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NewAgeMusicWorld.Com & NewAgeMusic.nu have interviewed Colin O’Donohoe about his past and current music projects. Here you’ll also get exclusive information about his upcoming album Lyrical Sutras. If you are not very familiar with Colin O’Donohoe or the Pangean Orchestra, at the bottom for a short presentation of his work.

Colin O’Donohoe uses a fusion of world music influences in his music. This inspiration transpired after reading a Chinese book of poetry titled Shi Jing. Another reason for his World music influences could be his position as Artistic Director of the Pangean Orchestra, or other held positions as director of the New Moon Orchestra, and Phoenix Chinese Orchestra.

Colin O’Dononoe’s Songs of the Saints release has genres ranging from international, world, jazz, easy listening, light rock, and slight touches of rap and hip hop. There is even a lighter jazz title track version of the song Amazing Grace. This interview was conducted by John P. Olsen, who earlier this year wrote an album review of Colin O’Donohoe’s World music influenced Songs of the Saints release.

Interview with Colin O’Donohoe;

John P. Olsen:  Your current project is the Pangea Ensemble which includes international artists and their musical influences from around the world. Can you tell us a little about the musicians in the Pangea Ensemble, like where they live, and what ethnic instruments will be used?

Colin O’Donohoe:  We strive to reconnect people from around the planet with our undeniable universal language of music. Our musicians are as diverse as the planet itself and they come from most of our five continents. They all live in or near Phoenix. The best way for people to know more about the group is to visit the site, it says far more than I can.

John:  On New Age Stars radio we regularly play tracks from The Songs of the Saints album, and I have noticed most song titles describe through song lyrics, stories about historic saints, and have wondered where or how the idea for songs about saints originated?

Colin O’Donohoe:  First, Thank you very much! I’m really glad that you play my music, you obviously have incredibly great taste! The origins have been swirling in my mind for many years. In 2006 I began seriously digging into the keyboard to create some ideas for the music. I started doing some loose sketches of song and lyric ideas. I began reading much more about the saints. I wanted to do my utmost to deliver a unique look into the lives and stories of these saints.

The result obviously became a collection of songs that are united in theme of content but not in musical style. As I concentrated on each saint I began writing in several different styles. My priority was to make the music reflect the saint and not make each piece dependent on the last.

John:  Your music is diverse by many intertwined genres. How did you conceived such a broad range of musical influences, and where do you first get your inspiration for such a broad expression in your music?

Colin O’Donohoe:  I have an insatiable curiosity, and I love music! I love performing and learning as many new styles of music as possible. Over the past 18 years I’ve sought out masters in various genres to help me better understand many styles of music. In addition to this I love reading.

I guess that this combination of things lead to my imagination creating different worlds for different saints. To create the music I would read about the saints and then just jam on a keyboard for a little while. This process took several months.

After I felt comfortable with the material I decided to get serious and really do my best to construct the songs.  I also like to keep myself excited by doing several different things. So, while writing a classical piece I might shift to the turn table and see what to add to a completely different song. It kept it all fresh in my mind.

John:  Can you tell us more about the Chinese book of poetry Shi Jing and how that translates into musical inspiration?

Colin O’Donohoe:  I’ve always been fascinated with ancient philosophy from around the world. When I saw the Shi Jing mentioned in The Analects by Confucius I knew I had to read it. It is a collection of poems or odes which were songs at one point. I couldn’t find any music written down so I thought I do my best to add music to the poetry. I think the thing that absolutely struck me the most about that book Shi Jing is how timeless the poems are. It made me truly feel that people regardless of time or ethnicity are very similar.

John:  The big question everyone wants to know is the time frame of when your next album release is expected to be available for purchase and will the album be as diverse and be theme oriented material in relation to Songs of the Saints?

Colin O’Donohoe:  Why thank you for asking! You can read it here first! My next album Lyrical Sutra‘s official release date is scheduled for 6/1/2009. As for the material. It is my first time delving into the world of electronic music whole heartedly. The songs are broken into three sections:

I. Meditation- Heart Sutra, Diamond Sutra, Eight Fold Noble Path Sutra, Enlightenment Sutra.

II. Prayer – Lotus Sutra, Pure land Sutra, Taking Refuge, Amitabha Sutra.

III. Awaken – A Boddhisatva’s Vows, Triple Gem Sutra, The Sutra in 42 Sections, Golden Light Sutra.

IV. Meditation: four mid tempo pieces. Prayer: four slower new age style pieces. Awaken: four up-tempo dance style pieces.

The idea of the album is to relax you, allow you to become at peace, and then reinvigorate you and get you feeling better than when you first began to listen to it. The idea of the album comes from a few of the many Buddhist Sutra’s which are the teachings of the Buddha.

John:  I thank you for your time Colin. Is there anything you wish to tell our readers concerning your commitment to bring people of the world closer together through music ?

Colin:  I just want to thank you again for the pleasure of the interview process. I hope that your audience loves my work and will be eager to listen to Lyrical Sutras in June.

Here is a list of Colin O’Dononoe’s past and current positions related to orchestral music:

2008-present: Artistic Director for Pangean Orchestra in Phoenix AZ.
2006-present: Professional recording artist.
2008: Published Author of Odd Meters for Drum Set.
2004-2006: Executive/Artistic Director for New Moon Orchestra.
2003-2004: Percussionist with the Phoenix Chinese Orchestra.
2000-2003: Music Teacher.
1996-2004: Free lance jazz drummer in Phoenix Arizona.

Websites: Donohoemusic.com. Colin says: My personal website which features my albums and book. It will also feature my new album when it comes out this June “Lyrical Sutra’s” (you’re the first to print this, it is a New Age Music exclusive)  Pangeanorchestra.com. Colin says: My new orchestra. It is the first of its kind that I know of where it combines instruments from around the world. Photos are courtesy Colin O’Donohoe & Pangean Orchestra.

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