With the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, so begins the opportunity to purchase the official music for the athletic games. The 18 songs total is now available as a complete digital album or as individual digital song downloads.
Enlightenment – Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games is the title given to the 18 songs total by Various Artists. Celebrating the spirit of the Olympic Games, the 18 songs on Enlightenment and accompanying digital booklet were made available for sample or purchase at iTunes on August 30, 2012 thru Decca Records.
You will find the official soundtrack is mainly songs by the London Symphony Orchestra, with British physicist and author Stephen Hawking starting the album by narration on the song Prologue. In addition to the songs by the London Symphony Orchestra, there are single songs by Barts Choir, The London C, Orbital & Graeae Theatre, Beverley Knight, and Rihanna.
Paralympic officials for now are keeping the Closing Ceremony Songs playlist for 2012 a secret, but there is the likelihood that celebrity superstars Coldplay and Rihanna will be among the artists performing during the Olympic Closing Ceremony. Sample or purchase the official Paralympic album Enlightenment – Music for the Opening Ceremony at iTunes.
Official Paralympic Music – Artists and Songs:
1. London Symphony Orchestra and David Charles Abell – Song: Prologue
2. London Symphony Orchestra and David Charles Abell – Song: Jasmine’s Theme
3. Barts Choir, The London Chorus, Hackney Singers, London Gay Men’s Chorus, Lewisham Choral Society, Hackney Empire Community Choir, London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Principia
4. London Symphony Orchestra, David Charles Abell & Denise Leigh – Song: Spirit in Motion
5. London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Declaration of the Games
6. London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Hymne a l’avenir
7. London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Brave New World
8. London Symphony Orchestra, David Charles Abell & Elin Manahan Thomas – Song: Eternal Source of Light Divine (featuring Phil Cobb)
9. London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Navigation
10. London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Storm.
11. London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Gravity
12. London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Masque
13. Orbital & Graeae Theatre Company – Song: Where Is It Going? (Paralympics Mix/Spasticus Autisticus)
14 London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Glass
15. London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: Entry of the Flame
16. Beverley Knight – Song: I Am What I Am
17. Barts Choir, The London Chorus, Hackney Singers, London Gay Men’s Chorus, Lewisham Choral Society, Hackney Empire Community Choir, London Symphony Orchestra & David Charles Abell – Song: National Anthem
18. Rihanna – Song: Umbrella (featuring Jay-Z) (Seamus Haji & Paul Emanuel Radio Edit)
With the Closing London 2012 Olympic Ceremony a memory at this point, the official start for the London 2012 Paralympic Opening Ceremony for the athletic games took center stage during the live celebration event held at the Olympic Stadium on August 29, 2012.
Enlightenment – Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games is the title given to the 18 songs total by Various Artists. Celebrating the spirit of the Olympic Games, the 18 songs on Enlightenment were made available at iTunes on August 30, 2012 thru Decca Records.
The 18 songs total are available as a complete album or individuals downloads. The official soundtrack is primarily numbers by the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO). Stephen Hawking starts the album by narration on the song Prologue, with additional single songs by Barts Choir, The London C, Orbital & Graeae Theatre, Beverley Knight, and Rihanna. There is also a Digital Booklet available for purchase at iTunes.
Speculation has already begun for the Closing Ceremony for the London 2012 Paralympic Games. At this point, the chart topping mega artists Coldplay and Rihanna are expected to be the among the artists during the Olympic Closing Ceremony. To sample or purchase the official album visit iTunes to buy Enlightenment – Music for the Opening Ceremony.
New Music Review: Americana Album Badlands by Award-winning Guitarist, and Cheshire Studios Record Producer Eric Tingstad.
GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist and producer Eric Tingstad, renowned for his expertise as a songwriting guitarist in a variety of genres, strides into new territories on a vibrant follow-up to his GRAMMY® nominated album Southwest.
Eric Tingstad’s newest release Badlands is Americana album said to honor the traditions of American roots and Western culture. With that byline description I couldn’t agree more. I have to admit the 12 songs on Badlands is not what I first expected, but on the other hand, I knew Eric Tingstad is an established, well-known artist who has produced many fine albums in a variety of genres. Tingstad’s diverse range of music influences include Americana, alternative country, ambient, blues, jazz, rock and of course, new age music.
With this far ranging diversity of influences, and Eric Tingstad’s reputation as an artist led to the prospect of something grand. It didn’t take long before I found the direction he would choose, and distance he was prepared to travel on Badlands. Akin to his Southwest album, Badlands is a moving example of Americana music at its finest, beautiful in every vivid detail from start to finish.
One characteristic I heard right away was the cinematic latitude Badlands conveys to the listener. It’s an attribute where colorful illustrations paint a picture of the desert Southwest with vibrant transparency. It’s a moving portraiture of a bygone era, yet before you lay a stylish, modern day representation of contemporary Americana music. Most songs are ingrained with a casual and upbeat atmosphere, while several songs are shaded with light country and Native American influences.
Badlands is unique to most instrumental albums by the use of lap steel and pedal steel guitar implemented in unison with a variety of traditional instruments, performed by a group of talented artists. Among the group is co-artist and award-winning artist Nancy Rumbel, who has her own solo career and equally starring role with Eric as the GRAMMY® Award-winning duo Tingstad and Rumbel.
On Badlands you will discover a pronounced Southwestern style of Americana music, made more apparent by the pedal steel guitars and pairing of more traditional instrumentals of English horn, bass guitar, organ, violin and percussion. It can be said Eric Tingstad approached a fork in the road, and had a choice to make when producing Badlands. By all accounts taking a road less traveled by others has clearly turned out to be a winning choice.
Musicians performing on Badlands include Cindy Cashdollar (dobro, steel and lap steel guitars), Ben Smith (drums), Byron Metcalf (frame, bass and buffalo drums, clay pots, djembe and udu), Garey Shelton (bass), Terry Lauber (pedal steel guitar), Andrew Joslyn (violin), Eric Robert (organ), Nancy Rumbel (English horn, oboe and ocarina), Petra Stahl (voice), Narayan Baltzo (trumpet).
Visit the homepage of EricTingstad.com and sample or purchase Badlands at his music store or find his albums at major online retail stores including Amazon.com, CDBaby and iTunes. Photos are courtesy Frank Blau and erictingstad.com.
Badlands Song Sample: New Americana Album by Eric Tingstad.
Eric Tingstad is a GRAMMY® Award-winning guitarist and record producer with a new Americana album for 2012. Famous for his aptitude as a songwriting guitarist, Eric Tingstad is a record producer and artist capable of producing songs in a variety of genres like ambient, blues, country, folk, rock and new age music.
Badlands is Eric Tingstads new Americana album said to honor the traditions of American roots, music and Western culture. This is a characterization in close relation to the definition given by the Americana Music Association (AMA). Bandlands is a vibrant new follow-up to his nominated album titled Southwest.
Eric Tingstad’s new album is a deep rooted Southwestern style of Americana music, made more apparent by the pedal steel guitars union with more traditional instrumentals of English horn, bass guitar, organ, violin and percussion. There are a number of top recording artists joining Eric on his brand new album for 2012.
I have an interview with Eric Tingstad and album review of his Americana album soon. Here is an official song sample from Badlands called Jornado. Badlands is available as a CD album or buy individual mp3 downloads at EricTingstad.com.
New Age Album: Patterns of Reflection by Peter Sterling.
With beginning origins of the harp dating back to around 2500 B.C., some might believe the heavenly instrument of ancient times may have fallen out of favor in today’s modern instrumental music scene. Even by today’s standards the acoustic and electronic harp as a stringed solo and orchestral instrument is as popular as it ever was. The celestial harp, with strong religious ties throughout history is legendary for producing beautiful melodies with peaceful, uplifting harmony.
Peter Sterling is widely accepted as one of today’s best harpist in the new age music genre. For over 20 years Peter Sterling has immersed himself in attaining leading prominence as a top professional harpist, who also performs live tours in ensembles and as a premier harp soloist in the United States and countries overseas.
Founding his own Harp Magic Music recording label, Peter Sterling’s twelfth album Patterns of Reflections embraces harp and instrumental music with a pronounced celestial effect as earlier releases The Sands of Time, Harp Magic & Harp Dreams.
Releasing some of his best harp music to date, Patterns of Reflections is a beautiful instrumental album marketed like any other release, but harp music is also tied to a niche market since harp melodies are often used in weddings, memorial services, and other special occasions where relaxing music is requested and appreciated most.
Patterns of Reflection, composed and produced by Peter Sterling, is an expertly layered 16 song collection featuring a contemporary array of peaceful and uplifting harmonies by way of a celestial stringed instrument born centuries ago.
Performing on a contemporary electronic acoustic harp, Peter Sterling and a talented group of artists employ a modern day technique that portray harp and instrumental music with vision and above all, divine inspiration.
Visit HarpMagic.com and buy songs and albums at the Harp Magic music store. Photos are courtesy harpmagic.com.
World Music Album Review: Festa by Tribali.
If lively World music rhythms and ethnic percussion sound like a fine way to celebrate your day, look no farther than the newest music by international band Tribali from Malta. Placing a strong emphasis on cultural multiplicity in every project, the group Tribali intertwines traditional ethnic music of the Maltese islands, with festive World Music rhythms. It is by all accounts, an arrangement that gives one a reason to celebrate.
Tribali is one of the most famous groups of Malta, if not the most famous. Either way you look at it there is a good reason they are celebrated locally. Tribali is first of all, a major headlining band at live concerts and music festivals in the Republic of Malta. The nationwide Ghaxaq Music Festival, Ta Qali National Park, and Byron Bay Blues fest are several of their recent concert venues, in a country immersed in a rich history and significance regarding traditional Maltese band music.
Festa by Tribali is a new release for 2012. The Festa album, with 13 songs has a level of energy that is off the chart in terms of the lively atmosphere in which they cross blend influences ranging from world music, new age, folk, reggae, rock, and jazz. The variety of instruments is equally broad by incorporating didgeridoo, electric sitar, murchunga, guimbri, cahon, hang and tabla, with more traditional guitars, keyboards, vocals, violin, trumpet and percussion.
The international ethnic tradition of the group Tribali is a great way to revel any time, any place, and any day. There is even discussion in local Malta newspapers and among their fan base about the group Tribali representing Malta during the annual worldwide Eurovision Song Contest. With Tribali’s loyal fan support, and intense blend of lively World Fusion and traditional Maltase music, I am among those who believe Tribali’s festive music can indeed give the rest of the world a good reason to celebrate.
The Traveller By Tribali is another excellent new album due for release in 2012. Currently available in Malta, The Traveller will be available worldwide later this year in September 24, 2012. The Traveller is another exotic blend of 13 festive songs by Tribali you can sample right now prior to release at Amazon. Everyone will have their favorite song on the album naturally, but I really like the songs Rickshaw Ride & Yamasai.
Visit TribaliMusic.com and purchase Festa by Tribali at Amazon.com. The Tribali Concert video below displays the excitement Tribali generates during their live shows. Cover artwork courtesy Daniel & Reuben (Kuluri).
New Age music group 2002 has a new 2012 release unlike any of their previous albums. The newest project by Randy and Pamela Copus nearing release is titled Believe – A Spiritual Romance. I heard the news firsthand that Believe – A Spiritual Romance is comprised of the signature sound of 2002 music we know and love, yet there are also elements made popular by many of our favorite bands like Kansas, YES, Phil Collins, and Seal.
2002 is a prominent new age band celebrating 20 years of producing hit music. Over the years 2002 have had 9 albums making the Billboard Charts, even sharing the spotlight in a Billboard Magazine Year in Review issue with other top artists like Jim Brickman, Enya, Manheim Steamroller, George Winston and Yanni.
Believe – A Spiritual Romance, with 10 songs is near finalization, so I look to tell you more about the newest album by 2002 soon. Like their Damayanti album, Pamela and Randy’s daughter Sarah is participating on Believe. This newest release by 2002 holds a lot of promise by their blend of relaxing celestial music with popular hit music by legendary bands many of us grew up with ourselves.
Believe – A Spiritual Romance has every hallmark of becoming one of the best 2002 albums to date. The Dreams of Peace song video is one of ten songs with piano, orchestra, alto flute and soft vocals by Pamela, Randy and Sarah Copus. This is their first introduction of the elegant cover artwork for Believe, and I hope to have an exclusive, pre-release album review soon. For news and info visit Pamela, Randy and Sarah at 2002Music.com. Artwork courtesy 2002music.com.
A Symphony of British Music and Isles of Wonder – The Official Olympic Closing & Opening Ceremony Songs by the Artists available for online purchase at Amazon.co.uk and DeccaRecords.com.
With the London 2012 Olympic Games nearing its conclusion, anticipation is building for the Official Closing Ceremony Show and music, set to begin on Sunday evening August 12, 2012.
It stands to reason after the brilliant theatrics displayed during the Opening Olympic Ceremony from Danny Boyle, the upcoming Closing London Olympic Ceremony Show, produced by creative director and choreographer Kim Gavin is expected to be equally extravagant as the opening ceremony.
The Closing Olympic Ceremony for the London 2012 Games in part is said to include a spectacle of 4100 performers, a parade of 10,000 athletes and a victory ceremony with videos highlighting inspiring segments of the athletic games. Popular British artists and their songs from the past 50 years are going to set provide the theme music for the closing show. There is also going to be an official Olympic Flag handover to Rio De Janeiro, the city selected for the 2016 Olympic Games.
In regards to the official Olympic Closing Ceremony music, the lineup of artists and complete playlist of songs during the Olympic Closing Ceremony is known in part, but as organizers have previously stated, the final lineup of artists and songs can change. The London Organizing Committee of the Olympic Games (LOCOG) is of course keeping many aspects of the closing ceremony a secret so we can expect many surprises during the final hours of the London Olympics.
Like the official Opening Ceremony Music release Isles of Wonder, available on CD/mp3 Amazon, iTunes and Decca Records, music for the official Olympic Closing Ceremony Soundtrack with songs in digital format, can be sampled and purchased, but only in digital download format at DeccaRecords.com.
Isles of Wonder is a top selling compilation album, and having secured the #1 album on download charts in the UK, Belgium, France and Spain, reaching the #5 position as a top-selling album in the U.S.
A Symphony of British Music – Music For The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is the title given to the 30 digital songs to be made available at Decca Records right after the closing ceremony on August 12, 2012.
Music director David Arnold will host the music entertainment festivities anticipated to feature live stage performances by popular British acts like Annie Lennox, Elbow, Elton John, Emeli Sande, Kate Bush, Madness, George Michael, One Direction, Paul McCartney, Queen, Ray Davies, Rolling Stones, Spice Girls, Take That, The Clash, The Pet Shop Boys, The Who, plus a variety artists performing popular cover songs. During the evening of entertainment, songs by lesser known, up and coming artists will be placed in the spotlight too, while highlighting British music’s cultural influence on the world.
Songs performed by a variety of artists during the closing ceremony are expected to include Read All About It, Our House, West End Girls, What Makes You Beautiful, Waterloo Sunset, One Day Like This, Open Arms, Freedom, White Light, Little Bird, Should I Stay Or Should I Go, We Will Rock You, Rule The World, and many more. British superstar group The Who is likely to close the show which ends with a fireworks display from atop the Olympic Stadium.
A Symphony of British Music – Music For The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is again, a digital album only that will be released and made available at Decca Records right after the games end on August 12, 2012. A Symphony of British Music is currently available by pre-ordering at Amazon.co.uk.
The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) was selected to score the official Olympic Soundtracks for both the Opening and Closing Ceremonies for the London Olympics, and the equally exciting Paralympic Games that run August 29, 2012 – September 9, 2012.
A Symphony of British Music Soundtrack by a variety of artists is sure to be a popular item like the opening album Isles of Wonder available at Amazon.co.uk, iTunes, and Decca Records. You may also purchase A Symphony of British Music at DeccaRecords.com after the formal closing events on August 12, 2012.
Purchase A Symphony of British Music at Amazon.co.uk by pre-ordering, and you may purchase Isles of Wonder at iTunes, and purchase A Symphony of British Music at iTunes.com. Big Stock Photos – Pressmaster & Gary718.
A Symphony of British Music – Music for the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is now available for purchase pre-orders at Amazon.co.uk & Decca Records on August 12, 2012.
With the London 2012 Olympic Games nearing a conclusion, official music for the Olympic Closing Ceremony songs is just beginning. If you would like to sample or purchase the official London 2012 Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremony Songs you may do so at a number of online stores.
A Symphony of British Music – Music For The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is available for album pre-order purchase at Amazon.co.uk. Buy A Symphony of British Music at Decca Records on August 12, 2012.
The Opening Ceremony music Isles of Wonder became available at iTunes and Amazon on July 28, 2012. The 2 disc Olympic Opening Soundtrack of 36 songs by various artists, with digital booklet is available at iTunes and Amazon.com.
A Symphony of British Music – Music For The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is the long, but official title given to the Olympic Closing Soundtrack of 30 songs scheduled for release on August 20, 2012.
You may purchase the Closing Ceremony album titled A Symphony of British Music at DeccaRecords.com on August 12, 2012. You may now purchase the Opening Ceremony music Isles of Wonder at Amazon.co.uk.
It is expected to be a playlist of 30 songs by popular British acts like Annie Lennox, Elbow, Emeli Sande, Madness, George Michael, One Direction, Queen, Ray Davies, Take That, The Clash, The Pet Shop Boys, along with some new acts. Music group The Who is expected to perform the closing song.
Pre-order purchase A Symphony of British Music at Amazon.co.uk, which will be made available as mp3/digital downloads (only) on August 20, 2012. Purchase the London Closing Olympic songs at DeccaRecords.com, after August 12, 2012. Albums cover artwork courtesy amazon.co.uk.
Best New Albums from the London 2012 Olympic Games Composer Vangelis – The Collection & Chariots of Fire (The Play).
Vangelis fans will be pleased to know there are 2 albums of new music by Vangelis in 2012, and the possibly of another new movie soundtrack by the famous Olympic composer Vangelis. For the millions of fans who can’t get enough new music from the legendary musician, the year 2012 has already turned out to be an exciting year by the international publicity derived from the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Vangelis – The Collection is a 2 disc selection of 31 songs total. Many are the most popular songs recorded from earlier movie soundtrack scores. It can be said this collection is the best songs from the best Vangelis albums available.
Vangelis – The Collection has the best soundtrack songs from popular movie scores like 1492: Conquest of Paradise, Blade Runner, Alexander, and Academy Award-winning movie score Chariots of Fire, plus additional film scores.
There are 4 Jon & Vangelis songs when recorded with former YES vocalist and lyricist Jon Anderson too. The four Jon & Vangelis songs are So Long Ago, So Clear, I’ll Find My Way Home, State Of Independence & I Hear You Now. Another song favorite on this special 31 song collection album is Anthem – 2002 FIFA World Cup Official Anthem (Synthesizer Version).
Chariots of Fire (The Play) by Vangelis, is another new album brought into news publicity by the release days prior to the London 2012 Olympic Games. It is an exemplary release too, but I would say Vangelis – The Collection can be rightly called the ultimate selection of the greatest hit songs by Vangelis. Whether you call it instrumental music, electronic, orchestral, or new age music, Vangelis is a masterful film composer whose classic songs have endured throughout the years.
Vangelis fans and movie goers alike will also be pleased to know there is confirmation of a brand new sequel to the classic science fiction thriller movie Blade Runner. Thirty years after it first was released, the official Blade Runner Trilogy Soundtrack is still one of the best movie soundtracks ever produced by Vangelis. Now there is at least, an opening for another new Vangelis film score made specifically for the new Blade Runner movie sequel.
While a Warner Bros. based Alcon Entertainment press release confirmed they are indeed featuring the 1982 cult movie classic sequel, again with director Ridley Scott, there is at present no confirmation of who will be providing the movie score for the Blade Runner sequel. Another aspect to consider is that Vangelis may not agree to compose music for the sequel. However the possibility of another new Vangelis soundtrack has given fans another reason for enthusiasm in 2012 and 2013.
One thing certain to me and millions of Vangelis fans however. The original Blade Runner movie score by Vangelis is an integral part of the movie that in part, drove the Blade Runner motion picture to its present day cult-like status. There are many proponents who would agree that a Blade Runner movie sequel simply wouldn’t achieve the same phenomenal success without a new Vangelis Blade Runner soundtrack.
There are some people saying that even Vangelis himself, couldn’t compose a superior music score than the original soundtrack, but I tend to disagree. Only time will tell the answer to that question, and the primary question of whether there we will be rewarded with another new soundtrack by Vangelis in the year 2013, and the years ahead.
You can find Vangelis – The Collection at Amazon.com.uk and the London 2012 Olympics Games inspired newest Vangelis soundtrack Chariots of Fire (The Play) at Amazon.com. Both are available in digital audio CD or mp3 format at U.S. and UK Amazon stores.
Race To The End by Jon Anderson, with Christophe Lebled. Tribute Song to Olympic themed Chariots of Fire by Vangelis.
Even with the London 2012 Olympic Games moving full speed ahead, official Olympic music scores for the ceremonial events appear to have taken on a life of their own. First by the record breaking interest given to artists producing Olympic songs with official ties to the London Games, and secondly a number of equally exciting tribute albums and songs produced by various artists.
Original YES vocalist and lyricist Jon Anderson of the United States, and artist Christophe Lebled from France, have produced a wonderful Olympic tribute song of the famous Vangelis composition Chariots of Fire. Jon’s new mp3 single shown in the song video below is aptly titled Race To The End.
Jon Anderson as you may know has performed live concerts with Vangelis for years, and together they have produced a number of great singles and albums as the team (Jon & Vangelis). The albums Short Stories, The Friends of Mr. Cairo, Private Collection & Page of Life, are highly regarded classic albums. Two of the most popular Jon & Vangelis singles/songs with an inspiring theme are I’ll Find My Way Home & State of Independence.
Christophe Lebled has in turn has worked with Jon Anderson a number of times over the years, more recently providing instrumentals for Jon Anderson’s prized concept album Survival & Other Stories. Christophe Lebled is again working with Jon Anderson in 2012. Their newest project is the Olias of Sunhillow – Live in 2012 sequel titled Zamran. This newest project is a re-creation of Jon Anderson’s original Olias of Sunhillow, which was Anderson’s first solo album.
Race To The End by Jon Anderson, with Christophe Lebled is a brilliant new song revision on Vangelis’s original composition Chariots of Fire. You can sample the new Race To The End single yourself, but I thought the lyrics and vocals by Anderson, and the keyboard soundscapes by Lebled is a fine song version of Chariots of Fire, itself with an inspiring theme song of the Olympics Games.
Jon Anderson is due to perform in the UK during the Earth and Peace Concert at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London, England. Jon Anderson’s concert performance is going to be at Sadler’s Wells Theater in London on August 8, 2012.
People attending this special concert event at Sadler’s Wells Theater will hear Jon Anderson and the Slovakian Chamber Orchestra perform favorite song classics from YES, Jon & Vangelis songs, plus new songs specific to the Earth and Peace Concert, timed with the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Ticket information for the Sadler’s Wells Concert will be posted when available at JonAnderson.com. Currently the former front-man of YES is also scheduled to perform live concerts in Uruguay and Brazil this September.
Christophe Lebled himself has produced an entire album to compliment the orchestral works of Vangelis. The release from 2011 titled Tribute to Vangelis has 11 songs total, and is comprised of a variety of Vangelis soundtrack songs including Antarctica, The Bounty – Closing Theme, Pinta Nina Santa-Maria, Pulstar & Abraham’s Theme from Chariots of Fire.
Tribute to Vangelis by Christophe Lebled is an admirable tribute album to the Greek composer. In every respect, Christophe Lebled’s Tribute to Vangelis release is unequaled to any other interpretations I have ever heard to date.
While keeping within the same melody and intricate harmony structures of Vangelis compositions, the sound and atmosphere is uniquely his own, which makes a masterful re-creation to compliment the graceful soundscape of composer Vangelis. Christophe Lebled not only re-creates the sound of Vangelis, but rivals the composer in effect with some areas on this fine tribute release.
Jon Anderson and Christophe Lebled each have their own original albums to check out, in addition to their new tribute single for Vangelis’s Chariots of Fire. Below is the Race To The End song video. Check back for Anderson’s new album Zamran, featuring Christophe Lebled later in 2012.
Life of Vangelis – TV Interview with Chariots of Fire Composer.
If you are following the London 2012 Olympic Games, you may have noticed the song Chariots of Fire playing during the Official Olympic Torch Ceremonies, Opening Ceremonies, and during every Medal Award Ceremony. The electronic instrumental song, often referred to as a composition in the new age music category, is an epic melody with an inspiring theme.
If you have ever wanted to know more about an Official London 2012 Olympic music composer, this exclusive interview with Vangelis takes you deep inside the artistic process of creating brilliant music compositions like Chariots of Fire. The famous music score is not the main topic, but this particular interview is quite remarkable by the depth in which Vangelis opens his heart and mind about his work and lifetime achievements.
In the newest Interview with Vangelis on the Al Jazeera Satellite Television Network, interview host Tony Harris asks the questions about the role music plays in today’s modern society, his creative process as a composer and award-winning film scores, plus a conversation about his life’s work and legacy.
There is also a special segment of Vangelis music scores set to memorable images of top news events that have occurred during the past year. It’s easy to see why Chariots of Fire by Vangelis was the theme song selected for the Official London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies. It is after all, one of the most recognizable cinematic movie scores in the world.
Along with a top slot in the Official Olympic Ceremonies, Vangelis and his beloved Chariots of Fire, is the song played during (every award presentation) during the London Olympic Medal Awards Ceremonies. In addition, the London Philharmonic Orchestra has reproduced 5 new Chariots of Fire song remixes from the original Vangelis composition.
The new Vangelis album titled Chariots of Fire (On Stage) was recently released on July 23, 2012. The Olympic themed movie score is an original theatrical play soundtrack with 11 songs of new orchestral music by Vangelis, which was created for the theater stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire movie. The theatrical play adaptation timed with the London 2012 Olympics, recently premiered at the Hampstead Theatre in London, England.
The Al Jazeera interview is an exclusive new look into the life of Vangelis, being the latest television interview in the past 20 years with the esteemed composer. There is an array of segments showing his achievements, and the ways his music has been utilized internationally. This new interview is perhaps the most in-depth interview with the modern day cinematic composer.
The round of personalized interview questions given by Al Jazeera English Anchor Tony Harris was excellent news coverage. Mr. Harris did an outstanding job procuring a rare glimpse of Vangelis, and his inner perspective as composer.
This interview around 25 minutes in duration was uploaded on YouTube January 22, 2012 and is titled Talk to Al Jazeera: Vangelis: A Message of Hope. For more about Vangelis visit the best site dedicated to Vangelis at Elsew.com and find more on my section for Vangelis at New Age Music World. Sample or purchase Chariots of Fire (On Stage) at iTunes. Photo and cover art from YouTube & Amazon. Big Stock Photo by Adrian Grosu & Pkruger.
Interview with Mike Oldfield about the London Olympic Opening show.
With the London 2012 Olympics in full swing, the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is still a hot entertainment topic internationally. The evening show in London, made possible by the grand theatrical exploits provided by artistic director Danny Boyle, was impressive show to say the least!
With an estimated audience of a billion people worldwide, the evening performance which included a cast of over 10,000 stage performers was an amazing feat of showbiz in itself. It stands to reason that the Closing Ceremony on August 12, 2012 is expected to be another exceptional evening of entertainment for those in attendance, television viewers, and the athletes of all nationalities themselves.
The Official London Opening Ceremony music for the athletic games has in turn scored an immense victory too, especially for two popular instrumental recording artists, Mike Oldfield and Vangelis. Included among top British acts, new age music is playing an important role since the start of the London 2012 Olympic Games on July 27, 2012.
New Age musician Mike Oldfield was center stage at the opening ceremony during his performance of two of his most popular songs, Tubular Bells & In Dulci Jubilo. The evening simply wouldn’t have been the same without the song playlist including Mike Oldfield and his popular instrumental new age music that spans the continents.
The interview with Mike Oldfield is a recent YouTube video recorded prior to the London 2012 Olympics. During one of his newest interviews, the topic is about Mike Oldfield and how he became involved in the London Olympics after artistic director Danny Boyle sent word to him about performing the two songs Tubular Bells & Dulci Jubilo during the Official Opening Ceremonies.
For the latest news on Mike Oldfield including his new retrospective collection album, Two Sides – The Very Best of Mike Oldfield, and his live stage performance at the 2012 London Olympics visit MikeOldfieldOfficial.com. Photos courtesy YouTube & Amazon.
Isles of Wonder – Official Music for the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
If you are one of the nearly billion persons expected to watch the opening ceremonies and 2012 London Olympic Games, then you would probably agree the official Olympic songs performed by a variety of artists, played an important role in the overall impression felt by the grand theatrical exploits of artistic director Danny Boyle, who engaged a cast of over 10,000 stage performers.
It leads to the important question, where to buy the official Olympic songs performed during the opening ceremonies, and the official music for the Olympic closing ceremonies, which will follow August 12, 2012. The music directors for the opening 2012 Olympic Games Ceremonies, British music duo Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of Underworld and other representatives have already released the mp3/digital downloads of the Olympic opening music, made available on July 28, 2012 at iTunes.
Isles of Wonder – Music For The Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is the official title of the Olympic opening ceremonies. This album was made available at iTunes following the opening ceremonies. The physical audio CD of the opening ceremony music is soon to be released through the Decca Records Label website shown below.
A Symphony of British Music – Music For The Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games is the official Olympic soundtrack for the closing ceremonies to follow. The closing Olympic soundtrack will be made available as mp3/digital download release (only) on August 12, 2012 at the Decca Records website.
Isles of Wonder is itemized in the soundtrack category at iTunes. Some may be more familiar with the songs than others, but for those who would like to know, the first opening album by a variety of artists has an equal variety of music genres too.
Many songs are instrumental, rock or pop music, plus there are songs in the electronic, dance and techno music category too, with a lot of familiar vocalists. Many are popular songs including several in the new age music category. The song playlist varies from the actual stage performance, but it’s a fine music collection.
Purchase the official Olympic opening soundtrack of 36 songs total by various artist entitled Isles of Wonder – Music For The Opening Ceremony at iTunes. Along with the album at iTunes, there is an accompanying digital booklet available too.
Visit Amazon.co.uk to sample or purchase the opening ceremony and closing ceremony Olympic soundtracks when available. Album cover art courtesy iTunes.
Isles of Wonder – Official Opening Ceremony Song Playlist:
First Track Song List:
1. Frank Turner song – I Still Believe.
2. Four Nations Choirs songs, Jerusalem, Flower of Scotland, Danny Boy, Bread of Heaven.
3. LSO On Track song, Nimrod.
4. Underworld song, And I Will Kiss (featuring Dame Evelyn Glennie).
5. Mike Oldfield songs, Tubular Bells, In Dulci Jubilo.
6. London Symphony Orchestra song, Chariots of Fire.
7. Blanck Mass & London Symphony Orchestra song, Sundowner.
8. Dizzee Rascal & Armand Helden song, Bonkers (Radio Edit).
9. A.R. Rahman song, Nimma Nimma (featuring Jaspreet Jasz).
10. Emeli Sande song, Heaven.
11. Emeli Sande song, Abide With Me.
12. Arctic Monkeys song, I Bet You Look Good On the Dance Floor.
13. Arctic Monkeys song, Come Together.
14. Underworld song Caliban’s Dream (featuring Dockhead Choir, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Only Men Aloud!, Elizabeth Roberts, Alex Trimble).
Second Track Song List:
1. The Chemical Brothers song, Galvanize (Beginning).
2. High Contrast song, Moon Watcher.
3. Underworld song, Always Loved a Film (Instrumental).
4. Underworld song, Dark And Long (Dark Train).
5. Pet Shop Boys song, West End Girls.
6. Underworld song, Minneapolis (High Contrast Remix)
7. High Contrast song, Reach.
8. High Contrast song, Ghost Dance.
9. Underworld song, Confusion the Waitress (Darren Price & High Contrast Remix).
10. Wretch 32 song, Traktor (featuring. L – Radio Edition).
11. F Buttons song, Olympians (High Contrast Remix).
12. High Contrast song, Can’t Stop This Fire.
13. Underworld song, Moon In Water (Instrumental).
14. Underworld song, Crocodile (High Contrast Remix).
15. U2 song, Where the Streets Have No Name (High Contrast Remix).
16. High Contrast song, For Years.
17. Underworld song, Dirty Epic (Darren Price & High Contrast Remix).
18. High Contrast song, The Long Way Home.
19. Underworld song, Dark and Long (Darren Price And High Contrast Remix).
20. Underworld song, Rez (High Contrast Remix).
21. David Bowie song, Heroes.
22. The Chemical Brothers song, Galvanize (Ending).
Vangelis – Official Music for 2012 London Olympics.
With the start of the 2012 London Summer Olympic Games set to begin on July 27, 2012, it seems fans of the Greek composer Vangelis have clearly scored an early victory by way of an official Olympic music news release about a famous instrumental soundtrack score composed by Vangelis.
The song Chariots of Fire was earlier reported to be the official 2012 Olympic music for the athletic games opening ceremonies, and now Kate Mansey, a journalist for London newspaper The Sunday Times, reported on another new development regarding Vangelis. Her source of press information for the latest news announcement was direct from the producer of the victory award ceremonies Nicci Hallifax.
The song Chariots of Fire by Vangelis is now confirmed to be the official 2012 Olympics theme music to be played during every medal awards ceremony for the duration of the historic athletic events. In addition to the medal award ceremonies, the song was played during the opening events and will be performed during relay of the Olympic Flame.
The London Philharmonic Orchestra has reproduced 5 new recordings or remixes of the original Vangelis composition Chariots of Fire, which won Vangelis an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score. The Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire movie is based on the inspiring story of two British athletes competing together at the 1924 Summer Olympic Games in Paris, France.
Chariots of Fire (On Stage) by Vangelis, is a brand new Olympic themed theatrical movie soundtrack score released days ago on July 23, 2012. The theatrical play soundtrack has 11 songs of new orchestral music by Vangelis, used for the theater stage adaptation of the Academy Award-winning Chariots of Fire movie. The play adaptation showing in the UK premiered on May 9, 2012 at the Hampstead Theatre in London, England.
Available in audio CD and digital download formats, sample or purchase the original Chariots of Fire at Amazon.com and Chariots of Fire (On Stage) at Amazon.co.uk. For information about the theatrical shows, visit the London, England based website ChariotsOfFireOnStage.com. Big Stock Photo – MOKreations.
The official 2012 London Olympic music by Vangelis, having an inspiring and universal theme is clearly a winning choice. The 5 new Chariots of Fire song compositions performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra are as follows:
1. Energy Song Version – Up-tempo song remix.
2. Heritage Song Version – Down-tempo song remix.
3. Extreme Song Version – Jazzier style song remix.
4. Prime Time Song Version – Pop music song remix.
5. World Stage Song Version – Original orchestral song remix.
Olympic Themed Music – Chariots of Fire (On Stage) by Vangelis.
With the London 2012 Olympic Games starting on July 27, 2012, official music for the Olympics will be an equally significant component for the historic athletic games that will be viewed by millions of people worldwide.
The song Chariots of Fire by Greek composer Vangelis was played during the Olympic opening ceremonies, and named the official 2012 Olympics theme song. The London Philharmonic Orchestra has 5 new song recordings (remixes) to be played during every medal award ceremony and Olympic Flame relay.
Chariots of Fire (On Stage) is an Olympic themed theatrical movie score with 11 songs of new orchestral music by Vangelis with a release date of July 23, 2012.
The stage adaptation of the Oscar-winning Chariots of Fire movie that was partially inspired by the 2012 London Summer Olympics premiered on May 9, 2012 at the Hampstead Theatre in London, England.
The Chariots of Fire Original Movie Soundtrack claimed a victory for famous composer Vangelis, who won an Academy Award for Best Original Music Score for the film based on the inspiring story of two British athletes competing together at the 1924 Summer Olympic Games in Paris France. Below is the Chariots of Fire song video from the original motion picture.
Official Music for the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London:
Another official song to be performed during London Summer Olympics for 2012 is the song Survival by the British group Muse. The theme song by Muse, which has the lyrics “Life is a race. And I’m gonna win” is also going to be aired on TV worldwide as athletes enter the stadium and prior to the medal award ceremonies.
The London Olympic Soundtrack to the opening ceremony is going to be released as an audio CD and digital release. This music release entitled; Isles Of Wonder: Music for the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games will contain music by Paul McCartney, Underworld and other artists performing during official athletic events and ceremonies.
Another planned release is A Symphony of British Music: Music for the Closing Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games. There will be additional concerts and music with direct ties to the London Olympics, plus some songs by artists are being kept secret until the official opening ceremonies.
Olympic theme song Chariots of Fire, composed by Vangelis will get you into the spirit for the historic sports event. Find the audio CD or digital downloads for Chariots of Fire (On Stage) at Amazon.co.uk. Big Stock Photo – Jimbarber.
World Fusion Album Review: New Music by Todd Boston.
If you happen to be in the mood for summertime songs with an impressive blend of instrumental world fusion music, acoustic guitarist Todd Boston has a brand new 2012 multicultural follow-up to his 2010 release Alive. In close balance with Alive by flowing acoustic guitar and percussion melodies, Touched by the Sun heralds in a noticeable international, world fusion blend of Eastern and Western music.
Todd Boston is a brilliant guitarist, and multi-instrumentalist performing international tours in 2012, as a soloist and in a number of ensembles including a tour with the world renowned American singing songwriter Snatam Kaur.
After my interview with Will Ackerman last week, I have to say it is by coincidence that tomorrow on (July 20, 2012) Will Ackerman will be among other musicians at a concert celebration for Todd Boston’s Touched By the Sun album. This special concert event will be in Mill Valley, California at the Throckmorton Theatre.
The concert artists in attendance with Todd Boston to help celebrate the launch of Touched by the Sun are guest artist Will Ackerman on guitar, and other top ranked instrumentalist and vocalist.
Most are award-winning artists, and several are artists who have been featured at this site. They include vocalist Snatam Kaur, GRAMMY® nominated bass guitarist Michael Manring, percussionist Ramesh Kannan, cellist Matthew Schoening, violinist Emily Palen, trumpet and flugelhorn specialist Jeff Oster, and guitarist Shambhu.
Touched by the Sun studio album, which has 12 great world fusion melodies, is a refined instrumental with vocals album, likewise comprised of an impressive team of music professionals. Many of whom you are sure to recognize. There are a number of studio session artists who often provide instrumentals on Will Ackerman productions at Imaginary Road Studios, so the contributing members are indeed a select group of musicians.
Artists on the studio album joining Todd Boston on guitars, dotar, flutes and base are female vocalist Snatam Kaur, cellist Eugene Friesen, violinist Charlie Bisharat, percussionist Jeff Haynes, drums Aaron Sterling, bass guitar Tony Levin, fretless bass Michael Manring, hand clapping Tom Eaton, whispers Tina Malia and Ramesh Kannan on tabla and cajon.
There are other strategic elements about Touched by the Sun that isn’t by chance. Given the fact that Todd Boston is a great performer, and the quality of artisanship delivered by other top-ranked artists, this new Imaginary Road Studios production has every component needed to reach the upper limits of success. Stated more precisely, I expect Touched by the Sun to be an award-winning album in 2013.
Touched by the Sun made the #1 Top Recording for June 2012, with the Top 10 & Top 100 Radio Airplay Charts at Zone Music Reporter. The Brightest Night is a song by Todd that has made its way into the elite 22 artist and 22 instrumental song compilation album in 2012 by Will Ackerman entitled The Gathering.
Once more, Touched by the Sun was created in the care of GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Will Ackerman, and co-producer Tom Eaton and Todd Boston, so every component of Todd’s album was given the attention it deserves by a team of specialists. Comprised of elements that make a great recording, decisive actions taken by Todd Boston has lessened the mystery of whether this is a quality album or not. The question now is where to sample or purchase Touched by the Sun.
Visit the homepage of ToddBoston.com and visit Todd Boston’s music page, where you can sample or purchase at several popular online music stores including Amazon, CDBaby, and iTunes. Cover artwork & photo courtesy toddboston.com.
The professional music production services of William Ackerman, a Grammy® Award-winning record producer. Today Will Ackerman continues the legacy of his legendary Windham Hill Records at Imaginary Road Studios in the mountains of Vermont.
Will Ackerman is the founder of Windham Hill Records, a Grammy® Award-winner, and the recipient of more than 20 Platinum and Gold records in the United States and overseas.
Will’s productions at Windham Hill Records defined a new genre of music. The seminal work of George Winston, Michael Hedges and Liz Story among many others established Will as one of the preeminent producers of acoustic and instrumental music recordings in the world.
Now with Imaginary Road Studios, the engineering of Tom Eaton, a magnificent Steinway piano and a collection of some of the finest microphones and preamps anywhere on earth, Will is doing the best work of his life.
In the last 4 years alone, Will has produced 10 records that have achieved the #1 position on the NAR/Zone Music Reporter Charts. Seven of the ten highest rated albums ever reported by NAR/Zone Music Reporter, including the #1 and #2 positions, are Will Ackerman productions.
Imaginary Road Studios is available either for musicians who wish to work with Will as producer or for musicians who are simply looking for the finest studio in which to create.
We would be honored to help you make the record you dream of a reality. Visit our website or call us so we can chat about your project.
Visit: WilliamAckerman.com & ImaginaryRoadStudios.com. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org & Office 207.929.5777.
The best musicians in the world & the ability to capture it all . . .
“Working with Will Ackerman at Imaginary Road Studios was one of the most creatively transforming experiences of my life. There is no better producer than Will Ackerman, and no better studio and team than the one at Imaginary Road to make your musical dreams a reality.” Jeff Oster (two times ZMR Record of the Year award winner)
“Imaginary Road Studios is even more special than the name implies. Expert professionals, all nice folks, gather there to conspire in the gentle business of creating good, meaningful music – all in an incomparable setting in the New England Mountains. No wonder everyone loves working there – for me it’s one of my all-time favorites.” Tony Levin (John Lennon, Peter Gabriel, Paul Simon, James Taylor, King Crimson)
“This is a place where music and talent is fostered and nurtured and comes to life as it should, as you had always hoped, dreamed, and imagined.” Fiona Joy Hawkins (7 times ZMR Award Winner)
“My experiences at Imaginary Road Studios have been a delight. Professional, inspirational and comfortable beyond belief. Simply a pleasure.” Steve Holley (Elton John, Paul McCartney)
“There has been no single greater influence upon me than Will Ackerman. He is a staggering example of a true musical voice and visionary unparalleled in his abilities. Working with him has been one of the most tremendous honors of my life.” Patrick Gorman
“A state-of-the-art environment where musical dreams and visions effortlessly become reality.” Eugene Freisen (Paul Winter Consort, Multiple Grammy® Award winner)
“As producer of my last four projects, Will Ackerman’s influence elevated my composing and performance to new heights. I just “happened” to write the best music of my career while working with Will.” Stanton Lanier
“I’m so proud to be part of the art that is created and produced at Imaginary Road; a pure, peaceful and spiritual environment.” Jeff Haynes (Pat Metheny, Grammy® Award winner)
“Producing your album at Imaginary Road will become one of the greatest experiences of your life. The idyllic setting of Imaginary Road will capture your heart and call the music from your very soul like you’ve never seen before. There is simply no better place on earth more technically and artistically suited to produce your album than Imaginary Road.” Peter Jennison
“It’s really about the vibe up there, the magic that happens at Imaginary Road, the magic I’ve experienced and the exquisite music that they create.” T Bone Wolk (Hall and Oates, Shawn Colvin, Billy Joel, Elvis Costello)
Producer Will Ackerman – 2012
New Age Music World is pleased to present an in-depth, 2012 interview with GRAMMY® Award-winning guitarist, producer, and Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman.
John P. Olsen: Thank you for accepting my invitation for this interview Will. It’s funny since I feel like I already know you in a way since I have written, and plan to write, reviews for artists who have their newest album produced by you at your Imaginary Road Studio in Vermont. It’s a privilege to finally meet you Will.
Will Ackerman: Hi John, I’ve been admiring what you’ve been doing online for some time and am delighted to have a chance to talk with you.
John: Many of these artists have received award recognition with albums that you produced. Many are now top ranked artists. To what degree does a producer ultimately affect the success of a music recording would you say?
Will Ackerman: Perhaps this is a crafty test of my humility? I hope I pass. Perhaps this is a question better asked of the musicians I’ve worked with. They’re better able to tell you how, specifically, I influenced their work. The process of producing is not at all formulaic for me; each project and human being has their own specific needs and my job is, as much as anything, to be conscious of what their needs are. How active I am in shaping a project is also a very individual matter.
In some cases I am simply helping to create a standard of excellence for the players to achieve in their recordings and in other instances I’m getting into the arranging of the work itself and being very active in envisioning how the material might be dramatically affected by additional production. It really is all over the place and I guess I’d say that my proudest achievement is to figure out where I can best be of help and respond to the person I’m working with rather than imposing the same set of Ackerman rules upon everyone.
John: Some may have a limited knowledge of a record or music producer’s role, and how a producer can greatly influence an artist’s instrumental music composition. Would you provide some details specific to your production services?
Will Ackerman: Again, the role of producer is simply all over the place. Looking back to Windham Hill days, I think of how my utterly subjective and spontaneous decision to edit George Winston’s Colors/Dance into the epic ten minute piece we know as opposed to the three minute piece it was intended to be is an example of how my instincts manifested themselves.
Likewise the decision engineer Steve Miller and I made on the dramatic guitar sound for Michael Hedges’ Ariel Boundaries was a milestone. Michael was initially outraged with the liberties we’d taken with what he heard as a simpler acoustic piece. Steve had provided an opportunity and I jumped at it. Michael needed to take a walk for about an hour before coming back to the board to listen, still somewhat incredulous that both Steve and I loved the sound.
I think this story tells a lot about how I work. It’s very subjective, intuitive and flexible. It’s a series of almost binary questions… yes and no… go there or don’t go there? I simply have to trust my instincts and earn the artists trust in those instincts as well. However much success I’ve had and can point to, each new artist I need work with needs to learn that they can trust me. That trust means more to me than anything. I take it very seriously.
John: I have more questions related to your present day role as a producer, but would you first like to tell us how your career began and how your business has progressed over the years?
Will Ackerman: I recorded my first album in 1975. An engineer named Scott Saxon offered to allow me to record free of charge if he was listed as producer and received a royalty. Not having a lot of dough in those days, I easily agreed. Scott then produced my second record, It Takes a Year as well. In watching Scott I learned a lot and at some point decided that I knew enough about recording and had a familiarity with my own tastes sufficient to allow me to trust in my abilities to call myself a producer.
In terms of how my endeavors have changed over the years, it’s easy to point to GRAMMY® nominations and awards, platinum and gold records, millions of records sold and all that. I’m proud of that of course, but I can say with utter sincerity that what I am proudest of is that I’m better at what I do than ever because this is a process of learning about people, learning about yourself and trying to find what’s unique in that combination with every single human being you engage with.
John: In 1976 you founded, and made famous, Windham Hill Records label. After selling Windham Hill Records you chose the name West River Records for your new release The Gathering. Is West River Records modeled in a similar design as Windham Hill Records?
Will Ackerman: I had begun recording in 1975 with my debut guitar album. I had managed to put together a network of 6 independent distributors and was getting a surprising amount of radio airplay out of that recording when those distributors started asking “what’s going to be next of your label.” I didn’t even know I had a label (the Windham Hill name only came into being in 1976 with the awareness that I could release more records into this pipeline) and was stunned to learn that they would distribute anything I brought out. That’s now naive I was.
Windham Hill became huge. We were doing 30 – 40 million dollars in business annually by 1992 when I sold Windham to BMG in May of that year. I then had a three year non-complete clause and delved into spoken word recordings with a company named Gang of Seven. I absolutely loved that label, but I didn’t have the same success with it that I’d enjoyed with Windham Hill Records.
Virtually on the day that my non-compete with BMG ended in May of 1995 I created Imaginary Road Records with PolyGram, signing a contract with Chris Roberts who had been a friend for many years. Chris Roberts remembers me driving up to the record store he managed in Portland, Oregon (Everybody’s Records) in my Volkswagen bus asking if he’d take 5 copies of my first recording on consignment. Dawn Atkinson, who had been the second most prolific producer for Windham Hill Records was my partner in this.
West River Records is actually a brand new name, created for the release of The Gathering. Imaginary Road Records would have been the ideal name, but because that name is owned by Universal Records via the sale of PolyGram to Universal (and there are still titles in print on that label) we needed to look into another name. My Imaginary Road Studios looks over the West River Valley in Windham County, Vermont and I liked that sound of that.
John: In addition to your role as producer, you are a twice nominated, GRAMMY® Award-winning guitarist. What were some of the turning points in your career, and how did these events affect your career as a producer going forward?
Will Ackerman: The whole thing was a Tiger by the Tail kind of experience. Windham Hill Records grew routinely at 600% a year, sometimes going into even greater growth. There were so many milestones, whether laying Carnegie Hall, playing Red Rocks and the Hollywood Bowl. Touring Europe and playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival. Touring Japan and playing at the Imperial Palace. Our first Gold Record, our first Platinum Record. The list is long and is more a feeling to me than a set of tangible events. It was impossible to hold on to anything, as you reached for it, it was gone because we were moving forward so quickly.
John: In Search Of The Turtles Navel is credited as one of the earliest, founding recordings in the new age genre. What characteristic qualities do you feel define the compositions we recognize today as new age music?
Will Ackerman: I’ve never been a proponent of the term “New Age” to be honest. Going into the reasons for that would be didactic at best. I’d rather talk about what I know, which is Windham Hill. Windham Hill, at least initially, was about acoustic instrumentation. It was about melody and heart.
I’ve learned to take pride in the fact that the music can be listened to enjoyably while washing lettuce in the afternoon (as a woman from Idaho once described to me in a letter) or being the music someone who is soon to leave this earth chooses to listen to in their last hours. Both are honors paid to the musician who provides that pleasure or solace. To me, that is reason enough for being as a person and for Windham Hill Records to have represented a genre unto itself.
John: I read that none of your guitar recordings use standard guitar tuning, which permits an unconventional acoustic sound. Are there any advantages to playing guitar using non-standardized tuning?
Will Ackerman: I don’t know that there are any particular advantages. Most people would probably say that it’s more bother than it’s worth. I happen to like the sound of open tunings and, after years of contemplating the reasons for my utterly obsessive adherence to constantly changing tunings I’ve finally come to an understanding of my process. I’m playing a trick on myself. By creating a new tuning I am removing intellect completely from the process of “composing.” I simply don’t know the landscape I’m in and so have nothing but emotion to guide me.
I’m lost, but in a beautiful, emotionally connected way. I inevitably find a bit of an alpha state and wander about in that landscape until I find various paths which I employ intellect to connect later. So the music is about emotion, not thought. It’s about heart, not mind.
John: New age music is like any music genre by progressing over the years. What do feel makes a good new age or instrumental recording?
Will Ackerman: I listen to all sorts of music. I honestly can’t remember who said it, but I’ve always loved the quote “There are only two kinds of music; good music and bad music.” Obviously I’m not going to pretend to be the arbiter of those definitions tangibly, but I know what I like. I know what I’m looking for as a producer and in these two elements I think this is as close to a Holy Grail as I can offer.
Firstly, does the artist have a musical “voice?” In other words, does this artist sound like everybody else or is there something unique, however hard to pinpoint, in their music. I can hear 2 guitar notes from BB King or Mark Knopfler to know who it is and I can hear two chords from Erik Satie to know who it is.
Secondly, is heart or ego driving the music? This is obviously a judgment call as well, but it’s as clear as can be to me. Maybe another way of asking the question is “am I hearing the truth,” or “do I believe this person?” I have to believe who I’m listening to and investing my heart in, both as a listener and as a producer.
John: Your new West River Records compilation album The Gathering features a lot of great instrumental artists exactly like your highly successful Windham Hill Samplers, which achieved gold or platinum recording status. Do you feel the artist’s songs on The Gathering have the potential for equal prominence?
Will Ackerman: The record industry is a very different thing today. Even at the major record labels, they refer to 100,000 CDs sold as “the new million.” In other words, the potential of the marketplace even with legal downloads, is probably 10% of what it was. A gold record used to be 500,000 records sold and platinum were 1,000,000. There were a lot of gold and platinum records being handed out in those days, but if we had to wait for achievement of those kinds of numbers today, there would be only a handful of them.
The good news is that the internet can spread the word about good music brilliantly to every corner of this planet. Part of my ambition with The Gathering is to create strength in numbers to some degree. Rather than sit back and let each of these artists fend entirely for themselves, I’ve chosen to move more into the public realm again and, as with the Windham Hill Samplers, say “this is great music… these are great players… these are artists your life will be richer for taking the time to get acquainted with.” I’m doing this interview and others and will not balk at any opportunity to express my faith in these players and in this recording. I genuinely believe we can achieve a much greater visibility together and that we’ve literally just begun.
One last point is, I think, important to mention here. The known Windham Hill Records audience is easily identified and we certainly want to let those millions of people know about The Gathering. But what is also heartening to me is the number of emails from kids under 20 I’m getting now. These are kids who are digging through their parents LPs and finding music that they love. I’m guessing that maybe 10 -15% of my emails are from kids in this age range and it’s clearly a growing number and percentage. How great it would be to find a young audience who loves this sort of music, much as my generation found the forgotten American blues players in the late 60′s and 70′s (certainly with the help of the British Invasion). I’ve been contemplating a Gathering sort of recording for some time and now that it’s here I know it’s the right choice.
John: When selecting an artist’s song for a compilation album like The Gathering, what key elements do you look for in terms of the music qualities?
Will Ackerman: Understand that all the people on The Gathering are people I’ve chosen to produce. These are all people I have the highest regard for as musicians and as human beings. Without being at all lazy, I’ll refer you to my answers a bit earlier on in this dialogue. I need to feel these musicians have a voice that is uniquely theirs and I have to believe that they’re telling me the truth musically.
John: In regards to your production services, you have enlisted engineer and co-producer Tom Eaton. Plus, many of the session musicians in your productions are themselves, award-winning artists who have their own careers. What do you look for when selecting a session artist for a client’s recording?
Will Ackerman: I think you’re asking me how someone ends up being a session player for my productions? The answer is to be the best on the planet and be consistently so and be a genuinely kind, patient, generous human being. Whether we’re working with bassist Tony Levin who’s recorded with John Lennon, Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel, James Taylor and a million others or Steve Holley who’s the drummer for Paul McCartney and Elton John, the people who add to our work here are consummate professionals who are able to pour their hearts into the music and do so in a remarkably ego-less, kind, considerate and caring way.
The criteria for who works here go way past simple talent. Imaginary Road is my home and I’m only letting wonderful people into my home. I don’t care how talented you are; if you’re not able to wear your heart on your sleeve don’t bother to turn up. We use Keith Carlock (Sting and Steeley Dan) as a drummer too along with Arron Sterling (John Mayer and Sheryl Crow). Only last year I met Premik Russel Tubbs who plays sax and wind synths for us.
Premik has become part of the family and has played with Santana, Herbie Hancock, Sting and Billy Joel just to name a few. Violinist Charlie Bisharat and I met when he was playing with Shadowfax on Windham Hill. He and I remain great friends and we work on sessions together often. Charlie Bisharat’s played with Beck, Mary J. Blige, Black-Eyed Peas, Fiona Apple, Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and the list goes on.
We have a stable of players who are simply too great not to use often: Four time GRAMMY® winning cellist Eugene Friesen just happens to be a neighbor here in Brattleboro and has been a close friend for twenty years now. English horn player Jill Haley drives up from Reading, PA to play for us. Pat Metheny’s percussionist Jeff Haynes has been a dear friend for decades now and lives just over the Green Mountains from here.
Trumpet and Flugelhorn player Jeff Oster has a place in Vermont and we get him in here for sessions as often as possible; singer Noah Wilding was crazy enough to marry me so she’s pretty much local too. Jeff Pevar, who records and tours with everyone from Ray Charles to Crosby, Stills and Nash, does guitar work for us too. We’ve just added the incredible talents of Gus Sebring, French horn player for the Boston Symphony to our list of friends. The talent pool we draw upon is considerably larger than this, but you get the point.
John: Let’s say for example I am an artist scheduled to have my music produced by you at Imaginary Road Studios. What can an artist expect when they arrive, and is there a set schedule or itinerary for the duration of an artist’s visit?
Will Ackerman: There is absolutely nothing that is formulaic here. Projects have taken days or months. No two projects are the same. There is a tremendous amount of dialogue that takes place between me and the artist before sessions begin and out of that a plan very specifically designed for the project emerges.
This isn’t a matter of someone simply turning up and starting the recording process. By the time we begin we’ve probably selected 80- 90% of the material, have worked out the arrangements and have some ideas as to what the additional instrumentation will be. That said, we’re never completely right. Some of the music will inevitably change and evolve. You have to really listen to what you’ve recorded and hear what’s it’s telling you.
Part of producing is knowing when your preconceptions are no longer valid, but that the music has evolved into something new. It’s part of my job to realize when we have to abandon preconception and allow the music to instruct us. Some of the best music comes about by being open to change and allowing spontaneity to be in charge when it’s productive.
John: When you are in a recording session, do you find yourself constantly motivating an artist in the desired direction, or do you and the artist connect automatically?
Will Ackerman: Once again, John, every person and every session is different. Thankfully, that is the case as the newness keeps me on my toes and aware.
John: How do you make an emotional connection with an artist Will?
Will Ackerman: I’m a musician so I know what it takes to make music that is connected to emotion. How people get there varies greatly. What doesn’t change is the trust that has to be established. If people are going to allow vulnerability into their hearts and music they have to trust me and it’s my responsibility to make that possible for them.
John: Do artists ever have any common misunderstandings about your occupational or leadership role as producer?
Will Ackerman: There is nothing dictatorial in the role. I do have strong opinions and I’m not reticent to express those opinions, but at the end of the day, I’m working for the musicians and their needs and wishes are the ultimate arbiter of where we’re headed.
John: Have there been artists you simply can’t work with?
Will Ackerman: Yes, but thankfully that was long ago and my instincts about people and my understanding of myself (including a realistic evaluation of my own strengths and weaknesses) have made for a decade of very happy encounters. It’s hard work and very stressful, so we try not to record for more than a couple of days in a row.
Learning how to keep spirits up even when everyone is very tired and spent is an important part of the process, but simply knowing that everyone needs rest to be productive and happy is a surprisingly important piece of the puzzle. This is where being a bit older actually helps. One comes to understand their own limitations better which is actually more freeing than limiting.
John: You have produced music for esteemed artists like George Winston, Michael Hedges, Liz Story, Alex de Grassi, and many more top-ranked artists in the music industry.
This may be a hard question to answer Will, but do you believe some of your more recent artists, including debuting artists, have the potential to reach the same success? And if so, do you have any advice or a strategy you would offer to artists wanting to improve their performance skills or advance in their music career?
Will Ackerman: I think it’s a matter of scale to some degree. CD sales are way down and legal downloads don’t begin to compensate for the real losses in pirated music. At the same time we’ve gotten to the point where there is very little a major label knows about the current music business that the average internet-savvy teenager doesn’t know.
In fact the average teenager may be far hipper and more contemporary and imaginative than the guys who are still at desks at the big companies. One line I’ve used in talking with people is why give away 90% of the profits to an organization that doesn’t understand the marketplace any better than the average teenager?
I don’t think this is an exaggerated perspective at all and I think the question is valid. We see established acts reaching the time of contract expiration with major labels and just leaving the majors and creating their own labels with web presence and touring being focal points of their endeavors.
Artists recording on their own labels are keeping 100% of the profit rather than getting maybe a 12% royalty from a major label. Keeping an eye on budget becomes more important than ever (as there are fewer sales and less gross income) and the objective now seems to be about creating a constant internet presence rather than making one huge marketing effort in order to recoup the investment in recording or video etc.
Radio exposure is still important, especially with all of the internet music outlets. Getting reviewed, as always, matters in a big way and given all the websites devoted to niche markets there is more opportunity for attention than ever. Ultimately, however, it’s all about harnessing the internet and touring to cement a relationship with an audience and hone one’s craft.
I recently met a young woman name Kina Grannis who created this incredible video for YouTube. It took 3 months to make the first 10 seconds of this and nearly 2 years to finish. It’s a stop motion video shot against a constantly changing backdrop of paintings done with jellybeans. You heard me right, jellybeans. The video is brilliant, as is Kina, and I believe she’s now had something like ten million hits on this YouTube single. Jelly Belly heard about this and are now underwriting her touring and she just finished a tour of major markets in Europe, then traveled to the far east and Australia as well as the U.S. All of this fueled by a very clever video that her friends help her create.
In looking at the New Age market, I see people still doing a video of a babbling brook and posting it as if there is anything compelling in this. It was novel in 1984 when I did the world’s first digital audio laser discs with Pioneer Home Video and Paramount, but that’s been done and done and done. Be clever. Take a chance. Do something different. You may fail, but it’s ordained that you’ll fail by being one of a million people doing the same thing.
In terms of live performance, George Winston and I would play a benefit for any 5 watt radio station in the U.S. who would give us airplay and we were willing to work from the ground up. I can remember audiences of 6 people where I gave everything I had.
I think you have to have that commitment and the talent to offer something very special to the world, but what is learned on the road is valuable on so many levels and connects you with your audience.
Getting a sense of an audience’s reaction to a new piece, getting a feel for what’s working and what’s not (both for you and for the audience), is something most effectively done in front of a live audience. They’ll tell you a lot about what will be effective in the marketplace. So in answer to your question; yes artists in any genre can still break out onto the world stage, but to really succeed these days you almost certainly have to have brilliant and original (not necessarily expensive) videos and I continue to believe that live performances are an invaluable training ground.
John: Technology has undoubtedly changed since the time when you first began to produce. What are some examples of how new technology changed the way you produce music in the studio today?
Will Ackerman: Fundamentally, the only deep change is digital and I do a great deal to refrain from a complete embrace of what is contemporary. I’m convinced that digital is not all for the best, though the manipulation of digital information in editing, for instance, is just simply brilliant and is an important part of our process here. My principal microphones are VERY expensive matched pairs of Neumanns. What we do with microphone positioning and configurations are literally unique and very much on the cutting edge.
Despite the fact that we’re understandably regarded for our audiophile recordings, our methods are bordering on heretic. I like that. The Hemmingway preamps are rare and a brilliant part of our arsenal. I sometimes use analogue process even in the highest quality digital recordings if I feel there is something to be gained. My own Returning album, which won the GRAMMY® in 2005, was run through Studer heads as part of mastering, for instance.
And there’s Tom Eaton. Tom’s been with me for over a year now and is simply the most talented engineer I’ve known in my entire life. A pianist himself (he actually plays a range of instruments) Tom brings an academic knowledge of music to the room that my intuitive side is grateful for. I was recently having trouble explaining to Tony Levin what I wanted in a piece and Tom took a minute to talk with me and then hit the talk back and said to Tony, “Tony, Will’s hearing it on the one.” It would have taken another 10 minutes for me to finally explain what I was hearing.
I’ve come to respect Tom’s opinion as much as anyone I have ever known. Increasingly he and I are co-producing and the recordings are the better for it. Tom knows the Windham Hill Records catalog better than I do and this history also informs his understanding of where we’re going and why. He respects my position in the producer’s chair, but he always has my ear and no one in my history has been able to command more attention with a gentle, “I was just wondering if.” The man’s simply brilliant and has brought more to my production environment than anyone in my history. He’s also a wonderful, bright, funny human being who has become family in a very short while.
John: You have a one of a kind Steinway piano, and other high-tech equipment at your studio. Is having the highest quality equipment available for artists to use during their visit, one of the most essential components for your productions?
Will Ackerman: Our Steinway is simply magical. I have never recorded anything that compares to it in my entire career. It came here by chance a decade ago as a rental and it simply never left. I just told the owner that he’d have to come up with a price. I called him and told him this and took the rest of the day off and nailed the load-in doors shut and resided the building. He had to sell it to me. When you think of how important the piano has been to my career and how much piano recording I’ve done and you realize that I’m begin utterly honest when I tell you that this is the finest sounding recording piano I’ve ever worked with, that’s a pretty dramatic statement.
There are many quality products that I don’t need. We actually don’t have a lot of toys here. It’s very fundamental stuff. I have some very purist ideas about how to record instruments and it begins with the fact that I want to be inside the instrument. I want to be more proximate to the instrument than almost any producer on the planet.
I want to hear guitar recorded so that it sounds as it does to me when I’m holding it. I want the piano to move from left to right, bass to the high notes and feel like you’re sitting at the piano. I don’t want to soften edges a lot. I don’t want the recordings to be dreamy even if the music itself is. I want the listen to be deeply aware that this is a piece of wood and steel they’re listening to. I think this is partly why I just shy away from keyboards (however good their sampling has become) so much. I love the world of acoustic music. It’s what drives me, and I’m always searching for ways to get even closer and more detailed in my listening and recording. I’ve recently made a discovery about cello, for instance, that pleases me a great deal.
John: I am sure your professional role of assisting artists the best you know how is personally rewarding. How would you best describe the personal rewards of helping artists become successful?
Will Ackerman: It’s one of two things in my life that imbue my life with what I hope is worth and meaning.
John: Thank you again for giving me and everyone a moment of your time Will. I have a deep respect for your work, and I hope we have a chance to interview again in the future. I am sure there will be fans and artists worldwide reading the newest Will Ackerman interview in 2012. Is there anything you would like to express to the artists and fans that have supported you over the years?
Will Ackerman: First of all, I’d like to say thank you to everyone who agreed to be on The Gathering. My deepest thanks to these wonderfully talented and lovely human beings;
Masako, Paul Jensen, Stanton Lanier, Kathryn Kaye, Rudy Perrone, Fiona Joy Hawkins, Jeff Oster, Dean Boland, Frank Smith, Todd Boston, Rocky Fretz, Shambhu, Kori Linae Carothers, Peter Jennison, Denise Young, Devin Rice and Erin Aas, Lawrence Blatt, Ronnda Cadle, Ann Sweeten, Ken Verheecke and Patrick Gorman.
My thanks too to all the musicians I’ve been blessed to work with. There are musicians I’m producing now and musicians I’ve just finished producing that we didn’t have room for on The Gathering. I hope our success with this project is such that we’ll have a chance to release a second volume.
I hope your readers will support The Gathering. We purposefully decided to make this affordable. At $12 and 74 minutes it’s a bargain and getting turned on to 22 new musicians is a pretty great experience in life. We hope you’ll think of The Gathering as gifts and just a thank you to those in your lives. We’ll be deeply grateful for your help. Will Ackerman.
Visit WilliamAckerman.com and the Imaginary Road Studios. You can sample or purchase The Gathering at CDBaby.com. The majority of artists Will mentioned on The Gathering compilation release have album reviews at this site. Visit my pages dedicated to Will Ackerman and artist tags located in a right hand module. Photos are courtesy williamackerman.com.
Best Instrumental Songs Review: The Gathering by Will Ackerman.
When deciding on a review title for Will Ackerman’s collection of contemporary instrumental songs, the first caption that came to mind involved the word best. There are several reasons why I gave The Gathering a desirable best instrumental song collection title, and I am prepared to give the reasons why. Synonymous with quality music, the name Will Ackerman alone seems to shout excellence! This is apparent, whether it is his own music recording, or one of the 20 plus gold and platinum albums he produced throughout his 35 year professional career.
The Gathering is the newest 2012 instrumental music compilation album from the acclaimed, GRAMMY® Award winning guitarist and producer Will Ackerman. Featuring an exclusive music collection of 22 top-quality songs by 22 great artists, The Gathering is a decisive who’s who of the best quality artists Will Ackerman selected for this release, out of the many fine musicians who had their album produced at his state-of-the-art Imaginary Road Studios.
Will Ackerman is famous worldwide for his production talents as founder Windham Hill Records, and his strong influence in the instrumental music recording industry yesteryear and today. In addition to his role as producer, Will Ackerman is an award-winning composer and guitarist, having performed a vital role in launching the careers of many award-winning artists. Over the past 35 years Will Ackerman has produced albums for over eighty four artists. Some of the most notable artists are Alex de Grassi, Michael Hedges, Michael Manring, Shadowfax, Liz Story and George Winston.
The Gathering by Will Ackerman is an excellent compilation album with 22 of the best contemporary instrumental songs on Will Ackerman’s West River Records label. Famous for founding Windham Hill Records, the legacy of the highest quality artists endures on Will Ackerman’s West River Records label.
The Imaginary Road Studio today engages the expertise of producer and engineer Tom Eaton. Taking the high road in quality studio productions, William Ackerman and Tom Eaton’s expertize help artists embolden their music compositions with grace, elegance and imagination.
Visit WilliamAckerman.com and the Imaginary Road Studios. You can sample or purchase The Gathering at CDBaby.com. Listed below are the 22 artists and 22 song credits for The Gathering 2012 compilation release.
There are a number of new age and contemporary instrumental artists whose music I have reviewed over the years. The 13 artists with album reviews at this site are listed first in the credits. Photos courtesy willackerman.com.
The Gathering Credits – 22 Artists and 22 songs:
1. Ann Sweeten song Dawn on Red Mountain, from Grey Sky And Bittersweet album.
2. Devin Rice & Erin Aas song Thyn Ayre, from The Arrival album.
3. Fiona Joy Hawkins song Feeling Sunshine, from Live At The Q album.
4. Jeff Oster song Serengeti, from True album.
5. Kathryn Kaye song Mountain Laurel, from Heavy as a Feather album.
6. Kori Linae Carothers song Carpe Diem, from Trillium album.
7. Lawrence Blatt song The Color of Sunshine, from The Color of Sunshine album.
8. Masako song Glastenbury, Vermont, from Masako album.
9. Paul Jensen song Taoist Winds, from The Other Side album.
10. Peter Jennison song Anthem, from Longing From Home album.
11. Shambhu song Hide and Seek, from Sacred Love album.
12. Todd Boston song The Brightest Night, from Touched by the Sun album.
13. Will Ackerman song The Wheel, from New England Roads album.
14. Dean Boland song Intimacy, from Soul Whispers album.
15. Denise Young song Livia’s Song, from Something You Dream Of album.
16. Frank Smith song Porch with a View, from Earth Spring album.
17. Ken Verheecke song Forever, from A Place Called Home album.
18. Patrick Gorman song Shades of You, from Chasing Tornados album.
19. Rhonnda Cadle song Shalom, from Will’s Embrace album.
20. Rocky Fretz song Kim’s Song, from The Path Ahead album.
21. Rudy Perrone song The Prophet, from The Language Of Spirits album.
22. Stanton Lanier song Bread of Angels, from A Thousand Years album.