Posts Tagged ‘Gandalf’
New Acoustic Album by Gandalf in 2013: Pre-release music review for Dreamweaver by electronic and instrumental artist Gandalf.
If you have been an enthusiast of electronic and instrumental new age music for the past 30 years, then you know there are a limited number of orchestral musicians who convey the picturesque imagery of their compositions better than the legendary, Austrian born artist Gandalf.
The imagery he creates with his orchestral music is an important characteristic of the artist that is apparent to those familiar with his work, and yet this one aspect soon becomes obvious to those listening to the great composer of symphonic music for the first time. After all, there is a pretty good reason Gandalf is called “The Painter of Musical Landscapes.”
Dreamweaver is a new acoustic album from Gandalf on the Real Music Label. Scheduled for release on March 12, 2013 the hour long recording of 9 songs is performed by a select ensemble of four instrumental artists.
While sampling Dreamweaver it became clear Gandalf artistically works his magic on his newest project in superior fashion. This is what I had anticipated, however the musical brushstrokes in this composition are chosen from a lighter palette of colors that ultimately prove to be a representation of peaceful serenity.
Gandalf has regularly used electric and bass guitars in rock opera style fashion to represent deep illustrations, but Dreamweaver is elegantly portrayed by lighter instrumentation, which presents a whole new tone and atmosphere for the artist, as for the listener. The four person ensemble convey a more natural sound with importance given to lighter touches of acoustic guitar, cello, flute, piano and drums.
Gandalf is admired for instrumental creations born of brilliant imagination, and this is unchanged. The beauty of Dreamweaver is surreal music qualities crafted in a more personal, naturalistic style. The four person ensemble include Gandalf performing acoustic guitars, piano, and percussion, Merike Hilmar cello, Karin Leitner flutes and woodwinds, and percussionist Christian Strobl.
The 9 songs on Dreamweaver are: Into The Rising Sun (Part 1), Into The Rising Sun (Part 2), Reaching For The Sky, Between Ebb And Flow, Dreamweaver, Shining Like A Jewel, Life’s Blossoms, Written In The Stars (Part 1) & Written In The Stars (Part 2).
Visit the section for Gandalf at RealMusic.com. Prior to March 12, 2013 album release date sample and pre-order the audio CD or digital downloads for Dreamweaver at RealMusic.com. Cover art courtesy gandalf.at & Big Stock Photo – HelleM.
Gallery of Dreams – Plus Live by Gandalf with Steve Hackett.
With the advent of the New Year 2012 well past us, new age and popular artists of every genre are releasing their best new project for 2012. While brand new CD and mp3 album downloads are arriving daily at music stores, legendary new age artist Gandalf and popular rock music icon Steve Hackett, formerly of Genesis, have a new 2012, re-mastered release of an exquisite instrumental music classic.
Gandalf’s Gallery Of Dreams – Plus Live featuring Steve Hackett is the title given to this definitive 3 CD Anniversary Edition, that is progressive instrumental music at its finest! Also available as mp3 digital downloads, the first CD is an original studio Gallery Of Dreams album digitally re-mastered.
Plus, Gandalf and Steve Hackett’s previously unreleased 2 CD live concert recordings at the Wiener Konzerhaus concert in Vienna, Austria are included in the special 3 CD Anniversary Edition, comprised of several world-class quality guest instrumentalists, and a wonderful vocalist named Tracy Hitchings on the title track.
Gandalf – featuring Steve Hackett – Live in Concert Part 1 & Live in Concert Part 2 are the official titles for the 2 live concert CDs. The 3 CD Anniversary Edition of Gandalf and Steve Hackett’s legendary studio recording, plus their 2 CD live concert recorded during the Wiener Konzerthaus concert in Vienna Austria is an exceptional collection of songs. The finer points with this release are the artisanship, cinematic qualities and cultural fusion of new age and progressive rock music.
Gallery Of Dreams by Gandalf, featuring Steve Hackett is a masterful arrangement that amazed the music world in 1992, like the definitive anniversary collection carries on the tradition today.
Gandalf’s Gallery Of Dreams is a timeless instrumental classic, powerful in depth by the beauty of orchestral instruments of oboe, flute, piano and English horn in perfect rhythm with classical, acoustic and electric guitar. Even while conveying an air of refinement and complexity, the focus on instrumental warmth and harmony create a personable atmosphere from beginning to end.
It is in a likeness to predecessor Symphonic Landscape, another instrumental album by Gandalf whose symphonic innovations remain ageless with the passing of time. I say with near certainty, Gallery Of Dreams – Plus Live is one of the rarest albums destined to be one of the best progressive instrumental albums I, or any review publicist will write a review about in 2012.
Gandalf featuring Steve Hackett – Live In Concert – Part 1 & Part 2 CDs are previously unreleased live recordings during Gandalf’s Gallery Of Dreams in 1992 at the Wiener Konzerhaus concert in Vienna Austria, with former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett as special guest artist.
Live In Concert Part 1 & Live In Concert Part 2 is parallel to the Gallery Of Dreams studio album by the inherent music qualities given by the artists involved, but perhaps more dynamic being a concert recording made on stage in front of a live audience.
Steve Hackett takes the lead in rock opera styled guitar refrains on a number of songs. Live In Concert Part 1 contains the two Genesis songs Horizons & In that Quiet Earth. As fans of the band Genesis know, guitar virtuoso Steve Hackett in classic form and bravura will leave a lasting impression on the listener every time.
Gandalf and Steve Hackett each have their own highly successful solo albums with distinctive style and technique, but it was Steve Hackett’s musical influence that made a major impression on Gandalf’s music. The natural ability of both artists as soloist is legendary. Gandalf and Steve Hackett complement one another beautifully during their performance, so it’s no surprise their collaborative effort together has resulted in a phenomenal collection of songs.
The 3 CD Anniversary Edition comes with a 6 page color photo booklet, concert poster, and a song video clip of Face in the Mirror that is playable on your computer. For Gandalf concert information, the Gandalf – Art Of Infinity Concert is scheduled for November 3, 2012 at the Planetarium Bochum in Nordrhein-Westfalen Germany.
Full credits for artists performing on Gallery of Dreams – plus live, Live in Concert Part 1 & Live in Concert Part 2 are; Gandalf – electric guitar, acoustic 12-string guitar, piano, keyboards, sitar, sequencers and atmospheres. Steve Hackett – electric and classical guitars. Robert Julian Horky – flutes. Andrea Krauk – oboe, English horn.
Peter Aschenbrenner – flutes, soprano saxophone, and keyboards. Erich Buchebner – bass and fretless bass, taurus, bass-pedals and acoustic guitar. Toni Muhlhofer – percussion and Tracy Hitchings is the vocalist on Gallery of Dreams title track.
Gallery Of Dreams – Plus Live featuring Steve Hackett is the title of Gandalf’s 3 CD Anniversary Edition of progressive instrumental music featuring former Genesis guitarist Steve Hackett. An album and concert review of their 3 CD Anniversary Edition will be ready before “Earth Day.” Until then, here is a song video of Face In The Mirror.
The first CD is an original studio Gallery Of Dreams album, plus Gandalf and Steve Hackett’s previously unreleased 2 CD live concert recordings are included in the special 3 CD Anniversary Edition digitally re-mastered for 2012.
The live concert CDs of Gandalf’s Gallery Of Dreams European Tour in 1992 was held at the Wiener Konzerhaus concert in Vienna Austria. Steve Hackett, former Genesis guitarist joined Gandalf as the special guest artist on the Gallery Of Dreams studio album, and the 2 live concert CDs titled Live in Concert Part 1 & Live in Concert Part 2.
Gandalf and Steve Hackett of Genesis complement one another on stage, and in their own words below;
Gandalf: “Steve Hackett is one of the people who in the past had a major influence on my musical development. Over the last few years, I have been finding my own personal style and working with Steve felt like closing a circle. I managed to build a bridge to my musical roots.”
Steve Hackett: “Working with Gandalf on this album has certainly been one of my most enjoyable recording experiences. In his field, he is undoubtedly a musical genius without parallel.”
Gandalf is an internationally acclaimed composing musician and producer from Vienna Austria identified as a New Age, Contemporary Instrumental and World music artist. During the past 30 years of his career, his progressive music and global persona has helped neutralize the customary social borders in multicultural music for years.
Gandalf is currently planning a future orchestration to celebrate his 30 year Anniversary in 2011 and this composition will become the centerpiece to mark the celebrations.
There is a live performance in Vienna scheduled to accent the occasion of his milestone achievement. The Vienna concert and new release is the first topic of their interview conversation during this comprehensive 2010 interview published just prior to his 30 year anniversary.
The website hosts for NewAgeMusicWorld.Com & NewAgeMusic.nu are excited to bring our visitors the present day interview John Olsen has conducted with this global musician and invite all visitors and fans to learn even more on our respective website pages dedicated to Gandalf.
Interview with Gandalf
John : I wanted to first thank you myself Gandalf, and on behalf of our visitors for taking time away from your more creative endeavors. I feel certain our visitors and your fans do appreciate this present day opportunity to learn more about you and the outstanding music you produce.
Many are already anticipating your 30 year anniversary you have slated for 2011 which will be here before long, and currently you are planning a new orchestration project with live performance in Vienna to accent your milestone achievement. Is everything being kept a secret for now or can you provide some details about your next orchestration and the live concert event scheduled for 2011?
Gandalf : At this stage I don´t want to tell much in detail about the new project, this will all be presented due to the launch of the album and the concert in 2011.
The composition is meant to be the essence of my musical excerience and development in the past three decades. The leading instruments are guitars, piano and percussion, a small symphonic orchestra (woodwinds and strings) and a male choir.
The work is in good progress, a lot has already happened, but there is still much to do. Currently I am finishing the orchestral score, the recordings are planned in October. The album producton shall be finished until the end of this year.
John : Thank you for the insight you have provided. Your 20 year anniversary was quite extraordinary which included your first live performance in Vienna and the CD / DVD collection on the BSC Music label titled Live In Vienna. Would you describe what your first live concert had felt like on a personal level and was your first stage performance the positive experience you had imagined?
Gandalf : Actually, this DVD/CD is the first official release of recordings from a performance in Vienna, of course there have taken place a lot of performances prior to this one. My really first big performance in Vienna was in 1982, when the album Visions was released. I had just started my career a year before and the reponse from the audience was a real sensation, the concert was completely sold out (more than thousand people) and the album climbed up to #2 in the album charts over night. This was far beyond my imagination! It was just great and lifted my motivation to continue with my work.
John : In addition to your studio recordings you began venues of live solo concerts on acoustic guitar and piano in the United States, along with live concerts in Austria, the Netherlands, and during Woodroot Festival in Germany. With the increasing number of venues, are live performances more rewarding for you as a musician than studio recording, and if so why?
Gandalf : A live performance can not be compared to anything else, this is where the music happens in the very moment. Today performing live is more important for me than ever. If you record an album in the studio you spend much time to get your performance recorded as perfect as possible, on stage you only have this one chance and that is the fascination about it, no song sounds exactly the same twice, you never know what is going to happen every other night. And sometimes there is real magic and you can feel it from the first note you play and the audience can feel it. I would not want to miss this.
John : What was the early turning point where you decided to pursue music as a career and could you tell us about your music history throughout the years?
Gandalf : After having played in various Progressive-Rock lineups during the Seventies I found out that I had a musical vision which I could not realize with a conventional band so I started experimenting in a very simply equipped studio at home just on my own, playing and recording all instruments by myself. And this was the first time I really felt satisfied about my work so I recorded my first album Journes To An Imaginary Land and my friends were so enthusistic about the result, that I played the material to someone from a record-company and I got a contract.
That´s how it happened, I just followed my intuition and after some time I realized that I was able to make my living from making exactly the music I played out of my heart.
John : The Gates to Secret Realities was the transitional album during your move to World music influences. What was the defining moments or reasons for your decision to begin composing World influenced music?
Gandalf : My travels to India and other countries opened up my horizon and I found out more and more, that music is a universal language. It has the ability to dissolve borders between different cultures. There were so many elements in music from other parts of the world that inspired me and I wanted to integrate such influences and expand my personal style, trying to create some kind of a Global Music.
John : During your continental travels, what experiences and ethnic cultures have led you to discover and then recognize music as the unifying source that indeed helps abolish the boundaries in various musical styles and categories?
Gandalf : The first special encounters I had in India when I jammed with musicians there. We were not able to communicate much by words because of our different languages, but we had so much fun communicating through music.
Also on my Brazilian tour in 1995, I could not speak Portugese at all, but the music opened up the hearts of people and the feedback was amazing.
This was where I met Emily Burridge from England. She had lived with a Tribe of Indians for a while and was very inspired by there way af looking at the world and their rituals. So when we played together in Brazil, we decided to record an album together, and this was Gates …
John : You are referred to as The Painter of Musical Landscapes plus your music has a story to tell. What thoughts, images or message do you hope your listeners will acquire from your music and what are the ideal circumstances where you are most productive in composing music?
Gandalf : Nature is the most imortant source of inspiration for me, this is where I find my balance and open the channels of my creativity.
Over the years I found out, that the music already tells its story, whether I am aware of this or not. It reflects my inner landscapes and feelings. If you for example play it to children and let them paint, the pictures that come out show symbols of love, peace and hapiness, so there is not much else I need to tell people besides the music itself. Sometimes a story that accompanies the music is nice but not really necessary.
John : Your music has been featured in television and video media productions. I wondered if you find visual scores more challenging to produce than your more traditional album compositions, and how do they differ when you begin composing?
Gandalf : It is just, that your inspiration is initialized by a different source. If there is a certain story you want to express by your music, you first must get fully into the story and then, the pictures or the words will evoke musical ideas.
Sometimes books can be inspiring, I did project with lyrics from The Prophet by the Libanese writer Khalil Gibran, and also wrote a soundtrack to the book The Stones Of Wisdom by a friend of mine, Ronald P. Vaughan.
John : In the early years you were highly regarded mainly in Europe and other countries prior to your current widespread recognition and status in U.S. markets. Did acquiring a presence in broader international markets influence your music style to fit European or American tastes or was your transition to each country non apparent in your music identity?
Gandalf : I never really cared much about such matters, it happened more the other way round. When my musical style changed throughout the years it became more or less interesting for different markets. For example, back in the Eighties when I had some Spanish guitar on the opening track of the album The Universal Play it suddenly was released in Spain and South America.
Over all the years I tried to follow my musical vision as honest as possible and did not try to adjust to any market or trend-situation and I think this is one of the reasons, why I am still here. If you try to bend your personal way due to fast changing marketing situations, you may soon get lost.
John : Again, Thank You Gandalf. B.T. Fasmer and I do appreciate this present day opportunity to present our visitors this interview. We wish you well, and we will continue writing more about you in the future. Is there anything you would like to tell your fans or bring up before we close?
Gandalf : I just want to thank you and everyone who helps promoting my works and all my fans for purchasing my records and thus helping me to carry on with the music.
Photos are courtesy Klaus Rautenberg and gandalf.at.
Many musicians are content to remain within a specific genre and are a complete success in their artistic focus. Then there are other notable musicians where a natural progression is realized, developing into a unique artisan style and by their inner convictions, become a virtuoso by what they offer the music world.
Gandalf is an internationally acclaimed composing music producer from Vienna Austria first identified as a New Age, Contemporary Instrumental and World artist. While transitioning over the past 30 years of his career, his progressive directive and persona has helped neutralize the customary social borders in multicultural music for years.
Gates To Secret Realities on the Prudence label is an open manifest of his ambitious return to classic world music. This 1996 album is one of fascination and perhaps a secret gaze into what Gandalf is planning for a future orchestration slated to celebrate his 30 year Anniversary in 2011. This future CD currently being composed is the centerpiece for the occasion, plus a live performance in Vienna will accent his milestone achievement.
It was during continental travels to Europe, North & South America and Asia where Gandalf began to realize the prevailing attitudes and many similarities of every continent greatly unites each of us, verses creates a divisional line between countries. This open border view is much a part of his global World Music ambitions, and perhaps why his style encompasses a unique image while making a valid statement in relation to his cultivated talents and international status.
Gates To Secret Realities featuring 11 songs with over an hour of world class music is an earlier expedition not to be missed. Gandalf is a multi-instrumentalist performing acoustic and electric guitar, charango, piano, keyboards, mellotron, balaphon and many indigenous percussion. Enlisting Emily Burridge from England and Peter Aschenbrenner from Vienna, Emily performs vocals & cello and composed 3 songs while Peter is another fine talent on flutes, soprano saxophone and some backing vocals.
Gandalf’s ensemble makes this album a unique listening experience beginning with 3 songs Dreamcatcher ( Part 1 ) vocals and flute instill a celestial atmosphere before Gandalf steps up to give an astounding rock styled electric guitar anthem. This is in relation to The Power Of Nature & Man’s Promise To Mother Earth performed by the united trio where vocals, flute, keyboard and electric guitar proclaim a powerful majestic atmosphere.
Many songs journey along more moderate terrains regarding style and tempo yet the fascination remains deep and on a grandiose scale. Footprints In Red Sand is relaxing by the flute and keyboard interludes before building momentum with electric guitar that greatly increases depth of the impression.
Majestic Mountain View is an apt title shown by cello, keyboard and flute setting their sights on a light background depth and then again in following windswept song Voice In The Wind, then bells signal the tonal imagery in piano and guitar melody on Along The Milky Way. Some songs like Ascending On The Eagle’s wings, Dreamcatcher ( Part 2 ) & Floating Down The Silent Stream are ballads elevated by cello flute, keyboards and saxophone that give a cinematic feel by lighter orchestrations portrayed in a lavish way.
The Wheel Of Life is a moving concerto lightly revolving in time, thought and deliberation, swaying in a gentle way by an enchanting flute melody backed by wondrous piano rhythms. Cello is fluently engaged to intensify the atmospheric warmth and progressive movement this song and the album in entirety envisions, perhaps giving us secret insight into the celebratory atmosphere Gandalf has in mind for us in the year 2011.
Visit Gandalf.at to sample his music and read his biography page. Visit the Munsing Germany based bscmusic.com homepage and BSA’s Gandalf music profile to sample / purchase. Picture copyright Big Stock Photo – EcoShot.