Archive for the ‘Vocals’ Category
Special new interview in 2014 with international concert and recording music celebrity Yanni.
Multi-Platinum selling recording and international concert artist Yanni is a legendary artist known worldwide for bringing professional live music and unifying message to all parts of the world. For over 30 years, Yanni has made his presence known as a leading international concert artist with around one billion admirers of all nationalities.
Famous for his concert venues in settings of historical significance, Yanni and his elite orchestra have begun their Worldwide Concert Tour in 2014. During the 2014 concert season an extensive worldwide tour will include venues covering over 20 countries, including Chile, Argentine, Brazil, UK, Germany, Czech Republic, Ukraine and Russia. Also scheduled later this year are concert venues in the U.S. and Canada, with more dates to be added as the year progresses.
Topics covered in this interview are related to Yanni’s newest album Inspirato, a collective project which has taken 20 years to compose and four years to complete. Soon to be released, Inspirato is unlike any other album ever produced. Yanni details the 2014 concert season, with an emphasis on the extraordinary musicians and vocalists in his orchestra. His close relationship with fans of all nationalities and the importance of official Street Team members and Fan Clubs are covered, along with news and his plans for the future.
Exclusive New Interview with Yanni:
John P. Olsen: Let me begin by thanking you for your time Yanni. It is widely known your yearly concert schedule, with consistently sold out concert venues is demanding to say the least. It’s an honor to present to fans your most current, up-to-date interview, taking place during your Worldwide Concert Tour in 2014 and upcoming new release Inspirato.
I am confident many people who have attended one of your earlier concerts, are now anticipating their next opportunity to watch you perform live during the 2014 concert season. For some people this year will be their first chance to attend a live Yanni concert. For the benefit of every concertgoer; can you tell us about any changes you have planned this year, and what attendees will experience during a live concert event in 2014?
Yanni: We have listened to what the fans have been requesting and asking us to put into the concert though the social media in the internet. I have introduced some songs that have been not performed for many years into this current tour.
There is music from the very beginning of my career right up my most recent studio album. We have just started this recent tour in South America and the audience reaction was fantastic.
John: Clearly, the extraordinary vocalists and instrumentalists in your orchestra are an integral part of the total Yanni concert experience. Would you like to tell us about the artists performing with you during the 2014 concert season?
Yanni: I believe that our orchestra is made up of the best musicians in the world. Some of these musicians have been touring with us for decades and the most recent additions have already been with us for over 3 years.
Our musicians represent 11 different nationalities on the stage including England, Germany, Venezuela, Cuba, Paraguay, China, Canada, USA, Russia, Armenia and Greece. Some of the featured soloists fans will be familiar with are Samvel Yervinyan (Armenia) on violin, Charlie Adams (USA) on drums, Ming Freeman (China) on keyboards and Alexander Zhiroff on cello.
Here is a short biography for each orchestra member and vocalists touring with us in 2014 – 2015. (Shown Below)
John: The 2014 concert schedule posted at Yanni.com is already an ambitious number of concert appearances, with many more performances to be added later in the year. Given the fact each concert venue is special in its own way, what drives or motivates you and the orchestra to produce an exciting and memorable concert experience for an audience every time?
Yanni: Every single concert is different. Each one has a unique experience with the audience and in my career I have never experienced any two concerts that were the same. This coming year we will be touring in over 20 countries and we get a renewed enthusiasm from each new audience.
That is the magic of live performances, they are live and never the same. I still get “butterflies” or anxious before every single show. When we perform for an audience, we get so much love from the audience that makes all of us on the stage feel so motivated and rewarded for our effort and this love and relationship with the audience is what keeps us going with such enthusiasm.
John: For any person who has attended or watched one of your televised live concerts, it is apparent the caliber of artists and vocalists in your orchestra is unsurpassed.
Even to the untrained ear their performances are stunning! It is easy to tell that you select only the very best musicians and vocalists from around the world. Can you tell us a little bit about the selection process for artists in your orchestra?
Yanni: Our history has been that someone in the orchestra refers the new person to us. Each member knows the commitment that is required to be in this orchestra and they understand the chemistry, personality and the skill level that is required. Once we have people referred, they undergo a rigorous audition process and then we put them in with the rest of the orchestra. If the chemistry works and they are of the caliber of character needed, then they join and stay for many years. Thankfully, we don’t find ourselves looking for new people very often. Usually several years pass before we look for new members.
John: Recent albums Truth Of Touch & Yanni: Live At El Morro, Puerto Rico have proven to be an enormous success worldwide, having achieved 40 platinum and gold albums and Best Albums of the year at Billboard during your career. Needless to say your millions strong fan base would love for you to produce more releases. I understand the most aspiring project of your life is nearing release, isn’t that right?
Yanni: Yes, we have a new studio album titled “Inspirato” that is coming out in April of 2014. This album took 4 years to record and 20 years to compose the music that inspired it.
I have collaborated with Placido Domingo to have vocals recorded to some many of my instrumental songs with the greatest voices in the world including Placido Domingo, Renée Fleming, Vittorio Grigolo, Rolando Villazon, Katherine Jenkins, Russell Watson, Pretty Yende, Nathan Pacheco, Placido Domingo Jr., Lauren Jelenkovich and Chloe Lowery.
We also have a new television show that is being completed right now. It should also be ready for release in April 2014. The title is “World Without Borders.” It is a collection of performances and behind the scenes looks at our concert tour over the past 3 years and is taken from concerts from over 20 different countries.
John: In your autobiography entitled Yanni in Words, you talk about the creative process in which you compose music. Undoubtedly, music technology has changed greatly from the early years when you first began composing. Your studio albums Truth Of Touch & Inspirato were produced with today’s most innovative electronic equipment. To what degree has today’s advanced music equipment and technology influenced, or changed the thought process while composing, in comparison to the way you composed music years ago?
Yanni: For me the development of new technology to assist with the recording process has made it possible for me to express a much wider array of the creative aspect of music. I am able to record more efficiently and to adapt and alter the sounds to more closely replicate what is in my imagination.
I also have been able to experiment with new sound designs thought technology and many of these sounds were never previously available. For me as a composer this technology has allowed me to more completely express my creative thoughts.
John: In your 2003 autobiography, Yanni in Words, many topics about your life are revealed. Have you considered publishing an updated version of your autobiography at some point in your life?
Yanni: I think that the time will come in the near future for me to share the changes and new lessons learned over the past decade. In recent years I have been able to travel the world more extensively than ever before in my life and I have been able to conquer new challenges and perform and be educated by different people and cultures like never before.
John: Throughout your career, you have shared a close relationship with your fans. It seems you devote so much of your time and energy to please the millions of Yanni fans, which includes membership portals, special events and countless interviews, including our interview today. Why are fans so important to you Yanni?
Yanni: The relationship with my audience is very important because the fans give to me more than I could ever give to them. The love I receive from fans along with the knowledge that my music has affected so many people gives me the passion to continue my career. This interaction with the fans is why I have been able to work at my passion for over 30 years now and there is no end or sign of slowing down in sight. I am extremely grateful to all of my fans for this support and encouragement.
John: In addition to the official Yanni international website hosts and great staff members I met at Yanni-Wake Entertainment, you also have official groups like Fan Clubs, Street Teams, and organizations that provide an invaluable role by organizing pre-concert events and a variety of official Yanni activities.
Would you please tell us about the people in these vital organizations, their role, responsibilities, and who to contact if a person would like to join, and be a part of the Yanni team?
Yanni: I am very proud of our street team members and our fan clubs around the world. I believe we have 32 official Yanni fan clubs around the world. I can tell you that these people are incredibly important to what I do as a musician in that they help answer questions, share information and are the back bone of creating a global community centered on the music.
It is always an honor for me to travel around the world and meet these people personally. Anyone can join our family by registering at Yanni.com or join our team by emailing: TeamYanni(at)YanniWake.com.
John: It is no secret that you and the U.S. based Public Broadcast Service (PBS) share a wonderful connection together for decades. You are recognized as one of the top PBS fundraisers during the non-profit television network’s pledge drives and TV specials, but on the other hand, you and other artists can be thankful for PBS too. In what way has the television Public Broadcasting Service been a positive influence for artists in general and for you personally throughout your music career?
Yanni: PBS has been a wonderful partner for many artists in that PBS gives artists the opportunity to present their art in the manner that is true to them and shares it with a huge audience. Without PBS, many artists would have never had this opportunity and may never have realized professional careers. I am thankful for my long relationship with PBS, it has been a significant factor in helping to give me a professional career as a composer and musician.
John: You are an international music celebrity whose innovative achievements are many Yanni. You are perhaps most famous for your groundbreaking, international concert venues at the Acropolis in Greece, Forbidden City in China, Taj Mahal in India, The Kremlin in Russia, and other significant international concert venues. Of your numerous professional or personal successes, what would you say are the two most rewarding moments in your career to date?
Yanni: There are so many rewarding moments and for so many different reasons. Recently, I have been very proud of our ability to break into some new markets such as the Middle East in Oman, Bahrain, UAE and Qatar.
I also have been very moved by our recent success in South America, specifically Brazil where we have been able to perform several concerts and are continuing to grow our audience.
I also appreciate the very intimate and heartfelt experiences realized by meeting many people and coming in contact with many cultures such as helping with the flood victims in Thailand, the adoption of a Panda from the people of China, and my relationship with the International Space Station through NASA and the Russian space program.
John: Do you have any personal or professional endeavors you would like to achieve sometime in the future?
Yanni: At the moment I am very happy with our plans to continue touring around the world and meeting new people and learning from new cultures. I am sure that in some years from now, this will slow down and I will have other initiatives to explore but for the moment I am living in what is the best time of my life and I am very happy with that.
John: While preparing for our interview Yanni, I couldn’t help but think of what an amazing success story your life has been. Every day I am in contact with artists, many of which envision the attainment and level of success in their careers, similar to what you have achieved during your career. Knowing there will be a variety of debuting and seasoned artists reading our interview; can you offer any advice or guidance for musicians in general or artists in the early stages of their music career?
Yanni: I believe that as an artist and composer, you must stay true to your dreams and persist through the challenging times. I never had a master plan for how my career would work out. I would just focus on the task at hand and dedicate all of my energy and resources to what I was doing at that time.
I never thought about success or money, I only thought about my music and doing the very best I could in being a creative artist. I believe that by putting all of my energy and resources into my music, it led to me being able to have a career as a professional music artist.
John: It has been a privilege to present your most current interview in 2014 Yanni! On behalf of your millions of fans around the world and myself, thank you yet again for sharing a moment of your time. Until the day we visit again, is there anything you would like to express to your fans or official team members who have supported you over the years?
Yanni: It is because of all of the fans and our affiliates that I am able to continue with my career. It gives me great pride to be associated with all of you and I look forward to meeting with as many of you as possible as we continue to travel the world.
Warm Regards, Yanni
Visit the official Yanni.com homepage where you can find 2014 Concert Tour information. Read the full biographies for the elite team of Yanni Orchestra Members and visit their official websites. To purchase CD albums, DVDs, gift items and merchandise visit the Yanni Store. Find information for the Yanni Community, Street Team, Fan Club and International Affiliate Members at Yanni.com and read my Yanni Section. For current news visit social media sites Facebook and Twitter. Interview photos courtesy yanni-wake entertainment & whit padgett. Big stock photos courtesy sborisov & pius99.
Orchestra Member’s Biography Summary:
Yanni’s orchestra is a truly unique collection of musicians. Yanni has hand-picked each member of his orchestra and has been in search for the world’s top performers to bring you what you see today. He refers to them as the “United Nations” as they come from all walks of life, backgrounds and experiences from all over the world. Yanni brings you on a musical journey that only this group of musicians can attempt. The talents from each member surpass the imaginable, and they are all brought to you on one stage under the guidance of a true modern day orchestrator.
1. Charlie Adams, Drummer, Illinois, USA
From the USA, Charlie has been with Yanni from the beginning performing on drums in rock bands when they were kids. Charlie’s energy, stage performance and stamina gets every audience on their feet all around the world.
2. Benedikt Brydern, Violin, Munich, Germany
From Germany, Benedikt has a background in jazz violin and brings his unique style to Yanni’s music. He has been touring with the Yanni orchestra for 4 years.
3. Jason Carder, Trumpet, Arizona, USA
From the USA, Jason has shared his talents as a professor of jazz trumpet at the University of Miami. He has toured with Yanni for 4 years and uses his flugelhorn to reach unimaginable notes.
4. Yoel Del Sol, Percussion, Cuba
From Cuba, Yoel has been Yanni’s leading percussionist for 4 years performing the congas like no other. He brings an energy and latin flair to stage.
5. Victor Espinola, Harp, Asuncion, Paraguay
From Paraguay, Victor is a unique performer who brings a dynamic injection of unique style to the harp. Victor has been with the Yanni orchestra for a decade.
6. Ming Freeman, Keyboards, Taiwan
From Taiwan, Ming has been with Yanni for almost two decades touring as the lead keyboardist. Ming’s solos feature his true talents and showcases just how fast and rhythmic he can be on the keyboards.
7. Lauren Jelencovich, Vocalist, Florida, USA
From the USA, Lauren is classically trained at the Manhattan School of Music and has a voice capable of effortlessly hitting notes that no other singer would attempt. Lauren has been with the tour for the past 2 years.
8. Lisa Lavie, Vocalist, Montreal, Canada
From Canada, Lisa’s powerful voice takes on some of Yanni’s most difficult compositions. As singer and songwriter, she brings energy and emotion to the stage. Lisa has been with the tour for the past 2 years.
9. James Mattos, French Horn, California, USA
From the USA, James has been performing on his French Horn for over 18 years with Yanni’s orchestra. He maintains the warm, rich undertones throughout the concert events.
10. Sarah O’Brien, Cello, Nottingham, England
From England, Sarah has toured all over the world with Yanni. Trained on cello in London’s Guildhall School of Music, she has been seen on the stage with Yanni at every major concert event.
11. Mary Simpson, Violin, Virginia, USA
From the USA of Chinese decent, Mary plays her “fiddle” bringing warmth and richness with a bluegrass edge – her style and her smile capture the hearts of every audience. Mary has been touring with Yanni for the past 2 years.
12. Dana Teboe, Trombone, Florida, USA
From the USA, Dana is a widely recognized trombone player who has impeccable tone, accuracy and energy. Dana has been performing with Yanni for 8 years.
13. Gabriel Vivas, Bass, Caracas, Venezuela
From Venezuela, Gabriel brings a new life to the bass performing runs and scales rarely seen. Gabriel has been with Yanni since 2008 and remains a top performer.
14. Samvel Yervinyan, Violin, Yerevan, Armenia
From Armenia, Samvel has been widely recognized as one of the world’s premier violinists and has been a star performer among Yanni’s orchestra for the past decade.
15. Alexander Zhiroff, Cello, Russia
From Russia, “Sacha” has been touring with Yanni for almost 17 years performing at all the major concert events around the world with his cello. Sacha performs with a unique style and incredible talent.
New Celtic Woman CD & DVD – Celtic Woman releases new Emerald: Musical Gems and North American Tour with over 80 concert performances in progress for the popular Celtic group.
Celtic Woman is making music news this week by the release of Emerald: Musical Gems, a digital CD with 12 traditional Irish songs, which includes an additional free MP3 download version at Amazon. Released on February 25, 2014, an accompanying DVD with 18 songs by the same title is also available.
Celtic Woman’s North American Concert Tour has begun, and is expected to cover over 80 concert shows in North America. Later in the year on October 13, 2014, Celtic Woman begins their European Tour, covering cities in the countries of Belgium, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland.
It’s been quite a year for the group, having attained the Top World Album of the year at Billboard for the Celtic Woman Home For Christmas album. Billboard likewise awarded Celtic Woman the World Artist of the Year, which is the fifth year in a row for the ultra-popular vocal instrumental group.
The CD version of Emerald: Musical Gems, contains 12 song of the traditional Irish fare that has propelled Celtic Woman to modern day music celebrities, who continue to dazzle the world. The 12 song of traditional Irish favorites on the Emerald: Musical Gems CD are: Mo Ghile Mear, Dulaman. Caladonia, Amazing Grace, The New Ground, She Moved Through The Fair, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Nil Se’n La, Danny Boy, The Voice, The Parting Glass & You Raise Me Up.
Yanni Studio Album Inspirato – Yanni-Wake Entertainment has released press information for Yanni’s new vocal instrumental album titled Inspirato. Included is a special news update for the Yanni Worldwide Concert Tour in 2014.
If you are a Yanni fan there is a chance you have already heard the fantastic news about the new Yanni album due for release this spring on April 29, 2014. I received a press release from the Yanni-Wake people today about this breaking news story. Included in the special news announcement is updated information for Yanni’s Worldwide Concert Tour during 2014.
Inspirato, released on the Sony Classical Label, is an album which took 4 years to complete, from composing, performing, to a final recording.
Teaming up with record producer Rick Wake and celebrity opera star Placido Domingo, Inspirato features premium vocalists from around the world. This contemporary instrumental vocal album has 13 songs with each song featuring one of twelve vocalists, whose biography can be read at Yanni.com.
Another important aspect of this master opus from Yanni is the album composition itself, taken from a deeply personal viewpoint. The creative stimulus for Inspirato is drawn from the past 30 years of his career as a celebrity artist and a true-to-life, personal story of opera star Pretty Yenda, from South Africa.
To me, its clear Yanni is at the top of his game as a professional composer and performer so this personal, “from the heart” album is guaranteed to leave a lasting impression on the listener.
Fans are already expressing elation over the special announcement at Yanni’s Facebook page, and expect the anticipation to grow as we reach full bloom on the April 29, 2014 release date this spring.
In concert news, if you check Yanni.com you will also see an expansive list of new concert dates are now announced. Beginning in March 2014, Yanni will begin a worldwide tour covering over 20 countries, which includes the U.S. and Canada. And more dates will be added to this extensive tour as the year progresses, so check for more updates on the Yanni Tour page.
For many people this will be their first chance to experience the extraordinary music performed by one of the greatest international concert artists of our time.
After covering Yanni and his orchestra for years now it seems I do have a sense for developing stories about the artist. Awhile back, I remember looking at a press photo of Yanni practicing on a concert piano at the Kravis Center. I now see the Kravis Center photo (top left photo) is the album art cover selected for Inspirato.
I thought there may be a news story coming up at the time, but nothing like this, so I guess everyone is a little surprised by this latest development. Considering the new album and additional tour updates for 2014, this is fantastic news indeed!
The purchase price listed for the Inspirato audio CD is $14.97, which is a real bargain price in my view. The composition and recording of this particular album is rare – plus the mega collection of the world’s finest vocal artists will surely put Inspirato at the Best Sellers Chart at Amazon and Top 10 Chart at Billboard!
Visit Yanni.com/Inspirato for details and to pre-order before April 29, 2014. You may also pre-order prior to April 29, 2014 and purchase Inspirato by Yanni at Amazon.com. Concert photos and cover art courtesy yanni-wake entertainment.
13 Italian song titles translated to English, and featured vocal artist for each song:
1. I Genitori (To Take To Hold) – Renée Fleming
2. Come Un Sospiro (Almost A Whisper) – Vittorio Grigòlo
3. Ode Alla Grecia (End Of August) – Plácido Domingo
4. L’Ombra Dell’Angelo (Nice To Meet You) – Katherine Jenkins
5. Amare Di Nuovo (Adagio in C Minor) – Nathan Pacheco
6. Hasta El Último Momento (Until The Last Moment) – Plácido Domingo & Renée Fleming
7. (Tribute) – Plácido Domingo, Nathan Pacheco, Plácido Domingo Jr., Micaëla Oeste, Chloe Lowery – Riconoscimento
8. Incanto (Enchantment) – Russell Watson
9. II Primo Tocco (First Touch) – Plácido Domingo Jr.
10. Usignolo (Nightingale) – Lauren Jelencovich
11. La Prima Luce (In The Morning Light) – Rolando Villazón
12. Ode Á L’Humanité (Ode To Humanity) – Pretty Yende
13. Nello Specchio (In The Mirror) – Katherine Jenkins & Nathan Pacheco
New Vocal and Instrumental Music in 2013 – The Affinity Album by Superstars Moya Brennan & Cormac De Barra.
On June 7, 2013 international music celebrities Moya Brennan and Corma De Barra released their new album Affinity at the Voices & Harps website. Pre-orders are currently being accepted at major online music stores for their new album Affinity which will be released on June 25, 2013. Moya Brennan and Corma De Barra are both highly acclaimed artists from Ireland, and their newest release does feature the beloved Celtic melodies of their homeland that have brought them international prominence.
After sampling all 12 songs on Affinity, I can say the famed vocalist and harpist, both of whom are revered professionals in the field, have produced one of the finest vocal instrumental albums of the Celtic and World Music marque this year. I would imagine both artists are likewise pleased with their newest combined effort, which is the follow-up to their earlier releases Voices & Harps, and Music of Great Irish Houses.
It’s an honor to be among the first to tell fans and visitors about this new release by Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra, but more good news is on the way. I plan to write an album review for Affinity prior to the release date, plus arrangements are taking place for an exclusive interview with the esteemed Moya Brennan, so check back soon.
The 12 songs on Affinity are: Intro (Suas Sios), Sailing, The Lass of Aughrim, Worlds Collide, I Feel You Breathe, Cruiscin Lan, Captain O’Kane, Seoithin Seo, Stoirin Rua, When the Morning Breaks, Ardaigh Cuan & Suas Sios. Below is the vocal instrumental song video Sailing, which is the first single from Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra’s newest album.
Moya Brennan and Cormac De Barra’s new album Affinity is currently available exclusively in physical CD format and Mp3 format, or purchase single song downloads at VoicesAndHarps.com. Prior to the June 25th release date sample or pre-order Affinity at Amazon.com or sample and pre-order Affinity at iTunes.
Electronic Dance Music innovators (We Are) Nexus heralded as one of the hottest new EDM groups by top news organizations.
If you are into the sounds of Electronic Dance Music (EDM) and are already informed about one of the finest new EDM groups in recent times, then you know the outstanding new group called (We Are) Nexus is beginning to acquire a sizeable fan following for their ingenious original club mixes.
Composer and producer Nick Gunn and vocalist Carmen Rainier are the names behind the (We Are) Nexus team, both of which are professional artists famous for their albums in the instrumental and world music genres.
(We Are) Nexus is quickly gaining speed in the EDM market by their innovative sound, plus numerous press articles by respected news outlets are publicizing more than positive reviews of the group including articles by CBS News, NBC News, Boston Globe and Miami Herald. These reliable news sources have made a unanimous assessment to the effect that (We Are) Nexus is one of the hottest new groups in Electronic Dance Music.
The first single by the team titled Broken and newest song single named Sound of the Beat features an exciting mix of trendy vocals by Carmen Rainier set to a blend of tech house and engaging world music rhythms. Having produced 14 albums and sales of over 2 million, multi-platinum artist Nicholas Gunn brings a new level of expertise to the EDM market.
While (We Are) Nexus is no way connected to a state-of-the-art smartphone or the newest electronic technology product there is a solid connection, defined by the innovative principles of the artists involved, and the high quality of EDM they produce. Their expertise and success as instrumental artists is clearly reflected in the cleverly arranged songs.
Malta Music Awards 2013: International world music band Tribali wins Best Album honors for two consecutive years at the Malta Music Awards with The Traveller album.
It’s been another successful year for the Maltese band Tribali by their first place win for Best Album at the Malta Music Awards taking place at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre on February 3, 2013.
The Malta Music Awards, held the day after the Malta Eurovision Song Festival, presented Tribali a Best Album Award for their 2012 release The Traveller, which made the second consecutive year in a row Tribali claimed the victory.
The Traveller is a vocal instrumental album with 13 songs in the world music category, which highlights the band’s unique range of traditional and ethnic influences. The band incorporates a variety of instruments including ethnic instruments like didgeridoo, electric sitar, murchunga, guimbri, cahon, hang and tabla, with traditional guitars, keyboards, vocals, violin, trumpet, drums and percussion.
The compilation album Festa is another Tribali release from 2012 featuring a 13 song collection of classic songs from Tribali’s earlier releases. During earlier years their music was available to local music stores in Malta. Now it appears the two most recent albums by Tribali have largely contributed to the introduction of the band’s unique blend of new age, world and traditional Maltase Folk music to the world.
Likewise the two most recent albums by Tribali have transitioned the group from the status of a favorite local band into the international spotlight as serious contenders in the world music scene.
The leading daily newspaper in Malta named The Times, formerly The Times of Malta, ran a news article about the band Tribali and their recent music award. I was pleased to read The Times has quoted me in several paragraphs and made reference to this site in their February 8, 2013 newspaper publication stating; “Tribali’s album Festa has been rated the seventh best instrumental new age and world music album of the year by a top website specializing in the genre.”
It’s always an honor to be quoted by a respected news source like The Times in Malta, but the real honors do go to Tribali for their second Malta Music Awards victory in a row. Given the brazenly unique music of the Maltese band Tribali, clearly they deserve an encore for the second time.
To find concert information and sample or purchase albums visit TribaliMusic.com. If you would like to read The Times newspaper article of the recent win for the Maltese band Tribali visit TimesOfMalta.com. Cover and photos are courtesy tribalimusic.com and timesofmalta.com.
New Vocal Instrumental Album Review: The new album in 2013 by Josh Groban titled All That Echoes debuts at #1 on Amazon Best Sellers Top 100 list.
For persons familiar with multi-platinum vocalist Josh Groban it’s understandable why his sixth studio album All That Echoes has made its debut at #1 on Amazon’s Best Sellers list.
In addition to the top position on the Best Seller list, All That Echoes currently holds the #1 position of the Pop, Vocal Pop, Rock, and Classical categories, all of which are much deserved.
The singer, songwriter and record producer is famous for his amazing talents as a vocalist as everyone knows. This time Josh Groban proves the merits of his superstar status yet again by the creation of an incredibly beautiful vocal with instrumentals release like no other.
All That Echoes is the follow-up to an equally wondrous album Illumination from 2010, yet Josh Groban test his talents as a songwriter having written seven of the twelve songs on his 2013 release. The five popular cover songs likewise are wonderful versions with verses sung of the highest quality so expect nothing less than the best.
All That Echoes is listed in the Pop genre category at Amazon, but music crossing into multiple genres is more than commonplace. After listening to the entire album for this review it sounds primarily an easy listening vocal album but this naturally has little to do with how this album is perceived artistically.
Nearly all of the first customer reviews at Amazon have given this the uppermost rating, of which I couldn’t agree more. Resonating with fans from all corners of the globe, I believe you will find All That Echoes is a stunning new release that rings true from the first note to the last.
The 12 songs on All That Echoes are; Brave, False Alarms, Falling Slowly, She Moved Through the Fair, Below The Line, E Ti Promettero, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Un Alma Mas, Happy in My Heartache, Hollow Talk, Sincera, I Believe (When I Fall in Love it Will Be Forever).
Visit the artist at JoshGroban.com and sample or purchase his new 2013 release All That Echoes at Amazon.com. This release is available in audio CD or digital downloads at major music retailers. Photo courtesy joshgroban.com.
Alphaville News 2013: Newest Alphaville album with working title of Strange Attractor scheduled for release in 2013.
For fans of the synthpop group Alphaville this year is one of anticipation by the news of a brand new CD album by the international electronic music sensation. For nearly 30 years the Germany based group Alphaville has endured as a favorite band for millions of electronic music fans worldwide.
Alphaville songs like Forever Young, Big in Japan & Sounds Like a Melody brought them prominence early on, but even today they continue to produce new hit songs that quickly become fan favorites. Their most recent album Catching Rays on Giant from 2010 is a good example. It’s an impressive studio release with 16 of the best Alphaville songs on a single album.
Strange Attractor is the production or working title for Alphaville’s new album for 2013, revealed during an interview with founding vocalist Marian Gold. The release date is unknown at this time but we may be hearing more soon.
Marion Gold also said Strange Attractor, being recorded in Sweden, is unlike any other album Alphaville has ever produced. I couldn’t help but think it may be unlike any album the electronic megastars have released, but one thing we can count on is the Strange Attractor project turning out to be another exceptional album by a fascinating band that gets better with each passing year. Current band member lineup is Marian Gold, Martin Lister, David Goodes and Jakob Kiersch.
For more information and future concert tour announcements visit Alphaville.info. Photo is courtesy alphaville.de.
New Vocal Instrumental Album in 2013: Pre-release album review for Loveren by David Arkenstone & Charlee Brooks.
It never ceases to amaze me how some artists find within themselves to consistently produce quality music year after year. This is true with multi-platinum selling concert and recording artist David Arkenstone, who is a source of admiration for millions of fans and colleagues alike.
Retaining a long standing reputation as an award-winning, top instrumental music producer David Arkenstone covers a broad array of styles including ambient, adult contemporary, Celtic, electronic, world, and new age, having made the Top 10 Billboard New Age charts twenty times.
David Arkenstone’s original compositions similarly reach a diverse range of audiences including venues like the NBC Olympics, Triple Crown and Breeder’s Cup sportscasts, plus popular video game World of Warcraft. A progressive new sound is precisely what you can expect hear on a brand new vocal and orchestral album, due to be released on March 5, 2013.
Loveren is a brilliant illustration of how the three times GRAMMY® Nominated David Arkenstone has advanced musically over the past twenty-five years. You will also soon find Loveren is an epic orchestral score by the adventurous master storyteller with an impressive vocalist and lyricist by his side named Charlee Brooks.
Rarely do I compare one artist to the next but in this case I believe many people will soon be in agreement when I say Charlee Brooks is an amazing vocalist whose singing ability may be likened to superstar vocalists Enya and Sarah Brightman. In addition to primary artist who include John Wakefield on percussion and Eric Rigler on woodwinds, a full strings section and choir vocals by The Nashville Soul Choir deeply embolden Loveren like no other previous score.
Traversing new age and world music rhythms with crossover pop vocals sung by Charlee Brooks, and magnificent orchestrations are the leading attraction on the newest album fans will surely be calling the best David Arkenstone album ever!
The 9 songs on Loveren are: Origins, The Forbidden Sea, Lumaria, Sessa Nulma, Jamboree, Song Of Loveren, Lost, Slip Away & Love Always Waits. Included is an attractive 16 page CD booklet containing lyrical verses by Charlee Brooks and a short novel of the love story Loveren written by author Steven Vlasak. A live production of the story directed by award-winning producer Victoria Paige Meyerink is set for March 16, 2013 at the landmark Alwx Theatre in Glendale, California.
Martin Luther King Jr. & Elvis Presley Tribute Song single by country music legend Pam Tillis & Kris Thomas.
The good people at television media and internet music video company Rive Video Promotion sent me an inspiring tribute song video for our enjoyment, just in time for civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
This song video titled Two Kings is a tribute to the enduring legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. and Elvis Presley, two of the most iconic figures in modern American history. This tribute song honors what both men stood for and their beliefs and dream for a better America.
The song Two Kings is performed by country music legend Pam Tillis and singing songwriter Kris Thomas. If you would like to purchase this great song single by two great artists you can find Two Kings at iTunes.
Artists, bands and record labels can find information about Rive Video production services for video airplay on stations like MTV, BET, CMT and other media at RiveVideo.com. Photo of Pam Tillis & Kris Thomas is courtesy rivevideo.com.
New Vocal Instrumental Album in 2013: Pre-release album review for Union Road by multi-platinum selling artist Diane Arkenstone.
For multi-platinum selling recording artist Diane Arkenstone a renewed sense of freedom can be discovered by composing and performing contemporary music in one of her many well versed styles. Early in life it was clear Diane Arkenstone was blessed with the gifted abilities of a natural born artist and composer, which has led to many achievements during each phase of her music career.
Adaptable to a variety of music categories her natural talent and adaptability has never been more clearly pronounced than her new vocal instrumental album titled Union Road, due to be released on her Neo Pacifica Recordings record label on March 26th 2013. I can tell you upfront the 11 free flowing casual melodies shed new light on one of our favorite contemporary artists.
The multi-talented Diane Arkenstone is a popular artist most people will recognize, especially those who favor the Celtic, Native American, instrumental, new age, and world music categories. In addition to her own releases like the Billboard Charting Jewel in the Sun, and top radio chart recording, The Best Of Diane Arkenstone, she has also been a member of associated groups most people are familiar with.
Groups like Adventure Cargo, Ah Nee Mah, Earth Trybe, Enaid, Marquis Ensemble, Middle Earth Orchestra, are like our favorite chapters in the Diane Arkenstone songbook. Many more outstanding albums made our preferred song list as the duo with former husband David Arkenstone.
Union Road is the newest album by Diane Arkenstone you may soon be calling your favorite like I have. Union Road is an instrumental vocal album with 11 select songs in the folk ballad tradition. Performing acoustic guitar, dulcimer, kalimba and percussion, Diane Arkenstone’s songwriting talents as a vocalist and lyricist are on display, highlighting her capabilities as a contemporary singer with charming lyrical optimism on nine of eleven songs.
Nearing perfection by the casual relaxing atmosphere, Union Road is a brilliant vocal instrumental album with novel lyrics you are sure to love. Keep your eye on Diane Arkenstone, whose sense of freedom when creating original new music is sure to transport you on a route that can only be described as adventuresome.
The 11 songs on Union Road are: Little Cup of Coffee, When I Fall, Crossing The Water, Corner of Nowhere, Just Kicking Around, Beautiful Bones, Lost in You, Your Mama is Gone, Union Road, We Can Live Forever and Dulcimer Suite. Backing vocalists and instrumentalists in are Mader, David Arkenstone, MB Gordy, Chad Watson, Eric Rigler, Bruce Watson, Charlee Brooks and Jane George.
Until the date March 26th when Union Road is released on CD and digital download, visit DianeArkenstone.com to sample and purchase music or visit Diane Arkenstone at Amazon.com. There are also plans for a concert tour in 2013 so watch for an upcoming concert news announcement. Album design by Rachna Kanikar and artist photos by Bill Sparkes.
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.
Nicholas Gunn Interview – Special News in 2013 and Forward:
Multi-platinum recording artist Nicholas Gunn is a classically trained flutist recognized as one of the best-selling instrumental flutists worldwide.
Famous for the contemporary atmosphere and resounding beauty of his music, Nicholas Gunn has achieved earlier success of over 2 million albums sold, having become a legendary artist in the instrumental music industry, with many of his albums reaching the Top 10 Billboard Charts.
Nicholas Gunn’s newest instrumental release for 2012, and perhaps most significant of all is his fourteenth album named Thirty-One Nights, which arrives after an interval of 5 years. The highest standards we have come to expect are expertly portrayed on Thirty-One Nights, which enlists the world-class talents of vocalist Dana Kemmerle, along with acoustic guitarist Chris Fossek.
New Age Music World host John P. Olsen had an opportunity to interview Nicholas Gunn months prior to 2013. During the newest interview with Nicholas Gunn the range of topic include a conversation about his new album, history and career as an artist, National Park albums, and the Gemini Sun Records Label he once owned and operated.
Nicholas Gunn also states his views on today’s music industry and the upcoming Ballots and Nominations for the 55th GRAMMY® Awards. And perhaps most importantly, Nicholas Gunn has released a significant news announcement regarding his music career going forward. Today we are pleased to present their conversation to fans, and to Music World site visitors.
John P. Olsen: Thank you for accepting my interview invitation Nicholas. It is a privilege to host your newest interview in 2012, here at New Age Music World. I have been a huge fan of your music for many years, plus I enjoyed reading even more about you while preparing for our interview together. I must say you have experienced a fascinating life and career Nicholas.
Nicholas Gunn: Thank you John, it is really a pleasure to be a part of your music forum today, and it’s great to see how popular New Age Music World has become.
John: Thanks for your compliment! Let me begin with your earliest experiences as a musician, since your educational studies seem to have been a formative influence in the music you produce today. You were born in South East England, and were academically trained from age 7 to 11 in classical music at the Royal Academy of Music conservatoire in the UK. While attending the Royal Academy of Music, what led you to choose woodwinds over other instruments, and would you please tell us about your earliest academic studies, training and first introduction to music while living in the UK?
Nicholas Gunn: I grew up in a small, quaint village called Hartlip in Kent County England. It was in many ways a beautiful childhood. I think when there is that much space around you and the chatter is minimized, it’s easier to focus on things such as music. When I was around 5 or 6 I used to watch Top of the Pops on TV and tap away on the side of the couch. I think my folks were listening carefully to see if I had any sense of rhythm and inclination for music.
My Grandfather was a professional guitar player with The Felix Mendelssohn Orchestra so I think there was a desire in many ways to keep the music going in the family. I remember at 6 seeing a performance on TV of Sir James Galway and thinking how beautiful the flute sounded. It stuck with me and when my folks asked me what I wanted to play as an instrument that’s immediately what I said. It’s crazy really, the next thing I know I am taking lessons at 6 from the Royal Marines Bands principle flautist, Mick Judson. An incredible experience, full of wonder and endless possibilities!
He would come to my house in Hartlip once or twice a week for lessons and I would take my exams in London; it was a lot for a young kid but really rewarding. He was a great instructor and man, and a big part of the foundation my music is built upon. One time, Mick allowed me to sit with him in the pit orchestra to the musical Oliver in London, and I remember having a brief encounter with Sir James Galway during this time and thinking, this is really what I want to do!
By the time we moved to Los Angeles in 1979 I had music training most eleven year olds rarely acquire and was a misfit really. It was tough, as an eleven year old boy, walking with your flute to band through junior high school. I witnessed a huge disparity in culture and acceptance of art on multiple levels. It was cruel and I was pissed off at these kids that bullied me. There were several occasions I would walk outside of gym class and I would have my ass handed to me on a platter for playing flute. Its cliche really, all band kids experience bullying, some more than others, it’s just the way it was and sometimes still is. My music holds a sense of compassion I have trouble finding otherwise. I believe it has healed me and allowed me an outlet of expression to resolve these feelings for myself. I like to believe there is no anger in my music, just love, beauty, compassion, and acceptance. I wanted to convey that message.
John: Knowing now that the Royal Academy of Music Alumni include other great artists like Elton John, Annie Lennox and Michael Nyman, and others; did you appreciate the fact at the time you were beginning a strong foundation for a successful music career later in life?
Nicholas Gunn: No, not really, not at that time. I had no idea about any of those things. It was more a feeling of this is what everyone does. When you are that young, there is no real sense for “aligning” yourself within academics or community. I pretty much followed what my folks told me to do, and believed it to be normal, and now have immense appreciation for them guiding me and recognizing my potential.
John: Classical music influences are apparent in your compositions, including your new album Thirty-One Nights. What classical music elements, for example structure, rhythm or metrics, do you find most appealing?
Nicholas Gunn: I have to say it’s the interplay between rhythm and melody. Being a flautist, I studied mostly counterpoint theory at the academy. We poured over the great composers in detail and I absorbed the constant interplay you find in lead lines, counter melody lines, and the foundation it all sits upon; rhythm. I believe that one essential element of music is structure. Meaning; memorable, reoccurring, lasting melody will always make an impression on the listener over a long extended period of time.
As an instrumentalist I find it even more important to remember this. Strong verse, chorus, turnaround and bridge are vital to great compositions. If the music lacks a lyric and a vocal, I believe it’s even more important to impress structure and melody on the listener. Think about it, music in the moment can be inspirational, but if one can reflect upon a composition because of its melody and literally be transported to that moment in time again, that is the true essence of the music experience on the human experience.
John: What was the turning point when you decided to pursue a challenging career as an artist?
Nicholas Gunn: When I was around 16-17 years old I side stepped flute for a few years and took up drums, playing in both marching band and several rock bands. I literally played the kit in every bar on the Sunset Strip over a three year period including The Whiskey, The Roxy, Madam Wong’s, The Troubadour, etc. It was a great experience at a very young age and it gave me the douse of confidence I needed. I had a brief stint doing some commercials and modeling as well and actually made a few bucks but that’s a whole different story! I came out of this phase “knowing” I guess you could say, that there was only one direction for me, and that was to fully immerse myself into creating my own instrumental music.
I was a huge fan of Vangelis, Jean Michael Jarre, Pink Floyd etc., and saw that instrumental music had its place in the market and was growing at that time. I bought some recording gear and schooled myself in engineering and production, learning how to get recordings to sound great! I went down to Westlake Studios and other studios in West Hollywood and just hung out asking awesome stupid questions and rubbing shoulders with the best engineers. There was no question afterward that I was fiercely dedicated to making my own music.
John: You released your first album Afternoon In Sedona in 1992, and a year later re-released Afternoon In Sedona thru the Real Music record label, which directly influenced sales, and changed the course of your career, isn’t that right?
Nicholas Gunn: That’s pretty accurate I would say. Before being signed to Real Music I had worked pretty hard to get popular retail chains such as Natural Wonders and Nature Company to recognize myself release of Afternoon in Sedona. Those were great retail chains and they focused on a select amount of instrumental titles in their thousands of high end stores. It was easy math really; mass retail exposure, select titles, genre specific, those were great days for sales! I had sent Real Music several submissions of Afternoon in Sedona but it was only until Natural Wonders showed interest they offered me a deal. It made sense for everyone and we re-worked the album a little and re-released in 1993 to moderate success, not big success mind you! There was a heightened awareness of the product but it was not until my second album The Sacred Fire that things changed drastically.
John: That’s right your 1994 release The Sacred Fire, was the first album to make the Top 10 Billboard Charts in the new age category. Were you surprised by making the Billboard Top 10 New Age chart verses another category since your albums can be placed in a broader, instrumental or world music category?
Nicholas Gunn: No, I was not surprised actually. Real Music had made it clear we were binning the album New Age at retail. Back in those days, binning was integral to sales and exposure and once you chose your category, well you’re pretty much stuck, especially if you sell.
The New Age chart was an accessible chart as well, meaning it was an emerging genre and not so saturated with other artists. The Sacred Fire actually did not receive its initial success at conventional retail but started selling big at both Natural Wonders and at Nature Company.
The album was literally blowing out the doors holding a #1 chart position in the chains for a year or so. Around this time conventional retail chains such as Borders and Barnes were watching this emerging genre closely and started to expand their New Age Music selections and positioning.
The Sacred Fire album, along with my third album, The Music of the Grand Canyon, which closely followed, was embraced and we finally received chart position through sales at these and similar retail chains.
John: I must say your newest release Thirty-One Nights, which debuted on the Billboard Top Ten New Age Chart, is a beautifully designed album Nicholas. Your albums have consistently made the Top 10 Billboard Charts over the years, so I wondered is making the Billboard Chart is an accurate litmus test for an album’s success over the long haul?
Nicholas Gunn: Thank you John, I am happy to hear Thirty-One Nights resonates with you. This is a great question, but I think it’s important to clarify what Billboard chart position actually means as it seems there is a general misunderstanding of how the system really works. Billboard is an independent trade magazine that reports industry sales via chart position. Billboard receives its sales data from another company called Soundscan.
Soundscan retrieve its sales data from Soundscan retail members. For example, Wal-Mart pays an annual fee to be a member of Soundscan, required by the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) that they participate as a major and recognized record retailer. Barcodes at the register are scanned upon sale and sent to Soundscan acknowledging each sale. At major online retailers such as iTunes it is via the embedded ISRC code on the MP3 data through digital download.
Depending on the zip code of sale, one sale can actually represent two or more sales due to the remote location of the sale and person per capita of the zip code. If you are a small retailer, mom or pop store, or even a significant type of other retailer, then most often, these retailers are not participating members of Soundscan. Sales in turn are not being reported, at all! At the height of my sales through alternative retailers such as Nature Company, Natural Wonders, National Park stores, hundreds of thousands of sales went unrecognized as they were not members of Soundscan. There are no gold or platinum records on my walls despite my significant overall sales within the industry.
The Billboard chart positions I actually received over the years were from a fraction of these sales through member participating retailers such as Borders, Barnes, Sam Goody, etc. With that said, while Billboard is indeed an actual litmus test of the success of a title, it does not represent the overall sales performance of a title accurately. My mentor, Harvey Cooper, always said; “Comments and opinions of music are only perceptions but real sales are a true indicator of commercial success.”
John: On your fourteenth album Thirty-One Nights, I must say you have a great team with vocalist Dana Kemmerle and guitarist Chris Fossek. How did you meet Dana and Chris, and could you tell us about the project you created together?
Nicholas Gunn: I met both Chris Fossek and Dana Kemmerle in Santa Barbara, CA. Chris was a local accomplished musician, who has been playing the Santa Barbara circuit for some time. I heard him at a local wine bar and quickly realized this guy had great technique and style. At that time I was starting to formulate what I wanted to do for a new album and listening to him play was really inspiring! I got to know Chris over a period of months before we started tracking together and we became tight friends.
We are the same kind of people, infusing our music with our life experiences! Chris wrote several pieces on the album which allows it to transition beautifully at two main points; Candle Dance & From Water to Wind. Chris also wrote the title track Thirty-One Nights which sets the tone of the album so well. Dana is an absolute breathe of fresh air. After deciding to finish her graduate degree at UCSB in global studies our paths crossed at the very same wine bar I first met Chris in.
Dana has been the core inspiration behind the experience and story that became Thirty-One Nights. I was going through a very difficult time with many changes in my life and she was continuing on with her studies in Spain and in Mexico. We became romantically involved and the next thing I know I asked her to record some spoken word vocals on a track that became track 13 Recuerdame, on the album.
She has a gorgeous balanced tone in her speaking voice and it was an instant match and hit for me in the studio and many more tracks followed! It’s difficult to make spoken word work within music; it has to be just right! Dana and I now work passionately together in many aspects of our lives. We spent thirty one nights together in Mexico recording flutes on top of Mayan pyramids and writing poetry deep in the jungle. She’s one smart cookie, has a healthy and balanced perspective on life, and someone I want to associate and grow with for a very long time.
John: What are the vital key elements Dana and Chris convey to your instrumental with vocals composition Thirty-One Nights?
Nicholas Gunn: Well, Chris comes from an extremely studied background in music with a master’s degree from Cal Arts in Flamenco guitar. It was important to me that I had an authentic approach and sound for Thirty-One Nights. Authentic Flamenco playing includes so many different aspects, such as the knocking on the guitar body, types of open strumming and closed strumming and where picking occurs over the sound hole. Even finer details, such as which part of the finger nail is used to create different sounds against the string, are all important factors!
The guitar itself is vital to the sound. Chris plays on a handcrafted Manuel Bellido guitar which includes design features such as a wider neck and intricate body/sound hole design. Nylon strings are always used, of a certain type, and after a certain amount of wear. There are no pickups used in recording and a single microphone placement to capture a clean natural sound. These are all important factors that create a certain resonance consistent with Flamenco guitar. His writing style is also different than mine which lends to a well-balanced album that transitions at all the right spots. It’s a good partnership in that we are different in all the right ways! With Dana it is about a personal and emotional connection that is intimate.
We experienced Thirty-One Nights together in real time and she has watched, supported, and participated in the unfolding of the album over a year and a half. She has a beautiful speaking voice and her bilingual abilities were a perfect and authentic evocative addition to the album. I have used spoken word sparingly before, and I am telling you, it’s a hard thing to pull off! Dana just had this tone and approach that was, well otherworldly, very seductive such as on The Swallows of Na’ Lu’um. We walked together through jungles, remote Mayan pyramids, went cave diving in Senotes, and used this experience to fuel creativity. Dana wrote about her experiences and created poetry centric to the experience. Dana and I are continuing to work on other exciting projects and in business together. We are partners in many ways.
John: Would you like to tell us more of the story for Thirty-One Nights, and inspiration behind the songs?
Nicholas Gunn: There is a special Thirty-One Nights storybook PDF, with personal photos, that is embedded on the CD and is also available with a full album download. It would be my pleasure to share this with your readers and is the best way to answer this question. Enjoy!
John: I read Thirty-One Nights had a release date of September 11, 2012. Was there any significance of releasing Thirty-One Nights on 9/11, a date now recognized as the American Federal Holiday – Patriot Day?
Nicholas Gunn: No, not at all. Here is the thing; September 11th is a recognized national street date with most major music distributors. This street date has long been in place before the unfortunate events of 9/11. I decided to sign with label Spring Hill Media, distributed by Allegro Media and their system adheres to these dates. I try not to make any political or religious references in my music and this date did not influence me in any way. A broad stroke approach to creating provocative, moving, and inspirational music is my only goal.
John: You have a great number of National Park records, which began under Real Music Record Label. The Music of the Grand Canyon, Beyond Grand Canyon, Through the Great Smoky Mountains, Journey to Yellowstone, plus there are others. How and why did you become involved with the production of National Parks releases?
Nicholas Gunn: Shortly after The Sacred Fire was released (1994) Real Music approached me about a series of recordings they were developing called The National Park Series. I believe they already had one in the bag and it had sold well in its early stages focusing on park stores and alternative retail such Natural Wonders and Nature Company. The idea fit perfectly into the current trend and retail base. My albums initially were inspired by natural surroundings so it was a perfect fit. It was a huge success and continues to be a great catalog album. Naturally, I continued to release additional National Park albums based on request as well as desire to sustain sales and awareness for our National Parks.
John: Every one of your National Park albums is like a colorful canvas. Each has their own merits, but how would you best describe the sound qualities of your National Park releases?
Nicholas Gunn: Cinematic is the word that always comes to mind for me. Cinematic music to me is like a soundtrack to be played against experiencing these natural wonders. Over and over again, I have received letters and emails from folks saying “we drove to the South Rim listening to The Music of the Grand Canyon” or “hiked the Appalachian Trail listening to Through the Great Smoky Mountains.”
Like Thirty-One Nights these albums were inspired, in essence, by travel and geographic location. The only difference being that my artist persona somewhat hid behind the National Park theme.
John: In the late 1990’s you founded the Anagram Records Label, and earlier you founded Gemini Sun Records, a label with numerous award-winning artist, many of whom were artists like yourself who made the Top Ten Billboard Charts. Who are some of the artists on the Gemini Sun Record Label under your direction?
Nicholas Gunn: Anagram existed for only around a year or so when I was previously married and it had two other license deals, one with Mars Lasar and one with Loren Gold as well as Cheryl Gunn’s titles and a few of mine as well. When I was divorced, Anagram dissolved and I started Gemini Sun Records. Gemini Sun Records also closed for business in 2009. Both were started as a way to represent artists in the genre of New Age/World Music that was steadily shrinking.
Labels such as Higher Octave, Windham Hill, and Narada were closing or being sold off to the majors as their assets in masters and publishing were the only thing left, sales were dwindling fast! The days of supporting retail such as Natural Wonders and Nature Company were now gone and artists coming off of these closing labels needed a home. Gemini Sun became that home for a select few; David Arkenstone, 2002, Mars Lasar, Medwyn Goodall, through MG Music, Loren Gold, and myself were just a few of the artists it represented!
John: Would you like to tell us some of the highlights and other aspects, including the drawbacks of owning your own record label?
Nicholas Gunn: In my opinion, it’s a trap in many ways and little positive to talk about. It’s a thankless job that few take on to the degree I did as an artist owned label. I took it on to increase my profitability per sale, to make a difference in a market segment, and to represent great music and artists allowing them to own their own property (masters and publishing). Most artists block the desire to want to know or deal with national distribution, marketing, and promotion – and for good reason! It’s as stressful as hell!
The intricacies of managing the small margins associated with indie national distribution, marketing, and promotion of a niche label within a declining industry, within a declining economy is nothing short of a nightmare! Distributors are set up to protect their bottom line, at all costs! By cross collateralizing all returns, marketing, and promotion against all sales, the music business on this level is nothing more than a consignment business at massive risk to the label. If you couple that with major retailers who fail to comply with retail campaigns but then charge for the advertising they failed to comply with, it’s a fundamentally flawed system that produced the music industry we see and experience today.
John: The entire music industry as a whole has greatly changed over the years since you began producing music. What are some observations you have made over the years, and in what way has the music industry changed, for better or worse?
Nicholas Gunn: It’s still finding its way, but for the better! Like any business, it’s all about supply and demand and there is little demand for music sales as it used to exist. Music sales are not the future that I am relatively sure of! The use of music continues to be high, but through streaming, illegal downloading and sharing, and second hand online sales from the massive returns and recycling of the music industry as a whole. It’s all spread very thin at little profit to anyone, including the labels. I think there are a few models to watch, one of which would be the Electronic Dance Music market (EDM).
This is a model that has been born in the new distribution and profiteering age of music. Here is a platform with which DJ’s are now producing their own content in the studio and performing through the DJ method at low cost and extremely high output. The concept of sales has never been a priority and sharing/remixing within the community is embraced as a way to popularize the genre and its originating artist. The revenues are in packing 100,000 fans into a venue with the requirement the DJ/Producer simply show up with their gear over their shoulder! It’s brilliant!
The top ten DJ/Producers last year collectively made 127 million dollars and stand atop the industry money making leaders. Now, I am not talking about wedding DJ’s, I am talking about talented DJ/Producers – there’s a big difference! Secondly, and this is important I believe, we need to realize that music, especially in recorded form, is now highly dispensable and transferable. A great song, performance, and recording is still just that, great! It will always be consumed, but the real question becomes what will be the support mechanism that will allow for the creation and performance of this content?
Successful artists have a somewhat self-sustaining system, however how does a new unsigned artist become self-sustaining? I believe we are reverting back to the times when art was supported by benefactors and leaders within both business and government. Companies need art to further define and align their products within the marketplace, and leaders of countries will continue to require education and culture in arts to further the human race. It’s now about selling your talent to a group that needs your involvement to further its own cause, that’s how I see it.
John: Can you foresee any trends developing that may influence your work and perhaps the work of other artists as a whole?
Nicholas Gunn: Quite frankly, this is my last album in the genre for the foreseeable future. I have a great passion for all music and the music business itself and I find the trend of developing more instrumental music within the current instrumental market place quite frustrating and stifling. There really are no venues that support the live performance of this genre and sales are at an all-time low. It’s a testament to my love of the genre that has produced Thirty-One Nights. I wanted to have an album I personally could be really proud of as my departure album.
On the side over the years I have produced my fair share of EDM as it does tend to border on instrumental at times. I have partnered with artist/vocalist Carmen Rainier and we have a project in the works titled (We Are) Nexus. It’s refreshing and invigorating to be a part of a larger and emerging music community that fully embraces the future of the music business. I am a musician and producer first and foremost and I got into this business for my work to be heard. This is the next chapter of my musical career.
John: I heard Thirty-One Nights is on the upcoming nomination ballot for Best New Age Album in the 55th GRAMMY® Awards on Feb. 10, 2013.You will know if nominated on December 5, 2012 isn’t that right, and is there any manner in which Nicholas Gunn fans can support your nomination for a possible music award?
Nicholas Gunn: Actually, it is on the ballot for Best World Music Album which I believe is more appropriate for the album itself. Yes, December 5th is when I will know if Thirty-One Nights receives a nomination. The award is really a peer recognition process of which fans have little part in unless they are a voting member of the academy. All I can say is that after 14 albums, two million sales, and 55 consecutive weeks on the Billboard chart it would be nice to be recognized by my peers; however it will not change the way I go about developing the next chapter of my musical career.
John: Naturally a GRAMMY® Award would put you in the spotlight as an artist, but aside from your own talents as a musician, what external factors have been the greatest influences to your success?
Nicholas Gunn: I would say it’s in taking the risk of wearing all these hats over the years as an artist, writer, producer, engineer, label owner. They all make up for my experience in the business and how I now see the business. Granted, closing my label was an awful experience but liberating and defining all at the same moment. Every passionate path is littered with debris of some sorts and it’s having those experiences that have given me a greater understanding of what I want and what I don’t want. I believe my most successful days lie ahead of me because of this.
John: During your career you have contributed money to the National Park organization, American Lung Association, plus you are on the board of directors for the Children’s Creative Project (CCP), in Santa Barbara, California. Clearly the arts and music education for children and other charitable organizations are important to you. Would you like to tell us about your Philanthropy work, and why it is important to you on a personal level?
Nicholas Gunn: Arts and education for children is paramount. I am a result of parents and a system that exposed me to a finer education in art and music. As a society, we tend to embrace mediocrity as a way to shy away from having to learn more about something, it’s an innate human trait. I sit on the board for the Children’s Creative Project because it grants much needed funding for events that expose children to fine art. It’s simply a matter of proper exposure. We become mediocre when we get older, but we are not that way as children. We learn what we are taught and we soak it all up, no matter which way it comes at us early in life. Real Music initiated the donation to The Grand Canyon Association from sales of The Music of the Grand Canyon.
It was and still is a wonderful cause as the money promotes education and awareness of preservation to both children and adults. This trend carried forth for me through realizing it’s important to give back in this manner. Money is cyclical. You have to give as much as you receive.
John: I would love to release some Nicholas Gunn news about a new project or a concert tour in the planning stages. Is there any additional news you would like to officially announce today?
Nicholas Gunn: I am sorry to say I think the biggest news might be found in my departure from the genre for the foreseeable future. But on a positive note, I have much to give and much to share, only within a different genre. I recently launched a new current events news page at NicholasGunn.com/News. I recommend everyone visit to see what’s new there!
John: Nicholas you are a legendary instrumental artist, regardless of genre or classification, and that my friend will never change! Needless to say I trust we will have a chance to interview again in the future. In closing for now, I want to thank you again for giving everyone this opportunity to find out the latest news about you, and your newest project with Dana Kemmerle and Chris Fossek. Is there anything you would like to say before we close, or express to the fans that have supported you over the course of your career?
Nicholas Gunn: I do want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, the valued fans that have supported me over the years. For passionate people such as you John that still see the value and potential in this beautiful genre of music. There are so many people really, over the years, that have helped me realize my goals, and of course I thank them all. I am eternally grateful.
For more information visit NicholasGunn.com. Sample or purchase albums and songs at the Nicholas Gunn music shop. Find details like the making of Thirty-One Nights, info about Dana and Chris, and visit Nicholas at social sites like Facebook. You can also find albums at major online music stores, including the artist page for Nicholas Gunn at Amazon.com. Interview photos are courtesy nicholasgunn.com & Big Stock Photo – Ardith.
Pre-release Review: The Fire in the Flint by John Adorney & Daya.
Instrumental new age recording artist John Adorney has a sensational new follow-up to his most recent releases John Adorney & Daya – Live! In Concert, River of Breath & The Fountain, all of which are quality releases.
John Adorney’s earliest albums like Trees of Gold, Waiting for the Moon, The Other Shore & Beckoning are similarly top shelf recordings from the award-winning artist who consistently delivers an exciting blend of modern acoustic instrumental and electronic song melodies with pronounced rhythm, grace and style.
The Fire in the Flint is a 10 song collection of John Adorney’s best songs for 2012. For over 25 years, John Adorney has been capturing the hearts and minds of people with his inspiring music, young and old alike. After listening to his newest album The Fire in The Flint, I am happy to say upfront this year is no exception, and clearly everyone will love John Adorney’s new instrumental and vocal album.
The Fire in the Flint has everything you would hope to find in an instrumental with vocals release, but there is something more if you look a little closer. While the music of John Adorney is most often associated in the style of contemporary new age instrumental and world music, the 10 songs on The Fire in the Flint incorporate a broader variation in his eloquent style that appeals to a wider variety of people.
This universal theme quality has always been present, but The Fire in the Flint, is articulated to the fullest which should increase likeability of his newest arrangement to an even broader audience.
If you are an admirer of John Adorney’s earlier albums, you too will say The Fire in the Flint is a wonderful collection of his best songs to date. The eloquent vocals by Daya and cultural African vocals provided by Marcel Adjibi are brilliantly intertwined with a full acoustic ensemble of instrumental professionals.
The Fire in the Flint is an inspiring blend of vocal harmony paired with contemporary instrumentals and upbeat world rhythms that embrace a popular music theme sure to be loved by everyone.
John Adorney performs acoustic and electric guitars, keyboards, dulcimer, cello and banjo, while Daya lends her vocal talents on 4 of the 10 songs. Additional artists are Marcel Adjibi (vocals), Richard Hardy (alto and bamboo flutes), Adam Adorney (strum stick and handclaps), Nathan Adorney (violin, mandolin and handclaps), Abby Adorney and Deborah Press (handclaps) and Luise Kallenberg (bells).
The 10 songs on The Fire in the Flint are; 1. TheEndless Rain – featuring Daya, 2. The Fire in the Flint, 3. Aliho Houn/The Path is Open – featuring Marcel Adjibi, 4. A Beggar’s Fortune, 5. The Heart Cloth – featuring Daya, 6. Sailing by Starlight – featuring Daya, 7. A Moment Noticed – featuring Richard Hardy, 8. Always Remembering You – featuring Daya, 9. Admiration (2012 mix), 10. Dawn.
The Fire in the Flint will be an official release at major music stores November 13, 2012, but you may sample and purchase now exclusively at JohnAdorney.com and Eversound.com. Cover artwork and band photos are courtesy johnadorney.com.
Concert Review: John Adorney and Daya Live! in Concert DVD & CD.
For the first time in over 25 years the heartfelt music of John Adorney and eloquent vocals by Daya is now available on DVD. It was during a live concert in Thousand Oaks, California that a professional recording of their concert performance together is presently being offered on CD or DVD format.
For fans of John Adorney and feature vocalist Daya who had the opportunity to attend this special concert event, it was the first time to hear their favorite hit songs performed live, during an exciting evening presentation given in a close, personal setting. I would imagine most fans of John Adorney and Daya have the CD or Concert DVD by now, but for anyone wanting a short concert review of the event, I can say the relaxed intimate setting added to the evening’s stage performance of the best songs by instrumental composer John Adorney.
The complete song list on the John Adorney & Daya – Live! in Concert CD and DVD are Find the Miracle, Neverending, Comme Le Vent, Waiting for the Moon, Always Remembering You/The Other Shore, As My Heart Desires, Drifting, River of Breath, Yilowe, Even in Your Darkest Hour, The Gathering & Every Moment. The recording is nearly an hour and a half in duration. DVD chapters include the Concert, Song Selection, Behind the Music Chapter and Slideshow.
The artists performing with John Adorney and Daya include guest artist Marcel Adjibi, Victor Bisetti (Los Lobos) drums, Eduardo Del Signore (Dionne Warwick) bass, Ricardo Hambra percussion, Richard Hardy (Dave Matthews Band) flute, Mike Fortunato trumpet, Stuart Hoffman keyboards, Fuzzbee Morse (Frank Zappa) guitar, keyboards and flute, Cara Tower guitar, vocals, plus Lauren Evers, Sandra Provencio and Helen Waters performing vocals.
Sample or purchase John Adorney & Daya – Live in Concert at JohnAdorney.com and Eversound.com Record Label. While you are visiting Eversound find John Adorney’s new album The Fire in the Flint and the best new music by quality artists, including The 15th Anniversary Concert album – The Artists of EverSound Live 11. Photos are courtesy eversound.com.
Michael Cretu – Making Enigma MMX The Social Song.
The fan friendly musical project Enigma is well known for offering fans trendsetting new projects. The Social Song is but one example of the total Enigma experience. The Top 10 Player is a new feature for fans to share the masterful projects by Enigma founder Michael Cretu.
Enigma’s Top Ten Player is another new interactive way to enhance the overall experience by enabling visitors to rate their favorite Enigma songs and videos, which results in a Top 10 Audio and Top 10 Video hit list selection for visitors to listen or watch full length streams.
Enigma MMX (The Social Song) designed by founder Michael Cretu was a unique way to generate new excitement by allowing fans to participate during the entire collaboration process over a 3 month period. The Top 10 Player is another fan friendly new project.
While the worldwide media event for Enigma MMX (The Social Song) is now a reality, visitors can now sign up for free membership to Enigma’s Top 10 Player that gives members exclusive access to a full length, top hit list of songs, videos and more.
Visit EnigmaSpace.com for the latest news, new music and to watch the official YouTube video of Enigma’s MMX The Social Song. Shown below is an official YouTube video around 30 minutes long with Michael Cretu, during which he and others describe Making of Enigma MMX (The Social Song).
Sarah Brightman News – Dreamchaser World Concert Tour, Dreamchaser Album & Upcoming Spaceflight to ISS in 2013 Announced.
When describing the life and career of international celebrity Sarah Brightman, one can describe her amazing career of singer, actress, songwriter and dancer as an out of this world superstar in every respect. We now have another reason to place Sarah Brightman in the star celebrity category. Already an interstellar idol for many persons, she is about to embark on the intrepid journey of a lifetime.
Days ago on October 10, 2012 Sarah Brightman released a press announcement about her upcoming spaceflight to the International Space Station (ISS) for a 10 day interstellar excursion. After having passed evaluation tests she is now approved by the ISS to begin training for her Russian Space Federation flight aboard a Soyuz Space Rocket.
The exact spaceflight schedule date after her aeronautical training is completed will be determined by the International Space Station team partners at a forthcoming date. During the news statement video Sarah Brightman told of her current flight status, and also gave details about her newest album entitled Dreamchaser, which has a release date of April 16, 2013.
Concert information for the Sarah Brightman World Concert Tour in 2013 was also provided during the live news conference. Her 2013 World Tour, with over 100 concert dates originates in the North American continent on September 13, 2013 in the Canadian province of Hamilton, Ontario, covering 5 continents with concert tickets and VIP packages taking place.
During the course of her professional career, Sarah Brightman has acquired 180 Gold and Platinum awards in over 40 countries worldwide, and reached over 30 million in album sales.
Already a brilliant star in every sense by the accomplishment of many firsts during her career, her ambitious intercontinental World Concert Tour in 2013, and upcoming travel destination of the International Space Station will give new meaning to the expression superstar!
Visit the new SarahBrightman.com website for more news and for World Concert Tour 2013 ticket information. Below is the official YouTube video of the live news broadcast she provided in Moscow, Russia. Space Shuttle photo courtesy NASA – Big Stock Photo Rkasprzak.
Sarah Brightman News – Dreamchaser Album Release in 2013 and Spaceflight to the International Space Station aboard Soyuz Rocket.
For international music celebrity Sarah Brightman the year 2013 will surely be one of the most memorable years of her esteemed career of professional vocalist, actress, songwriter and dancer. With 2013 arriving before long, look for her next starring role as a space cosmonaut included in her incredible list of lifetime achievements.
In a live news broadcast Sarah Brightman provided details of her upcoming flight to the International Space Station in 2013 during a press release in Moscow, Russia. There will be more about this special announcement soon, but I can tell you Sarah Brightman will begin cosmonaut training, after getting word she passed preliminary evaluation tests. You may watch the official news release at her newly designed website where she describes this extraordinary aerospace voyage as a dream come true.
Dreamchaser is the new album by classical crossover superstar Sarah Brightman, set to be released on April 16, 2013. The first song titled Angel and second song One Day Like This are two exclusive song singles you can sample from her highly anticipated new album.
The entire list and title of all songs is not given at this time from what I can tell, but first song Angel is as exquisitely performed as you might expect. The first single song Angel is a sensational melody that is wholeheartedly captivating by the contemporary vocal and lyrical propensity for which Sarah Brightman is famous.
Sarah Brightman’s new album Dreamchaser is surely destined to be one of the hottest new releases in 2013! With 180 Gold and Platinum awards in over 40 countries worldwide, including her #1 Chart topping hit in the UK titled I Lost My Heart to a Starship Trooper, Dreamchaser could be her newest album to rocket into the stratosphere!
Discover the new SarahBrightman.com website to download the first song titled Angel and share your thoughts on the news in the fan community forum upon membership. After you sign up, fans may also access exclusive news, photos, videos and new music samples. Below is the official music video for first song Angel, from her upcoming 2013 album Dreamchaser. Space Shuttle photo courtesy NASA – Big Stock Photo Rkasprzak.
Pre-release Album Review: Believe – A Spiritual Romance by music group 2002 – The 20th year Anniversary Collection.
The year was 1992 when husband and wife team, Randy and Pamela Copus of 2002, began their music careers with the belief they each possessed the talent it takes to become a successful music group. As anyone can imagine the long and winding road to prosperity has not been an easy road to travel as artists, but as others have said before – dreams do come true and success can be yours if you work hard, have faith, and believe in yourself.
Fast-forward twenty years into the future. Winning the admiration of many people along their journey, the year 2012 marks a 20th year anniversary for the award-winning group 2002. Today I can tell you as an instrumental music group, Randy and Pamela Copus have realized their dream by attaining a level of success they first envisioned for themselves 20 years ago.
It’s a great achievement which eludes the majority of artists I write about in the music business. For Randy, Pamela and newest band member and daughter Sarah Copus, their story continues to be an inspiration to those who know them best, including friends and fans of all nationalities.
Believe is the 14th album by Pamela and Randy Copus after releasing their first album as the music duo 2002 in 1992. Associated most often as top artists in the new age music category, the 10 contemporary instrumental songs on Believe is a progressive advancement from earlier releases by a majority of songs containing a variety of rock influences with flowing vocals and lyrical verses you will find inspiring.
Everyone will have their favorite songs on this release, and the great news is you will find many new favorites. Rarely do I hear so many exceptional songs on a single album, and as expected, their relentless attention to quality is present in every detail.
This more progressive style, merged with 2002’s signature sound, was actually a natural advancement for them since Pamela and Randy both began their professional careers playing and singing in bands. With 9 earlier albums making the Billboard Charts for a total of 270 weeks, their new release Believe could position 2002 in Billboard’s Top 10 New Age Chart again. It’s that good!
In the official 2002 newsletter they advised Believe is a departure from earlier releases since 6 songs contain vocals – like earlier songs Free to Fly, Moment of Love, Sarah’s Rainbow, Deep Still Blue & Remember Now. I remember thinking at the time it was a nice gesture to prepare fans about the vocals in an effort to prevent disappointing anyone, but in all honesty, after sampling Believe I now find it hard to imagine anyone not liking this album.
As one of the first to sample the album and write a review for Believe I am happy to report and say with confidence I anticipate that everyone will reach the same conclusion I have – Believe is a hot new release destined to be the best album ever by 2002! As for the artists Randy, Pamela and Sarah, today I am pleased to say their dream is alive and well.
The 10 songs are Believe, A Dream Creation, Chain of Life, We Meet Again, Dreams of Peace, A Change of Season, Ready To Fly, Yeshua, Oasis, Hold the Sky. Sample all songs from Believe at the 2002Music.com sample page.
Visit 2002Music.com and pre-order Believe at the 2002 store at Amazon.com and purchase mp3 digital songs at Amazon and iTunes October 16, 2012. Cover artwork by Taine LeCesne & photos are courtesy 2002music.com.
Thirty-One Nights by Nicholas Gunn in Billboard’s Top 10 Chart.
The newest album by Nicholas Gunn has apparently been a popular new hit album at Billboard for the week of September 29, 2012.This week Nicholas Gunn’s new instrumental album titled Thirty-One Nights, made its debut at #8 in the Top 10 New Age Charts at Billboard.
Thirty-One Nights is the 14th album by Nicholas Gunn after an interval of 5 years. On this newest release he, Dana Kemmerle and Chris Fossek communicate the splendor of the natural world and beauty of its environment. Earlier this week in my album review, I spoke of the uncompromising instrumental qualities, intensity and passion in which flutist Nicholas Gunn and team dedicated to this release.
For the acclaimed flutist Nicholas Gunn, making the Billboard Top 10 Charts is more the rule and not the exception, having spent a total of 55 consecutive weeks overall on the Billboard New Age Charts.
With over two million in album sales, Nicholas Gunn has consistently shown he is a dominate force at producing beautiful instrumental music. Congratulations go to flutist Nicholas Gunn, vocalist Dana Kemmerle and guitarist Chris Fossek.
Sample and purchase Thirty-One Nights at NicholasGunn.com.