Posts Tagged ‘Cadence Spalding’
Christmas is the most important holiday of the year for most people. While this is especially true for marketing retailers, they too, along with the majority of people also recognize the supreme reason for the season, and truly enjoy the building anticipation during the preceding days, weeks and months leading up to Christmas Day.
If you are like me, simply listening to Christmas music can help one transition into the holiday frame of mind. And while everyone has their own individual pace for getting into the Christmas mood sooner or later, I can always depend on holiday music to renew my Christmas spirit.
Listening to popular Christmas songs prompts an association of my own past holiday experiences with family and friends. Likewise there is a vast selection of music to choose from since many popular artists past and present, have produced outstanding holiday music for our enjoyment over the years.
The best Christmas albums in all popular genres including new age are very comparable since many artists compose their own revision of traditional Christmas songs. It seems nearly everyone is familiar with mainstream traditional songs, so for many us there is even less of an apple to oranges comparison in terms of genre. Sometimes they are so much alike the easiest way to classify their melodies is to simply call it holiday music.
Along with the Christmas holidays is the yearly task of finding a suitable gift for family and friends. One gift idea I would like to suggest is the gift of music, and it doesn’t matter whether your gift is in the form of an mp3 or CD. Music is a gift idea that is relatively inexpensive, and most people will enjoy receiving any time of the year. The economical gift of music can be the perfect choice for many special occasions including birthdays, and in some cases, weddings and anniversaries.
Finding the best Christmas albums for your holiday listening experience is pretty easy too. There is an increasing number of outstanding Christmas albums I would consider my favorites so permit me to tell you about 12 Christmas albums in the New Age genre. Listed in the order of the artist tags at my site, the 12 best Christmas albums are listed by alphabet using the artist’s first name. If you are interested in popular holiday albums for entertaining or gift giving, below is my list of the best Christmas albums with direct links so that you may sample or purchase my holiday music recommendations.
12 Best Christmas Albums for Holiday Music.
1. A Midnight Clear – Christmas in Mitford (Soundtrack) by Bill Leslie.
A Midnight Clear is an instrumental album with 16 songs of traditional and original music. Bill Leslie has another sensational new release people of all ages can enjoy listening to with A Midnight Clear. Drawing his inspiration from author Jan Karon and her best-selling Mitford series, nine instrumentalists join Bill Leslie on the newest release in November 2011 of the 12 Best New Age Christmas Albums recommendation.
While Bill Leslie is recognized as an award winning musician, Bill Leslie is a 5 time Emmy Award winning journalist and newscaster for WRAL television network, and a recipient of multiple Journalist of the Year awards in North Carolina. He is also the composing director and soloist of his traditional and Celtic fusion music group Lorica. In 2010 Simple Beauty won an award for Best Instrumental Album – Acoustic at Zone Music Reporter.
2. Holiday High by Cadence Spalding.
Holiday High is an inspiring new age Christmas album with 10 songs with a intermingling of traditional and original holiday music from 2009. The angelic vocals by Cadence Spalding are a beautiful performance on Holiday High. The innovative talents of mixing and layering are introduced by husband Mars Lasar. Together with beautiful vocals by Cadence and Mars Lasar’s special creative touch, Holiday High is a release far apart from many other Christmas albums.
Holiday High is a traditional Christmas album displaying the serene musical qualities of a highly talented couple, who have earned a respected position in the music world by their individual albums. Save The World by Cadence Spalding is another New Age release worthy of your consideration. While Save The World is not a holiday release, Cadence Spalding’s debut release won NewAgeMusic.nu’s Best New Age Album Award in 2009. Her classical new age popular music is a pleasant mix of ballads finely tuned to perfection in the purest sense, and best describes the question of “what is new age music” best.
3. A Christmas Celebration by Celtic Woman.
A Christmas Celebration is a Celtic instrumental vocal album from 2006 with 15 song revisions of traditional holiday music performed with grace and style. This is the second release from Celtic Woman who is made up from a female musical ensemble with Irish origins. Recognized internationally by their charming vocals with instrumental backing, Celtic Woman is a quality group who has earned a worldwide fan base and escalation in popularity over the years.
A Christmas Celebration was certified a Gold album by RIAA in 2009 with a volume of sales reaching over 500,000 copies. Along with international concert tours in the United States and overseas, their PBS television series with special orchestra performances on CD and DVD and over 6 million in album sales, they have entertained a multitude of people worldwide.
The DVD releases A New Journey–Live at Slane Castle is one of their most popular. The CD/DVD editions of Celtic Woman, A New Journey, The Greatest Journey, & Songs From The Heart are equally popular. The sixth and seventh most current albums from 2011 are Celtic Woman: Lullaby & Celtic Woman: Believe.
4. And Winter Came by Enya.
And Winter Came is a 2008 release from superstar Enya with 12 holiday songs with a winter theme. With over 75 million in album sales worldwide, it’s no exaggeration the Irish born Enya is loved by millions by her collection of Celtic, new age, adult alternative repertoire. And Winter Came recalls the enchanting moments of the season with brilliant beauty.
Enya is a phenomenal female artist who has won four Grammy Awards for Best New Age Album, in addition to an Academy Award nomination. Easily becoming one of the most popular award winning female artists in history, Enya and her trademark melodies are the hallmark of year round quality music.
Whether Enya’s holiday album And Winter Came is your first choice, there are more great albums to choose from. The Very Best Of Enya is a popular chose, like Memory of Trees & A Day Without Rain which sold 15 million copies worldwide is a very popular choice. The album Amarantine from 2005 is another fine song collection, and we certainly can’t forget her early classic releases Shepard Moons & Watermark.
5. Christmas Joy by Fiona Joy Hawkins.
Christmas Joy is a brand new 2011 release with 11 songs of four original compositions and seven revisions on traditional holiday music. On Christmas Joy, pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins introduces a bold mixture of classical and jazz influences combined with world music rhythms and instruments of Didgeridoo, Gaelic, Paraguayan harp, soprano saxophone and stringed orchestra. Fiona even lends her vocals on this release. Musicians accompanying Fiona Joy Hawkins on piano and vocals are Philip Aaberg, Will Ackerman, Charlie Bisharat, and Eugene Friesen and Heather Rankin.
Fiona Joy Hawkins Blue Dream album is a piano and instrumental collaboration with other professional artists that received top music honors and again extended the worldwide admiration for her work. Fiona is a multiple awarding winning pianist who covers new age, classical, contemporary, jazz and world fusion music. Recognized internationally by her award winning piano and instrumentals, you can always depend on Fiona Joy Hawkins to create an exciting mix of songs that are without out exception, produced with quality.
6. Christmas for Two by Lisa Downing.
Christmas for Two is a beautiful piano solo album with 12 original revisions of traditional holiday music. Lisa Downing has a special gift herself as a top solo pianist, and this is especially articulated on her holiday music release. Lisa’s collection of original arrangements in traditional Christmas melodies are a mixture of contemplative and energizing pieces which will inspire the holiday spirit in anyone who listens. Lisa Downing has produced another winning album with Christmas for Two.
Lisa Downing did in fact win award recognition with Christmas for Two in NewAgeMusic.nu’s Best New Age Album Award in 2009, and an award for Best Holiday Album in 2010 at Zone Music Reporter. A Delicate Balance is her solo piano, new age, neo -classical release from 2009 that carries with it a special Lisa Downing touch. Along with her business endeavor and talent agency Vision Quest Entertainment, Lisa is a touring concert pianist who performs many concert venues each year, including corporate and private events. She is an esteemed concert pianist who has toured or performed with other renowned artists David Lanz, Suzanne Ciani, Liz Story, Joseph Akins and Peter Kater. Lisa Downing is a great artist who certainly belongs in this Best New Age Christmas Albums recommendation.
7. Keys of Christmas by Louis Colaiannia.
Keys of Christmas is a piano, instrumental and vocal new age album with 9 songs in an assortment of original and traditional holiday music. Due to be officially released on December 1, 2011, Louis Colaiannia is a talented songwriter, pianist and concert performer. When you listen to Keys of Christmas, you can tell right away the classically trained pianist who explores contemporary piano, jazz, new age and chill out music, has in fact produced a wonderful holiday arrangement. Enjoy the season in perfect harmony with Keys Of Christmas.
Louis Colaiannia’s album A Moment Between Eternities is a classic, instrumental new age contemporary release in 2011. The wonderful range in thought and feel with contemporary variations of classical orchestrations express the passion in which Louis composes every one of his album releases. The 9 songs on A Moment Between Eternities are like modern improvisations on classical music by graceful piano songs emboldened by contemporary instrumentals.
8. Christmas Symphony by Mannheim Steamroller.
Christmas Symphony is a new popular instrument album in 2011 with 16 of your holiday song favorites. This beautiful full symphony sound instrumental release is performed with the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, and includes some vocals. Many of you may know this, but Mannheim Steamroller is the most popular Christmas music artist of all time. And that’s a fact. With 28 million in album sales in the United States alone, and their legendary concert tours, it’s easy to see why they have become so popular.
The vast selection of Mannheim Steamroller holiday albums include Christmasville, Christmas Sweet Memo, Christmas Song, Celebration, Christmas Extraordinaire, 25 Year Celebration, Christmas Angel, Christmas Live & A Fresh Aire Christmas. With this long list of popular holiday albums like Christmas Symphony, it’s easy to find what you are looking for.
Mannheim Steamroller founder Chip Davis, and co-found Jackson Berkey have recently announced their annual holiday celebration “The Christmas Music of Mannheim Steamroller by Chip Davis” will soon begin their Christmas concert tour season, so check their website for concerts in your area. Check out their great selection of gifts too.
9. Christmas 25th Anniversary Collection by Mannheim Steamroller.
The Christmas 25th Anniversary Collection from 2009 is a 2 CD collector’s edition of 25 song favorites. The 2 CD song playlist for this excellent edition was selected by Chip Davis himself. If you are like me there are songs you will remember from years past, but it is all about the technical sound enhancements and playlist that makes this release special. After the 25 year anniversary tour last year, Chip Davis continues the tradition of live concerts for audiences around the country.
Mannheim Steamroller has also released a 2 CD disc album in their Fresh Aire Music Series that is a “best of the best” from the popular Fresh Aire series. The 25 songs selected by the band founding director Chip Davis are some of the most popular songs in the entire 8 disk Fresh Aire series. Mannheim Steamroller’s awards of 16 gold records, 7 platinum records and 4 multi-platinum records, Christmas albums and holiday concerts have made them the #1 Christmas music artist of all time.
10. Christmas from Mars by Mars Lasar.
Christmas from Mars is a new age instrumental album with electronic designs on 10 traditional Christmas melodies. This “Best Christmas Albums” recommendation simply wouldn’t be complete without including the 2007 holiday release from Mars Lasar. Recognized for his versatility and talents in electronic instrumental music, Christmas from Mars shines by the aptitude and expertize he conveys in every one of his albums.
Cadence Spalding performs angelic vocals on this album, so together this husband and wife team’s Holiday High & Christmas From Mars both have vocals by Cadence and Mars Lasar’s special creative touch and technical aptitude that sets their albums apart from many others in this category. Both Mars and Cadence have earned a respected position in the music world by their individual albums and ones they have produced together. Mars Lasar’s most current is a solo piano album with 18 songs entitled Piano Moods From Mars.
11. Christmas Eve and Other Stories by Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Christmas Eve and Other Stories are a progressive rock adaptation of 17 songs from 1996 in a 1 CD or mp3 format. If you are familiar with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra and their theatrical linage of songs, then you know Christmas Eve and Other Stories is unlike any other artist in my top albums recommendations. While I can advise every one of their songs is non-traditional, I can also say every song is special!
Trans-Siberian Orchestra has two very popular concept theme albums entitled Beethoven’s Last Night & Night Castle. Given their name, it does imply they are a Russian based act, but Trans-Siberian Orchestra is in fact a group based in the United States. Along with a huge fan following, their concert and album sales reach into the millions. Their just as popular Christmas themed album series are The Christmas Attic & The Lost Christmas Eve. Trans-Siberian Orchestra may leave you wondering if they are new age, progressive rock, symphonic, or classical music, but whatever classification you decide, you will definitely be impressed.
12. A Windham Hill Christmas by Various Artists.
A Windham Hill Christmas is an excellent release from 2002 featuring 14 song revisions on some of your most familiar holiday songs featuring Windham Hill artists. In this case, by various artists is a good thing! The Grammy Award winning founder of Windham Hill Will Ackerman even performs on the song What Strangers are These. It’s a wonderful instrumental album with a variety of top artists in the music business.
On A Windham Hill Christmas album there are so many top artists that space doesn’t permit me to list every professional. Popular artists on this release you are sure to recognize are Jim Brickman, George Winston, Tim Story, Tracy Silverman, Alex De Grassi, Liz Story, Paul Schwartz and many more. The hallmarks of this album are a relaxing, right at home feel you will notice right away. It’s some of the best songs available from the experts at Windham Hill.
This concludes my 12 Best Christmas holiday album recommendations. On January 1 2012 New Age Music World will present the Best New Age Music Album Awards for 2011. There are many great releases this year, and I will publish my recommendation for Best New Age Albums on New Year’s Day 2012.
Cover arts are courtesy of each individual artist. Photo copyright Big Stock Photo by Subbotina Anna & ppart.
The Christmas shopping season is here and many people are shopping for the perfect gift. I wrote a review on a Solo Piano Christmas album for another top musician so let me tell you about a husband and wife team needing little introduction since they are easily recognized as top New Age music producers.
Holiday High by Cadence Spalding and Mars Lasar is a natural beauty by the traditional songs of familiarity on this seasonal album. The angelic vocals by Cadence blends into a beautiful interpretation throughout, while Mars displays his innovative talents of mixing and layering while adding his special creative touch and attentive technical leverage that easily sets this album apart from many others.
Holiday High is their traditional Christmas album displaying the serene qualities of a highly talented couple who have earned a respected position of esteem in the music world by their individual albums and collective projects together.
Christmas From Mars is an equally beautiful traditional album with all of the extra enhancements that likewise makes another enriching gift, easily becoming 2 pleasing and joyful holiday albums I can recommend for all listeners. If you are searching for a great gift for someone, or wish to revive your own personal spirit of Christmas enjoyment this year and every year, both albums are a wonderful family edition designed for traditionalist and New Age music fans alike.
Cadence Spalding is a multi talented singer, songwriter, and performer I have interviewed and published a review on recently. Many know about her Save The World release and solo performances with husband Mars Lasar on his albums by our interview, but there are so many more aspects to Cadence Spalding I wanted to tell you more about her.
Cadence Spalding is preparing for her role as a television network host for a Children’s program in California having already performed in a teaching role for years by her Miss Jenny television personality designed to educate and entertain children in the California community where she lives.
Along with her active role at many special events in the state of California, Cadence Spalding has scored, recorded and performed original music for children’s musicals that benefit renowned charities, including donations of original scores for documentaries, independent films and commercial CD/DVD’s. In 2008 Cadence composed the scores for both the original and the remake of For The Children, a documentary originally narrated by James Coburn for Share Incorporated based in Beverly Hills, California.
Save The World is Classic New Age where her radiant vocals host a lovely mix of ballads finely tuned to perfection in the purest sense, and where Cadence instills her personal message of peace, harmony, and dedication to the family unit and for all who share the same logic, devotion and perspective. The enhancements by Mars Lasar add to the aesthetic value of her first solo album that represents a new age music release that best answers the “what is New Age Music question.”
Save The World began her debut solo album as a solo artist, although Cadence has many years of experience as an instrumentalist and soloist on many releases from Mars Lasar, who provided his expertise on the mixing, vocal layering, and technical production.
This release is available as a CD only or in a suggested and widely preferred CD/DVD collector’s edition featuring top quality visual photography by Mars Lasar that is a beautiful work of art. Together the team have produced a stunning, one of a kind audio video collection.
Visit MarsLasar.com to sample or purchase Save The World by Cadence Spalding. While you are there, read Cadence Spalding’s biography pages that tell about her diverse life work and Miss Jenny character when leading her children programs. You can read our interview together, and my album review for Save The World on the New Age Music World pages dedicated to Cadence Spalding and Mars Lasar.
Below is a short summery of my review titled Music to the Power of One and a music video of title song Save The World.
Cadence Spalding is one person doing their part as role model for bringing about a greater awareness by her Save The World album. The 11 tracks pertain to the noblest of desires in conveying her message of what one person alone can accomplish by caring for mother earth, caring for those who cannot help themselves, and by caring for one another as a family unit.
Mars Lasar is one of the first musicians many people recall when thinking of nature inspired music. His music with a dedication to protect the heartland is a constant reminder of this gifted artist and his ability to promptly place you there.
Mars Lasar has just released another nature inspired project entitled Tahoe Spirit. This release really puts you on location, in a sharp salute that is a natural acquisition with his large fan base. This release should be of interest for all who appreciate his artistic creations gently carved from our native habitats of woodlands and ecosystems.
The time enduring Eleventh Hour Series, Olympic National Park, & Yosemite: Valley Of The Giants, are all earlier landmarks of his dedication to conservation music that, sure as our world turns, are steadily becoming more relevant each passing day. Every one is a great album with a wonderful theme.
Tahoe Spirit is his newest declaration into New Age/World/Nature genres to virtually guide you one heartbeat away from the Great North Western Sierra Nevada Wilderness, Lake Tahoe, and deep into Washoe Indian Territory, in a trail blazing expedition illustrating the territorial lands that are a vital part of our American Heritage.
David Rose is a distinguished talent from the band Painted Raven, and principal performer on Traditional Native Flutes, while divine song vocalist Cadence Spalding, likewise join Mars on piano, bass, keyboards, and programming. It is during their unparalleled journey together where everyone can become a part of, and be a witness to the vast open wilderness, monumental mountain horizons, and the pristine waters that reverently hold the secrets of this regional gemstone.
Mars Lasar employs a careful artisans approach while composing all of his inspired by nature music, making a lasting impression on you every time. The effective result of a delicate polish given to Tahoe Spirit results in a fine grain finish, directing you to an exceptional visit to the pristine beauty of our native woodlands all Americans can call home.
Tahoe Spirit makes a bold first impact of 10 song legacies known with a deeply moving and beautifully synthesized Tahoe Legends. Beginning with a grand opening, this Epic song makes one quickly realize the musical terrain is going to be firmly held on a plateau of picturesque beauty. The woodwinds David Rose provides are encircled by percussion effects and heart pounding stanzas that Mars expertly recreates during your guided visits to memorable discoveries in music.
The Great Spirit has more of a calming presence by woodwind interludes and echoing drum rhythms that noticeably accent an inherent note by note recollection about a past civilization of people who are an important part of our heritage and who once called it home.
Washoe Meadows has the attribute as a gentle song with a relaxing melody, articulating a pleasing sense of atmosphere, perfect for those seeking an adventurous ambiance where gentle streams and natural forestry are a realistic part of the visual beauty you will hear in this total music experience.
Lake In the Sky gives a peaceful moment of reflection by woodwinds gentle tones and dreamy melody shown by a soft tranquil flow between stanzas, while bass and drums add a range of depth by the subtle undercurrents.
Alpine Meadows makes a heartfelt impression on me every time I listen to it, in an uplifting song where the bond of this trio shines so very brightly while standing together in musical unity. Mars places an Epic, yet comforting climate controlled feel on keyboards that instantly takes you there. David instills the calming winds with haunting flute passages recognizing the presence of the people living before us there, and Cadence gently vocalizes a soft radiant melody, glowing like the sun by her wonderful declaration to remind everyone why we become united there.
Tahoe Spirit greatly captures your attention by a bold testimonial about our native lands worth preserving, and is a wonderful presentation from talented artists united in heart, mind, and spirit, who give you the feeling that you also belong and can go there too.
Visit marslasar.com to sample or purchase. Picture Copyright Big Stock Photo – mantonino.
The conservation minded 11.05 Revival release from Mars Lasar is the most recent project in the Eleventh Hour Series to make a significant statement in both the trademark designer music Mars continues to envision and next in series dedication to protection of our planet that arrives with just in time precision.
The Eleventh Hour Series relies on an electronic instrumental infrastructure to get the message out. It now appears clear Mars Lasar was just ahead of his time with the series. His deep exploratory music touches the senses while beating a constant rhythm in music lover’s hearts, exactly when a new resurgence in conservation is suddenly thrust into the forefront of the next generation’s minds.
11.05 Revival on the Sound Manipulation label approaches every aspect of Eclectic, Electronic, Instrumental & New Age Groove, canvassing the inherent beauty and peaceful serenity of our magnificent planet in an epic and colorful illustration drawn from one man’s timely musical perspective.
Earthbound exhibits a strong opening by first reaching out to grab, and then capture your attention by a distinctive percussion rhythm that steadily glides into full keyboard environment, giving a pulsating melody in motion testimonial. During refrains, choral vocals announce a clear message while swaying melody acts like a pendulum to once again move in counter-motion behind the energizing concept.
Parallel Worlds permits you to breath again while navigating at a gentler pace during orchestration crescendo revolving around lighter percussion, woodwinds and twinkling effects, giving brief moments of interlude during this unilateral event.
Some of the introspective songs heard on 11.05 Revival could be perceived as a warning for our ecological in-actions and resulting consequence to humanity, since several songs have a deep perilous atmosphere that rightfully command your attention.
Globalization conjures up equally deep and lighter emotions by modifying sound images in this majestic song that uniquely articulates the projection of imagery during his compositions. The deeply integrated keyboard and vocals are centered by a twinkling sequence to mirror the bright reflection of a full moon and resulting tidal effect.
Ancient Astronaut & Final Countdown take giant leaps onto the planetary surface of ambiance by having an audible feel of intensity in their own domain. While one song is geared to a constant percussion countdown timed to the precision of a second hand with far reaching melody, another explores rich orchestration by engaging brass, winds and strings that seem to defy gravity by dynamic theatrics alongside intertwined lighter and deeper orchestra concertos.
Next Millennium has a design of the future piano melody with counter beat notes and intriguing voice box dialog that competes for your attention. Moderate patterns return with several songs in a mid tempo pace and feel like heard in Evolution. Graceful Orbit has a cycling pattern by the static effect, strings and vocals. Celestial Challenge has a voice box dialog with flute in an engaging improv sequence and Guide To The Ozone shows a blend of instrumentals drawn into softer songs that float along accordingly.
By The Sea ushers in the pleasingly relaxing voice of Cadence Spalding, where Contemporary Jazz is introduced to softer classic vocals alongside piano and saxophone accompaniment, lending a soulful and poetic touch which nicely compliments 11.05 Revival and newest release in the Eleventh Hour Series.
Mars Lasar has truly made a bold testimonial in this timely masterpiece, renewing the true spirit behind the Eleventh Hour Series while also personifying his dedication to conservation music legacy. The positive aspects of our world worth saving are clearly shown in unison with the extreme challenges ahead, exactly when the music of today’s generation and inherent staff of conservation awareness is carefully relayed into the open arms of the next generation.
* The Eleventh Hour Series 11.05 Revival has a 10 % donation to conservation.org with your album purchase.
John P. Olsen has just conducted an Interview with Mars Lasar. The topics are about Mars Lasar’s remarkable music career, current projects, and innovative technological products. There is some informal conversation about New Age music in general, and what it feels like to be a famous musician with a history of producing impressive albums during his career.
Mars Lasar is a music celebrity known for bringing a total music experience not only to his broad multi genre fan base, but to persons not even familiar with the name Mars Lasar, since he has prepared music scores on many television and film credits over the last 25 years, along with the lengthy discography produced during his music career. During his career he has provided music scores for highly recognized global corporations, and remains a constant producer in the television and film industry, in addition to his traditional album work.
You will find Mars Lasar specializes in a vast range of genre influences with his wide ranging discography, and his nature inspired releases seem to capture the inherent pride and true spirit of the American way of life. His insightful dedication to protection of the heartland that becomes a constant reminder of this gifted artist and conservation legacy that will remain relevant and time honored for future generations.
Mars Lasar is also a professional photographer. The amazing images he has captured have been on display in galleries near and far. When you compare his musical creations to his photographic images, the fine line of distinction between the two creative endeavors are more attune to making a single artistic statement. John Olsen recently interviewed Mars Lasar, and today we are pleased to provide his fans and our visitors their conversation.
Interview with Mars Lasar;
John P. Olsen : Your lifelong career as a musician has already been marked with many outstanding achievements over the years Mars. There are also many moments of media exposure on television and film. Could you tell us some of the programs your music has been aired on past and present?
Mars Lasar : I have had my work played on many well known shows like: 24, Medium, American Idol, America’s Most Wanted, Oprah Winfrey, these are just to name a few. I have been providing music for film and television for over 25 years.
John : What are some of the greatest moments in your career on a professional level, and could you tell us about the events that were occurring during the single greatest moment to date in your career as a professional musician?
Mars : I must say I’ve had some rather unusual adventures. Being a composer/artist and sound designer with a very large sound library, I was asked to compose all kinds of things from making an orchestra with wildlife sounds to creating hit song productions for the artist Seal. I sat in Abbey Road Studios and spoke music and technology with Alan Parsons, had a cup of tea with Kate Bush, worked with Herbie Hancock and his production team on cutting edge music, wrote video-game music for Sega and Sony Play Station with Keith Emerson from Emerson, Lake and Palmer.
I appeared on the Queen Mary and joined astronaut Buzz Aldrin on topics of energy conservation for Earth Day International, I played synthesizers on street corners dressed in a space suit, assembled an audio rainforest in a dome-shaped butterfly sanctuary in the city, opened for Mike Oldfield on his Tubular Bells tour, traveled to Latvia to represent Russia in the Eurovision contest for which I wrote only the music, the lyrics were in Russian (artist Tatu), I took a shotgun microphone and recorder into the Australian outback and recorded frogs and used them for percussion instruments in my albums, I sampled orchestras that walked out after they found out we were sampling them (in the 80′s), I recorded choirs in France who hid the one that was out of tune. So you see, music and technology led me to many interesting adventures.
John : Recently when Cadence and I had our interview together, I asked if making her first individual CD / DVD release of Save The World was easier than she thought it would be. I wanted to ask if having the tables turned by helping Cadence with her release was what you were expecting, and were there any memorable moments during the album production?
Mars : Save The World was probably the most work I’ve ever done with multiple vocals. It was like making a king size quilt with silk and a needle. The stitching involved was never ending and required almost surgical accuracy.
I’ve always been fascinated with the technique of multiple layered vocals, even back when we were using analog tape in the late 80′s. During my years of music production I used this technique wherever possible, but with Cadence being a choir singer and theory whiz, I was really able to push her to the limit.
It was an exhausting 1 year production but well worth the end result. Sometimes the production focus became so intense we just had to break out in laughter during vocal takes, and sometimes in tears. Cadence is a multi-talented artist that often makes appearances on my new releases. I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from her in the near future.
John : You have produced 2 nature inspired projects related to America’s National Parks. Olympic National Park was your first album, and Yosemite: Valley of the Giants your second. I heard through the grapevine you have just completed another nature inspired project. Is this right Mars, and could you provide some details about your latest National Park project ?
Mars : Yes, I finished another nature CD dedicated to the Four Corners. This one has plenty of Native American Indian influences. It depicts the vastness of the desert and surrounding canyons, with titles like: Hovenweep, Dead Horse Point, Canyon Lands and White Buffalo Woman. The CD is called Grand Circle and should be coming out late 2009.
John : In working alongside other respected musicians like yourself, including Hans Zimmer in the Days of Thunder Soundtrack, the musician Seal on the album titled Seal, and Herbie Hancock on the Dis Is Da Drum album among the many others. What is it like to work with other great artists like yourself, and were there any memorable moments you would like to share with us?
Mars : There is a deep respect when collaborating with artists and producers that are just as into the skill-set as you are. When collaborating in this manner, you’re looking for a perfect talent match for the customization of the end task, or the “brief”. Sometimes the music comes easy, and other times not so. Every artist I have worked with have their own unique eccentricities, and they change according to what is going on in their lives at that time musically and personally. It’s a detailed puzzle. Even the simplest songs can take forever to accomplish.
John : From 1998 to 2001 you released the following albums: Sapphire Dreams, 11.02, When Worlds Collide, Karma, and Star Is Born, among others In addition you have produced a number of series projects like the Mind Scape series and Baby Escapes. Was 1998 to 2001 the busiest period in your career, or was there another point in time where producing music was in the forefront? Is there a reason you were so creative during the time period?
Mars : From the time I discovered music at 11 to now, I’ve been busy making my own versions of what I call “emotional mathematics”, evoking an emotion from music particularly with the latest technology was my thing. There has never been a dull moment. I just follow my art where it takes me.
The key was How do to make money from my art, so I can continue doing it? Being a composer means you must diversify your talents to survive, and that information varies on so many things that can happen in the industry at the time, which can actually take you off-course for years. I found that once I had the talent, distribution, audience and experience to release multiple works, there was no stopping me.
John : The Eleventh Hour was a successful album. Could you tell the events surrounding The Eleventh Hour time period?
Mars : The only way to explain The Eleventh Hour success was the timing in the environment at the time. Many people were talking about cell-phones frying their brains, they were big and cumbersome in the early 90′s. My song from the cd Cellular City with all its phone noises and technology driven Jazz seemed to hit that chord. Next thing you know it’s playing on heavy rotation on American radio. I went all out on that CD to show my true talents as a composer and sound designer.
John : I recently wrote a album review of your At The End Of The Day album, and I found it a nice fusion of Jazz and New Age, noting the fact that many of your albums are a fusion of genres. Do you think this is why your music is so popular, and do you purposely blend genres, or does this just happen naturally for you when creating an album?
Mars : My curiosity for music and art never ceases. It’s the never-ending exploration. For me it’s all about expressing yourself in as many ways as possible and sharing your discoveries with the world. I never wanted to be pigeonholed into the one genre, I just have way too much to express. Because of this my fan base is very broad. From mediation to industrial electronic to jazz. This is also why I like writing for film and TV.
John : Earlier in life you worked 8 years for Fairlight Instruments developing innovative multi-track synthesizer sequencers. Could you tell us about the products you developed and the events you were involved with during your early years?
Mars : Back in the early 1980′s I was heavily into “concrete music”. This was very abstract and non-eventful music, but the techniques were interesting to me. I would put a blank cassette tape into my shortwave radio tuner, press record and pause, look for a neat sound on shortwave (lots of squelching to choose from), hold a stopwatch and together I would release pause and start the stopwatch for one second then press the pause again. Then I would look for the next shortwave sound and repeat. In doing this you could make crude but interesting rhythmic patterns and tones. Essentially I was sampling audio and playing it back. At 18 with my knowledge of sampling and classical training on the piano I fell into the lap of Fairlight Computers. The first music computer based production tool in the music business.
I worked day and night with the R&D team, explaining the intricacies of music and making the first music sequencer “Page R”, it was the shortwave concept but to the next level. I helped to built the massive sound library that came with the machine, packaged in a cardboard-box the size of a large refrigerator. I quickly became very knowledgeable on the computer and traveled the world demonstrating the Fairlight at trade shows, and personal demonstrations to: Duran Duran, The Divinals, Captain and Tennille, Mike Oldfield, Herbie Hancock, Hans Zimmer, Alan Parsons, BBC, Kate Bush and plenty more.
My compositions came with the computer and at a price of $70,000. After helping to get the Fairlight off the ground, I started working freelance. Today the machine is obsolete, PC music software is at a fraction of the price and 100x more powerful, some examples are: Logic, Performer, Cubase and Cakewalk.
John : In your art & photography pages at MarsLasar.com I saw some pretty unique paintings along with your CD album collectables and prints available for purchase. I also read some of your oil paintings are created in more of a process than by just using art brushes. Could you tell us a little about how your original works of art are created?
Mars : I grew up with art. My mother is an exceptional fine artist, she taught me how to paint oil on canvas, I was immediately hooked and spent every moment I had figuring out the behavior of oil paint on canvas. At the age of 14 was asked to hang my works in my high school and I just kept going from there. After painting my canvas I would take a high resolution photo and manipulate the image even further in Photoshop. Photography became a natural progression as soon as it became digital, I wasn’t too keen on the darkroom and chemicals in the early days. Now, I take my camera gear everywhere, and most who know me know that I’m off taking photos when I should elsewhere I enjoy making art from music to art design to the business, it’s all the same to me. The most important thing is that I translate my concept across to the audience so you can enjoy the experience.
John : Your earliest music studies as a young adult were the classical works of Beethoven, Chopin, and Bach. Do you believe this classical foundation at a young age carried through into your earlier compositions and even into present day compositions?
Mars : Absolutely. The emotional mathematics behind classical music is deep and well thought out. I connect with my classical roots in most of my work. I think it’s an essential tool for young composers. When it comes to classical music, you can never know enough.
John : The family oriented Baby Escapes series 1 – 8 is intended for relaxation. Was there a personal reason that led you to create the more family oriented recordings, and what specific goal did you have in mind with this series?
Mars : BabyEscapes was a sonic experiment made to keep my baby daughter asleep. Made in the 1980′s there wasn’t much around in sleep therapy, so I made my own. It worked so well we had to wake her up during naps. The idea was to create a repetitive cyclical loop that essentially massages your mind to sleep. The secret to this is the choice harmonic resonating tones. There is so much to learn about the strength of music and vibration.
John : Clearly you have many professional interests like music, art, and new technology. It makes me wonder if you have any just for fun hobbies and what you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Mars : My hobbies start as hobbies then turn into businesses. There is only so much I can do in a day, so I just have as much fun as possible while I’m here for this short stay on earth.
John : I would like to close by saying Mars, that you are perhaps the most talented individual I have ever been introduced to in recent memory! Along with your wife Cadence, you both are the most talented couple I have ever met as well! B.T. Fasmer, our readers, and myself do thank you for taking time out to give everyone some insight into both your professional career and personal life.
Mars : Thank you. Cadence and I have worked hard to deliver our creative expressions to the world. We hope that through our art we can make a difference, and inspire others to do the same.
Visit MarsLasar.com and sample albums at his music store or Amazon.com page. You can visit Mars Lasar’s art pages & photography pages and my page for Mars Lasar. Art and photos are courtesy marslasar.com.
New Age Music World host John P. Olsen has conducted an Interview with composing musician Cadence Spalding. The topics involve her music career, Save The World album, and news about a project currently in progress.
Cadence Spalding is a multi talented singer, songwriter and performer. Many know about her Save The World release and solo performances with husband Mars Lasar on his albums, but there are so many more aspects to Cadence Spalding we wanted to find out more. Cadence is a television network host for a Children’s program in California having already performed in a teaching role for years by her Miss Jenny television personality designed to educate and entertain children in the California community.
Cadence Spalding has recorded and performed original music for children’s musicals that benefit renowned charities, including donations of original scores for documentaries, independent films and commercial CD/DVD’s. In 2008 Cadence composed the scores for both the original and the remake of For The Children, a documentary originally narrated by James Coburn for Share Incorporated based in Beverly Hills, California.
The Save The World release is Classic New Age, where her radiant vocals host a lovely mix of ballads finely tuned to perfection in the purest sense. It is on this release where Cadence instills her personal message of peace, harmony, and dedication to the family unit. It is a message in harmony with all people who share the same logic, devotion and perspective. Today we are pleased to present this interview.
Interview with Cadence Spalding;
John : I truly enjoyed meeting you for the first time awhile back. It’s very apparent to me that you are a friendly and sincere person. I am asking this half jokingly, but how did you arrive a such a wonderful disposition Cadence?
Cadence Spalding : Thank you John for complimenting my disposition – there are so many jokes for right here! – regarding female disposition in general – meaning my family will tell you just how “human” I can really be – but I’ll refrain and say “thank you – that’s such a nice compliment” – and maybe you are just picking up on how blessed and happy in general I’m feeling these days to even be talking about my music – inseparable from myself – and feeling satisfied that those sounds I’ve heard inside my mind for as long as I can remember are finding their way into my voice and through my playing hands and imprinting onto digital recordings and floating through the airwaves and touching hearts – and if even one, that means the world to me – to be able to express my deepest joy and gratitude – and to share that dialogue with others here on earth.
And maybe too you are picking up on the fact that I use music as a tool to soothe myself and to pray and to meditate, so it helps me to relax and to be inspired and to connect with God (although I’m non-denominational), and I can only wish that it can help do the same for the listeners – to help them to pray or to connect spiritually to a God of their choice.
Okay, I’m also just beyond excited about a project I’ve been working on since my early 20’s as a music teacher in public schools called “Miss Jenny”. I perform music in costumes and as a “one-girl-show” on guitar, vocals and piano – singing rock/blues/country versions of kiddy classics. I’m now doing weekly Miss Jenny shows at festivals near my hometown in the Napa Valley, and just got asked to co-host a local, live! TV show here as Miss Jenny called “The N.A.P.A. Show” with host Arty Party. A new adventure, great people, musical, creative, community oriented and lots of fun!!
John : Your husband is New Age artist Mars Lasar, and you have performed on some of his albums prior to your solo release. Has it been rewarding like expected, composing and performing on your own album, or is it more work than you had expected?
Cadence Spalding : I’ve so enjoyed singing on Mars’ albums – they are so diverse. He is a wonderful man, a beautiful father, and gifted artist and a true genius in the studio. Can I say that about my own husband? Well, I just did – lol!! I was a fan of his music long before I met him, and obviously we hit it off on many levels, as now we have a beautiful son and we are married. The crazy thing is that we work together professionally as well, and it all seems to work so well. We are blessed and I think we both know it. Truth is that even though this CD has my name on it, my husband and I really recorded this album together, side by side. It has a lot of co-writes, and he is the sound engineer, and plays a lot of the instruments. And YES, great question John, it was a lot more work than expected – but most worthy things seem to be. Our Christmas album was our first official project together called Star Is Born, so we definitely had a taste of the size of this project ahead of time – but we were held up anyways with a new baby and lots of library music work – so working together on this was perfect timing – as we already were in building and recording mode. The layered vocals take a lot of patience and perseverance to accomplish – but again, revealing this fresh sound that we discovered together is so exciting, and sky is the limit. We have a lot more of these projects to do, and that’s a blessing too.
John : Your first project is Save The World, and is a great album I might add. What was the turning point that made you decide to produce your first solo album?
Cadence Spalding : I’ve been playing, writing, performing and teaching music most of my life – so it was a natural progression to record a solo album. My very first album singer/songwriter album was recorded ages ago actually, and just sold in small outlets – “demo” though, as the quality was slightly below broadcast, but a few of the songs did well publishing wise and I toured with my band in the LA area.
I’ve worked hard on improving my vocals the last 5 or so years – singing in professional choirs and studying voice specifically, and finally technology was accessible for my passion for songwriting and especially harmony. I was also ready to record this album at the same time I was ready to perform a sound like this live. The sound when performed live involves back up prerecorded vocals that I sing on top of in full voice, and I think it sounds even better than the album because I also play rhythm guitar on top of it, and it has a stronger acoustic/rock vibe – live that is. It is a TRIP to do this music LIVE! I LOVE it!! I think of songwriting as something so much more than basic composition – it has really kind of therapy for me over the years. When times were tough, I’d stay up late and write shoe boxes full of songs – often scribbled into journals and on pieces of paper in the middle of the night. Teenage and early adult angst – 1A – and I thank God for the writing getting me through lots of hard times in my young adulthood. And again, I have to thank my family for this, as I come from 4 generations of musicians and music teachers – so piano lessons at age 3 wasn’t uncommon.
I was fortunate as a young girl to have mentors to inspire me to be open creatively and to work hard, and they made it fun and interesting for me by praising me for practicing and encouraging the writing throughout my childhood and teenage years. I only wish more parents would encourage their kids to be creative musically. It is a healthy and calming outlet. Just reading notes on a page is so difficult for most children! I wish parents would be more open in general to alternative modes of music education – like for example….uh oh…rock n roll! Aren’t we there yet people? Is this still seen as something “less” than classical music?? How sad. I wish the gift of music for all children in the world. I wish parents would be more open to kids learning rock!!!
John : Your singing abilities are extraordinary. Could you tell us your music background and the instruments you play?
Cadence Spalding : OH my goodness, what a sweet question this is to me, as really most of my life had music as a big part of it, but not as a vocalist. Personally I started piano at age 3 as a result of 4 generations of music teachers behind me – but the ideal age for kids physically, is about 7. Guitar lessons started in high school, and later on that was the perfect instrument for me to teach my students with because of it’s mobility and the fact that kids naturally LOVE rock n roll! In elementary school I was playing in school bands on violin and flute. It was not only just a great hobby – but something that gave me self confidence and joy – and the schools I attended all had terrific programs. Today, it’s unfortunately not available to all children, music education that is, and that truly breaks my heart.
I have always loved to sing, but didn’t study voice formally until well into my adulthood. I had to work very hard to open up my upper register. Once it opened, I never shut up!! I began singing in church choirs as a second soprano well into my adulthood. It was a blast! The feeling of singing music that I love, old and new styles, is euphoric. I can’t get enough. It’s almost like an addiction to be honest…and thank God a healthy one !
John : What were your thoughts behind some of the song lyrics. What is the meaning behind the lyrics in Trust In Love?
Cadence Spalding : Trust In Love is a prayer. It’s meaning to me is as simple as it sounds – and a universal sentiment that is unique to every individual. We all have parts of our lives where trusting in love is the answer. It’s in integral force in nature in a way – love.
Love makes everything grow, pulls us, inspires us – but is often the difficult choice to make in reality. I was thinking about world peace when I wrote this song, hoping that just in general, mankind would trust in love more. The lyrics are straight forward and it is written in classic Celtic prayer form with traditional early American church hymns and chorales as the inspiration.
I was struck by the melody which is almost circular – each verse like a complete thought or sentence – and to you musicians out there – returning to the one cord before you would expect – giving it that “old” feel naturally. Grandma’s Song is more of a traditional Pop! ballad written in 3/4 time or a “waltz” time signature, and was written for my Grandma when she passed away.
I wrote that entire song, music and lyrics, on the night that she actually died. It was a supernatural experience. I am positive that she helped me write it from the “other side”– it was a beautiful journey. I still get choked up by that song, and I perform it at lots of family type of events like birthdays and unfortunately, funerals. It is a song with deep sentimental value to me.
John : What were the song lyrics in Share Your Life about?
Cadence Spalding : Share Your Life was a song off my very first album – ages ago and a different name even…for a documentary for handicapped children for a beautiful organization called Share Inc. in Los Angeles. I was so honored to be a part of that prestigious charity group, a “Share Lady”. We raised nearly a million dollars a year for handicapped children in the Los Angeles area – doing an annual event/live show where we sang and danced on some of the greatest stages with some of the greatest talents in Hollywood. I was asked to write a theme song for their promotional video that was originally hosted by the late, great James Coburn.
The song came to me quickly, after being deeply moved by volunteering at a hospital for severely handicapped children. I was overwhelmed, beyond tears – at the strength and courage of the staff at these hospitals and by the families involved. The words came naturally and straight from the heart – and my cherished “sisters”, the lovely ladies of “Share Inc.” were so inspiring and supportive of my songwriting. Children, along with animals, are part of that family of “voiceless creatures” of the earth that we as healthy adults, are responsible for.
We share this burden as humans – it is given to us at birth – to care for these voiceless creatures. The littlest amount of volunteering can do a mountain of good, and it makes us feel alive and content in return. “Time to make it right…share your life…” Seems so simple –but I think many of us want to help more but don’t know where to begin. Thanks John for asking me about that song. I get moved every time I think about all the inspiring philanthropy I have been privileged to witness. I’m talking about such hard work and dedication from ordinary people that is beyond belief.
John : I read you are working on a new project. What can we expect Cadence?
Cadence Spalding : My new album is nearly finished and listeners can expect a release late this year or early 2010 – and I’m thinking of calling it “sessions” as it features an eclectic mix of pop, rock, new age, classical and even a dash of country. A feast of flavors – and a few surprises as well, with even an occasional acoustic version of the Cadence Spalding songs from Save The World that I’ve been getting requests to sing “naked”. Not me LOL, but the songs!!And so I did, happily, after producing them with often hundreds of layers of vocals per song and extensive instrumentation and sound design, it was a true pleasure to record them in their original form – acoustically.
My test for my music, in the beginning, has always been just that. I try to go by the philosophy that if a song is good raw, acapella even, it can then be built into anything and virtually in any musical style. So this new album I’m now creating will be a whole new adventure – evolving and building on the past and continuing to explore the sound we discovered, while revealing a more “raw” side, kind of a glimpse of my “underbelly” as an singer/songwriter – and as a woman too.
John : You had told me that you volunteer your time with children. Could you tell us about your volunteer work?
Cadence Spalding : In the past I have done many years of charity work involving music – often by volunteering my services as a music teacher, choir director, dancer, director – you name it. A music teacher by trade, and as jobs for Art Education in public schools becoming more and more sparse and low paying, I would get involved in all kinds of productions for charity in the beginning, just because I wanted to work and to learn. This lead to more work than I bargained for, but I don’t regret a single day of it.
I have composed songs for a group called songsoflove.org, an organization in NYC that writes and records songs for terminally ill children. I also wrote original musicals for kids for various churches, and even owned a performing arts school for kids at one point in San Francisco that did a lot of volunteering for the community. It’s just so much fun – all of it. What could possibly be more of a gift than sharing music with kids? Amazing. I think I get more out of it that anyone, and when I perform or write music for a charitable cause – the added pleasure of being thanked for my time makes it a treasured part of my life that brings me pure joy. It’s the ultimate high!! Please check the inside of my CD cover for Save The World for a list of charity organizations I’m involved with and how to donate time or money.
John : It has been great to visit with you again Cadence. I look forward to our next visit and doing a review of your next project. Thanks again for taking the time to do an Interview with me.
Never in the history of our world has there been a time for greater concern and action needed over energy, environmental, and social issues, that lie before us at present. The hope for a better world is foremost on millions of peoples minds.
The recent 40th anniversary of Earth Day held on April 22, 2009 had an estimated 1 billion participants worldwide which is truly an astounding number when compared to the 20,000 million people first participating in the first event held in 1969.
Earth Day events are held each year to demonstrate what multitudes of people around the world can accomplish together in unity, but retains the core existence of relying on each of us as individuals, and the power of one.
Cadence Spalding is one person doing their part as role model for bringing about a greater awareness of these concerns by her Save The World 2009 album release on the Sound Manipulations label.
The 11 songs on Save The World pertain to the noblest of desires in conveying a message of what one person alone can accomplish by caring for mother earth, caring for those who cannot help themselves, and by caring for one another as a family unit.
New Age music celebrity Mars Lasar is also doing his part by co-producing this Cadence Spalding’s solo release. His technological production talents and artistic skill in layering and mixing hold the key elements that enable Cadence to excel in the music she has primarily written and presented by her own hand. While Cadence has regularly performed on many of Mars Lasar’s albums, this first solo release exemplifies her individual talents as a soloist, and bears fruit for this winning team who also happen to be husband and wife.
Save The World is a classical New Age and Popular music release that hosts a pleasant mix of ballads finely tuned to perfection in the purest sense. The classical touches of Cadence Spalding’s soft angelic vocals sound like lullabies at times, gently rocking you into a contented state while anthem stanzas increase in momentum and passionately rise above to greet the occasion.
Trust In Love is one musical anthem given as a heartfelt lyrical message pointing to the glorious possibilities for peace and love that await every boy and girl if only we would just let it be a reality. This soulful song is rich in vocal tone combined with personal statement through meaningful lyrics. The piano phrased beat is surrounded by a deep percussion rhythm like persons marching lock step in tandem, proposing that we trust in love and give peace a chance.
The harmony of choral effects were arranged by layering her beautiful vocals to share the message of love, peace, and harmony to all who possess the same logic, devotion, and mindful perspective.
Save The World (title song) offers an upbeat instrumental expression of the bountiful rewards we receive when we let our conscience be our guide and do our part. The repeated message is framed by a pounding drum beat, while piano and guitar instrumentals ring out a clear tone during moments of pause between vocals.
This CD album has a bonus DVD which is really a treasure in itself. This professionally captured DVD photo gallery produced by Mars Lasar is extraordinary and stunning in visual effect while highlighting the serene music of Candace. The magnificent photos show landscapes, wildlife subjects, and touching scenes capturing people in everyday life.
Cadence Spalding’s Save The World CD/DVD collector’s edition is a beautiful performance and powerful statement, shared with the world after this initial spark of talented inspiration was ignited solely from the power of one.