Soundscapes is the newest music album by UK artist Steve Bowe. The music from Soundscapes are 12 songs in a variety of styles, but primarily you will find lively tempos and energetic songs on the newest music by Steve Bowe.
Steve Bowe did produce an innovative music arrangement on the Soundscapes release. If you listen to the Soundscapes song video of Sunset Highway below, you will find Steve Bowe has a talent for creating energetic songs that become an up-tempo departure from many contemporary new age music releases. Visit BoweMusic.com. Artwork is courtesy BoweMusic.com.
Music Review: Solitary Treasures by Darlene Koldenhoven.
Professional recording artist Darlene Koldenhoven has released an exceptional new vocal album entitled Solitary Treasures. This is much to the delight of fans who are familiar with her extraordinary vocals that have carried her to international fame.
For those who think they may not have heard the GRAMMY® Award winning, 3 time nominated artist Darlene Koldenhoven sing, I would be willing to say in fact you have.
Darlene Koldenhoven, who has a Masters in Voice and Bachelors in Music Education, was a featured vocalist who performed with celebrated international concert artist Yanni. Renowned for the quality of his concert performers, Darlene Koldenhoven was the star vocalist during the legendary Public Broadcast Service (PBS) concert Yanni – Live at the Acropolis. Film, television shows and concert tours are other venues where Darlene has amazed audiences with her incredible 5 octave vocal range.
Darlene Koldenhoven has performed with Robin Williams at the Academy Awards, American Idol specials, London Royal Philharmonic and a multitude of TV series. Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Rod Stewart, and the late Whitney Houston are several music celebrities she has performed on stage with over the years. Darlene likewise has a platinum album for her vocals on the progressive rock stars Pink Floyd’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and several Gold and Platinum awards.
Solitary Treasures is like a showcase album that highlights Darlene’s extraordinary talents that have brought her fame as one of the best vocalists in the music industry. The 12 songs on Solitary Treasures is a vocal instrumental album exploring the versatile talents of Darlene Koldenhoven, a star who often performs with stars of equal caliber.
Solitary Treasures is a instrumental vocal album entered musically by a fine classical setting, but pop crossover instrumental songs, romantic ballad, adult contemporary, and world music are recounted with a wonderful sense of balance from the first to last song. Solitary Treasures is her third vocal instrumental album within the past year, after releasing her equally significant albums True Stories & Angel on Ivories.
The PBS viewing audience for Yanni – Live at the Acropolis by the way is estimated to be 1.5 billion people worldwide with one venue alone, so chances are Solitary Treasures is simply a great way to get reacquainted with star vocalist Darlene Koldenhoven.
Music Review: Heavy as a Feather album by Kathern Kaye.
Kathern Kaye’s second album Heavy as a Feather has been getting substantial media commentary this year. It could very well be due in part to the success and recognition she has received with her first piano and instrumental album Dreaming Still, which is another top album by Kathern Kaye, with Will Ackerman as producer.
Kathern Kaye’s first album succeeded in opening up new horizons for the once debuting new artist who was among top artists recently under consideration for Zone Music Reporter’s best album awards for 2011. Kathern’s nominations were two ZMR categories of Best New Artist & Best Instrumental Album – Piano.
Dreaming Still acquired the #1 position in the ZMR Top 100 charts for 3 months, and the #2 album on ZMR’s Top 100 Recording chart in 2011. Dreaming Still achieved an impressive top ranking from over 2300 albums by some of the best artists worldwide.
Heavy as a Feather is much in the same artistic signature as Dreaming Still by the contemporary resentation of Kathern’s skills as composing pianist with ten years of classical music education. I believe it is clear to everyone now Kathern Kaye is a versatile pianist who knows how to create beautiful song melodies with emotional depth and charm, which in turn, has moved her music career to the next level.
Heavy as a Feather is another great album produced with Will Ackerman, engineer Corin Nelsen, and a team of music professionals. Of the 11 songs, half are solo piano pieces, with the balance of songs in the accompaniment of some of the most respected artists in the music business. It’s a select group of esteemed artists that justifiably includes composing pianist Kathryn Kaye.
Kathryn Kaye composed the 11 original songs and performs on piano, with additional artists Will Ackerman (guitar), Charlie Bisharat (violin), Tom Eaton (accordion and percussion), Eugene Friesen (cello), Jill Haley (English horn), Tony Levin (bass), Michael Manring (fretless bass),and Ramesh (percussion).
Visit KathernKaye-music.com to sample Heavy as a Feather. Or visit Kathryn’s page at Amazon.com. Visit Will Ackerman and the Imaginary Road Studio at WilliamAckerman.com. Cover art courtesy A. Handelman.
Zone Music Reporter (ZMR) selected their best album awards for 2011, in an award publication made available on March 11, 2012.
Many of the artists Zone Music Reporter selected for an award also happen to be artists I have written reviews for or interviewed last year.
There are a also a number of artists I cover who were selected as album award qualifiers and award nominees, in addition to the artists chosen for the best album in ZMR music award categories.
The ZMR best album award categories for 2011 are; Album of the Year, Best New Artist, Best Contemporary Instrumental Album, Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic, Best Instrumental Album – Piano, Best Vocal Album, Best Electronic Album, Best Ambient Album.
Zone Music Reporter also has album award categories for Best Neo – Classical Album, Best Relaxation – Meditation Album, Best Chill – Groove Album, Best World Album, Best Native American Album, Best Holiday Album, Best Cover Art.
The artists I have featured at New Age Music World that won ZMR Awards for Best Albums in 2011 are shown by the album cover art below. You also have the opportunity to visit each artist’s dedicated page featured at my site by an album review or interview publication. Simply click on the album cover arts shown below to visit their dedicated pages. The artists I didn’t have a chance to write about this year are shown in text below too, along with their best album award for 2011.
Some artists Zone Music Reporter chose as award qualifiers, nominees, or selected for best album were recognized in my Best New Age Music Albums in 2011 publication I wrote on January 1, 2012.
You can read about these artists on my Best Albums Awards section. In my role as interview host and review publicist, I have the opportunity to get to know many of the artists who are ZMR award candidates.
It is always great news when I hear a number of the outstanding artists I know personally receive recognition for an album they produced in 2011. I will again be writing about top artists in 2012 by an album review or interview who will win an album award sponsored by ZMR in 2013.
New Age Music World provides full news coverage of today’s popular artists and top music celebrities. You can read my interview with Kitaro from last week, and my interview with Yanni that will soon be published. You can read reviews of their great albums from 2011 too.
The Kitaro and Yanni interviews are exclusive publications only at this site. An interview with 3 time GRAMMY® winning, Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart may be announced, so look for the news soon. The new Mickey Hart Band album is titled Mysterium Tremendum.
Congratulations to every artist who won a ZMR Award for Best Album in 2011!
1. Best Album Of The Year – Surrender by Jeff Oster.
2. Best Vocal Album – Autumn Sky by Blackmore’s Night.
3. Best Electronic Album – Spectrum: An Anthology of Relaxing Instrumental Music by Hennie Bekker.
4. Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic – Elements (Live and Uncut) by Matthew Schoening.
5. Best Contemporary Instrumental Album – Spectrum: An Anthology of Music by Hennie Bekker.
6. Best Chill – Groove Album – Surrender by Jeff Oster.
7. Best World Album – … and Love Rages On! by AOMusic.
8. Best Holiday Album – A Midnight Clear: Christmas in Mitford by Bill Leslie.
Best New Artist – Where I Belong by Sajjad, Best Instrumental Album – Piano – Red Leaf, Grey Sky: Piano Improvisations by Catherine Marie Charlton, Best Ambient Album – Resonance by Takashi Suzuki, Best Neo-Classical Album – The Royal Albert Hall Concert by Ludovico Einaudi, Best Relaxation – Meditation Album – BLISS by Paul Avgerinos, Best Native American Album – Many Paths by Lorrie Sarafin, Best Cover Art – Red Leaf, Grey Sky: Piano Improvisations by Catherine Marie Charlton.
Visit ZoneMusicReporter.com and ZMR Awards page for Best Album in 2011. Find more great albums from 2011 produced by top ranked artists in my Best New Age Albums in 2011 publication. Big Stock Photo copyright Pkruger & Stuarthe.
Kitaro is a GRAMMY® and Golden Globe Award-Winning musician in the forefront of today’s international music scene. One notable fact about his artistry is its universal appeal, bringing forth a message of peace, respect and unifying cultural connection of Eastern music with Western music.
Kitaro is a music icon recognized worldwide as a primary founder of the New Age Music Genre, but then again, the principal influence heard in his instrumental classics are uniquely his own, and in a classification by themselves. This is a point of admiration about Kitaro’s music that simply cannot be overstated.
Over the course of his distinguished music career which spans over three decades, Kitaro has produced an extensive collection of beloved instrumental classics to millions of people from every nation.
Kitaro began his innovative music career with the release of his debut solo album entitled Astral Voyage in 1978. From this time forward, Kitaro has been a leader in the music industry. The recipient of a GRAMMY® Award, 14 nominations and a Golden Globe award, Kitaro is an artist accustomed to winning prestigious awards and acclamations for his quality work year after year.
You will discover Kitaro’s music compositions are masterful in style and theme. The Silk Road series, Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai series, Thinking Of You album, and Impressions of the West Lake are some of his most prized work.
New Age Music World host John P. Olsen had an opportunity to interview Kitaro in the early part of March 2012, prior to Kitaro’s performance at a special multimedia, live concert event in Uruguay called FAROSUR. Today we are pleased to present their conversation to Kitaro’s international fan base and to all site visitors.
Kitaro Interview in 2012;
John P. Olsen: Hello Kitaro, thank you so much for accepting my interview invitation. It is a privilege to host your newest interview in 2012, here at New Age Music World. I was already very familiar with you, and the music you produce, plus I enjoyed reading even more about you while preparing for our interview together. You are indeed one of the most fascinating artists I have ever interviewed Kitaro.
Kitaro: Hello this is Kitaro, Thank you for inviting me to this interview.
John: Let me begin by saying, you are an artist who has acquired worldwide, international fame. You were born in Japan, but have lived in America for many years too. Your music regularly has a fusion of ancient or ethnic instruments with modern electronic synthesizers. What first gave you the idea for integrating instruments with near opposite sound qualities?
Kitaro: I started my music career in high school, that’s era (end of 60′s and beginning of 70′s). I listened to so much music from other countries, mostly from USA and Europe. I was very surprised by impressionable sounds. I felt like I opened the door of the new world. It was a synthesizer.
John: In regards to ethnic instruments and electronic synthesizers, do you find it a challenge to unite the two classifications of instruments in your arrangements?
Kitaro: For me, it was not difficult to combine these elements. It’s a very enjoyable moment.
John: Has living in countries around the world with varying cultures been the greatest influence with your music, and if so, how much of a role does social culture influence your music?
Kitaro: I still have a home on mountainside in Japan. It’s a 250 years old home. I learned many things; living culture, nature, life – how important these element are for our lives. Also I believe that my music is one of the elements of nature.
John: You were honored with a Japan America Society Art Without Borders award in 2002. Can you tell us about the organization and the reason they presented their premier award to you?
Kitaro: I believe most of the members of this organization want to make a better relationship between Japan and USA through our work.
John: Your Love and Peace Planet Music Tours have made your music accessible to concert audiences worldwide. Your music has universal appeal. It is what sets you apart from other artists, and makes you special. How do you make the connection of unity with your concert audiences?
Kitaro: I believe music has a power to influence audience’s mind and soul. So, we are trying to make peaceful mind within our sounds.
John: Since people of various countries often have their individual tastes in music, have you ever performed concerts to fit the tastes of Eastern or Western audiences, or do you always strive for universal sound qualities?
Kitaro: Sometimes when we visit another country and perform, we try to re-arrange the song to fit the audience and perform some of the songs which people know as a popular song. It’s very fun for us too.
John: You are proficient on a number of traditional instruments like guitar, keyboards, and percussion. What indigenous instruments do you play, and what do you feel are the natural melodic qualities of each one?
Kitaro: I have traveled many countries and collected many traditional musical instruments. And I’m still trying to play and make beautiful sounds of these instruments. Since each instrument has a deep culture influence of each country, it is a timeless process for me.
John: Of the many orchestral and ethnic instruments you play, which instrument(s) do you feel best speaks from the heart, or are your collection of instruments simply a tool for your own inner expression?
Kitaro: I’m trying to have an experience of different cultures to see the behind of the sounds and instruments.
John: Percussion instruments likewise have a special place in your heart too. I read each year you make a customary pilgrimage to Mount Fuji to perform a formal drum ceremony. Would you like to tell us about the Wadaikos tradition?
Kitaro: Rhythm and beat is our PULSE and our BLOOD. I have never learned drumming but we can play some, because drumming is a simple thing but deep – following our heart beat.
About Taiko-drum ceremony at Mt. Fuji in Japan: It has been already 24 years since we started. This ceremony is not complicated explanatory thing. It’s very simple.
This is an appreciation for this Mother Earth and to create ties to it through drumming.
We invite many people from the young to the old. Any ages can come to Mount Fuji. Then we play drum together on the full moon night in September every year. Same as many spiritual Native tribes doing, we try to connect to spiritual moments through the drumming.
John: Your instrumental music is an unlimited collection, or in a universal category of its own style. Although your music can’t be defined by one music style or genre, your earliest albums began the structural foundation for the New Age Music Genre.
When you first began producing music decades ago, did you envision the instrumental music you were producing at the time was to be a major influence, past, present, and future with the new age genre?
Kitaro: I have never thought of becoming ”New Age Music” like an individual Genre. But I believe this kind of sounds and music is what we need. I’ll keep going on my music.
John: You have a long and enduring relationship with Tangerine Dream founder Klaus Schultz. What is your association with Klaus Schultz, and how did your friendship begin?
Kitaro: In my First recording at England during the 70’s, we tried to propose him if he could produce for our Band, because we like Tangerine Dream sounds. Our Band (Far East Family Band) focused on progressive and electric music since we started the band.
John: I read you and the late Takeshi Kato, who was the Chairman of the Korg Corporation also had an enduring relationship over the years too. Would you tell us about your friendship with Takeshi Kato and the influence he has made with your music?
Kitaro: Mr. Kato supported many musicians, not only Japanese musicians but musicians from all over the world for more than 40 years. In early days of company “KORG,” he and I always worked with engineer discussing and explaining what kind of sounds we like to have, then engineer tried to create machine. In those days, we have still used analogue technology (I still like this technology).
He passed away last year – He was like my FATHER.
John: I am truly sorry to hear of your personal loss. I didn’t realize you were so close. Takeshi Kato will be missed by many people worldwide. You have collaborated with many equally great rock music artists like Grateful Dead drummer Mickey Hart, on The Light Of The Spirit, and progressive rock YES vocalist Jon Anderson, on Transcendent Dream, both of which were highly successful albums. Your soundtrack and modern day opera Impressions of the West Lake was likewise a partnership with international filmmaker Zhang Yimou. Would you please tell us about your projects with Zhang Yimou?
Kitaro: Mr. Zhang Yimou offered me to make original music for “Impression of the West Lake” in 2007. First, it was their idea – Then I had a trip to China to have meeting with production people. And they showed me my recent DVD ”TAMAYURA,” which is a collaboration with Butoh Dance company performed at traditional Japanese Garden.
Mr. Zhang Yimou told me that they wanted to make the stage like this – I was so surprised, and the production was not easy. Because work continued with construction and composing music at same time, depending on stage direction handled by Mr. Zhang Yimou. We always waited for his comments. During the project, I enjoyed working with him so much for his dynamic direction and mind.
John: You were honored by a Composer Award at the 51st Golden Globe Awards for your wonderful Soundtrack for Heaven & Earth, a movie directed by Oliver Stone. Would you like to tell us about your soundtrack compositional work with film director Oliver Stone?
Kitaro: This Film was a third film of Vietnam War by Mr. Oliver Stone, as for my understanding. I learned many things; film score, filming, production and etc. I had a trip to Vietnam with him (Mr. Stone), his crew, actors and actresses. Since the film director decided everything; sounds, editing and all the details, even when my composition has done, he needed to confirm if music is right for the scene. And it took four years. His work had a lot of intention. That is good mood for me.
John: The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series was conceived during the days after the tragedy of September 11, 2001 (9/11). What was the setting, and the reasons for you to produce the Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series?
Kitaro: I focused on thinking about what is ”world peace,“ then I came up with this project. It has not finished yet. It’s still on the way to become “World Peace.” I believe Human will make “World Peace” someday.
John: The Silk Road Series is said to be one of your many arrangements considered a musical masterpiece. What were the circumstances surrounding the production of your highly acclaimed Silk Road Series?
Kitaro: I had been influenced by the theme of Silk Road which is an ancient road between Asia and Europe.
My imagination has grown so much with this theme at the time NHK offered to me to make music for Silk Road. Also I had a trip to China and Soviet Union (old day) after finishing composition. It was a fun trip. All of the places I visited were peaceful. But they changed too much today.
John: You composed the soundtrack for a Japanese television documentary series that ran for five years titled Silk Road. How does the soundtrack music differ from the Silk Road series album collection?
Kitaro: I had a travel to Silk Road by “SOUND.”
John: Your music has earned you a GRAMMY® Award and 14 Nominations over the years. These are significant awards and nominations. Are album awards and acclamations of your musical works important to you at all, or do you consider them simply a testimonial of your many achievements?
Kitaro: Awards are not my goal.
John: Over the years while attending the GRAMMY® Awards, you have had many opportunities to form friendships with other artists who were under award consideration like yourself. Could you tell us about your experiences while attending the awards ceremony?
Kitaro: When I got 43rd Grammy Awards, my friend David Foster was on stage and he called my name. David said “congratulation” and I could release my tension and relax and talk.
John: I am certain there will be a number of debuting and professional artists who will read our interview. Many artists maybe look to you like a mentor, and hope to achieve the level of success you have reached in your career. Do you have any words of advice you can offer, or a strategy an artists should bear in mind during the course of their music careers?
Kitaro: Each artist has a different theme. So it’s not easy to say something. Maybe only I can say is, “You can compose and create Music for another person, simply just as a gift for another all living thing and for this planet. That would be GREAT. Trust your feeling.”
John: On March 27, and March 28, 2012 you have a special live concert event in Uruguay. It is a premiere event conceived by Emil Montgomery called FAROSUR. I read this is a multimedia artistic show, and collective group effort. Who are some of the artists involved?
Kitaro: This event will be a great friendship concert between Emil. Suzanne Ciani and I will perform some of the music (new song) together. We will perform every song from our HEART.
John: What is the theme or purpose of the FAROSUR concert event?
Kitaro: My understanding is “WORLD PEACE.” It’s beyond everything.
John: Your philosophic viewpoint is a matter of record. It is one of peace, respect and unity, shared by many people. What does it “feel like” to be a respected artist, who has an opportunity to express your message of peace worldwide?
Kitaro: We hope music effect all over the world. People can feel and think about future.
John: During your international concerts around the world, you have performed live before audiences of over 50,000 people. Would you like to tell about your experience meeting people worldwide, what it means to you personally, and how it influences the music you produce?
Kitaro: We always appreciate that many people come to see our performance. But our performance is not only our performance. We are performing with an audience, making collaboration.
John: I would love to release some news for your fans about a new Kitaro album or a concert tour in the planning stages. Is there any additional Kitaro news you would like to announce today?
Kitaro: I’m working and producing a Native American person’s (Dennis Banks) song which is related with Nature, living with Nature, songs coming from life style and spiritual experience.
John: Your music is very much on the forefront of today’s music scene. Interest in your music has grown tremendously over the years, and you have a wonderful story to share. It has been a privilege to host your newest interview in 2012 Kitaro. I hope we have a chance to visit again to update everyone on the current news about you. In closing for now, is there anything you would like to express to our readers, and the fans that have supported you throughout your career?
Kitaro: I really appreciate all of listeners and audience and all of living things on this planet.
“Thank you so much.” Kitaro
Photos are courtesy kitaromusic.com and domomusicgroup.com.
Legendary musician Kitaro continues the time honored tradition of bringing his ageless instrumental classics to millions of fans worldwide. The year 2012 is after all, much like another other year in the past, where fans of popular new age music can find many selections of the best new albums and songs all from a man who goes by the name Kitaro.
The fascinating story of Kitaro is legendary. Beginning his music career over 30 years ago, Kitaro’s intriguing journey to prominence arose with the release of his first album entitled Astral Voyage back in 1978.
Crossing many milestones along the way, Kitaro is a true innovator who remains in the forefront of the music recording industry today, just as he was the vanguard in the new age music scene years ago.
Fans of Kitaro know his discography has not only increased in volume, but has increased in popularity as time goes by too. In recent years to the present, some of the best new music from Kitaro has progressed in diversity more than ever, but the admiration for his work is at all times constant. It may leave many of us wondering what motivates or inspires him.
Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai – Volume 4 from 2010 is one of his best albums in the Ku-Kai series. The 4 CD Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai album collection is inherently monumental, and in an exclusive class by itself. The motivation for Kitaro’s Ku-Kai series as many fans may know arose after the global events on the fateful day of September 11, 2001.
On 9/11 Kitaro was on a jet from Japan traveling en route to Los Angeles when the transcontinental flight was diverted to Hawaii for 5 days due to the tragedy. It was during this time of disbelief and uncertainty Kitaro envisioned the Ku-Kai series as a means of uniting the world by music embracing a universal message of peace.
Peace thru music is not a new concept on the surface, but I, like other people find his personal belief and inner conviction with producing Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai, an honorable concept of peace and unity that is profound nonetheless.
The Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series is an earthly travel that transports the listener to 88 sacred temples located on Shikoku Island in Japan. The music is a serene journey in its own right. The true to life excursion made over 1100 years ago on Shikoku Island in Japan endures to this day.
The music in Kitaro’s modern day journey has an itinerary of refined harmony made for reflection. Every instrumental song on the series is comprised of bells from one of the holy temples, integrated into the series with Kitaro’s internal vision of peaceful harmony in music and in life shown externally. It may be why many consider Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai series the best new albums by Kitaro.
Nearly every day I describe an artist’s album and its qualities, but rarely do I focus or reveal the intrinsic motivation of an artist’s instrumental creation. Ku-Kai series Vol. 1, Vol. 2, Vol. 3 & Vol. 4 earned Kitaro a GRAMMY® Nomination in the Best New Age Album category, which basically speaks for itself. The admiration for Kitaro and his music that unites the world is, of all things, real and constant.
Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai - Vol. 4 has 8 songs titled; Lotus Mountain, Yakushi, Magic Seeds, Reflection Of Water, South Wind, Circle Pray, Requiem & Ritual Winds. I have the privilege of interviewing Kitaro in the near future. During our interview I hope to reveal the central element that inspires one of the top instrumental music producers today.
Visit the Domo Music Group Kitaro pages to sample or purchase Kitaro’s music, and then visit DomoMusicGroup.com. Read Kitaro’s Ku-Kai page at Domo Music Group for more about this special series. Photos courtesy domomusicgroup.com.
Kitaro is a GRAMMY® and Golden Globe award-winning artist who earned acclaim and respect from the beginning of his music career. Over the past 30 years Kitaro has remained passionate with his music creations, maintaining the highest quality standards as a composer, while delivering voluminous concertos to music fans worldwide.
With volumes of Kitaro CD albums and song downloads to choose from wouldn’t it would be advantageous if the best albums by the legendary artist Kitaro were sold as a single collection? Now it is!
Domo Music Group makes the decision making process easier by offering a limited edition of Kitaro’s best albums. This extraordinary collection isn’t cheap, but when you average the cost per CD, and bonus DVD, it turns out to be an economically priced collection.
The Ultimate Kitaro Collection – Silk Road Journey is an extensive selection of the best albums by Kitaro. The Ultimate Kitaro Collection includes 15 CD albums and the Yakushiji Live DVD. Of the 15 CDs total, you will find most are albums in which he received either a GRAMMY® Award or received nomination.
Kitaro’s GRAMMY® Award winning Thinking Of You is included, along with other favorite albums like The Impressions Of The West Lake soundtrack, Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volumes 1 -4, The Best Of Silk Road, Peace On Earth CDs, and more.
I am pleased to announce I have an interview scheduled with Kitaro in the near future. New Age Music World is preparing to roll out the red carpet for Masanori Takahashi, and the millions of international fans who would like to read the newest interview with Kitaro in 2012. Until the new interview with Kitaro in 2012 is published, view the video below for The Ultimate Kitaro Collection – Silk Road Journey.
Yanni and the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) have an enduring connection starting with the early years in his career as an international concert musician. The American PBS stations aired Yanni’s live concert events in historic locations like Live at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece, Tribute concert in India, and Live at Royal Albert Hall in London England.
This new Yanni concert is a PBS program of Yanni and his orchestra performing at the 16th-century Castillo San Felipe del Morro in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Like past PBS concerts, a DVD and CD of this historic concert event is now available at Yanni.com.
PBS stations nationwide will begin airing the Yanni concert performance beginning March 3, 2012, with the opportunity for you to see the recorded live PBS concert. You can check your local PBS station schedule for your area programing date and time.
The PBS televised concert is around one and a half hours long, and features several new songs, along with favorite songs by Yanni. The songs performed during the event are; Santorini, Felitsa, Voyage, The End of August, The Rain Must Fall, Nightingale, Acroyali, Marching Season, Standing in Motion, Nostalgia, The Storm, One Man’s Dream.
Visit Yanni.com for information and PBS concert program listings in your area. Photo is courtesy Yanni.com.
New Age Music World prides itself in offering visitors a variety of ways to find out more about their favorite artist. Music interviews are an excellent way to learn more about today’s popular artists and their music in a contemporary setting. I am pleased to announce two esteemed popular artist have accepted my interview invitation.
Kitaro & Yanni are two popular interview guests whose open conversations about their life and music are currently scheduled for an exclusive music interview here at NewAgeMusicWorld.com.
Kitaro & Yanni are two of today’s top instrumental artists, whose fans of all nationalities number into the millions. It’s a privilege to present an interview for their fans and my site visitors. A word of thanks to Kitaro and Yanni for giving everyone a moment of their time.
Read 24 music interviews with popular artists on my interview section. I am preparing for more music interviews with popular artists so check back for another announcement about future guest artists. BigStockPhoto copyright – Ihfgraphics.
Mannheim Steamroller has a “best of the best album collection” in their newest Fresh Aire Music series, which turns out to be an outstanding newer album addition for the millions of Mannheim Steamroller album collectors worldwide.
The Fresh Aire music on this 2 CD collector’s edition does revisit earlier songs, but with specialized reproduction enhancements, next generation digital sound on this release is extraordinary. You can have your favorite songs in one neat little CD package!
The Fresh Aire Music of Mannheim Steamroller is the title of this 2 CDs special collector’s best album edition. Even if you already have some of the previous albums, or own the entire 8 CD album collection of the Fresh Aire series, I discovered there are several advantages to purchasing this particular “best of album.”
The dynamic instrumental sound is even better today as the original songs, some of which were released decades ago. I thought the band founder and director Chip Davis did a wonderful job of selecting the 25 songs on the 2 disc album collection too.
Mannheim Steamroller has released 8 Fresh Aire albums altogether in their definitive series. The Fresh Aire 7 album had earned Chip Davis a GRAMMY® Award, and with every single one of the eight albums having a one after another linage of being certified gold, it’s as if this new Fresh Aire release comes with an instant pedigree. Some songs date back to 1975 when Chip Davis first introduced his exclusive blend of instrumental new age music to the world for the first time!
Chip Davis compiled the 2 CD best album collection playlist from the previous 8 certified gold albums in the definitive Fresh Aire Series, on this special, value priced album. Most are up-tempo instrumental songs that are crisp, bold, and vibrant in every sense, and chances are you will find every one of your favorite songs like I did.
If you follow the Billboard New Age Charts, you know Mannheim Steamroller’s best albums are in the Top 10 New Age charts nearly every year. Especially during the Christmas holidays.
Musicians on The Fresh Aire Music of Mannheim Steamroller album collection are Chip Davis, who performs multiple instrumentals. Jackson Berkey is the primary keyboardist, and The London Symphony Orchestra was introduced into the mix on several songs. Strings, woodwinds, and brass sections were performed by Arnie Roth (violin), Ron Cooley (guitar), Bobby Jensen (oboe), David Kappy (French horn), Eric Hansen (bass, lute, and classical guitar).
Mannheim Steamroller’s music awards of 16 gold records, 7 platinum records, 4 multi-platinum records, and concert tours have made Mannheim Steamroller one of the favorite groups of all time!
Visit MannheimSteamroller.com to sample or purchase The Fresh Aire Music of M.S. and 2012 Concert Tour information. You can also discover a great selection of gifts at the Mannheim Steamroller store and Fresh Aire album at Amazon.com. Photo is courtesy Sherri Durrell & MannheimSteamroller.com.
International Nouveau Flamenco ensemble Luna Blanca is now leading the way to worldwide prominence by their festive new release entitled El Dorado. The vibrant forerunner to Luna Blanca’s new album was their celebrated flagship album Provence, which in retrospect is, one of the best Nouveau Flamenco releases from coast to coast.
Luna Blanca has ascended to the highest summit as a group, nearing the verge of perfection with their elite signature song melodies that have carried them to international acclaim on every continent.
This time around Luna Blanca intensifies their musical fortitude by moving Nouveau Flamenco music to new elevations, where no artists before them have reached. The highest latitude of earlier success may be due in part to a precise focus on producing energetic song melodies. Created with true passion, it’s only natural Luna Blanca’s vibrant flamenco music appeals to a broad multicultural audience.
The Germany based band Luna Blanca, who regularly perform live concerts, have reached international prestige over the past decade and duly earned their reputation as one of the most popular Nouveau Flamenco music ensembles worldwide. The cosmopolitan sound qualities heard in El Dorado express the diverse ethnicity of Nouveau Flamenco with classic sophistication and grace, yet the sunny casual atmosphere is the greatest defining characteristic of Luna Blanca.
El Dorado is a remarkable new flamenco album by the straightforward presentation of Luna Blanca, and the inherent qualities of artisanship that first began their rise to popularity. It is clear to me that Luna Blanca has their fingers placed on the pulse of today’s popular Nouveau Flamenco music style.
Masterful in this new flamenco music release, founding band member and guitarist Richard Hecks, and co-composing pianist Helmut Graebe, select world-class musicians like brilliant rhythm guitarist Bino Dola, and Clemens Paskert, a dazzling performer on bass guitar, percussion and second part keyboards.
Luna Blanca clearly has a new reason to celebrate in 2012 with the release of their new El Dorado album. When taking into consideration the Top 10 radio chart success, glowing reviews and accolades given to Provence the past year, it’s as if their time for festive celebration is never ending with each passing year.
Luna Blanca has produced an exhilarating new wave of excitement with this new project in 2012 which nearly guarantees El Dorado will be one of the best and most talked about Nouveau Flamenco music albums during the year 2012 and beyond.
I can picture another year of honors and tributes, again with all glasses raised in a goodwill toast to Luna Blanca. Cheers!
Visit LunaBlancaMusic.com. Find the soon to be released El Dorado at the Luna Blanca music store, or at Amazon.com. Read about their Provence album on my page for Luna Blanca. Photos are courtesy lunablancamusic.com.
Nouveau Flamenco ensemble Luna Blanca has a new reason to celebrate the year 2012. So do fans of the Bocholt Germany based band, who admire Luna Blanca, a fine group recognized for their energetic song melodies backed by lively drumbeat world rhythms. This spring is the season opener for Luna Blanca’s exciting new Flamenco release El Dorado.
Luna Blanca is releasing El Dorado on the heels of their highly prized release Provence, which climbed the online radio charts to earn the # 7 position on the Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Radio Airplay Charts for October 2010. The 12 songs on Luna Blanca’s Provence also received award nomination in the ZMR Annual Music Awards in two categories of Best Instrumental Album (Acoustic) and Best World Album.
El Dorado is a new album in 2012 representing the inherent music qualities that first began their rise to fame and admiration as a Nouveau Flamenco ensemble, but in a more pronounced instrumental variety. After listening to some songs from El Dorado, I can say the songs I listened to are comparable to their best songs from the Provence album. Recently I had the privilege of writing the CD inside cover text for Luna Blanca’s El Dorado album, so an exclusive, pre-release album review for El Dorado will be published in a few days here at New Age Music World.
The group Luna Blanca is made up of founder Richard Hecks (lead guitar) and co-composer Helmut Graebe (piano). Contributing artists are Bino Dola (rhythm guitar, 2nd part lead guitar) and Clemens Paskert (bass, percussions, second part keyboards). Springtime is not too far away, so look for new songs from Luna Blanca in 2012. Simply stated, El Dorado is Luna Blanca’s newest prize Nouveau Flamenco album that will be available as a CD album and new song downloads at their online store or at iTunes.
Watch the song video of Desperado (Church Bell Mix), and join the over 35,000 people who have viewed the official song video in less than a month. The Desperado (Church Bell Mix) song video also feature artistic paintings that are often on exhibit during their live concerts. The 13 songs on Luna Blanca’s new Flamenco album are El Dorado, Los Ojos, Obsession, Desperado, Kolibri, Dreaming, Summer Breeze, Dos Guitarras, Guapa, Hurry Up, Río Mamoré, Puesta del Sol & Medianoche.
Visit LunaBlancaMusic.com to sample or purchase CD albums or find single new song downloads soon at their music store or when you visit Luna Blanca’s iTunes page for album and song downloads. Photo is courtesy lunablancamusic.com.
Music of every popular genre is a stimulus that is proven to touch our emotions in a variety of ways. This broad statement has been recited well enough that everyone should be in agreement, knowing firsthand that music can induce sensations and emotional responses from exhilaration to melancholy, and every emotion in-between. Some songs can relax a person to the point it will lull them to sleep.
The Liquid Mind Musical Healthcare® experience developed by Emmy® nominated songwriter and recording artist Chuck Wild, is one of today’s most advanced forms of music designed specifically for sound relaxation and sleep therapy.
Of the 11 best-selling Liquid Mind albums, Dream: A Liquid Mind Experience is the newest relaxation album from Los Angeles based composer, Chuck Wild, a 2009 recipient of a President’s Award from the American Music Therapy Association.
Relax: A Liquid Mind Experience is another sleep enhancing album by Chuck Wild that spent 71 consecutive weeks in Billboard Magazine Top 10 New Age Chart.
Chuck Wild of Liquid Mind is a top recording artist with over 30 years of experience in the music industry. During his lengthy tenure, Chuck Wild has composed over 125 songs, some of which were employed in the television and film industry. Many of you may already be familiar with him like I was since Chuck is a popular artist associated with the high profile groups Missing Persons, Paula Abdul, Frank Zappa, the late Michael Jackson, and a host of top-ranked, pop music icons.
Relax: A Liquid Mind Experience is a Best Selling New Age Album at Amazon, and Liquid Mind VIII: Sleep, was recently the #1 album in the U.S Top Ten New Age Chart at iTunes. This is in direct correlation to his top-ranking status as an artist.
Dream: A Liquid Mind Experience, on the Real Music Label, is a popular Liquid Mind album getting a wide awake, positive yes response from Billboard and iTunes in 2012. Liquid Mind relaxation albums have consistently made the Top 10 Album charts and Top 10 Song charts at Billboard and iTunes.
Chuck Wild is a musician, and not a physician, so he doesn’t make scientific claims about his calm music for relaxation therapy. However his composing techniques do involve non-rhythm, musical metrics and specific filtering of mid and high range frequencies to achieve like physical responses of scientifically supported research. Developed to treat his individual anxiety disorder, the free flowing music is a stimulus intended to help direct other people into a calming state of relaxation. Perhaps his peaceful music will help you get to sleep too.
Even the title Liquid Mind suggests an orchestration that carries a balanced cloud of relaxation. It is like a mental picture portraying his calming song melodies in the form of two words. Perfect for people who like to experience the full spectrum music has to offer, the focus on made for relaxation music is crystal clear.
Liquid Mind albums may or may not put you to sleep, but once you experience the balanced sound qualities for yourself, an image of comforting music that floats weightlessly in your mind becomes even clearer.
Visit LiquidMindMusic.com and sample or purchase his albums and digital downloads at RealMusic.com or Amazon.com. You can get a free mp3 of the song Serenity from the Liquid Mind V: Serenity release. Photos are courtesy Chuck Wild.
Chuck Wild of Liquid Mind is the artist behind his best-selling Liquid Mind albums made for relaxation. While Liquid Mind albums are popular arrangements made specifically for relaxation and sleep, every one of the 11 Liquid Mind albums is perfect for yoga and massage. Developed by Emmy® nominated songwriter and recording artist Chuck Wild, Liquid Mind is synonymous with health, wellness, and relaxation.
Liquid Mind IX: Lullaby is one of the many releases Chuck Wild produced in his Liquid Mind Musical Healthcare® series. His advanced forms of music have universal appeal by the various benefits with health related conditions related to wellness.
Liquid Mind IX: Lullaby is a fine example of the diverse health related practices in which his orchestrations are employed. Designed for sound relaxation and sleep therapy in mind, people who teach or perform yoga and massage have many positive comments about Chuck Wild, and his universal music with widespread appeal. People who have benefited from his music made comments in the song video below.
Sample Whisper to Me from Liquid Mind IX: Lullaby album and visit LiquidMindMusic.com. Cover art courtesy Chuck Wild.
The 54th GRAMMY® Award Winners in some categories were released before the televised presentation held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 12, 2012. If you want to see results of your favorite artist or genre, all categories for GRAMMY® Award winners and nominees will be shown when they are released.
Pat Metheny won a GRAMMY® Award in the New Age Music category for his What’s It All About album. Selected best out of five albums total in the new age music category, Pat Metheny’s 19th GRAMMY® award was selected by voting members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS).
The GRAMMY® Awards, inaugurated in 1959, was formed to recognize artists for their achievements in the music recording industry. Andreas Vollenweider’s Down To The Moon has the honor of being the first new age artist to win a GRAMMY® in the New Age category in 1986. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences had earlier classified the award as Best New Age Recording.
The World Music Genre category was first initiated in 1991, when Grateful Dead member Mickey Hart won an award for his Planet Drum album.
While the New Age Music Genre and some others only have an award category for Best New Age Album, maybe someday more categories like Best New Artist and Best New Age Song will be added, and included in the televised broadcast.
Visit PatMetheny.com to sample or purchase. Sample every nominee’s album on the article I wrote titled 54th GRAMMY® Nominees; Best New Age Album. If you want to read more about NARAS history, you can visit the Wikipedia page for GRAMMY® Award for Best New Age Album.
Photos are courtesy patmetheny.com & grammy.com.
AOMusic is a select group of artists whose foundation for their music is in part, a humanitarian message about children around the world who are in need of our assistance. In addition to the beautiful world fusion rhythms heard on their release – …and Love Rages On! – it’s the children and boys choirs featured on AOMusic’s album that is in itself special.
The children’s youth choirs from Africa, America, China and the People’s Republic of Georgia are underprivileged children who are often the tragic victims of war and famine, in some cases due to greed and corruption within their own governments. Many of the children featured in AOMusic’s choirs are homeless or orphans.
AOMusic has a message to share by their music. The principal members of AOMusic group are founder Richard Gannaway, Jay Oliver, and lead singer Miriam Stockly. The message of the principal members, in addition to their contributing artists, is sincere and a simple one. It’s about children who need our help. Through music they hope to raise awareness by reaching both our ears and our hearts.
For some people it is much easier to let someone else do what is necessary to help combat the plight of children in need, and too many times the message falls upon deaf ears. Thankfully, there are people worldwide who do take on the task by their contributions of time and money. They are the people we would like to express our gratitude.
New Age Music World host John Olsen has interviewed founding artist Richard Gannaway and vocalist Miriam Stockly of AOMusic. It is our hope everyone can learn more about the children and AOMusic’s message through music album entitled …and Love Rages On!
Interview with AOMusic Members;
John P. Olsen: Richard and Miriam, thank you for consenting to this interview. I have learned a lot more about AOMusic, and your mission to bring awareness to the plight of the children’s choirs featured in your newest album. I am able to recognize your personal contributions on behalf of the children, and your desire to get other people involved is sincere, and it’s a privilege to participate by hosting our interview today.
Let me begin by saying your album is a fine release. In fact, earlier I selected AOMusic’s – …and Love Rages On! – for the Best New Age Albums in 2011 Awards on January 1, 2012 here at New Age Music World. I have a lot of questions about the children featured in your release, but let me let me ask a couple questions about the album they have performed choir vocals on first.
Your release was selected a qualifying album in Zone Music Reporter’s 2011 Album of the Year, Best World Album and the Best Vocal Album categories. With the ZMR Awards for 2011 to be announced on March 11, 2012, do you have confidence – …and Love Rages On! – will be among the albums selected in the Zone Music Reporter Awards in 2012?
Miriam Stockly: I have high hopes for – …and Love Rages On! – and certainly winning one of these prestigious awards would be a great honor for us all.
John: With the 3 Zone Music Reporter Album of the Year, Best World Album and Best Vocal Album categories, do you feel you have a better chance of winning in any particular award category – since you can pretty much tell which albums by other artists you are competing with in each award category?
Miriam Stockly: As a composer and artist, I am rooting for Album of the Year or Best World Album. As a singer, a huge part of me would be really chuffed if we managed to get Best Vocal Album. I am very biased when it comes to the quality of vocals we perform on this album.
Richard Gannaway: It is great to see that the album has connected strongly with ZMR’s global network, and we hope the uniqueness of AOMusic’s universal palette shines through in these categories.
John: I must say your release really is special from the rest, so I hope the best for you in the ZMR Awards later in 2012. The children and boys choirs featured on – …and Love Rages On! – are youth choirs from Africa, America, China and the People’s Republic of Georgia. How did you select the children and boys choirs for your world fusion release?
Richard Gannaway: Thank You! Thus far, we haven’t needed to go searching the world for children’s ensembles. In most of the regions we travel, our hosts procure good choirs for us, and we arrange to record them on location. I also receive numerous invitations to record children in several countries.
With regard to this album: We were introduced to the CRC Children’s Choir during our first trip to Beijing in 2001. The Martve Boys Choir was introduced to me at a press conference in Tbilisi for a possible concert to benefit a local orphanage. The Johannesburg ensemble is from the grammar school Miriam attended as a child, and the other two choirs are from the towns we each reside in.
John: Could you give us some information on the international choirs, featured in – …and Love Rages On! – album?
Richard Gannaway: The CRC Children’s Choir is a group of kids that are handpicked from all over the Republic of China. They are the best-trained youth choir we have ever encountered, and their ears are highly developed. They were very shy and reserved at first, though by our third trip to Beijing, they were in full form.
The Martve Boys Choir in Tbilisi is the preparatory version of the famous Rustavi Singers. A few of the children are recruited from orphanages, and the choir is underfunded. The vocal polyphony is a Georgian folk tradition that blends East, Middle East and Western influence – very beautiful.
The choir in Johannesburg is from a grammar school, well known for its music program, and directed by three women with prestigious classical backgrounds. Several of the children are from the countryside, and a few are adopted by the school, which sometimes takes in homeless kids.
John: What is the best part about working with, and getting to know the kids of all nationalities personally?
Richard Gannaway: There are several things wonderful about that, but primarily it is a tremendous curiosity the children exhibit towards us, because westerners do not often engage them in this way. In the places we tend to visit, their lives are full of tradition, and they are very keen on sharing customs. Naturally their joy and enthusiasm is a great experience, and when we add their tracks to a song, it never fails to surprise the three of us how they bring that final measure of authenticity and spirit we like to strive for. Aside from travel logistics, they are probably the easiest part of the production process, which anyone in the recording arts will attest, can be very meticulous work.
John: I read you have also established a non-profit foundation to benefit the children and other fundraising projects. How are your donations distributed to the organization, and where can people donate money?
Richard Gannaway: AO Foundation International is an umbrella for well-organized, grassroots causes around the globe, and we have barely scratched the surface of what is out there. The focus is on children, community and sustainability.
The AOFI non-profit model will ultimately provide a way for artists to share intellectual property with several of these charities, as well as specific causes in the regions where we record children. Presently, through HavServe, Arcturian Gate (our indie label) donates 10% of this album’s sales to construction of a sustainable village in Haiti, where children were orphaned by the 2008 earthquake. People can make a donation to the AOMUSIC 4 Haiti campaign by visiting our website – aomusic.com.
John: The children and boy’s choirs are very much an integral part of – …and Love Rages On! You also have a number of great artists who perform instrumentals. Could you tell us about the contributing artists?
Richard Gannaway: Yes, the circle of contributing artists has expanded over the years. Sandeep Chowta is a popular Bollywood film score composer, and as a contributing producer, he brings a vast resource of talent in that region. Ashwin Srinivasan plays Indian flute, which Sandeep recorded in his Mumbai studio.
Michael Cooney is a national champion piper from Tipperary who played Irish penny whistle on the album, and was recently nominated for an Irish Music Association Award. Kimba Arem from Boulder, Colorado played didgeridoo on our last two albums, and is known all over the world for her work in music and sound therapy.
The AOMusic regulars are Andy Georges, who helps out with various stringed instruments, and has been recording with Jay Oliver and myself since the early nineties. He occasionally contributes as co-writer, and spends a lot of time doing film score work on the west coast. George Bernardo (percussion) and Doug Lunn (bass) are also regular contributors whom we have known for many years, and they just completed Doug’s first solo album, the Doug Lunn Project, which is now getting excellent reviews in the jazz world.
John: How were you introduced to the music professionals who make up AOMusic?
Richard: Jay Oliver and I are originally from St Louis, Missouri and met there in 1988 through a mutual friend as he was about to go on tour with Jimmy Buffett. We invited Miriam to sing on On Jai Ya in 2001, though we didn’t meet her until she and her family moved to Orlando, Florida a few years later.
Jay introduced me to Andy Georges in 1989, who helped me start the rock project Tiger & the Helix. I met George Bernardo in Tampa, Florida in 1995 soon after releasing the Peace Face album, and in 2002 we all met Doug Lunn at our Carlsbad studio, while he was touring with Peter Buffett’s Spirit Dance project.
John: You both are primary members, in addition to Jay Oliver. How did AOMusic begin, and how has AOMusic progressed over the years musically?
Richard Gannaway: In 1996, I had just come off an overseas Helix tour with visions of a new project full of world textures and children. I approached Jay with the idea, and as altruistic as it seemed at the time, he was eager to explore it with me.
Peter Gabriel, Deep Forest and Adiemus had already broken some really interesting ground, which seemed to imply a frontier of hybrid possibilities, so we simply took songs I had written for the next Helix album and replaced the rock instruments with key-generated ethnic samples. Our female singer friends recorded the refrains in a higher register to emulate children, and at the time, Jay was touring on and off with Glenn Frey and Dave Weckl, though we finally released the Grow Wild album in 2000.
Since then, we have been exploring music traditions in other parts of the world, which gives us a new depth of field for putting songs together. Jay offers a lot of possibilities for supporting a piece with interesting harmony. He is also a perfectionist when it comes to rhythm and feel, which has taught me quite a lot.
After our sessions, we spend a good amount of time discussing why we are so smitten with this or that new musical discovery, and most of the time it just comes down to a few simple chords and a melody. We have learned that if we bring Miriam a well-crafted musical bed to sing over, she’ll be inspired to do amazing things.
John: AOMusic was selected to compose theme music for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing and Give Kids the World. Plus AOMusic is featured in the 2011 promotional trailer for Project Peace On Earth. How did you both become involved with these projects, and what is the mission behind the projects?
Miriam Stockly: I was living in London at the time when I received a call from Richard in the States. He asked me if I would be interested in working on a piece of music he and Jay had composed specifically for the Chinese Olympics. He had heard my work with ‘Adiemus’ and he wanted to incorporate my African kids tribal sound (to which I had become synonymous) into the track. That is how I became involved.
Richard Gannaway: Frank Mayor of Cinevision International brought Jay and I to Beijing in 2001 and introduced us to a China Record Company executive who was asked by the Beijing Olympic Committee to procure theme music. We gave him Grow Wild as a demo, and the committee liked it enough to give us a go at it.
Give Kids the World is a fantasy resort where terminally ill children from around the world can go with their families – often the end product of the Make a Wish Foundation. Miriam and I were invited to tour the complex, after which they asked us to write their theme piece, which is the first track Gaiya Lo Mane.
Steve Robertson of Project Peace on Earth called me in 2009, just after we released the Twirl album and invited AOMusic to be a musical ambassador for the project. The PPOE vision is to hold concerts once a year at a sacred site, like Stonehenge, the Great Pyramids, Machu Pichu, etc, and simulcast the show to a global audience for fundraising, similar to Live-Aid. The proceeds then feed and clothes children in the Middle East and Africa.
John: Richard, I know you and Miriam are committed to helping children around the world, and you try to spread the message and support them in a number of ways. What moved you, or what was the catalyst that first led to your own personal decision to provide support for children’s projects?
Miriam Stockly: I am a mother of two beautiful and talented children, who have been fortunate enough to grow up in a loving and nurturing environment, unlike so many children in war torn, weather stricken and third world countries. Children are an inspiration to us all. Their innocence touches our hearts and the message that is sent out via the sound of children’s voices is a very powerful one. I have always supported children’s charities, beginning with an African child I ‘adopted’ many years ago via the Red Cross.
Richard Gannaway: At the start of this project, I was simply creating an international aesthetic of children to convey a message of unity. It was not until AO began traveling in the developing world that I saw how many of them live in the most abject poverty imaginable.
It first struck me on a highway outside Manila while driving past miles of city waste heaps where thousands of homeless children lived. I saw the same wretchedness in the slums of Mumbai and urban squatter villages in South Africa. I think it changes most anyone from our culture who sees that firsthand.
John: The album – …and Love Rages On! – was composed different from a studio album. What was the process in which the both of you, and Jay Oliver composed, performed, and finalized the choir, vocal and instrumental parts?
Miriam Stockly: Sometimes Richard would send me scratch tracks, to which I would write top melody lines. I would then fill in harmony blocks of vocals and the track would go over to LA for maestro Jay’s transformation. Other times, the track would come to me after Jay and Richard had put together the music arrangement and I would write melodies and (vocalese) lyrics over the top of the arrangement, followed by blocks of multi layered vocals.
Richard Gannaway: Living in three different cities makes for an interesting way to produce an album, especially with sixty to a hundred tracks to mix per song. It works, because the three of us share a strong commitment to the music, and at the end of the day, that’s what it’s about for us. After 15 years AOMusic still leads us into new musical territory, and getting people to connect with the songs is what ultimately fuels AO Foundation International, so we have to keep improving.
John: Miriam, you also have your own solo career, releasing the albums Miriam, Second Nature & Eternal, plus you have performed vocals on Karl Jenkins’ Adiemus albums. Was integrating the choir parts and your vocals (vocalese) for AOMusic a lot like the chorales in Adiemus albums?
Miriam Stockly: To a certain extent, yes. The African choral sound I introduced into the Adiemus sound is what originally brought Richard, Jay and I together. However, as AOMusic has evolved, so has the vocal sound. I still use the African sounding voices when required, but I have since incorporated many other vocal textures into the mix to give the project light and shade.
John: I understand you both are presently working on a new AOMusic album in 2012. I would love to release some information to help get the message out about AOMusic’s new album if possible. Is there any information you can tell us about with your newest project?
Richard Gannaway: Our upcoming album is scheduled for release in early 2013, and will feature children from Haiti, Nepal, Germany, Ireland, India and the Cherokee Nation outside of Asheville, NC. We have a new contributing producer, Bill Whelan of County Galway, Ireland whom we are honored to have among us, and we’ll be tracking some interesting new artists in Sandeep Chowta’s Mumbai studio this summer.
John: Perhaps there are some readers today who are interested in supporting the children too. What would you say to anyone reading our interview, about why it is so important to get involved and help support the kids?
Miriam Stockly: John, someone needs to be the voice of these children. They have been displaced by acts of God, man-made wars, greed and corruption within their own governments. They are the future of our planet and we need to take off the blinkers and get involved. As humanitarians and parents, it is our moral duty to do what we can to give these kids a voice and a fighting chance.
Richard Gannaway: Children populating our cultures today naturally enable our transition through the present changes, because they are a living providence of hope, and we should nurture each one as though kindling a flame for our survival.
John: Your message is indeed worth sharing. Thank you both again for taking time out for our interview together and I hope we have a chance to visit again soon. I wish the best for AOMusic in the Zone Music Reporter Awards for 2012.
I always try to write a news publication about the ZMR Awards after the winners are announced so I hope to include AOMusic in one or more categories when announced on March 11, 2012. In closing, is there anything you would like to express to AOMusic fans and people who have supported you and the children over the years?
Richard Gannaway: Our deepest gratitude to ZMR and a world of great radio hosts and listeners for supporting these wonderful music genres. We are sincerely honored and privileged to be in the running this round.
Miriam Stockly: We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your loyalty and your support throughout the years, for believing in the quality of the music and message within. Most importantly, the children around the world thank you for not forgetting about them.
Visit the AOMusic.com homepage to sample or purchase or visit Amazon.com. Visit the primary member’s websites at RichardGannaway.com – MiriamStockley.com – JayOliver.com. Read more about the organizations Richard and Miriam mentioned at; AO Foundation International – HavServe – AOMUSIC 4 Haiti campaign. Photos are courtesy aomusic.com.
With the advent of apps, free music was sure to be available, and there are of course a variety of places you can enjoy free new age music anytime you want. Finding exactly which app is best for you is easy too when you visit the iTunes store, where you can download free, legal music right to your iPhone or iPod.
iTunes has a Free New Age Piano App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. On the New Age Piano app, you can listen to 60 free songs by 20 of the top new age pianists in the music business. With the iTunes app, you can also visit the artist’s websites, watch videos, connect on Facebook, and purchase songs and albums by your favorite artist.
Some of the artists with free music on the iTunes new age piano app are artists I know, or are artists I wrote reviews for over the years. Laura Sullivan is one artist featured on the Free New Age Piano App by her 3 songs, as is Chad Lawson, Doug Hammer, James Cahall, Ken Elkinson, Mark Pinkus and Peter Kater.
New age piano artists on the iTunes app also include Brian Turner, Clifford Borg, Gary Farr, Jason Farnham, Joseph Akins, Louis Landon, Philip Wesley, Rebecca Oswald, Richard P. John, Robin Spielberg, Steven Cravis and Wayne Gratz.
A new piano album by Laura Sullivan is planned for release later this year in October of 2012. Laura Sullivan classifies her music influences in the style of Enya and Yanni, with piano melodies likened to Liz Story, George Winston and David Lanz, but clearly, Laura Sullivan is within an artistic category of her own making.
Admired for her graceful solo piano releases, some piano albums have artists performing instrumentals of cello, guitar, violin and keyboards. Laura Sullivan’s Pianoscapes for the Trails of North America is an elegant piano and instrumental release presenting America’s grandeur with a sense of wonder and admiration.
Although Laura Sullivan is recognized for piano music in the adult contemporary, classical and new age music styles, she is also a vocalist who composes, arranges and records almost all of her own music.
Until later in October when Laura Sullivan releases her new piano album for 2012, here is her Hope for the Trees song video from her album Pianoscapes for the Trails of North America. Hope for the Trees is a song featuring Laura and artists who accompany her on cello, guitar, keyboards and violin.
Pianist Laura Sullivan is also a featured artist on the Free New Age Piano App for iPhone, iPad, and iPod Touch. On the New Age Piano app, you can listen to 3 full length songs by Laura Sullivan for free, along with 56 additional songs from 20 of today’s top New Age pianists.
Touring concert pianist Jim Brickman has released “The Romanza Tour” concert tour schedule for the beginning of the 2012 concert season. Knowing Jim Brickman and his team of professional concert artists are in high demand around the country, more venues are likely to be added to his current 2012 tour schedule at JimBrickman.com.
With Valentine’s Day approaching, and Jim Brickman’s prized distinction for producing some of the top romantic piano albums, “The Romanza Tour” is just a part of Jim’s year around celebration. The JimBrickman.com online store is sure to be a popular place to visit for Valentine’s Day gifts. Where else could music for Valentine’s Day gift giving be any easier!
I interviewed concert performer Jim Brickman a couple of months ago, weeks prior to the start of Jim Brickman’s 2012 concert season. Presently, my New Age Music World publication is Jim Brickman’s most current interview.
If you missed seeing this comprehensive article at his website and Facebook page, you can read Jim Brickman’s newest interview in which he talks about the vocalists and instrumentalists who make up the entire concert team for 2012, and much more. It’s the newest Jim Brickman interview publication every fan will enjoy reading.
Jim Brickman tells about his newest piano albums Romanza & All Is Calm, which are currently in the Billboard’s Top 10 New Age Charts. Below is the Jim Brickman “Romanza Concert Tour” schedule for 2012. Please note the dates shown below are subject to change. For schedule updates and most accurate concert info visit the JimBrickman.com Tour Page. Here you can read Jim Brickman’s most current interview. Photos and concert information courtesy JimBrickman.com.
Jim Brickman – Romanza Concert Tour Dates 2012;
February 9, 2012 – Grand Junction, CO – The Avalon Theatre
February 10, 2012 – Denver, CO – Boettcher Concert Hall
February 11, 2012 – Canton, OH – Palace Theatre
February 12, 2012 – New York, NY – Best Buy Theatre
February 14, 2012 – Madison, WI – Overture Center
February 15, 2012 – Sheboygan, WI – Weill Center
February 16, 2012 – Fargo, ND – Fargo Theatre
February 18, 2012 – Philadelphia, PA – Merriam Theater
February 24, 2012 – Logan, UT – Ellen Eccles Theatre
February 25, 2012 – Rancho Cucamonga, CA – Lewis Family Playhouse
February 26, 2012 – San Diego, CA – Copley Symphony Hall
February 27, 2012 – Malibu, CA – Smothers Theatre at Pepperdine University
February 28, 2012 – Napa, CA – Napa Valley Opera House
February 29, 2012 – Spokane, WA – Bing Crosby Theatre
March 9, 2012 – Austin, TX – One World Theatre – 7:00pm
March 9, 2012 – Austin, TX – One World Theatre – 9:30pm
March 10, 2012 – Hays, KS – Beach Schmidt Performing Arts Center
March 11, 2012 – Manhattan, KS – McCain Auditorium
April 18, 2012 – Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap
April 19, 2012 – Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap
April 20, 2012 – Vienna, VA – Wolf Trap
April 22, 2012 – Newberry, SC – Newberry Opera House – 3:00pm
April 22, 2012 – Newberry, SC – Newberry Opera House – 8:00pm
May 13, 2012 – Fairfield, CT – Quick Center for the Arts
Visit the JimBrickman.com Tour Page for updates.
Norway based artist Tron Syversen is considered one of today’s leading new age artists in the Northern-European music community. During the past 15 years his serene orchestral song compositions have been the regional introduction to fellow Scandinavian citizens of his Norwegian homeland, all the while, making the journey farther abroad into international markets.
Peaceful Journey is one of nine releases by Tron Syversen, who is a classically trained pianist and trumpet player. Throughout his music career, Tron has studied jazz improvisation and has performed with a number of bands and choirs. One significant orchestra was Norway’s prestigious The Kings Guards Band.
I read Tron finds inspiration for his peaceful music in customary sources like nature, poetry and art. However, I would imagine the eons old Fjords of Norway, viewed from his North Sea cabin near Oslo are the ideal scenic panorama while he composes serene songs that embrace the equally natural setting of his Nordic homeland.
Given Tron Syversen’s picture-perfect locale, clearly few artists could claim a more magnificent setting and natural ambiance to channel their work. It is from inspiring realism the quality melodies on Peaceful Journey find a natural bearing.
Peaceful Journey is one of Tron Syversen’s finest symphonic albums made specifically for peaceful relaxation. Of his 9 serene releases, Peaceful Journey best defines his improvisational abilities as a jazz pianist, whose long heritage as a music composer includes closer to home Norwegian Folk melodies.
The instrumental splendor on Peaceful Journey is clearly picturesque by the fine cohesion conveyed by every performing artist. Tron Syversen’s composition unifying piano, guitars, and vocals with English horn, flute and cello, is a pleasing, open invitation for listeners to simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery.
The Peaceful Journey album is an instrumental beauty that also happens to feature some of Norway’s finest artists and their accompaniments on the 9 songs total. Co-producing vocalist Elin Lokken complements this album wonderfully by her wordless vocals on a number of songs. Three of the guest musicians have performed for the duo Rolf Loveland and Fionnuala Sherry of Secret Garden.
The three artists who have performed with Secret Garden are Per Elias Drablos (bass), Rolf Kristensen (acoustic guitar), and Henrik Eurenius (English horn). Peaceful Journey also features Glenn Kristiansen and Jorn Takla (acoustic guitarists), and Randi Krogvoid Lundquist (flute), Silje Katrine Gotaas (cello), Sunniva Bergsaune, Ase Haga and Lise Sorensen (electric and acoustic violinists).