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Archive for the ‘2010 Album Review’ Category

During times of war most sovereign nations remain dependent on men and women serving in the military for defense and protection of their country. While protecting the freedoms and individual rights of private citizens, returning soldiers acquire imbedded memories that last a lifetime and clearly the grandest memory of them all is during the homecoming when they are happily reunited with their families.

Peter Jennison is a U.S. Army Captain and MEDEVAC helicopter pilot returning from active duty during the war in Iraq with revealing memories he witnessed from a firsthand perspective. From this experience, Peter Jennison began to compose music.

An American living at home in Florida now, his latest CD composed during the time period he served in Iraq is meant to evoke imagery of the conflict as a more peaceful musical experience for every listener, along with providing renewing therapy for soldiers and families upon their return home from service.

Longing For Home (Songs From War) is a New Age Contemporary Instrumental release Peter Jennison composed for piano with renown musicians supplying refined instrumentals in most of the 10 songs.

This album also has the notation of being a Will Ackerman production and with Corin Nelsen providing the mixing and mastering, their GRAMMY© Award-winning expertise can be perceived as a winning strategy by the quality work they produce.

Peter Jennison, in another strategic move enlisted highly recognized artists on his album including Jeff Haynes on percussion, Eugene Friesen on cello and Steve Schuch on violin. In addition, Will Ackerman performs on guitar in one song and vocalist Noah Wilding gives soft vocals on two songs. Longing For Home is some of the last performances given by the late Tom “ T-Bone “ Wolk, a highly regarded multi instrumentalist remembered in part by his outstanding talents.

War is a song with lighter phases in the beginning that build with increasing drama as piano, violin and percussion recreate a battlefield image during a dramatic illustration projected within the musical arrangement. Peter Jennison’s illustration is shown by a precise context by increasing tempo and percussion rhythms that project distant artillery rounds. The song’s imagery of chest moving recoil from artillery rounds and ejected shell casings makes it seem all too real.

Peter Jennison composed his album with much regard to stories from the heart and mind. This is apparent in his compositions where most songs portraying a tranquil atmosphere with a strong sense of drama and emotion can be easily felt and is consistent, during his solo piano expressions and in songs with instrumental refrains.

Performing on a Steinway B, the emotional feel of 4 Solo Piano songs; Hold Me in Your Heart, The Promise, Anthem & Longing For Home ( Title Song ) are classic and uplifting yet each one holds a certain melancholy as if telling of the days spent apart from family and the extra weight of uncertainty this carries.

The piano and instrumentals of violin during Time Passage convey this more poignant feeling where piano, cello and bass in High Mountain Dreams has a more relaxed atmosphere.

The song Desert Storms has a bass guitar and piano duet which band together as one. A wonderful piano melody combined with guitar, violin and tenor vocals in The One breaks into a resolute wave of harmony. With everything considered, it is music empowered to portray the sentiment the majority of us will never experience firsthand.

Longing For Home (Songs From War) is told from a U.S. soldier’s perspective, made more real since this story is voluntarily given by someone who has honorably faced and met the challenges war can bring. Recounting American men and women risking all in service to their country, reverent tribute is given to those lives we honor in memorandum of, while celebrating the virtues of every U.S. soldier as a private citizen and beloved family member who has served their country.

Visit Peter Jennison’s Facebook page. You can sample or purchase at his Amazon.com page or CDBaby.com page.

Note: A portion of the proceeds from every album sold will be given to charities that support veterans and their families.

Picture copyright BigStockPhoto.com – JustASC.

Much like the seasonal changes we encounter daily at various locations around the world, many musicians I encounter have their own change in atmosphere in relation to the music they produce.  Their adaptations in style and structure can sometimes be expected to a degree, but most times it is tempered just like the weather and cannot be easily predicted.

Matt Millecchia is a great example of a guitar player making a more profound change in his performance style by releasing of all things, a new age album.  Currently residing in New York, Matt is most acclimated to performances with various metal rock, punk and folk bands over the past 20 years and really not a matter of being a hot to cold disparity by this, but this departure certainly is polarizing.  Interestingly, he is also a senior engineer who takes precision measurements on one of the most powerful lasers ever produced so is uniquely familiar with the technical aspects of extremes.

Silhouette of a Season is his more equalizing new age contemporary instrumental debut with 12 original compositions featuring Matt on 4 solo guitar songs.  Employing another key change in style, he specializes in the flat-pick method of acoustic guitar verses a more common finger style and has also enlisted notable artists most will recognize.

Taking the legendary journey to Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, GRAMMY® Winner and founder of Windham Hill Records Will Ackerman has produced and performs guitar with Matt on two songs.  Another GRAMMY® Award-winner Corin Nelsen engineered, mixed and mastered this album so the quality shines by their expertise, plus the all inclusive list of top musicians on various songs which includes Michael Manring on bass, Eugene Friesen on cello, the late T-Bone Wolk on bass and accordion, Derrik Jordan on electric violin and percussion, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Steve Schuch on acoustic violin, and Samite on flute.

Silhouette of a Season shows a natural beauty in composition and performance while dramatizing a glowing atmosphere during each of the 12 songs placed mainly in a moderate tempo.   All have a pleasing feel of radiance and song Arrivials is the first prelude into the many qualities you will experience on the entire album.  Orchestra and electric violins provide a swaying motion while guitars evenly enhance this refined image by counter rhythms and then again in a more pronounced Summer Tears.

Antietam Spring is a light introspective song where accordion and guitar inscribe a peaceful feeling while achieving a pleasing sense of intrigue and perhaps only natural given the interesting choice in instrumental harmonies.

The guitar pairing of flugelhorn in Mist and cello in Acid Lake are like the percussion, guitar and flute instrumentals in Sphynx where each artist imparts their proficient expressions while revealing the fine naturalistic atmosphere envisioned for each song.

Matt Millecchia takes a graceful departure apart from more familiar genres by the 4 solo guitar improvisations of Georgia Springs, Expectations, August Eclipse & Moonset and while adapting this gentle change of seasons with over 20 years of experience and by using the flat-pick method without sub-rhythm overdubbing.  The transition is made solid by a fine performance, along with his artistic stance on the evenly represented concepts of harmony.

Silhouette of a Season is an album anyone can become acclimated with every single day of the year and since the glorious presentation given by every musician transposes a fine exploration in atmosphere, their precise harmonies bring to light an integral shine for success which to me, turns out to be an even more predictable quality.

Visit mattmillecchia.com to sample / purchase or at his CDBaby.com page.  Learn more about Matt on his biography page.

Photo copyright Matt Millecchia and Cover courtesy of Marcia Birken.

Acoustic Ocean has just released a fine new follow up to their debut release Light Returning and like many of the relaxing destinations of Hawaii where the musicians reside and the song titles suggest, becomes a restful retreat into music that tells of the natural beauty one would experience on the islands for themselves.

Since the founding team members of Acoustic Ocean are skilled therapists and all 4 performers on the album live in Hawaii, their unique perspective with daily experiences of island living have helped recreate the relaxing atmosphere for you.

Reflections on Still Water is a New Age, Contemporary Instrumental album retaining a great sense of calm by 9 original compositions and 1 spiritual melody of instrumental beauty that is clearly prominent from the very beginning.

Peggy Morgan and Bette Phelan, as the former folk singer-songwriting duo Morgan & Phelan, toured together for 20 years performing in the US and abroad at a wide variety of venues which numbers in the thousands. 

Over the past two decades together their music has been featured on television along with aquiring widespread radio airplay, receiving awards and notoriety over the years before founding the New Age artist title we recognize today.

The year 2008 first marked the beginning of Acoustic Ocean and while the genre may have changed, their style in creating original works of relaxing music has fortunately remained constant.   Peggy and Bette are both certified Kripalu Yoga teachers, therapists and have specialized skills in many areas related to stress management so their better living skills enabled a well suited entrance into the New Age genre.

On this album the team has enlisted Kay Aldrich playing cello on 3 songs and Anne Berliner on flute in 1 song which turns their wonderful instrumentation into another perspective of beauty.

The album cover shown in Reflections on Still Water gives you a visual hint of the elemental beauty you will hear, plus with the primary instrumentals of Celtic harp, Dulcimer, mandolin, acoustic guitar and fretless bass, the mental images of this restful destination reflect an even clearer picture, translating into a relaxing sound experience all within easy reach of the imagination.

Visit acousticoceanmusic.com to sample / purchase or their CDBaby.com page.  Learn more about this team at their morganandphelan.com website.  Cover photo copyright Bette Phelan.

Some young adults begin their early working careers by taking whatever job is at hand and find the road to success. Some hope to achieve the road to success when handed the family business. Either decision requires talent and determination of course, but the universal message often heard about either choice is to always have your individual hopes and dreams.

Gunnar Madsen from Berkley California has achieved an impressive level of success most would hope for at this stage of his bright career. You can visit his website to learn all about his career choices through the years and I feel his grand success as a Grammy Nominated pianist and award winning composer, singer, writer, sound designer, filmmaker and actor are career decisions that might have even impressed his family.

Two Hands is the New Age, Cinematic Piano, Instrumental 2010 release from Gunnar Madsen and eighteenth CD he has produced. This album is a more especial and innermost portrayal of his musical works in relation to his earlier compositions with the a capella group he founded called The Bobs.

His first solo album Spinning World is a closer likeness with Two Hands, in a uniquely diverse discography that includes award winning family CDs along with an Epic Orchestral recording and even a lively pop art Rock album titled The Power of a Hat.

The recipient of countless music and theatre awards, his Grammy Nomination was for a song arrangement by The Beatles and has received ASCAP Awards for 15 consecutive years, plus his music is featured in some episodes of the widely popular HBO series Sex and the City and films Breaking the Rules, A Special Providence, The Break Up & Just a Kiss. Gunnar Madsen also does voice-overs, providing the film voice for Don Cheatle when he portrayed Sammy David Jr. in the Emmy Award winning HBO film The Rat Pack and this is just a partial listing of many credits during his career so far.

Two Hands was recorded at the industry regarded Skywalker Sound Studio and includes 16 songs total. Three songs have contrasting instrumentals where notable guest violinist Irene Sazer, a member of the improvisational Jazz and Classical group Turtle Island String Quartet lends her elegant expressions.

The first violin portrayal by Irene Sazer on Kerenyl is more subtle while gently tracing the melodic depth on strings as Gunnar leads on piano. Ordinary Day & Red Bird make a beautiful piano and string duet from the pair, extending the symmetrical harmony on each song while interblending into a narrative full of melodic drama.

Solo Piano ballads of Cinematic proportions are the sequential songs where Gunnar begins to reveal the innermost reflections of his work in a manner of classic distinction.  Outlined with a conceptual feeling of depth, some of the more melodramatic and intriguing phrasing performed on songs like Nino and Me, Down Moon & South Trail are offered with a personalized touch.

Frank Grows Flowers is a song responding with an upbeat tempo and imaginative runs while dancing along the piano keys in every measure.  The light reflective moments yet none the less expressive songs The Blackbird Whistling, Brandon & Oak Sky are more introspective in their structuring.

Break into Blossom begins with a lighter metrical sway and soon unfolds into bolder imagery by exploring a more robust presentation of greater intensity before returning into restful state of contentment and has a resemblance in style with In These Lonely Regions & Down Moon, given the more pronounced dynamics of diminuendo and crescendo variances.

Much like the memoir notes on the inside album cover detailing each composition, Gunnar Madsen traces every song on Two Hands with a gifted accounting of his diverse imagination while delivering a beautiful finger to key statement and like the valuable reward of success that is never just handed to anyone, it came from the talent and determination of an individual who started with and continues to have, hopes and dreams.

Visit gunnarmadsen.com to sample / purchase or visit his CDBaby.com page. You can also purchase at Amazon, iTunes and most music outlets. Read more about Gunnar Madsen on his biography page.

Picture copyright Big Stock Photo – jocelynbaker.

When one takes a moment to consider what daily life would be like without The Arts, everyone can quickly realize that more traditional teachings of math, science and biology are vital to every one of us individually, but the expressions of music, painting and poetry are an equally consequential part of our culture and personal identity.

Jeffrey Fisher from Southern California has chosen to make The Arts his principal focus during his diverse life as a composing musician.  While some might pursue more fundamental scholastic studies, the more conceptual and creative aspects of art, poetry and teaching have nicely become a mainstay to his more individual endeavors and this reflection is transferred to his music.  Natural surroundings and his unique inner imagination are on display again by his current nature inspired release.

Satyagraha – Songs of the Earth is his New Age, Ambient, Meditative, Instrumental 2010 release drawn from the imagination and past experience of this multifaceted artist who has improvised well while composing and performing music in nearly every genre.

The album title Jeffrey Fisher has chosen for Satyagraha translates to read The Power of Truth and references the non violent and principal ideals of Gandhi.  In addition Satyagraha became the name for his nature retreat in the San Jacinto Mountains where this album was first brought to the surface and then recorded.

Satyagraha – Songs of the Earth is a nature inspired album that represents the serene and dramatic virtues of nature as realistic and one of natural beauty, much like the artistic rendition displayed on the accompanying cover art Jeffrey Fisher himself has painted using watercolors.

In a similar representation of the portrait shown, his music is serene and even though a performing artist on numerous instruments, his melodic improvisations on a 160 year old bass violin is the primary instrument for instilling color and the harmonious points of view in his music.

In accompaniment with the natural warm tones of bass violin, most of the 8 songs on the album are blended with the woodwind tones of Navaho flutes, keyboards and percussion which intermingle with the essential brush strokes to paint the final picture of nature using a very personal touch and with the artful imagination one would expect from both a musician and individual.

Visit HealingMusicoftheSouthwest.com or sample and purchase at his CDBaby.com artist page.

Satyagraha cover art copyright Jeffrey Fisher.

New Age Music is a wonderful medium for any musician to express the more creative aspects of their music apart from what we regularly expect to hear from someone any given day.  This change can be just a slight adjustment from their select style or in many cases, one giant leap while traversing the starry twilights into new zones and uncharted territories.

Julian Ray is a New Age musician from Canada making a more exploratory departure by his current release produced while in the comforts of his home studio suite.  His newest revision in Ambient music with a story to tell is based in theme on the Argonauts of Greek mythology fused into an innovative territorial journey of the cosmos transposed by his just released creation in New Age, Ambient and Experimental music.

Julian is an independent solo musician from Toronto Canada with a lengthy presence in the music industry and member with the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada ( SOCAN ) and is active in theatre, psychology and philosophy, so perhaps this transition arrives quite naturally.

In addition, he and his wife Katrin Ray are design artists recognized by prestigious awards in Europe and North America during numerous design exhibitions around the world so during their team production strategy Katrin designs the cover arts and other contributing roles which help advance the artist title of Julian Ray Music.

Julian Ray has planned the itinerary for his cosmic explorations on Argonauts of Kosmos as one of true excitement.  While on this expedition into the outer zonal boundaries of electronic music, novel melodic landmarks are created and mysterious territories are revealed to become an experimental project in spatial music ready for your discovery.

Argonauts Of Kosmos is his Cosmic, Ambient, New Age, Experimental release in 2010 and 10 song modification from his more New Age Ambient classified In Flow of Light release earlier this year.  This is also a more categorical illustration away from the Jazz, Easy Listening, Instrumental sounds heard on Wonderful Life & Seashell Stories but for those familiar with his discography know this is just a matter relevant to the creative itinerary he has in store for his listeners at the time.

In the case of Argonauts of Kosmos it appears considerable effort was made to create interest and kindle the imagination since the musical landscape is a consistent medium to upper tempo atmosphere with prevailing keyboard melodies transmitting the radiant episodes.

Star Bridge & Milky Way are good examples of the excitement and liveliness since they are so far distant from the lonesome plateaus and solitary note landscapes often heard in some ambient space projects.

Venus : Deep Forest & Stardust have keyboard melodies taken a step further along with the wide range in percussion and clave enhancements of woodblock which increase the interest to the already dreamy atmosphere.  This can also be said about the more ambient song Deep Space Mission.

Orion’s Belt & Argonauts of Kosmos ( Title Song ) are the most experimental given the voice box encounters and lightly drifting notes that divuldge new territories in electronic explorations where the outer boundaries are readily defined for the listener so they may make their own individual excursion by using a little creative imagination of their own.

More importantly this over an hour long album is aglow in bright ambience and the deeply mysterious moments enhance the bold adventuresome qualities of the music without ever leaving one wanting more or stranded all alone in the twilight zone.

Visit the julianraymusic.com homepage then sample / purchase on his albums page or CDBaby.com page.  Read more on his biography page and then our page dedicated to Julian Ray.

Cover design copyright Julian Ray Music courtesy of Katrin Ray.  

Music and Movies are two of the most popular internet search terms used today. These two forms of entertainment by themselves are enough to spark our interest alone yet when audio and visual productions are merged into a movie soundtrack, film score or popular music video, the results achieve an even more exciting sights and sounds experience.

David Mauk from Las Vegas Nevada is a composing performer with plenty of experience in the entertainment business while advancing in popularity from his 12 Months debut released in 2009. His first album created much excitement for many and equally so for David since 12 Months received nomination at ZMR for Best Electronic Album and also earned David a Best New Artist nomination for the year.

Ground Swell is his 2010 release, unique not only by the great mood effect of his classic yet easygoing electronic compositions but some songs were inspired by American realist painter Edward Hopper and Ground Swell is a CD / DVD collector’s edition that beautifully captures the early American century with Cinematic drama and makes a nice collection by any standard. The 5 bonus video clips are nicely correlated with his unique brand of classic electronic music and are a beautiful addition to the audio CD since the extra sensory effect of video makes it easy for anyone to visualize his ambient music becoming a modern times movie score.

The National Geographic Society has already realized the dynamic effect of his compositions by integrating as their official music with many exhibits including King Tutankhamun, Golden Age of the Pharaohs, Real Pirates and Cleopatra museum exhibits, in fine music that enhances the experience for every visitor.

David Mauk has given everyone 2 excellent reasons to appreciate his music in 2010. The Ground Swell CD alone is a free flowing natural display of bright ambience offered with a harmonious and casual impression, plus the DVD greatly points out the Cinematic enchantment that makes his music special.

Ground Swell is in effect an Ambient, Electronic, New Age album with a total of 14 songs. The 5 song descriptions I will provide from the CD are ones also listed on the bonus DVD, in this all inclusive CD / DVD collection and you will find the 9 additional songs are sequential to the atmosphere and ideals this album in entirety represents.

Dawn in Pennsylvania has a singular piano melody backed by a deeper synthesizer profile that gives depth to the overall bright and casual mood and is effective at producing a story line of realism by a light atmospheric point of view with cymbal taps and percussion enrichment.

Summertime is like an ode of joyous celebration the summer season always represents, marching right along in attitude by a majestic piano movement.

Lower piano octaves maintain the rhythm while upper ranges move up and down the scales in half steps while bell tones ring in the seasonal event.

Chop Suey relies on tenor drum and percussion rhythms as a prelude to keyboard producing the light staccato note melody with a casual feel.

During refrains the dynamics are rearranged to a deeper tenor and nicely embolden the song while adding tonal drama.

Queensburo Bridge carries nice rhythmical metrics by strings subtle back and forth sway while light synth notes and key changes introduce sparkling overtones into the melodious theme.

New York Movie is a dreamy song that transports you to a different place and time with strings becoming the prevalent character in the lighter melody. Percussion plays a more indirect role by sharp woodblock notes and when xylophone enters, the soft percussion detailing projects nice sparkling tones in a secondary rhythm.

David Mauk made 12 Months an impressive introduction into New Age music. Ground Swell is another fine classic that makes musical entertainment an even better experience, offering his appealing to the senses experience like the premiere attractions many people are searching for at this very moment.

Visit the davidmauk.com homepage and then sample / purchase on his music page. Learn more about David at his MySpace page and then our pages dedicated to David Mauk.

Cover art copyright Kelly Stamblesky – Smith. Picture copyright BigStockPhoto.com – Ondrej Garaj.

Davol is a popular new age musician from Colorado whose expertly blended contemporary electronic melodies are a dramatic wonder to behold.  Davol’s entire music collection and current Good Sign album ultimately proclaim a positive and upbeat influence you will find inspirational.

Electronic Music by DavolGood Sign is his April 2010 release which decisively aligns itself to symbolize another exceptional album and become an encouraging assertion to those in the music world already familiar with his first name artist title they are indeed listening to someone recognized for producing top quality music.

Davol is a success in many aspects of his life, and after obtaining a Ph.D. in 1989 his earlier career as a medical researcher and microbiologist were judiciously shelved in 1996 when he began a commercial venture producing multimedia music.

During the same year his debut Mystic Waters became another personal success and made it to # 15 on the Billboard New Age Chart, plus the worldwide usage of his songs involving television, radio, video and numerous multimedia production scores has clearly magnified this proficient artisan on an international level.

The 4 additional albums A Day Like No Other, Open Book, Paradox & Nature Of The Beast are all relatives to his current yet each one is a natural variation that evolves into their own class, interrelated by a characteristic source of fascinating drama to proclaim the positive and upbeat influence you will find inspirational.

Truth 2010 is an electronic Dance/Club influences remix featured during the popular online video now available on the Good Sign album. A heavier percussion tempo prepares the groove rhythms before exploration into deeper shades of electronic intensity and is well combined in timing when compared to his conceptual Truth Video that makes a valid point while capturing the superficial and unbalanced influences portrayed in television media.

Visit DavolMusic.com to sample or purchase, and at Davol’s music page or CDBaby.com page.  You can learn the true facts about Davol on his website biography page. Read our interview and more on my pages for Davol.  Shown below is my recent quote from my album review titled Finding the Good Sign in Davol  and his Truth Song Video.

Davol has exceeded his artistic intentions with Good Sign and the reactions granted to his progressive album do replicate the characteristic source of fascination found in his entire discography. Good Sign is symmetrical to Davol’s principal expression of innovative quality music accented with inspiring drama. 

While water is one natural element necessary to sustain life, music is one non essential we can certainly live without but then again, fluid and tranquil music can be a calming neutralizer to a more harmonious life, especially when one is caught in a hurricane of stormy life challenges.

Eric Chapelle is a composing pianist from Austin Texas whose original music scores conceivably calm the waters in several ways.  Born in France, Eric is also an avid photographer who has lived in several countries around the world and his piano music retains the essential element for relaxing music by the calm buoyancy in sound that finds neutral ground with the pounding waves heard in some music today.

 Across The Water is his Contemporary Instrumental 2010 release that impart 16 songs in ambient expression and creative imagination.  Eric has performed his original compositions in concerts across the U.S. for over a decade, plus movie soundtracks in television, film, and commercials have been the scores that yielded wider recognition in addition to the 2 albums to his credit.  Our Time was his 1998 album admired by many and had justifiably earned Eric a place alongside more esteemed pianists after his opening debut.

Eric Chapelle’s contributions in The Heart Aid Project has inspired me to tell you more about the story behind his dedicated efforts in a tribute CD in memorandum of the fateful World Trade Center events on 9 / 11.  In addition to Eric who conceived and produced the project, he and review publicist Kathy Parsons had corresponded with 16 additional well respected pianists and everyone compiled the tribute CD without royalties.

Simply put, their time and virtuous work on this 9 / 11 remembrance album is to be commended, in addition their efforts have also reaffirmed my current knowledge that the 17 contributors response is very much representative of the caliber of people who comprise the New Age genre today.

Across The Water is another fine illustration of the resourcefulness put into every composition.  Julia Cory is a cellist from Texas joining Eric on songs Every Wish & Soft Landing then guitarist John Inmon & cellist Dawn Biega offer their contributing instrumentals on Across The Water ( Title Track )  Their level of performance and musical drama they offer expressively impart gentle movement into the picture and is well suited to the principal ideals this album represents.

This album retains yet one more harmonious notation since some of the 16 songs on Across The Water were recorded at the 150 acre Norton Island Retreat residency program created by the Easter Frontier Educational Foundation in Maine.  Eric has characterized the island as an inspiring destination of solitude where writers and musicians like him can compose in peaceful moments of relaxing clarity.

Norton Island is one song where the natural environment of the retreat is evenly transferred then shown like a scenic picture of captured images.  The comparatively timed piano solos, casual in ambient recollections like heard in Tide Pool wonderfully convey an impression of calm by the fluid detailing in chord phrasing and lighter melodies that offer subtle reflections using even handed moderation, much attune to Wild Iris in the mellow point of view it brings.

Remembrance is another beautiful song that carries a wonderful Cinematic overtone with every measure, and although the song on the surface is light the well placed notes engrave a deep feel of melancholy, in nicely placed emotional content I found quite moving.  Contrasting soprano chorals evenly trace the piano melody while outlining lower octaves then model into more dramatic posturing and boldly crescendo as if gentle waves were moving across the shoreline.

While Across The Water from Eric Chapelle is not essential to daily living, his inspired by nature album is a solid collection of calming ambience that provides a wealth of relaxing harmony for the listener, smoothing out the rough edges of today while remaining anchored in a state of readiness for the next enduring wave of life challenges that are sure to arise.

Visit the hamsamusic.com website and then purchase on his music page or at CDBaby.com to sample / purchase.  Read more about Eric at his biography page.  The Heart Aid Project CD is currently offered through the Spring Hill Music website.

Photo copyright Hamsa Music courtesy of Eric Chapelle.

The United Kingdom based MG Music label has much to be proud of these days. The 25 year anniversary for Medwyn Goodall and Clifford White alone is reason to celebrate, yet MG label artists Steve Orchard and Paul Sills also have excellent releases planned this year. You will find the quality artisanship delivered by this close circle of friends is special with each artist retaining their own integral voice which to me makes MG label artists significant.

Steve Orchard is a New Age artist from the United Kingdom quite masterful at producing electronic instrumental music composed with many improvised mood sensations that nicely culminate into a repertoire of lively rhythms blended with a kaleidoscope of colorful melodies. The end result is one singular voice implanting a vivid melody image right beside a natural and reposeful atmosphere.

Raindancer is his current release and first in a trilogy series based in theme on a 3 natural elemental word, with each in series containing the dancer suffix.

Sundancer & Moondancer are future releases and I can already tell you that his spirited dancer series illustrates a rare quality of relaxing yet energetic melodies that readily achieve universal appeal.  Steve’s prior albums Voyages Beyond Midnight, Salt Water Café & The Consequences of Kisses are highly regarded earlier works and certainly worth a listen too.

Steve Orchard is a prolific singer songwriter having composed and performed original music for many years on guitar, mandolin, and harmonica, various skin drums, piano and keyboards. His music was featured on BBC Radio, film scores, local radio jingles, plus Steve was a band member in 100’s of concert venues with other artists and a well recognized soloist in South West & London England during the 1990’s era.

Steve Orchard made a great impression on me with his first in series Raindancer. This admirable collection of beautiful melodies exhibit the standard of excellence and integral voice Steve Orchard so boldly represents, brightly illustrated by his picturesque first release in the alluring Dancer trilogy.

Raindancer begins the initial splash of bright colors painted on a fresh musical canvas in a vivid song portrait titled Tribal Fire. The lighter vibrato in soprano vocals make the primary background shades to flute’s breezy hues, nicely accented by snare drum taps and free flowing rhythms. Keeper of the Sacred Trees & Cajon Sun are enhanced pan flute and keyboard melodies attuned to light synthesizer bordering while percussion assists by even handed rhythms in a fine blending of tropical harmonies.

Acoustic guitar then takes a turn holding the primary melody brush in Cajon Moon, primed with a steady synthesizer outline backed by flute and tenor drum. Guitar and pan flute emblazon the impression by a faster tempo in free flowing songs Amazona, Pathway Through The Forest & Festival, with each song inscribing bright reflective patterns by progressive guitar rhythms, flute expressions and percussion cadences that portray a flamboyant resemblance.

Passion Flowers & Where Rivers Meet are compositions with airy Latin & World influences which make easy going songs by light flute notes dreamy ambience and gentle tracing by guitar strums having a soft percussion mix in the first, then tenor drum outlining in the second.

Road to Manaus has a dreamy groove concept by light flute refrains intertwined with deeper keyboard and acoustic guitar that travel along a harmonic pathway together with even symmetry. The orchestra phrasing with strings and resolute percussion smoothly enhance the delightful mood illustration in this song.

Anocondas Caress completes the colorful spectrum and gives one a chance to admire the total picture on this album filled with exotic surroundings. In an exclusive move during composition, this song is captivating using two metrical rhythms.  Flute nurtures the primary melody while guitar draws on half step chord rhythms during a second melody, rising in chord phrasing to elevate the tropical atmosphere.  This beautiful song in proportion to the entire album is a nice exhibition of the integral voice Steve Orchard  boldly represents.  It sets a high standard of excellence for his all inclusive Dancer Trilogy.

Visit the steveorchardmusic.co.uk homepage and sample or purchase Raindancer on his music page.  Learn more about Steve on his biography page.  Read my pages dedicated to Steve Orchard.

Cover design Copyright MG Music courtesy of Medwyn Goodall. Picture copyright Bigstockphoto.com – wtolenaars.

Pedal steel guitar is a stringed instrument that often receives no respect in relation to New Age music in part because the instrument is often classified in the Country and Hawaiian music scene only, but believe me the ground rules have changed and is primarily due to one man.

Bruce Kaphan from California has taken petal string guitar to a whole new level in New Age music for years, making this instrumental transition not only a surprising one but a dazzling one, giving even music purists a reason to love pedal steel guitar with his earlier release Slider and now Hybrid. The reason behind his new adaptation in an otherwise strict classification was pretty much the colorful sound quality it provides and a love of exploratory music.

What many find interesting is that Bruce Kaphan began his early career as a studio technician, engineer and producer for many highly recognized artists in other genres, where he either played a role with the recording production of their album or performed with artists such as REM, Jewel, The Black Crowes, Thomas Dolby, John Lee Hooker and many others. During his early days in San Francisco he was a member of Indie / Alternative band American Music Club and his music has been featured on film scores and television broadcasts.

Hybrid is an album with 12 original song compositions by Bruce Kaphan who makes it crystal clear right from first track Pohaka La that you are listening to a unique composite of exotic blending with unrivaled clarity freshly harvested from another cross section in the vast field of music and it quickly becomes apparent this new emerging beauty will remain a lasting entity.

Pedal steel guitar just happens to be the prominent instrument in Hybrid and a natural selection too after listening to songs like Gleaming Towers, Legacy, Silenzi & Renewal, which breaks new ground by classifying the instrument as a main entry melody contender versus a mere supporting instrument.

There are songs like the piano enhanced Maya and guitar renditions in Senbazuru & Loops for Larry displayed in a new manner and show the instrument as an appealing choice while clearing a new path during improvisation in light ambience while reproducing a well conceived follow up for his Slider – Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar 2000 release.

In an age where hybrids in all shapes and forms are becoming more relevant daily, Hybrid seems like a true natural contender when placed side by side among more traditional New Age albums and the lighter exploratory metrical patterns of Jazz, Hawaiian and Country in Hybrid are a prized natural attraction that shows well beside other music forms while earning the respect it deserves.

Bruce enlisted numerous artists on this album including, Jake Shimabukuro, Jeffrey Wash, Kent Darnielle, Salar Nader, Matt Brubeck, Real Vocal String Quartet, David Immerglück, John Loose, Paul Olguin and Karl Perazzo and Real Vocal String Quartet that is featured in Okanagan Jubilee.

Visit brucekaphan.com to sample / purchase or visit his CDBaby.com page. Read his biography page and music page.

Picture Copyright Big Stock Photo – nsilcock.

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.

 NewAgeMusicWorld.Com is always ready to present musicians who excel in a particular field of music and whether it is solo guitar, piano or compilation albums comprising the New Age genre, we are ready to help point our readers in an appropriate direction.

Ben Woolman is a solo guitarist from Minnesota specializing in finger style performances on steel string guitar who amazes his audiences by an ability to layer cross and counter rhythms in relative fashion to the primary melody which gives the impression of multiple performers at his side.

Performing with multiple artists is not the case at all here, in fact his blending of harmonies and counter rhythms at the solo level are also without the assistance of dubbing, making his individual abilities a much rarer find than many other guitarists in the solo category.

Many Moods is his current release that projects his unique abilities in finger style guitar and this latest is another fine example of his more expansive 10 total albums that Ben Woolman has produced during his lifetime.  In addition, his longtime repertoire while playing guitar encompasses many genre elements like Folk, Blues, Jazz, Neo Classical, Latin, Celtic, and African, fusing many interwoven components that attest to his proficiency at a complicated technique.

Excelling in finger style guitar is precisely what makes the signature style of Ben Woolman quite unique.  In a perfectionist blend of layered counter rhythms, the applause given at the end of any performance goes to Ben Woolman alone and his singular talent for mastering the intricate counter melody technique.

The University of Wisconsin is one of the only colleges in the United States offering a degree in finger style guitar and exactly where Ben studied under a cooperative program with the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree with honors in Guitar Performance which nicely enhance his natural composing and performance abilities.

Many Moods features 11 songs that offer a nice variation in manner and perception with 8 original compositions that do attain the numerous mood variations this aptly named album suggests.  The 3 remaining songs are renditions of The Police, Blind Blake and James Horner, and the challenging task of incorporating Rock, Jazz, and Cinematic music influences into Solo Guitar is pulled off with ease.

One Afternoon is the first song on the Many Moods album and one nice characterization of his individual style given the Folk with a light hearted feel similar in mood to Contemporary Sadie’s Smile.  Lighter images appear in a more contemplative Me, myself and You and faster paced Up and Back is a nice progressive piece, along with the briskly paced rhythms in Wicked Ascent.

A more Jazz style orientation can be heard in Salamander Swing and then Blake Says is an upbeat Blues tune that is sure to make you smile.  Mazurka Dance is a World & Latin influenced piece and another bright number that highlights his proficiency at finger style guitar.

The 3 renditions make great listening too, and this entire album is a fine introduction to not only a proficient artist, but a wonderful musician that kindly restructures his challenging handiwork into uncomplicated and relaxing moods on our behalf.

Visit benwoolman.net to sample / purchase or at his CDBaby.com page.  To find out more about Ben and view his full discography and song videos click here.

 Photo Copyright benwoolman.net courtesy of Rebecca Pavlenko.

When you hear New Age Contemporary Instrumental music having great rhythms and a wonderful upbeat atmosphere expertly blended with beautiful electronic melodies, this may be a promising sign you are listening to one of many quality songs produced by Davol!

Davol has just released Good Sign which decisively aligns itself to symbolize my description above and become an encouraging assertion to those in the music world already familiar with his first name artist title they are indeed listening to someone known for producing top quality music.

Successful in many aspects of his life, after obtaining a Ph.D. in 1989 his earlier career as a medical researcher and microbiologist were judiciously shelved in 1996 when he began a commercial venture producing multimedia music. During the same year his debut Mystic Waters became another personal success and made it to # 15 on the Billboard New Age Chart, where it remained a lengthy 25 weeks.

The decision to pursue a full time music career was fantastic news to those who already knew of his premium quality melodies, plus the worldwide usage of his songs involving television, radio, video and numerous multimedia production scores has clearly magnified this proficient artisan to many more.

Good Sign is an album that upon closer examination is rapidly multiplying in popularity and already making waves with his fans since the April 2010 release date. ZMR has set at # 3 for the month of April, so another positive finding for the very latest from Davol.  The 4 additional albums A Day Like No Other, Open Book, Paradox & Nature Of The Beast are all relatives to his current yet each one is a natural variation that evolves into their individual class, each interrelated by a characteristic source of fascinating drama.

Davol has exceeded his artistic intentions with Good Sign and the early reactions granted to Davol’s progressive album does replicate the characteristic source of fascination one will find in his entire discography. Good Sign is symmetrical to Davol’s principal expression of innovative quality music nicely accented with inspiring drama.

Scarborough Days is the first song of 8 tracks that gives you a clear indication of the momentum and direction of this definitive album, along with the resulting positive influences his entire discography symbolizes. This lively song highlights the optimistic upbeat feel and beautiful keyboard synthesizer melodies those who collect his albums know so well and treasure.

Good Sign ( Title Song ) is more moderate by a light ambient feel that will brush a dark cloudy day away for anyone and promptly replace it with a bright sunshiny day full of color simply by the rich interwoven keyboard melody.

Truth 2010 is an electronic Dance / Club influences remix featured during the popular online video now available on this album. A heavier percussion tempo prepares the groove rhythms before exploration into deeper shades of electronic intensity and is very much in time when comparing to his conceptual Truth Video which captures the superficial and unbalanced influences often portrayed in television media.

Nautikos is another favorite by displaying a natural sophistication and contemporary elegance given the positively upbeat keyboard melody blending notes to perfection. This song steadily integrates harmonic spectrums in sound while harboring the glowing standard of inspiration Davol can readily achieve, making this album and his entire music collection an exceptional find for anyone.

Those familiar with his captivating music have another reason to celebrate. Newcomers can experience this sweeping source of fascination for themselves and learn why everyone is so excited about this promising new discovery by Davol.

Find the album Good Sign at DavolMusic.com or music by Davol at CDBaby.com. BigStockPhoto.com – Yakobchuk.

Julian Ray is a Toronto Canada based musician I have had the pleasure of meeting right when Canada was hosting the XXI Olympic Winter Games.  His freestyle New Age Ambient and Meditative discography meets and exceeds our gold standard for providing our readers defining music and I will soon be writing more about him.

Julian Ray’s presence in the music industry is lengthy in duration and he is a current member with the Society of Composers, Authors, and Music Publishers of Canada ( SOCAN ) and an independent solo artist who produces all of his music in his project studio suite.

His current releases are Seashell Stories, Saga, Wonderful Life  & In Flow of Light release that I had published a review about recently on our main pages.  Always looking ahead, 2 ready for release are Argonauts of Kosmos & Garden of Mysterious Souls.  Starry Tale, Evolution & Path To The Moon are future projects with song samples available at his julianraymusic.com website.

Julian’s educational background and interests are well centered in music, psychology, theater, philosophy, and art, plus he is a design artist along with wife Katrin Ray, who plays an important role by album art design and her assistance with helping advance Julian’s musical career to the next level.  Their design work together as a couple has been greatly recognized by many prestigious awards in Europe and North America during numerous design exhibitions around the world.

In Flow of Light is his current release with a lighter form of easy listening ambient music affable for at home or on the go relaxation with keyboard and percussion effects that nicely reinforce the trademark easy to recognize discography of Julian Ray.

Silence is one song from In Flow of Light that gives a measurable indication of Julian’s characteristic approach since this particular song has more of an atmospheric casual feel that makes traveling or relaxing at home even more enjoyable.

Visit julianraymusic.com and read his biography page.  Be sure to take a look at his current albums page, his future projects page then our page dedicated to Julian.  The album quote from my review titled New Age Music Canadian Style, and the atmospheric song video Silence are shown below to give you an example of Julian Ray’s individual freestyle approach to music that indeed makes the winner’s circle.

Julian’s current album In Flow Of Light has a casual ambiance while hosting the 10 uplifting song melodies in a relaxing format, great for travel or winding down right at home.  His prior releases Saga, Wonderful Life & Seashell Stories maintain this relaxing and uplifting concept, with all having a noticeable individualistic feel that indirectly tells you it was produced by Julian Ray.

David Nevue is a composing Solo Pianist where some comparisons have been made to other pianists in the solo category for years. Those truly familiar with David accept the fact his personalized Neo Classical melodies shed new light on Spiritual piano music while instilling a deeper meaning apart from many by their innermost reverence.

It is true that in addition to his individual concert appearances David who resides with his family in Oregon, has often shared the stage with comparable great talents like David Lanz, Wayne Gratz, Suzanne Ciani, Peter Kater, and a multitude of solo performers, so perhaps a reason some comparisons of his work are made.

Another reason could be the way up in the clouds airplay since his music is heard on over 220 radio, satellite and internet programs worldwide. Overcome is a prior album named Best Instrumental Piano Album of 2005 in the Lifestyle Music Awards and Adoration, which also features traditional hymn arrangements reached # 1 on ZMR charts in May 2008, highlighting the integral popularity of his music.

In relation to his music career David also authored the book How to Promote Your Music Successfully on the Internet and founded the educational Music Biz Academy website that helps independent musicians market then advance their individual music careers. David Nevue also founded the free internet based Whisperings : Solo Piano Radio program having nearly a million listeners each month.

Coinciding like an open ministry of personal faith, Revelation : Solo Piano for Prayer & Worship is an offertory album of 19 intimate peaceful songs of beauty within, given the honored hymns of worship that persons with or without their own personal inner beliefs will enjoy.

Revelation : Solo Piano for Prayer & Worship contains 5 new hymn arrangements, 4 original songs and improvisations on 10 modern worship classics and is David’s eleventh release with a rededicated focus on melodic piano music offering a deep spiritual structure.

Revelation is much like past albums by original content and inclusion of new compositions on age old song hymns from centuries past where church attendees from many religious faiths will recognize in the first few measures.

David Nevue has a limited degree of formal music studies so recites much of his songs from memory, but believe me this is not apparent when you witness the beautiful music granted to this devout Christian man also identified by a skillful aptitude in his composing abilities and creative spirit while performing his personalized music.

You will discover that David offers his hymns like an open book with a nice variety of thought and feel on each song he performs. Softly and Tenderly is shown in a like reverence by an emotion filled call during the gentle yet moving piano melody that is more than worthy of this ages old hymn.  Blessed Assurance is an onward moving testament by the lively melody set in a moderately faster tempo that reveals the resolute nature of his work.

Holy, Holy, Holy is a lighter piano improvisation validating the positive hallmarks of the holy trinity and Amazing Love ( You Are My King ) is a more introspective song and positive affirmation for the melodies of honor he steadfastly produces.  David’s version of this Contemporary Christian music hymn is serene by an inner reflection that stands apart from most modern versions that celebrates his faithful commitment to Solo Piano music exalting a beautiful reverence overfilled with joyful praise.

Visit davidnevue.com to sample / purchase and learn more about his inspirational music. Then visit David’s CDBaby.com page and listen to Whisperings Radio solopianoradio.com right here.

David & Steve Gordon are internationally acclaimed 30 year music legends pushing the musical boundaries yet again by 2 releases in 2010.  The time consuming search for finding great music just got a little easier and I plan to bring you more about the band of brothers who founded the Sequoia Records Label.

The Gordon Brothers are easily recognized by many since these Award Winning producers, composers, and classically trained instrumentalists also founded the acclaimed Sequoia Records 26 years ago and will find they are a reliable and trusted source for great music.

Knowing their defining contributions to our genre and after my recent introduction to David and Steve, I look forward to telling you about their new releases since they consistently shape the landscape of New Age, World, Ambient, Nature, Chill Out and Electronic music in many respects.

New Age explorers of music by their early conception of nature sound creations and early dawn of their Sequoia Records Label, these 2 music innovators have attained world class recognition, grossed over 1.6 million units in sales worldwide and in the process, and even helped write the definitions for our primary genre and subgenres.

 David and Steve Gordon have been recognized too since their original music was commissioned for many film and television scores over the years, charted several times on Billboard and a recent New Age Music Retail survey has listed the team as the fifth overall favorite in our beloved genre which tells you about their fine achievements, recognition and life work.

Gratitude is their latest contribution in the Relaxation and Meditation series highlighting Native American flute with enhancing keyboard imagery that when integrated as a whole creates a natural feel with the pairing and becomes conducive to a revitalizing atmosphere.

Gratitude has a calming sensation which briefly takes you back to their innovative days of nature sound ambience first heard in primordial album Misty Forest Morning if you listen close enough.

On their current however a more prominent Native American Flute interchange becomes extended when partnered with drawn out electronic enhancements, nurturing depth while maximizing the level of richness in tonal balance.

The electronics blended with woodwind passages impart moments of peace and solitude in a relaxing sanctuary of refined ambiance.  While sharing equal time and thought on this album, the Native American flute passages at times, becomes the calming voice from the past that shares a respective dialogue with modern day electronic ambiance.

Buddha – Lounge 7 is the second release and a compilation of Chill Out Electronica tracks from around the world, and a great choice for those pursuing exceptional Chill Out music that also happens to be widely popular these days.  This Sequoia Records album enlists an array of 9 hand selected global talents sporting their interpretations of Electronic Chill Out, Groove and Lounge, with David and Steve taking a role on 3 originals of the 12 songs which presents over an hour of first class music.

Buddha Nova, Secret Lotus & Cobalt Transport are the 3 songs from David and Steve, and it is always a challenge to pick just one favorite, but lively percussion enhanced Buddha Nova with a light tonal keyboard melody did make an impression on me.

The progressive feel of Secret Lotus and mesmerizing percussion enhanced Cobalt Transport are first class too and you will find my favorite pick is simply a matter of personal taste.  This compilation album in entirety features Achillea, Tya, Jens Gad Presents, Artemisia, Paul Heinerman, Helene Horlyck, Jaya Lakshmi, Lodestone Resonator, and Opera to Relax.

Buddha – Lounge 7 is just one in the edition series in an even more expansive 16 Chill Out / Groove compilation albums from the production and mixing team of DJ brothers who showcase an abundance of global music talents you will recognize. In addition to their individual album arrangements it will make your search for fine music easy.

Visit the sequoiarecords.com homepage and then visit David & Steve Gordon’s biography page.  Here is their Meditation, Relaxation and World collection page and where you can Here is their Chill Out Electronica collection page and where you can sample the latest Buddha – Lounge 7.   Photo Copyright Sequoia Records.      

Craig Urquhart is an accomplished pianist having a renewed focus on quintessential travels into piano music that literally speaks to the heart by virtue of his current seventh Solo Piano composition. Craig also aims to share reflective memories on this album with hopes of achieving mutual recollections which appear reminiscent to our own memories.

Within Memory is Craig’s classic memoir that takes a transcending tour into piano music that quickly becomes a meeting place to share moments of harmonious reflection, focusing on moments that everyone can relate to themselves. Residing in New York City, his regional and United States concerts have also earned worldwide audiences on the airwaves and during performances in Germany, France, and Japan.

Telling of music influences like Classical greats Chopin, Debussy, Satie and Copland, an intriguing aspect about Craig is that he also tells of contemporary influences like Pop and Rock too, so a classic contemporary structure converges with an overall expansive identity in respect to his original compositions.

Craig Urquhart holds a Masters Degree in Composition from the University of Michigan, and is a member of ASCAP, serves on the Board of Directors with the Lotte Lehmann Foundation, is a Whisperings Artist and voting member of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (The Grammys) which speaks volumes about his comprehensive musical career.

Within Memory is an album well suited for telling much about Craig Urquhart’s harmonious directive for parallel unity and poetically becomes the equivalent memoir he openly shares with worldwide concert audiences, presented by a memorable and sincere narrative from the heart.

In The Afternoon is the preamble song of 10 for Within Memory, having a bright tonal cheerfulness recited by a frame of mind you will find engaging. Before The Canvas exhibits a deeper tone and image by proficient piano chords modulation while stair stepping upward during ascending treble scales, changing perceptions with each layer.

Rapture is the benchmark showing a hopeful image to the conceptual pondering and lighter melody. Laid Back has a nice feel by a treble melody concurrent with deeper bass octaves consistent rhythm while October Bright Blue recaptures a crisp and bright piano overture while making a distinction midst the two songs. Low Tide is the deep flowing melody with pause and intonation nicely enriched with hopeful optimism and song I favored most. Prairie Flowers flourishes into a gently moving melody while traveling to and from, given the preceding treble notes lead the closely timed counter bass notes while held in a subsequent role.

Within Memory ( Title Song ) concludes the album recital for the listener, but for Craig Urquhart it begins an arranged lineup for abundant visits to many countries during his role as an esteemed concert pianist. Later this year Craig is scheduled for concert recitals in the United States, Berlin Germany, Positano and Rome, Italy.

I am certain the concert events slated for this year will be another wonderful social meeting place for notable entertainment along with an exchange of lasting memories for everyone, especially for Craig Urquhart.

Visit CraigUrquhart.com to sample and purchase his solo piano album titled Within Memory. Big Stock Photo – aysarts.

Solo instrumental albums are a natural source of personalized music, so when two reputable soloists merge their singular talents, an alliance from soloists to duettists is an even more valuable source of personified music for everyone.

Devin Rice & Erin Aas are seasoned musicians already recognized by their proficient styles as individual artists. Now they emerge as a team that write and perform original piano with guitar, and finger styled guitar duet compositions with hand selected artists adding polished accompaniments on their new release titled Arrival.

Residing in the state of Washington, Devin and Erin traveled to the Imaginary Road Studios in rural Vermont to enlist the expertise of GRAMMY® Award-winning artist Will Ackerman. The level of quality with the album’s production retraces their visit to a highly specialized destination.

Arrival is an album where Devin plays piano and guitar along with Erin, showcasing their 15 song compilation that is adventuresome and symmetrical from the first song to the last. After meeting for the first time several years ago, I felt their earlier mainstay as professional soloists has been doubled and enhanced using simple math, along with their broad variance in individual styles.

Devin Rice and Erin Aas, have selected skilled team of artists, along with GRAMMY® Award-winning producer Will Ackerman, to emerge as a fortified musical team. By virtue of each artist’s specialized skills, they have attained an award-winning strategy with Arrivial.

Thyn Ayre is the crisp beginning song that sounds like a down to earth journey put to sheet music, like Procession, where a wonderful just right feel becomes the standard atmosphere. These folk styled narratives flourish during the piano and guitar duets set in a moderate tempo like most of the 15 songs.

Borderline is a breezy guitar duet by Erin and Devin, while their Tribute to Robert Frost expresses a more stately approach that includes percussion rhythms backing majestic piano melodies with subtler acoustic guitar highlights.

Lively acoustic guitar and percussion rhythms are heard on the memorable song Nevada, while Something About A Harbor has piano lead in for guitar, with rich melodic tones showing depth in a natural way. 

Perdido En Granada, Lullaby For Now & For JB are gentle and more introspective songs with English horn and cello support that compliment the pleasing atmosphere.

Whiskey In The Watertower is a spirited melody, and nicely coordinated guitar duet that features a wonderful guitar solo performed by Will Ackerman.

This song resembles Pulborough Spring by taking an up-tempo direction from the primarily moderate paced piano and guitar duets with instrumentals.

Rich cello harmonies are the scenic backdrop in songs, Morning With Annie, Southern Breeze, & Stars of Winter, with the latter song taking an adventurous free flight expression during the melody and refrains that gently lands with guitar, cello, and piano uniting in an ensemble.

Although solo albums are a mainstay and pleasing source of enjoyment, Arrival is a nice departure from singular solo albums given the enriching instrumentals and contrasting styles of the two principal soloists.  This departure notably doubles the fine harmonic value for the listener, along with Devin and Erin who have likewise doubled their musical achievements together as a team, and as individuals.

Additional artists are Derrick Jordan on djembe with Eugene Friesen and Traci Hoveskeland giving cello performances on several tracks. Jill Haley lends her talents on English horn and Will Ackerman plays guitar on the final song.

Visit devinriceanderinaas.com to sample or purchase, and at their CDBaby.com page. Read their biography page with how it all began. Visit the Imaginary Road Studios of williamackerman.com. Big Stock Photo copyright – MelMcNaughton.

If you look close enough you can find beauty in all music genres. With some you have to look a little closer than others, but within every genre beautiful music does reside, regardless of your initial impression or what you first hear on the surface.

Likewise, many of our most popular genres greatly influence the atmosphere, tones, and rhythms of New Age subgenres to help create a perfect balance in modern music by becoming a liberating escape from more traditional forms of Ambient music.

Balligomingo is one artist title where Contemporary Instrumental, Alternative, and Ambient, reveals an effervescent intermingling with New Age. The album producers Garrett Schwarz on guitar and Vic Levak on keyboard, along with lead vocalist and songwriter Jody Quine, have enlisted guest vocalist Rebecca Ramone on several songs, to create a sensational new vision and exciting unification in ambience you are sure to find enticing.

Under An Endless Sky is the 2010 release by Balligomino via the Chrysalis Music Group. This current follow up to their critically lauded 2002, BMG / Windham Hill debut album, Beneath the Surface, is another album I was already familiar with years ago and still enjoy today.

The multinational band membership is based in Canada and the United States, so distances for members are miles apart and uniquely independent since each performer electronically relayed their unhurried contribution to the album’s construction, verses a studio mix. This approach has noticeably led to a uniform performance of quality from each member, with appreciable care given on each individual musical contribution.

Balligomingo is one artist title where Contemporary Instrumental, Alternative, and Ambient, reveals an effervescent intermingling with New Age. Their enchanting escape incorporates attractive female vocals, acoustic guitar melodies, and percussion structures that elevate beautiful yet non conforming ambient rhythms. Rhythms you will find fresh and energizing.

Under An Endless Sky features 12 songs with modern up tempo rhythms and pleasing vocals that easily provide a timely retreat from more traditional New Age renditions, and most importantly, Balligomingo consistently produces beautiful songs New Age and Contemporary Instrumental fans will easily embrace.

Showing a casual atmosphere with every song on the album, Spinning stands out as a modern representation, where guitar and keyboard ensure the surface reflections of light and color while backing alluring vocals contrasting the imagery of the mood with dreamy idealistic lyrics about endless possibilities.  I Just Tell Myself is an appealing and melodic song that outlines an intimate picture by the rose colored lyrics and resonating guitar rhythms with strong keyboard chords during refrains, like the deep synthesizer posturing in A Beautiful Day.

Under An Endless Sky ( Title Song ) Letting Go & New World rely on light and passionate vocals with nicely balanced instrumentals to nurture moderate tempos showing a partisan likeness towards the overall glowing attributes one will experience throughout this entire album. Over You illustrates a soulful groove rhythm by acoustic guitar that is soon personified by vocalized countermoves defining the relationship intimacy by lyrical viewpoint, while Goodbye retraces more progressive styled guitar runs.

Sunshine In Rain is a motivating up-tempo song with percussion making the early moves leading into strong guitar chords taking the song in an enthusiastic direction. Passionate vocals show a harmonic likeness to bright sunshine throughout the song verses, before keyboards ambient chords become the fading clouds while closing out the song.

Balligomingo relies much on enthralling and quality rich vocalists to display their picturesque musical surface, with deeper ambient imagery from instrumental and percussion displaying the pleasing atmospheric rhythms that brings everything together.

You might have noticed Balligomingo has a pretty album cover, but rest assured that the attraction does reside within the packaging. There you will encounter the true attributes of Under An Endless Sky, along with this striking Canadian and American group that also stands out as a natural beauty.

Additional writers on this album include, Michelle Lewis and Patrick Upton Jr. Additional acoustic guitar and piano include, Jerry Sintich, Geraldo Dominelli, and Zirque Bonner.

Visit balligomingo.com to sample / purchase then find out more about their performance tours, and their biography page.

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