Michael DeMaria’s three GRAMMY® Nominations for Best New Age Album of the Year, Bindu, Gaia, Ocean & Siyotanka each have risen to the top #1 position on Zone Music Reporter’s Radio Charts in the New Age Albums category.
Extensive worldwide radio coverage of his four releases in the Ontos Healing Sound Project at XM/Sirius Radio, Soundscape Cable, Satellite and internet radio stations has led to numerous Zone Music Reporter’s Best Album Awards.
First in the Ontos Healing Sound Project Siyotanka won a Native American Music Award and earned a GRAMMY® Nomination in the Best Native American Music Album category, and won ZMR’s Best Native American Album in 2009.
Second in series Ocean won Zone Music Reporter awards in two categories of Best Ambient Album of 2009 and Best Relaxation/Meditation Album of 2009. Gaia likewise was awarded in the two categories of Zone Music Reporter’s Album of the Year and Best World Album. Earlier in 2012, Michael Brant DeMaria’s fourth in the Ontos Healing Sound Project series Bindu debuted at #1 and remained on ZMR’s New Age Radio Chart for two months in a row.
The Maiden of Stonehenge is the most elaborate musical odyssey Michael Brant DeMaria has brought to life yet. Familiar with every one of his releases, Michael’s new album for 2012 will surprise anyone acquainted with his earlier arrangements. The soundtrack recording wonderfully illustrates the story based theme for a musical journey centered on the life and adventures of an young orphan girl in ancient Britain as she finds her way to the ancient Circle of Stones.
Although Michael performs on a number of ethnic flutes, keyboards, and synthesizers like earlier releases, listening to his newest album was truly a revelation since each song is conveyed in unique fashion to all other songs from previous albums. For the first time vocals are uniquely integrated into a number of songs by Michael, and of lead vocalist Maggie Crain on the songs Chantress & Stonehenge.
Beginning with the deeply mysterious first overture Lost Village to the harmonious conclusion in the final song Stonehenge, each scene is crafted to reveal a vivid musical adventure. Inside the audio CD album, cover notes give the setting to each of the 13 songs that enable the listener to follow the storyline.
The Sounds True record label is another store where you can find the two albums In The Flow & Solace. Both albums are designed for patient therapy and emotional well-being in his professional role as a Music Therapist. The Maiden of Stonehenge is the most impressive album to compliment the long linage of award-winning albums by new age, instrumental and world music recording artist Michael Brant DeMaria.
Visit Michael Brant DeMaria’s Ontos.org music section to sample and purchase his albums, or visit the store page for Michael DeMaria at Amazon.com, CDBaby and iTunes. The Maiden of Stonehenge is a pre-release currently available at major online stores prior to the official release date of winter 2012-2013. Photos and cover artwork are courtesy ontos.org.
Newest Interview with Pianist David Lanz prior to 2013.
Platinum selling pianist David Lanz is a legendary instrumental recording and concert artist who achieved worldwide prominence early on in the New Age music genre, and over the course of his lengthy career which spans decades. Today David Lanz is recognized as one of the leading concert pianists, and instrumental recording artist.
David Lanz celebrates the 25 year anniversary of Cristofori’s Dream in 2012 by the release of a brand new recorded version of his most popular piano album. New Age Music World host John P. Olsen had an opportunity to interview David Lanz prior to the New Year 2013.
This newest interview covers a variety of topics, including the new solo piano, and piano with instrumental recordings of Cristofori’s Dream, Liverpool – Re-imagining the Beatles, Here Comes the Sun, and a new Christmas album project scheduled for release in 2012.
During this interview with David Lanz there are also questions about his career achievements and personal style as composer. We are pleased to present their conversation to David Lanz’s international fan base and our site visitors.
John P. Olsen: Thank you for giving everyone a moment of your time David. Like your fans, I too have admired your music for many years, so our interview today is especially rewarding to me.
You gained prominence as a new age artist early in your career, and have enjoyed many successes along the way. Let me begin our interview by first congratulating you on a remarkable 25 year career David!
David Lanz: Thanks John, I am happy to be here and speaking with you today!
John: Decades ago you helped put the New Age Music Genre on the forefront by release of Cristofori’s Dream. In fact Billboard Magazine selected Cristofori’s Dream as the #1 album in 1988 when they introduced the Billboard Adult Alternative/New Age Album Chart for the first time. Are you optimistic your 2012 Cristofori’s Dream releases, in either version, may make the Billboard Chart again?
David Lanz: That would be great, however I do not really pay as much attention to charts anymore and without a major label doing the leg work, it may be a stretch, but hope springs eternal – right?
John: Was the overwhelming success of Cristofori’s Dream in 1988 a surprise to you at all, or did you feel after completion you had produced an album, many people then and now consider a masterpiece?
David Lanz: I remember both Paul Speer and I (Paul was my co-producer) sitting and listening to the final mix and thinking, “This is a good record.” That was our response, so the overwhelming success did catch us a bit off guard! When you are doing your work-you don’t really stop to think about its impact, only that you are either satisfied or not.
John: Cristofori’s Dream is your most popular album. What do you feel are the key characteristics about the original Cristofori’s Dream that have made this one of your top selling albums of all time?
David Lanz: There were a number of factors. The timing was right, as radio was very open to the album. The cover version of A Whiter Shade of Pale was a great bridge between pop instrumental and New Age music, and the fact that I had tapped into history by bringing Cristofori’s work and name into the hearts, minds, and ears of the public was a major factor I believe.
John: How are the first and second Cristofori’s Dream albums alike, and in what ways do the two albums vary?
David Lanz: Well, the list of songs is the same, but they have been opened up a bit with variations and improvisation and recorded as solo piano pieces this time, without the extras like strings, synths, percussion, etc.
We have also included several bonus tracks not found on the original and created a 16-page booklet that gets into the making of as well as giving historical background on Cristofori himself.
John: During the early years when you lived in Seattle Washington you played in bands, covering a variety of music genres including Rock, Pop, Jazz and Blues. You are widely recognized as an innovator and new age music superstar by your early recordings. In retrospect, what was the catalyst that began your transition to composing and performing new age music?
David Lanz: As I matured as a musician, and as a spiritually aware human, I looked around to see what I could contribute through my music, and the answer was found in a more introspective music and an attitude that focused on the attributes of healing and relaxation. This was the answer to my question, “What does the world need from me?”
John: I have always felt the Piano is perhaps one of the best instruments to express the depth of oneself on a personal level. What was the connection, or reasons you chose the piano over other instruments?
David Lanz: Well that was pretty simple. Both my grandmother and mother played the piano, and they each had pianos in their homes, so I was exposed to that influence as a child and had a natural curiosity about the piano, which led my mother to get me started with piano lessons before I was even 5 years old.
John: As an original song composer, how do you go about the process of composing solo piano music?
David Lanz: That is a big question. Honestly, every song has its own story of origin. The easiest answer is I sometimes just sit at the piano, and improvise until I play something that catches my ear – and it goes from there. There are times however when something in my life will directly affect me emotionally, and then I am able to transform those feelings into music.
John: What led you to compose Cristofori’s Dream?
David Lanz: There is a great explanation of that in the liner notes of the new recording. The spark, the divine seed if you will for Cristofori’s Dream, was found in Judith Oringer’s book, Passion for the Piano, a gift received from a good friend, and a very fortuitous gift it turned out to be! In the forward of this book about the piano and various pianists throughout history, was a dedication to a one, Bartolomeo Cristofori, “the inventor of the piano.”
You could have knocked me over with a feather! There I stood in the middle of my kitchen, mouth agape, a thirty something year old pianist who had played the piano most of his life, but had never once stopped to consider that the piano had an inventor. Hello!
Immediately upon seeing the name Cristofori, my imagination mimicked the name and whispered in my mind, “Christ-Euphoria,” followed directly by the title, Cristofori’s Dream. This was a defining moment! It was also highly unusual for me, as song titles rarely appear like this, if ever, or precede a composition, almost always coming to me during or even after a piece has been composed.”
John: You have more new releases for 2012 including The Beatles inspired Here Comes The Sun, which is available in two separate versions. Apart from the solo piano and piano with instrumental aspects, what are the style variances in the way they were composed and recorded?
David Lanz: I always arrange my pieces to stand alone as solo piano arrangements. I do usually leave space in my arrangements as a matter of style. This allows the use of other instruments, but the piano always carries the melody and can easily standalone without any other musical embellishment.
John: Liverpool – Re-imagining the Beatles & Here Comes the Sun are both beautiful with exclusive variations in style. What are the distinctions from one another?
David Lanz: Liverpool was recorded pretty much live in the studio with a bit larger cast of musician, including drums and hand percussion, making rhythm a larger part of the sound. On Here Comes The Sun, we have more of a chamber sound with the music being performed on piano cello and flute only.
We referred to ourselves (the 3 of us) as the Liverpool Trio, and performed as the same. Both albums feature primarily the music of Lennon and McCartney, but Here Comes The Sun of course features that wonderful piece from George Harrison as well as an original piece I dedicated to both him and George Martin entitled Sir George-Liverpool Farewell.
John: Clearly The Beatles influence on music worldwide cannot be overstated, but on a personal level, what elements about The Beatles music that compels you to compose and perform their cover songs?
David Lanz: I grew up as a musician and a young composer, being much influenced by the way they composed their songs. I wanted to pass the torch, so to speak, as I have a younger generation of composers who look too my work. I wanted them to see where much of my early influence and inspiration has come from. I believe our early influences really help to shape us in whatever we do in life.
John: How do you make your song selections from the many great albums and songs by The Beatles?
David Lanz: That was a very long process of listening and just trying them out on the piano to see how they laid under my hands. It was a very long labor of love!
John: You also have a brand new songbook titled The David Lanz Collection 2000-2011, which is a special group of songs with a connection to family and friends. Would you like to give the details about this new songbook collection?
David Lanz: it was simply a way to put a few highlights from the last decade of music I’ve composed and recorded into a collection for those folks who may only be exposed to my earlier work from the 80’s and 90’s.
There is a very special piece dedicated to my friend Robbie King, who was a musical mentor and passed away several years ago, leaving us much too soon!
John: Being a prolific artist, there is an endless list of albums to choose from out of your current album collection. For anyone who may be new to your music, what 2 albums would you suggest they sample or purchase from each of your solo piano works and piano with instrumentals?
David Lanz: Skyline Firedance features both solo and ensemble versions of the album’s material. Look at Romantic – The Ultimate David Lanz Collection (a 2-CD set with a nice cross section from the first two decades of material, both solo and ensemble) or Painting The Sun and A Cup of Moonlight are a nice representation at my current solo piano work.
John: Your piano sheet music is quite a hit, and very popular seller too, isn’t that right?
David Lanz: Everywhere I go, I hear from piano teachers that tell me my music is not only popular with their students, but it is easy to teach and laid out well. It makes them look good and everyone is happy. There is now over a quarter of a million books of my music out in the world!
John: That’s impressive to have such a popular selection David! I’ve heard the news you have a new Christmas album for 2012. Can you give the title, and when will you be releasing your new Christmas album?
David Lanz: We are working on having that out by mid-November. This is a solo piano collection of Christmas music entitled Joy Noel.
John: I hope to release additional news for your fans and our readers today if possible. Can you release any news information or perhaps plans for a new album project?
David Lanz: Well, after working on getting 2 new albums released in one year (don’t try that at home!) I will need to take a break and review my next project, which looks to be a solo piano recording. Much of the music is already sketched out, but I imagine I will jump back into to my composing, so stay tuned!
John: You have enjoyed a successful music career practically your entire life. What do you find the most rewarding experience as a professional musician?
David Lanz: Just being able to support my family and myself doing the work I love to do. I love being in the David Lanz business!
John: That’s great David, and I want to thank you again for giving everyone another opportunity to find out more about you, and your newest projects. I hope we can get together by another interview someday. Before we close, is there anything you would like to express to the fans that have supported you over the years?
David Lanz: I am and have been so grateful for the opportunity to express myself in music. To have been so embraced by my fans and other pianists is really overwhelming! I am extremely grateful for this opportunity to do my work and serve the world on my own terms!
Visit DavidLanz.com for news and information about concerts and workshops. Visit the DavidLanz.com Store for CD albums, downloads, and merchandise like DVDs, songbooks and sheet music. Visit the artist section for David Lanz at Amazon. Interview photos courtesy BHP Images, Carole May Images, Kyle Zimmerman & davidlanz.com.