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What you will hear is the four “sublime states” – the Brahma-viharas, a blend of voices and musical instruments from around the world, coming together to create beautiful original music informed by ancient wisdom promoting healing and well-being through sound. Music is a path of healing and a way of life, simply listening to music has many benefits such as facilitating meditation and deep relaxation, or just enjoying the enhancement of mental focus and openness to artistic inspiration. Medicinally, more is being discovered about the benefits of music therapy for heart ailments, brain dysfunction, learning disabilities, depression, PTSD, Alzheimers, childhood development, and so much more. Dr. Richard Gold, Executive Producer, was one of the four founders of the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and was first introduced to meditation and yoga in 1970. He has studied neuroscience and the evolving understanding of the effects of sound and meditation on the brain. Yuval Ron, composer, arranger and producer, is a renowned World Music artist, educator, peace activist and record producer. He graduated Cum-Laude in 1989 from the Berklee College of Music. He has continuously researched various ethnic musical traditions and spiritual paths worldwide and has composed TV and films scores as well as original scores for theater productions. He is a multi-instrumentalist, on this album he plays keyboards, Oud and conducts the string orchestration. In a recent conversation with Dr. Gold, Yuval Ron and Beth Hilton, (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_DMYDn-I8A), Yuval Ron spoke about the process of developing the Four Divine States of Mind project, expressing Four Buddhist beliefs, as a universal message of world spirituality and guidance towards realizing a more positive world. “The first idea was Mantra chanting. Then, I knew the album would not be instrumental, it would be vocal, and I thought, who would I want to sing these four vocal messages? I decided there would be four female divas to express these teachings… Who would be the most thoughtful singer in the world to sing about compassion?” The answer that came through: the Flamenco singer Estrella Morente, from Spain. “Then I was thinking about Deva Premal, I love her voice for chanting and mantras, she studied Sanskrit from a very young age... I wanted her to sing the song about vicarious joy.” He continues, “Then I thought about Úyanga Bold, who is a singer from Mongolia, from a Shamanic Buddhist background and is at the beginning of her career.” To complete this incredible team: “Chloe Pourmorady, a Persian-American singer also at the beginning of her career, she is from Los Angeles, she sings in many different languages… I chose her because when I heard her sing, I felt her soulfulness, tenderness and vulnerability, which I felt best expresses the idea of loving kindness.” Loving-kindness is the practice concerned with the cultivation of benevolence, kindness, and amity, with silent repetitions of phrases such as "may you be happy" or "may you be free from suffering." The practice of loving kindness expresses benevolence towards all living beings, joy at the sight of the virtuous, compassion and sympathy for the afflicted, and tolerance towards the insolent and ill-behaved. "Loving Kindness" (12:56) (Metta) From the album notes, “Dedicated to Deva Premal, whose soulful Mantra chanting gave the inspiration for this song.” The music is a meditation on Divine Love, motherly love, tenderness, abundance of kindness, and mother Earth. Heard on the first track is the voice of Chloe Pourmorady, a Persian-American composer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and educator best known for blending global ideologies and philosophies into her work. The music she writes is innovative and imaginative, influenced by tradition, and yet her sound has been described as "the music of her generation." Her listeners describe feeling elevated through songs of hope, prayers of love, and words of truth. With Alam Khan, Sarod; Rachel Valfer, Mawal (ad lib vocal solo); Somnath Roy, Ghatam; Malek Vossough, Ney; and Yuval Ron, Oud. Music and Lyrics by Yuval Ron. An act of compassion can be defined as simply expressing creative helpfulness. Qualities of compassion are patience, wisdom, kindness and perseverance. Compassion involves being moved by suffering and feeling the motivation to help alleviate and prevent it. "Compassion" (11:47) (Karuna) Music and Lyrics by Yuval Ron, with an invitation to contemplate compassion, the suffering of yourself and others and try to cultivate a compassionate attitude towards these suffering beings. For the second offering are heard the vocals of Estrella de la Aurora Morente Carbonell, professionally known as Estrella Morente. She is the daughter of flamenco singer Enrique Morente and dancer Aurora Carbonell. She has performed with her father since age seven and recorded her first album in 2001, Mi Cante Y Un Poema (My Songs and A Poem). This was followed the same year by Calle del Aire, and her third album, Mujeres (Women) came in 2006, which her father produced. Her art has dazzled not only the most demanding flamencologists but also rockers like Lenny Kravitz. With Adam Del Monte, Guitar; Yuval Ron, Oud; Jamie Papish, Udu; Manuel Gutierrez, Back up vocals; Jose Ramon Montero, Translation of Spanish lyrics; Felipe Baron, Associate producer; and Pablo Sánchez, Recording engineer for Estrella Morente recording. To show vicarious joy is to celebrate happiness and achievement in others even when we are facing tragedy ourselves. The foundation for letting joy into our lives is gratitude and the associated savouring of what is good in life such as achievements, friendships or your child’s development. Vicarious joy is the experience of the pleasure that comes from delighting in other people's well-being. "Vicarious Joy" (14:34) (Mudita) Deva Premal, Vocals; with Pandit Nayan Ghosh, Sitar; Somnath Roy, Percussion; Yuval Ron, Oud; Kamal Engels, Recording engineer for Deva Premal recording; and Raya and Chinmay, Recording engineers for Pandit Nayan Ghosh recording. Music by Yuval Ron, Lyrics from the traditional Sanskrit. The vocalist Deva Premal explains that the purpose of her work "is to be open to the Goddess of music – to be true to ourselves, as musicians, as 'teachers;' as partners, and ultimately, as individuals – fellow travellers. We accomplish this by not 'trying' to accomplish anything. Our nourishment and life’s work is to create gatherings around the planet where people can come together in celebration and meditation, to work positively towards valuing and rejoicing in the good fortune of others, which in turn increases our own joy in life." She began her journey with a mantra in her mother's womb, as her father chanted to her daily. The mantras continued to be her bedtime lullaby after she was born. Many years later, she heard a friend singing one of her prenatal mantras and was inspired to put together an album. Premal met her partner in life and music, Miten, at the Osho International Meditation Resort in Pune, India in 1990, where she was studying reflexology, shiatsu, cranio-sacral therapy, and massage. They have been touring together since 1992, offering concerts and chant workshops worldwide. Premal and Miten recorded The Essence (1998) in her mother's apartment in Germany, where she was born and where she first heard the Gayatri Mantra. In many Yoga traditions, the virtue of equanimity can be one of the results attained through regular meditation, cultivating an evenness of mind, calmness, and a strong sense of abundance, exaltation that is somehow immeasurable, without hostility and without ill-will, an evenness of mind, neither elated nor depressed. "Equanimity" (14:36) (Upekkha) Living and breathing music, and rather obsessed with improvement and self development of any kind, Úyanga Bold plays for healing experiences promoting mindfulness and personal transformation. She grew up playing classical piano, and later developed a fascination with exotic instruments, including dilruba, frame drum, and baglama saz to name a few. Known for her otherworldly dynamic voice on film, television and video game soundtracks, along with videos viewed by millions, Úyanga is an internationally acclaimed soundtrack vocalist, vocal arranger and songwriter. Vocalist Úyanga Bold; with the Divine Sutra String Ensemble (cello soloist: Dennis Karmazyn); Hirokazu Kosaka and IKKYU Archers group, Sanskrit Chant of the Heart Sutra, bell and wooden sticks; Yuval Ron, Keyboards and strings orchestration; and Blair Studio Singers children choir conducted by KC Daugirdas, who sang on all four tracks. Music by Yuval Ron, Lyrics: traditional Sanskrit. This new album from Metta Mindfulness Music brings a welcome and much needed meditation on the daily expression of loving kindness for healing a wounded world, resulting in increased relaxation and an intimate conversation, with gentle sharing of ideas. The sound is a meditation on bringing people of many cultures together through music in a prayer for universal welfare, experiencing a nourishing quality of interconnectedness, the wish to relieve a being from suffering, wishing fellow travelers on a spiritual journey happiness, to open our eyes to the rivers of goodness in the world and to enhance our sense of gratitude. May all beings be fulfilled and secure, may they be happy-minded, connecting with others in order to conversely experience renewal, support, and validation. Music can free us all from inordinate reactions to the changes and chances of the world, to help us to cultivate the capacity to be joyful for the joy of others and to experience vicarious joy, all beings sharing that same location. Available starting July 18, 2020 as hi rez tracks (48hz) from Amazon, Tidal, YouTube, and http://mettamindfulnessmusic.com/fourdivinestates.html TRACKS 1 Loving Kindness (12:56) 2 Compassion (11:47) 3 Vicarious Joy (14:34) 4 Equanimity (14:36) Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vxkydrF3XAg Four Divine States of Mind: An Album from Yuval Ron, METTA MINDFULNESS MUSIC Available starting July 18, 2020: http://mettamindfulnessmusic.com/fourdivinestates.html
 

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Seersha is a songwriter, recording artist, and producer hailing from ATL. Her name comes from the phonetic spelling of Saoirse, an Irish or Scottish name meaning “freedom.” Writing alone and producing herself in Ableton for complete creative control, Seersha blends retro-future synths, textural vocals, electronic elements, and trap-influenced drums to create a lush bed for her earnest melodies. Her 2017 self-produced debut EP earned her the name “synth-pop crooner” by her hometown’s Immersive Atlanta webzine and comparisons to Susanne Sundfør and Robyn by AnalogueTrash. Her music soon caught the attention of underground tastemakers such as yvynyl, Wonky Sensitive, Ultimate Music, Music & Other Drugs and more. Citing influences as broad as Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith to Phil Collins to Grimes, her distinct sound is uncompromising and rebellious. 2019 saw three new singles accompanied by visuals from Seersha. Her sophomore EP Metaphors, released independently on her Fox Nose Records label April 15, 2020. Seersha streams regularly on Twitch and has new original music slated for release late summer/early fall. Find the album on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/3LlRUXsMmuAmxwPvG0XilB
 

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County Clare has a strong history of traditional music, with many seasonal music festivals. One of the legends for the origin of the county name Clare, sometimes also called the Banner County, comes from the settlement of Clare (now Clarecastle), whose name Clár, or plank bridge, is a place for crossing over the River Fergus. The first track on the newest album by Fiona Joy Hawkins, MOVING THROUGH WORLDS, is titled "Calling County Clare" and is a haunting bit of a quiet easy dance with piano, percussion, acoustic guitar, bass, Irish flute, and vocals floating ethereally. This is a great time for something brighter and lighter, something that brings some ease to the weary listener, who is seeking feelings of harmony and simple respite from our troubled world. The gifted composer, singer, and pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins has just the thing, a new album. I hear an enchanting and amazing exploration of themes such as land, water, fire, climate change and the vanishing of souls into the wind. The 14 tracks feature mostly solo piano, some are duos with violin or cello, some have a more full range of accompanists. The sound has a way of traversing lots of moods, rich with dynamic energy. In places the sound is delicate and slow, in places the feelings build and gain velocity and then gently recede. As the Australian Bushfires crept toward her rural home, Fiona Joy Hawkins turned to her Stuart & Sons piano to do what has always bought her solace: write music. After crafting 4 songs that she later marketed as fundraisers for firefighters and wildlife rescue – and which are included on this album – she began final preparations on a new album: Moving Through Worlds. And, when the fires gave way to a pandemic she was grounded from touring, so Hawkins began a wildly popular series of weekly live-streamed “Living Room Concerts” on Facebook, much to her fans’ delight. In celebration of her new album releasing today, she will be the premier guest on "The River of Calm's 20-Minute Tuesdays Concert Series" produced by The River of Calm – Music to Soothe Your Soul™ on Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 7pm CDT; to watch, simply go to https://www.facebook.com/theriverofcalm/ or the Fiona Joy Hawkins music page at https://www.facebook.com/fionajoyhawkinsmusic/. Hawkins began recording and conceptualising this album three years ago, and yet she describes it as an album over 44-years in the making. One of the classical-crossover pieces is “For the Roses” which a 12-year-old Hawkins wrote and performed for her Grandmother’s funeral. The song “Calling County Clare” reaches even further back, to her family’s Irish roots, called forth with a wistful Irish whistle by Paul Jarman, Hawkins on piano/vocals, and Will Ackerman (guitar/hopi), Tom Eaton (accordion), Jeff Haynes (percussion) and Tony Levin (NS bass). Along the way, Hawkins also attracted musical contributions from renowned soprano & violinist Rebecca Daniel, Charlie Bisharat (violin), Jill Haley (English horn), Jeff Oster (flugelhorn, and Eugene Friesen (cello). “My wish is to open a few more hearts to the power of music with this album. I believe music is a gift from another world, from ancestors of the past communicating to inspire and give us hope,” Hawkins said, reflecting on the world’s current challenges. “Music is a universal language that connects us without prejudice, it speaks to us all equally, yet is received with great variation. Now, more than ever, we need the connection to our past to find the pathway to our future.” The 14-track album was produced by Will Ackerman (Founder, Windham Hill Records) and Tom Eaton. As per her usual style, Hawkins defies genre by bringing classical, contemporary piano, ethereal vocals, and lush new age instrumentals together to create a sound that is uniquely her own. The blend of solo piano and instrumental pieces reflect some of the worlds that she has moved through so elegantly while this powerful music gathered in her soul: cue the cumulative life of an artistic woman: granddaughter, nurse, wife, mother, daughter-in-law, caretaker, friend, lover, painter, pianist, singer...and, ultimately, composer. Jonathan Widran, in a music review for JWVibe, wrote “While fusing the old and new on these tracks to help her come to terms with the past and 'put her ghosts to bed,' Fiona places a dreamy, easy flowing coda on this era of her life with 'All That is Left,' blending piano, violin and flugelhorn to create a final confrontation with these issues – and a sense of hope that she is on her way to healing.” Hawkins' loyal fans are a global bunch who "chat" excitedly during the weekly live streamed concerts, while newcomers enjoy Hawkins' ballet-like piano playing style, stemming from a childhood spent learning classical piano, dance, painting and overcoming her shyness via performance. In her music, one can hear the inspiration of Felix Mendelssohn and Frédéric Chopin, and yet it is usually likened to modern composers such as Ludovico Einaudi, Michael Nyman, Liz Story, and George Winston. When not at her rural Australian home, Hawkins regularly tours China and the USA, and is also a member of the award-winning contemporary instrumental group, FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). For a complete biography, visit Hawkin's Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fiona_Joy_Hawkins Sometimes one has to go into those difficult issues in order to come out the other side, coming out the other side. This also unlocks the ability to dream and connect to the ghosts of those who died, and can modify the energy of the colors primarily to stretch and bend into themes of peace and release. Moving Through Worlds is a journey of transition from danger and loss, the transforming miracles of nature and humanity, but today we gather to mourn, honor, reflect and begin to learn from the black summer that continues. To enjoy the color of water's vibrational states, as well as the the cold and dark as deep related questions about what we do not see. The songs come from different worlds and together they create a sense of hope and beauty for listeners to enjoy. We are forced to continually change our strategies and tactics to accomplish our tasks. The winds blow hard, making and unmaking dunes, covering up the present and uncovering the past. We utilize these traditions as symbols, which reflect honor and respect on those who have given so much and who have served so well, sharing concerns for the future of threatened wildlife, such as glossy black cockatoos, Kangaroo Island dunnarts, and koalas. If the legends are true, we can pass through worlds again and again, always learning and always experiencing new seasons. MOVING THROUGH WORLDS will be available in physical and digital formats, both downloadable and streaming on Amazon, iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, Apple Music, Tidal, Deezer and 200 other platforms, or, purchase directly from the artist at https://littlehartleymusic.com.au/shop/music-cds-sacds/moving-through-worlds-2/ Track List: 1 Calling County Clare (5:06) 2 Bushfire Moon (5:03) 3 Prayer For Rain (4:08) 4 All That is Left (5:34) 5 Aqua 1 (1:55) 6 Prelude in E Minor (Chopin, #4) (2:37) 7 Desert of Crystal (4:28) 8 Tolling of the Fire Bell (5:18) 9 Aqua 2 (1:20) 10 Passing Of Midnight (3:39) 11 Moving Through Worlds (4:28) 12 For the Roses (Solo Piano) (3:28) 13 Song For Louise (1:49) 14 Twilight Moment (2:32) Connect: https://littlehartleymusic.com.au/ https://fionajoy.com/ https://flowthegroup.com/ https://www.facebook.com/fionajoyhawkinsmusic https://twitter.com/fionajoymusic Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fionajoymusic/ Videos: https://www.youtube.com/user/fionajoy About Fiona Joy Hawkins Fiona Joy Hawkins is a mainstream Composer/Pianist/Vocalist with an international following, whom she greets weekly with pandemic-inspired, live-streamed concerts from her rural home in NSW Australia. The event’s growing popularity may be attributable to a combination of her musical talent, a love for her fans, and her disarming Aussie humour. Her latest album is Moving Through Worlds, produced by Will Ackerman and Tom Eaton, for her own label, Little Hartley Music. A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and tells stories. https://fionajoy.com/
 

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A self-described late bloomer, Brett Altman didn’t sing publicly until the age of 20. Just 21 months later, he performed in front of a crowd of 17,000 at Penn State University for a talent competition, which he won. He has since won Indie Nation’s Viral Music Competition, and released his first single, “Come Find Me”, through Sony Music’s The Orchard. His earlier single, “Full of You”, is described by Atwood Magazine as “easily among the most dynamic of Altman’s work, with its quick pulse and energetic, harmony-laden choruses maintaining a lively atmosphere from start to finish”. Since moving to Hoboken, New Jersey in 2015, Altman has established himself in the Tri-State area music scene through gigs at Rockwood Music Hall, The Bitter End NYC, PIANOS, The Bowery Electric, and other local venues. His upbeat music is a fusion of pop and folk, with songwriting that illuminates moments of everyday life. His biggest musical influences are John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Ed Sheeran, and Dave Matthews Band. Altman is set to release a series of singles leading up to his first EP, Low Overhead. Listen on Spotify today! https://open.spotify.com/track/1QxuWUOd4MPNahShuPMgE9?si=Lzx2HE9zTaiLM30lDsOjTg
 

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Dawson Gamble’s passion for music began early. His father’s love of Blues and Classic Rock integrated with Hip Hop and RnB’s growing cultures intensified his interest in music. By picking up his dad’s 1979 Fender Strat guitar, he found his own love of soft Blues and Ballad rock which was further influenced by Eric Clapton, John Mayer, and Ed Sheeran. Dawson’s love for guitar playing and instrumentation led him to explore songwriting where he further discovered his passion for musicality and zest of flowing lyrics. After performing with (now disbanded) The Chase, Dawson’s new track, “Everything About Me,” is the first offering of his solo project. A compilation of his dearest influences from over the years, the single’s upbeat vibe provides a stark yet tasteful contract to its edgy, sad lyrics. Jump into Summer here: https://soundcloud.com/dawson-gamble-87533970/everything-about-me-master
 

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After 10 years of classical operatic vocal training, Mathew V moved to London, England at the age of 17 to teach himself how to write pop music. Now only 22, Mathew has accomplished a lot since returning home to Vancouver. Mathew penned a deal with 604 records and his debut single “Tell Me Smooth” went top 40 on Canadian Radio (Hot AC/AC) for 18 weeks, peaking at #18. Now with a catalogue approaching 15 million online streams, Mathew is making new music, pushing his boundaries and preparing for what’s to come. Mathew’s newest single, “Give It All,” is a love song to his partner: “I found that most of my songs were sad, and I wanted to switch up my formula and express my willingness to go with the ebb and flow, together.” Listen in here: https://soundcloud.com/604recordsmusic/mathew-v-give-it-all
 

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Connecting to the words of artists like Dallas Green, Dan Mangan and Elliott Smith helped Bretton Lee John understand that he wasn’t the strange and oversensitive kid that his rural Albertan upbringing made him feel like he was. Lee’s dream is to be able to sing something that does the same for someone else. His new single, “Rock Show,” is an effort to manifest something you wish would happen. It’s the kind of song that plays as credits roll on a summer romance movie. Listen to it while you hang out with your cat, your best friend or a new love and feel all warm and fuzzy. Listen in here: https://soundcloud.com/user-376112077/rock-show
 

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Rock rolls with primitive swagger in the music of Holy Roller Baby. With music as spirited as their name suggests, the band blends the best of 70s string-bending guitar rock with an undeniably forward-thinking perspective. Raucous and gritty with a focus on songwriting, melody, and substantive lyrics, the band plays glorious rock at concussive volumes while swinging to an unmistakable beat, filtering a thunderous bluster through a soul crooner's sensibility. Founded in 2017 in Austin, Texas, the band’s lineup previously played in the psych/rock band Heavy Glow, playing over 300 shows in the US and Canada. Spearheaded by the songwriting of Jared Mullins and using two lead guitarists, the four-piece was invited to record their debut album at Radiohead’s Courtyard Studios in Oxfordshire, England. Together with producer Ian Davenport (Band of Skulls, Supergrass, Philip Selway of Radiohead) the band recorded a blistering 50-minute, 12-track album that combs through a diverse array of blues-tinged rock, even borrowing amps and percussion from Radiohead and guitars from Gaz Coombes (ex-Supergrass) to do so. Holy Roller Baby - "Leper Blues" https://open.spotify.com/track/5J9xecMdIddervwpqAWH21
 

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Scout Gillett is a singer-songwriter hailing from Kansas City, MO, influenced equally by Bonnie Raitt and Karen O. She packed up her mom's Kia Rio and moved to Brooklyn in 2017, forming two bands, frequenting the local venues, and touring the U.S. in a shortbus. Having organized punk shows in Kansas City throughout high school, Scout picked up a knack for booking and founded her own booking company, Road Dog Booking. Like many musicians and artists, Scout saw multiple tour and release dates postponed in the COVID-19 pandemic. Scout just recorded a full length record with producer Nick Kinsey at The Chicken Shack in upstate New York. Scout has just released her single "one to ten," for you to check out via all digital outlets. Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/track/3K8Ej76xqDUEEVv5rohVvd?si=H1pXT59PQHS1GiB5xoloHg
 

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Using pure organic tones within their many analog, digital, and modular synthesizers, Howard Givens and Craig Padilla have created hypnotic and meditative music to stir the heart, embrace the soul, and free the mind. The LP is a factory-sealed deluxe 140 gram 12" vinyl record of THE BODHI MANTRA, pressed on teal and blue splatter-colored vinyl with premium polylined sleeve, and color insert with liner notes about the music and its inspiration. Myriad consumer sales and streaming links to Spotify, Apple, Amazon, iTunes, Tidal, Deezer and more are available at this link: https://orcd.co/thebodhimantra With this third collaboration, Givens and Padilla continue a musical journey that follows the concepts introduced in their previous album, Being of Light (2017). Created together in studio last Fall 2019, the duo embrace pure organic tones within their many analog, digital, and modular synthesizers; with intention, this duo has created hypnotic and meditative music to stir the heart, embrace the soul, and free the mind; music that is based on their appreciation of experiencing the perception of consciousness. Delicate, breath-like pulses set an intention of mindful solemnity, punctuated by moments of fulfillment and enlightenment, and underlining discovery of the ultimate relationship with the one true self. The music, the method and the message, are intertwined, in a way, according to Padilla. “Howard and I continue to grow as a musical duo every time we create music, both solo and as a duo. This new album evolved from our personal journey of music, which is based on our appreciation of the way we have been experiencing the perception of consciousness. This is The Bodhi Mantra. Bodhi is a Sanskrit word translated as 'enlightenment' or 'awakening' which relates to a Buddhist concept, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. The Mantra is the musical expression of this serene offering. We represented this idea in the music by making it sound warm and peaceful; hypnotic and uplifting.” The Bodhi Mantra was mastered by Howard Givens, and the vinyl format arrives inside an exquisite package designed by Daniel Pipitone, with a richly printed jacket and sleeve combination. Spotted Peccary Music, a Portland-based label, also launched its popular annual Summer Sale on Bandcamp today, which includes The Bodhi Mantra, offering its catalog at 25% off with the code “summer25”. (https://ambientelectronic.bandcamp.com/album/the-bodhi-mantra) Tracklist: 1. Prana (13:01) 2. Serenity, The Peaceful Place (09:29) 3. Leaving Behind the Now (18:50) Relax and receive immeasurable auspiciousness, brilliance, magnificence, and ease as you listen to these celestial sounds. Listen to eliminate the illness and suffering of all sentient beings, to provide all their necessities for health and happiness, and mostly just because it simply sounds sublime. Thanks to the original vows of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, a miraculous force resides in mantras, so that by pronouncing them one might acquire insight without limits. As nebulous as the clouds, these electronic soundscapes are ethereal meditations with many levels of symbolic meaning that allows relaxation by moving you to a tranquil and romantic mood. Practicing meditation may be helpful for a variety of conditions ranging from insomnia and high blood pressure to anxiety and low back pain, or just to help you learn to relax in the moment. Synthesizers evoking space-age heartbeats offer a meditation on universal mythology, inspired by ancient dances, and probes the mysteries of the cosmos and glacial chords, soaked in cathedral-like reverb, all to bring profound inner peace and induce unwinding, improving one's mood and leaving the listener revitalized. As we listen to these celestial sounds, we may be tempted to imagine pieces of evidence that there were giants on Earth a long, long time ago. Where did they come from and what practical importance is there now of them today? Music offers illusion as well as confidence. Mantras come in many forms, a reminder that yoga is a contemporary science, vitally relevant to our times. Some of our best evidence exists because someone long ago used their time to carve mantras into rocks as a form of meditation. Mantras are a religious thought, a prayer, a sacred utterance, but are also sometimes believed to be a spell or tool of supernatural power. If there is one consistency in life, then it is the one of change. The recording studio has brought the carving of mantras into heretofore unimaginable places. Listeners to music do it to satisfy their love of mystery, and to make themselves comfortable, music creates a pleasing experience, and affects our health positively. I have learned from my many years of exploring the audio arts that it is too easy to proclaim that “This is the greatest thing I have ever heard in my life!” The words become meaningless the second time they are invoked, and further such exclamations of sonic miracles tend to lessen the intended effect. But golly-heck, there is a whole lot of great music out there! What best makes this message real every time? Perhaps metaphor is an answer. Water is an important source of life on Earth and about 71 percent of the surface of the Earth is water. A river can be portrayed by many as an everlasting symbol of perpetual and continual change and of the constancy of time and of life itself. For many years people have wanted to find the gold in the river, or perhaps they seek a way of turning all kinds of substances into gold and thus become rich without much effort. Here they are, the secrets of alchemy, and that begets the question of what is gold and what is illusion. Gold might be love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and gentleness, and the only way to demonstrate that one is truly finding gold is to produce miraculous and supernatural fruit, to demonstrate an ability to be filled with the Holy Spirit. What does it mean to be filled with the Spirit? I know only that I cannot define the ecstatic experience. No one can, but still we love to try anyway. Being filled with the Spirit results in an abundant and overflowing life. That might be all the proof needed. Let us receive immeasurable auspiciousness, brilliance, magnificence, and ease, let us use our imaginations to explore possibilities of time travel and the concept of creation of bodies periodically through time. The individual experience of time and how each listener experiences time is very different. There are multiple perspectives of time that one must consider when questioning time travel. Behold the sound engineer, she or he investigates hoaxes, legends, obscure accounts, and the academic excavations of giant bones, skulls and skeletons found globally going back thousands of years. Now think about the future and what might be found here. I had the opportunity to talk about giant's bones with Givens and Padilla, though we never used those specific words. We used email and were in different times and places, yet here is our short conversation for you to view right now. ROBIN JAMES What is the story of your work together and creating your newest album? CRAIG PADILLA Howard and I continue to grow as a musical duo every time we create music, both solo and as a duo. This new album evolved from our personal journey of music, which is based on our appreciation of the way we have been experiencing the perception of consciousness. This is The Bodhi Mantra. Bodhi is a Sanskrit name translated as "enlightenment" or "awakening" which relates to a Buddhist concept, wherein Bodhi is synonymous with the state of nirvana, being freed from hate, greed and ego. We represented this idea in the music by making it sound warm and peaceful; hypnotic and uplifting. HOWARD GIVENS The work that Craig and I have been collectively exploring, thematically parallels an abstract journey within a sound/music experience… texture, expanse, mood, contemplation, movement, energy, etc., and the self-awareness, realization, and observation of a more expansive appreciation of our existence, usually expressed the abstract experience one has through meditation and yoga. RJ What is your task as a composer? CP My task as a composer is to make a musical story that I would want to hear and feel, and have that energy pass along to the listener. HG There’s a powerful experience that comes from the synergy of working together especially when those moments of an unspoken, mutual tapping into a stream-of-consciousness flow happens. That’s when the magic really happens, at least from my perspective. I believe that this whole “conversation” of music is complete when the listener then becomes involved, creating their own vision, their own experience with the music. So ultimately it’s the goal of my work, with audio, composition, visual art, etc. and the goal of Spotted Peccary Music, to create and present as transparent an expression the art forms as possible, hopefully inviting a deepening space for the listener to participate in. RJ The Bodhi Mantra is a musical meditation, what is listening? HG So the music isn’t really a soundtrack for doing meditation or yoga, but rather an artistic expression OF the process of meditation or yoga. Because we are delving into the sense behind the music, we are trying to create a suggestion of the feeling of these practices. The title of our newest release therefore relates to the inspiration for the music, for the experience. CP "Listening" is both a proactive and a subconscious act of being in tune with sonic vibrations emanating around and within us. HG The sounds we choose, whether electronic or acoustic in nature, has more to do with the space created by their use, and how we resonate with the sonic experience in the moment of creation much like sound and ceremony have helped shift people’s state of awareness throughout human history. RJ What is music? HG For us, the abstract language of music allows us to communicate the nature of our life experience without relying entirely on the use of adjectives to try to define such a subtle sense that often times can’t be adequately described with words (outside of poetry) or pictures, much like how a photograph does not convey the feeling of being present in a particular place. CP Music is the language of the Universe. It can be created with nature, and with man-made instruments. It can speak to the soul. It can tell a story. And all music is a part of history that gets preserved once it's recorded. Music is vibrations of frequencies which stimulate the senses in all living things. RJ When did you first come upon Spotted Peccary Music? What attracted you? CP When I created Vostok in 2001, I had no intention of releasing it because I was making upbeat music at the time. However, I had sent a copy of it to a music reviewer who really enjoyed it, and he suggested that I send it to Spotted Peccary Music. I was not familiar with the label at the time, but I thought I'd reach out to them. Once they heard Vostok, they were interested in releasing it, as well as future albums. I was also attracted by the positive and creative energy from Howard Givens and Deborah Martin, and by the high quality of music that was (and still is) being released on their label. I feel honored to be included on their roster. HG In the mid-to-late 1970’s, my closest friends and I were always looking for more music to listen to that described the space that related to our philosophical / spiritual explorations that we were all delving into at the time. This led us to recordings by Pink Floyd, Yes, Starcastle, Paul Horn, Wendy Carlos, Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schultze, Tomita, and early Kitaro, early Styx, Brian Eno... anything that would suggest the spacier, more textural side of any of this music, and oftentimes very electronic in nature. Later of course, this expanded to include more experimental music, David Sylvian, Steve Roach and music that finally was really defining a genre becoming known as ambient, perhaps more than New Age, which was moving away from textural and into more instrumental and melodic. And as we developed our own sonic expression in the early 1980’s with guitar, flute, effects, and then added synthesizers, we started to cultivate a sound while creating a sort of abstract “soundtrack” that was completely inspired by our experiences in the Sonoran Desert around Tucson, Arizona. RJ What listening events changed your life as you were developing your ears? CP I've been playing guitar all of my life. The moment I had first heard Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygene album in a local planetarium during a high school field trip, I decided that I wanted to make music like that. RJ Howard, tell us more about Brain Laughter and your work with Spotted Peccary Music. HG I have been directly or indirectly involved with many of the releases on Spotted Peccary throughout the years, with more of a focus on mastering in the more recent years. As such, I have to squeeze my own projects in between our different releases as well as mastering work for Steve Roach, who I work with “outside” of the Spotted Peccary catalog. So most of the time, sound development continues but compositional time has suffered. Realizing that a label is stronger in its presentation to the industry and to listeners if it has several artists, we invited other artists who had like-interests to create music for the label. So from that point on, the label grew and evolved, adding artists and releases, and even changing its principal ownership and staff to what it is today. But the original concept of a label owned and operated by artists on the label is still true and fundamental to the heart of Spotted Peccary Music, as is a dedication to producing the highest quality sound, visual presentation and artistic expression possible. Drawing on all our spiritual interests as well as including the stories from Carlos Castaneda and his writings of shamanic experiences in the Sonoran Desert, our musical explorations were heavily influenced by all the energy of that powerful region, totally impacting these earliest collaborations that evolved into the “group" effort Brain Laughter and ultimately led to our first full release, In The Land Of Power. As we learned more of what we would need to do to share our work and vision of this music, we created Spotted Peccary Music as our own label to support our work. RJ What is next? HG Lately I have been making a push towards completing some solo works, but I do often prefer the energy around collaboration, like the releases with Craig Padilla and with Madhavi Devi, which interestingly was where I started - with the energy behind the Brain Laughter projects. RJ What is your advice to artists who are starting as musicians? CP My advice to artists is "Never give up. Never stop creating." If you want something bad enough, and you're really passionate about it, then it's possible to manifest whatever it is that you are trying to accomplish. It is the Law of Attraction. My other advice is "Listen to constructive criticism." Criticism can be good and bad. If it's constructive then there is something that an artist may be able to learn to better their craft. RJ Thank you both for your time and for the amazing listening experiences you create! FOOTLINKS Listen: https://orcd.co/the-bodhi-mantra Spotted Peccary Album page: https://spottedpeccary.com/shop/the-bodhi-mantra/ Bandcamp: https://ambientelectronic.bandcamp.com/ Howard Givens Spotted Peccary Artist Page: https://spottedpeccary.com/artists/howard-givens/ Craig Padilla Spotted Peccary Artist Page: https://spottedpeccary.com/artists/craig-padilla/ Howard Givens Artist website: http://www.howardgivens.com Craig Padilla Artist website: https://craigpadilla.bandcamp.com/ David Sylvian: http://www.davidsylvian.com/ Steve Roach: https://steveroach.bandcamp.com/ Jean-Michel Jarre's Oxygene: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sj7A8SX7ccI
 

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Though based in Austin, TX, in her new single ”The Way,” Roxana Labatt sings sweet nothings about her love for New York City, the first place she ever truly felt at home. Roxana’s lyrics have been described as “viscerally emotive,” and this track certainly tugs at the listener's heartstrings. Roxana explains that the song is about “the experience of finding the place you identify as your home — even if that place is not the place where you happened to be born — and developing your own independent identity.” Roxana’s process centers around lyrical development, a focus that allows her to create music that is achingly intimate while conveying grandiose messages such as that of “The Way.” The personal themes of the track lend well to the soulful piano ballad that accompanies her vocals. As the music swells and fades out, the listener will feel a deep connection with Roxana’s words and emotion, engrossed by the 1980s flavored sound of this new tune. Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/track/6xyuX3C3S35aymgoGfrVHT?si=drzZq01vSzaWIilszqoEIA Connect with Roxana: https://roxanalabatt.com/ https://www.facebook.com/roxanalabatt https://www.instagram.com/roxanalabatt/ https://twitter.com/roxanalabatt
 

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Jorge Alejandro Carrillo Martínez, also known as JACE Carrillo, was born in Valencia, Venezuela and started singing at the age of 4. Since then, JACE has been developing his songwriting skills and studying singing, harmony, and music theory. JACE got into a Gospel choir (2009-2014) and performed around Venezuela. Gospel helped him explore new musical styles and closely follow other artists in what nowadays represents his R&B influences. His Latin influences also helped him create new fusions over the time, mixing the upcoming Urban Latin that was growing in the area. His music career was affected by the political, economic and social situation, which led JACE to complete a degree in Industrial Engineering and he emigrated to Canada in 2015 to continue growing his musical projects and start writing songs for other artists. JACE's first song was officially released in 2019 which he followed with a few additional tracks and collaborations. He will be releasing his debut EP this summer and is leading with a new single called “French Vanilla” which showcases JACE's R&B influence. Listen to the single here: https://soundcloud.com/jace-carrillo-344240929/jace-carrillo-french-vanilla-3/s-yZ52qADasEN
 

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Toronto’s DJ Agile is a multi-award winning producer and artist with a style as diverse as the city he represents. With his eclectic mix of Hip-Hop, Soul, Afrobeats, House, Rock, Pop and Nu Soul, Agile has become a staple in the Toronto music scene. The 5x Juno Award & MuchMusic Video Award nominee, has worked alongside power players such as NaS, Method Man, Melanie Fiona, Dwele, Kardinal Offishall, and more. DJ Agile just released a new single titled “Conversation” featuring JRDN – an upbeat hip hop track bringing in elements of pop, R&B, and neo soul. Agile can skillfully hold down any party. As soon as he hits the 1’s and 2’s you are instantly taken on a musical journey from hip-‐hop, r&b, nu soul, top 40, to house, rock and reggae. His corporate clients include Apple Canada, Nike and the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). He is on his way to becoming the official DJ for the Toronto Maple Leafs as they have booked him 2nd year in a row for their “Rivalry Series”. Agile was also the official DJ for the 2008 Major League Soccer All-Star Game Pre Show and Halftime DJ featuring international recording artist Estelle. Watch his new video, here: https://youtu.be/KsMYBmSzivc
 

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Cozmic’s latest single is “Rise For You.” The track blends indie-rock, folk-pop, emo-inspired lyrics, rhythmic vocals mixed with sensually emotive singing, and trap beats. This is a banger of gratitude bursting with goose-bump inducing hooks. The song is pure spiritual uplift with a broadly resonate lyrics that can evoke intense feelings of devotion. Cozmic’s vocals are dynamic and tender, recalling NoMBe’s smooth and reflective indie-pop musicality. Cozmic’s latest single is “Rise For You.” The track blends indie-rock, folk-pop, emo-inspired lyrics, rhythmic vocals mixed with sensually emotive singing, and trap beats. This is a banger of gratitude bursting with goose-bump inducing hooks. The song is pure spiritual uplift with a broadly resonate lyrics that can evoke intense feelings of devotion. Cozmic’s vocals are dynamic and tender, recalling NoMBe’s smooth and reflective indie-pop musicality. Today, Cozmic is brimming with ideas and he is spiritually unstoppable. He says: “This is all truly a journey for me, and it’s not about fame. This life is about making music to feed my soul and sharing that no matter what.” Listen to "Rise For You" On Spotify https://open.spotify.com/track/3LFAzLNkxndYDjBTYjd8lV?si=NWzDXlRHQtij53NjEnd7zQ
 

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Music.net.nz Interview Riqi Harawira is a man of many talents; aside from being known as the former Dead Flowers guitarist, he's also a counsellor, and he leads courses which teach Maori customs. He often discusses his early life frankly, and having come out of a tumultuous number of years, he uses it to craft his music. His latest single Ruapekapeka takes inspiration from his forebears as well as history of Aotearoa's Land Wars, and it is sung almost entirely in Te Reo Maori. Muzic.net.nz's Steve S had the great privilege of having Riqi take time and discuss in detail his greatest influences, new music in the works, how the latest video for Ruapekapeka was filmed, and more. First round’s on me - What’ll you be having? Mac’s Gold, because it’s local. A surprisingly large amount of our brewers are owned by offshore big-corps. Care to list for us your five biggest influences? Can be either musical or non-musical. Bob Marley for his pure conscious kaupapa and his earnest vocals, he has my heart. Prince for his sleek and sexy style of playing, and his total boss attitude. The fact he is a half-caste is not wasted on me either. As a mixed-race kid growing up myself he was an example of how combining two different cultures could be a potent, melodic elixir. Prince had so much soul and aptitude as an artist. Much like Lenny Kravitz too. Miles Davis because he is a mean mofo and reinvented the Jazz idiom. Nobody f**ed with Miles, except racist police. He was a master of free-styling. Now, I’m going to cheat here: Stevie Ray Vaughn, Jimmy Page, Gary Moore, Peter Frampton & Jimi Hendrix are my favourite guitarists because they become unhinged and unrestricted in their wairua and technique when they play. Their signature styles go beyond technical abilities & can only be described as Ariki or Atua, other-worldly, Rangatira, high ranking aristocrats of the guitar realm. What was the most rewarding thing you got up to whilst in lockdown? I was still getting paid, which was really nice, and it afforded me the time to focus on my Mau rakau and fitness, which I love. I am not only working towards a new grading next year, but I am also helping others to achieve their grades. The kaupapa teaches you about Unity and serving others. It’s a responsibility to the kaupapa of Te Whare Tu taua o Aotearoa to give back to the kaupapa and not just take from it. Helping others is encouraged. Part of my grade is to learn how to teach so I get more responsibility put on me by higher ranking Pou (Posts) and my teachers to assist them in bringing mana to our peka (branch). What do you personally believe makes a great song "great"? I love a killer bass line or guitar riff. But, whatever genre it is and whatever level of playing it is, it has to be honest and delivered with truth and sincerity of the heart. There is a Maori word 'Mauri' which means life-force. I’m always trying to write songs that support themselves with their own Mauri and Identity. They can stand alone and have a style or signature that is universal. Your single Ruapekapeka is a hard rock tune sung in Te Reo; what compelled you to write about this particular historical battle? Since moving back to my Turangawaewae Ahipara in the far north I have been delving in to a lot of Maori kaupapa. I’ve also picked up more Te reo Maori and being in the stomping grounds of my father (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri) and our ancestors which has fed my wairua. I train with Te whare Tu taua o Aotearoa which is an international school of Maori weaponry developed by Pita Sharples and has thousands of followers worldwide. It is a high honour for me to learn the ways of the warrior, and to wield the Taiaha is a boyhood dream of mine, especially as I have been learning from my own people Kohao Tu taua o Ngapuhi. The North is full of beautiful Maori kaupapa, and you are often included or asked to tautoko and represent. My fiance and I visited Ruapekapeka pa in 2018 and I was inspired to learn more about it and write the song. I had this killer riff already and decided it was a great fit and it was meant to be the chassis to carry this kaupapa. I wanted to create something that was uniquely bespoke to my iwi Ngapuhi. Something I could leave behind, something for new generations to instil some inspiration and make the great accomplishments of our ancestors relevant again. My father is buried at Te Ahu Ahu in Ohaeawai which is a battle that we cover in the song Ruapekapeka. It's Hone Heke's maunga and that's where I will end up one day next to my father. The accompanying music video to Ruapekapeka is both detailed and epic; where was it filmed, how long did it take to shoot, and how many people were involved with filming? The video was shot exclusively at Ruapekapeka pa in Towai, north of Whangarei. Originally I had planned to film in Auckland on a green screen, but in hindsight, I wasn't thinking big enough, but after meeting Kawiti’s descendants, Kaumatua Hirini Henare, and Kawiti’s great-grandson Ken Kawiti of Ngati Hine, I was welcomed onto their marae, which gave me the tohu (sign) that I was meant to film at the pa. I had the honour of having members of Te Kohao Tu taua o Ngapuhi and members from our Peka (branch) in Kaitaia Nga Taniwha o Muriwhenua support me as an Opetaua (war party) who participated in the fight scenes. That is genuine mahi from Te whare Tu Taua! As producer on this music video, it is my job to think outside the square & acquire all the right parts to make the project successful. One of my visions was to acquire the re-enactment footage we used from South Seas Film and Television, which saved us Thousands in the end. Overcoming addiction is something you wear proudly on your sleeve; what advice would you give to someone dealing with addiction? You cannot do it alone, because even if you stop, you will only be stopping the symptoms. Get professional help. Getting an assessment from a trained clinician is the best first step. Salvation Army have a great one to singular or group programmes. N.A. meetings are really good for the soul. It’s in the fellowship of these programmes that you learn new tools. These are all walk-in, off-the-street foundations. There’s no judgement; empathy and support are prime ethics involved with these institutions. It’s where I got my start in recovery, and after all these years, I am back at Salvation Army learning how to become an addictions therapist myself. What does New Zealand music personally mean to you? And what changes would you like to see? My father was the first Maori to perform on 6 continents of the world in 1955. When he was in America he had to sit on the Black side of the bus. He was a young Maori boy from the far north performing for the Queen on two occasions, and he performed with Nat King Cole, plus a string of other accomplishments. When he returned to NZ he had a record deal, and even cut an album which we had stored away until after his death 1990. Unfortunately, the album was lost and like the record deal, it never saw the light of day. Part of my motivation for being an artist is to continue the positive aspects of my father’s legacy and to carry his torch with pride. Streaming rates should be better; musicians get even better when they are remunerated properly. Also, Kiwis really should go out and support more Kiwi artists, especially at grassroots levels. Go make a big thing about it, make NZ music thrive! In what ways have you seen the use of Te Reo Maori in Kiwi music change over the years? It has become more complex and stronger because the kohanga reo and Kura kaupapa generation from the 80’s are confident speakers, and have taken Te Reo to higher and different places. Which Kiwi artists or bands have you been listening to lots of recently? TrinityRoots, Troy Kingi, L.A.B. and Blindspott. What’s coming up on your musical horizon? New music in the works? Are there any gigs planned over the next few months? I am working on a follow-up to Ruapekapeka. It’s called Take the Power Back, which is a freedom fighters’ song about Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and how it has affected me growing up as a half-caste in Aotearoa. I was raised in a dominant culture that had me thrown into youth prison as a 10-year-old boy for a minor indiscretion by a racist white policeman Constable Carr. After borstal, which was 80% Maori, 19% Polynesian and 1% Pakeha, I went through foster care. It was there that I was exposed to solvent, drug and sexual abuse. I was a brown statistic; I have been finding my way back ever since. I can now proudly say that I have beaten addiction. I am engaged to a strong, beautiful wahine. I have the love of my children. I have a great job, and I am studying. I am grateful for my musical abilities and the gifts passed down to me. I love my life!
 

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After many years of playing in various original and cover bands, Chilean musician, Mauricio Flores Sánchez, is bringing his long standing musical expertise to the forefront through his solo project Purple Tone Flower. Following his slow and soulful debut release “I Wanna Make It,” Purple Tone Flower’s latest single “We Will Fight for Us” is an exciting new track filled to the brim with funky grooves. Mauricio juggles many roles: not only is he an architect, husband, father, and musician, but he is now handling almost every aspect of Purple Tone Flower’s production. From songwriting and composing, to recording much of the instrumentation and vocals, Mauricio is taking full ownership of his project from his own home studio. His demonstrated love for creating music shines through in “We will Fight for Us” in the form of a rocking guitar solo and his sultry vocal work. The tune catches the listener’s ear right from the start with a bright guitar hook, then quickly builds energy upon introduction of a percussive bass line that perfectly complements the driving drum beat. The chorus is intensely catchy, and the energetic brass additions emphasize just how utterly groovy Purple Tone Flower’s latest release is. The full EP is set to drop in August 2020, so keep an eye out for even more of Mauricio’s lively take on pop-funk. Listen here: https://open.spotify.com/track/0b0bokYzqRXbopi3vYRfGj?si=V0ITKxkOS_axs0IjlgyNFw Follow Purple Tone Flower: https://purpletoneflower.com/bio https://twitter.com/purpletoneflowr https://www.instagram.com/purpletoneflowr/ https://www.facebook.com/purpletoneflowr
 

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Amelia's Dream, a New York City-based duo consisting of singer/songwriter Amelia Gewirtz and musician/producer/songwriter Harold Stephan, has just released a new track entitled “Hero.” The song shows support for first responders, the heroes of the current COVID-19 pandemic. The intro of “Hero” is haunting - Amelia’s voice lifts and falls gently alongside a solo piano accompaniment as she sings of the “blue times” that the world is stuck in. As string instruments are slowly introduced to the track, the piece begins to crescendo, reaching an emotional peak as the key shifts into a drum backed interlude. Amelia cries to the listener, “Who’s going to make sure there’s a tomorrow… inside of me, is there a hero? I don’t know…” These wrenching lyrics, in combination with the beautiful composition of the strings, encapsulates so well the feelings surrounding the current moment the world is living through. Though there is uncertainty, there is still hope — in this case, the hope in question takes form through the resilience and determination of first responders and healthcare workers. Released on YouTube, the song is set to a montage of NYC healthcare workers and scenes of a hauntingly empty city, perfectly underscoring the message and sentiment of the song. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XAMFFG51Um8&feature=youtu.be Follow Amelia's Dream: https://www.ameliasdream.com/ https://www.instagram.com/ameliasdreamofficial/ https://www.facebook.com/AmeliasDream/ https://twitter.com/ameliasdream
 

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Donny Anderson is a singer/songwriter from Toronto, ON who is known for his heartfelt lyrics, instantly recognizable voice and big stage presence. As an artist and songwriter, Donny has worked with/written for many major label artists, Canadian Idols, and has had several major television and movie placements. His songwriting and artistry has amassed Billboard attention, a European #1, a Canadian top 10 single, West Jet in-flight entertainment placements and international touring. Donny has been working with many heavyweight songwriters and producers for his debut album coming in 2021. Donny’s first single of the year, “Lovin’ You,” features the legendary singer, Divine Brown, and is supported by the Songwriter’s Association of Canada. Listen and watch, here: https://youtu.be/rO1PBlKN2xc
 

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Beatrice Betley is an acclaimed vocalist, producer, songwriter and composer, whose roots originated in Hamburg, Germany. Her new single and video for “Sunshine,” is a standout piece which you can dive into below. The Summery song brings a glimmer of hope for the current times, as Beatrice crafts a vibrant sound like no other. Throughout her musical travels, her love of the craft started at an early age. Singing basically before she could even walk, Beatrice learned to play the guitar, recorder, and recently the piano to add to her repertoire. Her music spans genres as she blends elements of Jazz, 80s pop, EDM, Argentinian Folk and dashes of Flamenco and Fado. Discover Beatrice, here: https://youtu.be/cqVHlKKwDV8
 

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WAYLEY, the Folk/Pop alter-ego of Americana artist Andrew Sherriff was brought to life in 2018 through a quest for creative freedom. Most known for his work and success in the Indie/Folk duo, ‘Andrew & Veda’, Sherriff has always had a passion for staying true to a genre while pushing musical boundaries. With a firm belief that you should listen to all of your creative voices, Sherriff felt the need to begin exploring the catchy lyrics and unforgettable melodic hooks of the Folk/Pop realm starting with his first single as WAYLEY, "What's It Gonna Take," which combines anthem-style lyrics and large band sounds. Listen via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/wayleymusic/whats-it-gonna-take/s-kqqedA99YzP
 

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Anna Klein is a Toronto based singer-songwriter, producer, and performer. Since first writing music as an impressionable pre-teen, she has developed an ever evolving sense of musicality that has shaped her sound into what it is now. In recent years, Klein’s passion for both writing and production have amalgamated. Thanks to her acoustic roots, she is best known for her consistently emotive performances. After discovering an interest in electronic music, Klein started putting more focus on the sound of the instruments in order to create that same emotion. This concept led to her first full length album, These Days (2018), and is constantly influencing the way she produces her music today. Anna just released a new single, "Lonely" - a punchy dream-pop track with an ambient sheen and moody vocals. Listen to the song via Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/annaklein-2/anna-klein-lonely
 

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Born in Toronto, Mike Ruby moved to NY at 18 to pursue a career as a jazz musician, then signed to a subsidiary of Universal Music. After a breakup in college, he picked up a guitar and fell in love with writing songs. Then Mike began playing with synth-pop band St Lucia and while opening for Ellie Goulding realized he wanted to be a pop frontman. His first release in the summer of 2019 broke top 40 radio in Canada, and his original music now has over one million streams. Mike's newest single, "Unapologetic," is an upbeat, pulsing electro-pop track featuring layered saxophone in the chorus. The visual mirrors the lyrics about "that badass that everyone knows - you either want to be them, or be with them." Listen to and Watch Mike's New Single here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0pg1fgFn54
 

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For all of love’s agonies, Calgary soul-roots singer-songwriter Jess Knights isn’t sulking over old wounds. On her debut full-length, Best Kind of Light, due out on June 19, 2020 (postponed date due to COVID-19), Knights comes out on the other side of love and loss without all the bitterness, and a sense of self-assuredness and feminine confidence. “Baby Won’t You Stay,” the first single taken from the forthcoming album, was written on Eleuthera, an Island in the Bahamas that translates to a feminine version of ‘free’ or ‘freedom’ in Ancient Greek. Capturing a vintage, throwback sound with a contemporary twist of dirty blazing guitar riffs, “Baby Won’t You Stay” is the feeling of not wanting a great night to end so that you can enjoy the company of someone who tickles your fancy just a little longer. Listen to the song here: https://soundcloud.com/jessbegoodknights/06-baby-wont-you-stay/s-M0jEh?in=jessbegoodknights/sets/best-kind-of-light/s-MNYgn
 

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Blurring the lines between rock’n’roll and message-driven soul, the Amanda Broadway Band blends funky backbeats with bluesy guitar riffs and powerful songwriting. Based in Nashville, TN, the hair-flipping, tambourine-wielding Broadway captivates audiences with her authentic musical voice and soul-shouting enthusiasm. Grounded by a superb rhythm section, compelling background vocalists, and dynamic horn players, the band brings earnest and infectious energy to every performance. Their debut LP, The Ache, was released on CD, Vinyl, and digital platforms on February 28th, 2020. Recorded over three days at Nashville’s famed analog studio, Welcome To 1979, the record captures the energy of the live band on ten original compositions. “This project is a collaborative and self-produced effort where each member’s voice shines through,” mentions Broadway. The result is music meant for the masses—a stellar and creative endeavor that deserves to be heard on festival stages. The first singles, “No More Giving It Away,” and “Leave Your Light On,” have garnered radio play on several local Nashville stations including Lightning 100, WMOT Roots Radio, and Acme Radio. To celebrate the album release, ABB co-headlined a show with fellow local artist, Kyshona, at The Analog at Hutton Hotel on February 26th. After spending years working as a vocalist in Nashville, Amanda Broadway is excited to serve as the driving force behind this original project. Frequently called upon for sessions and performances, she has worked with artists including LaLa Brooks of The Crystals, CeCe Peniston, Skid Row, Charles “Wigg” Walker, and Nashville locals Elizabeth Cook, Alanna Royale and The Music City Toppers. She has been featured in American Songwriter, won an Independent Music Award for Best Blues Song, and previously released a series of singles entitled The Sanctuary Sessions. Broadway and additional members of the band have toured the world and performed at legendary venues including Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and Bridgestone Arena, Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Red Rocks Amphitheater, and the Hollywood Bowl. They’ve worked alongside artists including Zac Brown Band, STS9, Phish, Josh Gracin, and Charlie Worsham, among others. Connect online: Facebook: www.facebook.com/amandabroadwayband Instagram: www.instagram.com/amandabroadwayband Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/0G1HNBivs8tBdcqZgBFFfE?si=-_GXDmbTS2-J6ODWEG0GOg iTunes: https://music.apple.com/us/album/the-ache/1496872488 Soundcloud: www.soundcloud.com/amandabroadwayband Website: www.amandabroadwayband.com
 

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First online concert of Alice in WonderBand "The Alice in WonderBand duo are constantly chasing through exciting landscapes of art, creativity, ideas and projects like a rushing train… always original and inspiring.” Marija Vitas, Magazin Etnoumlje, WMAS, Serbia “Stunning percussion of the body. Powerful and with the enchanting energy and passion...” Ines Wagner, KulturVision e.V., Germany Musical journey through the Balkans, guided by the duo of performers. Innovative musical arrangements of traditional songs performed with body percussion and singing represents cultural heritage in a direct, breathtaking and extraordinary way. Songs from Serbia, Macedonia, Croatia, Montenegro, Bosnia, Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Albania describe the world and culture of the Balkans, which all people from this area share not just by geography, but also emotionally and historically in this unstable region in constant changes. Marko Dinjaški (voice, body percussion) Ana Vrbaški (voice, body percussion) Visnja Obradovic (direction) Goran Vujicin, MrV production (sound design) You need to follow these steps to buy a ticket. Follow the ticket link https://artistlockdown.com/aliceinwonderband/ 1- click on 'Buy Ticket 2- Sign Up/Create Account 3- Choose the ticket price 4- Pay On completion you will receive a confirmation email and on the event day all you need to do is to go to the event page above and log in with your account details. Ticket prices (ticket per device, not per person): 4 EUR Standard ticket 2 EUR Concession / Student Ticket 10 EUR Ticket + Donation Organizers say: A lot of people ask us if they can buy multiple tickets. The answer is, unfortunately, no. This is because the ticketing system is based on creating an account on a device. They can only buy more than one ticket by creating different accounts to be used on different devices.
 

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Cayley Thomas is a singer, guitarist and songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta who you need to know now. Her natural affinity for constructing catchy melodies reveals her striking vocal range and character which is evident in her new record "How Else Can I Tell You?". Under a delirious guise of simplicity, she weaves sensitive eccentricities and cathartic declarations into her own brand of unique, knowledgeable pop. Cayley’s new album How Else Can I Tell You? is a collection of songs that reflect upon a period of subconscious overwhelm and the subsequent shift into conscious thought and awareness. Recorded between Edmonton and Toronto, the album deliberately combines Hi-Fi studio production and Lo-Fi living room charm. How Else Can I Tell You? is fresh enough for modern indie rock ears to find familiar, with spells of synth and its modern production, all the while drawing on the fuzzy raw warmth of our favorite sounds from mid-century rock and soul. Cayley's new video for "Two Minds" is also out now: https://youtu.be/hoY439zPUpc
 

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Saulius Petreikis World Orchestra \ This EP is a strange mixture of cold and hot. It seems as if the cold Scandinavian wind has merged with Lithuanian summer breeze creating vivid music compositions that are taking one to the ancient times, yet still inviting to stay present - here and now. Just listen, be present and fully feel. All the pieces were recorded live thus this work gives a feeling of attending a live performance. EP will be available only digitally across all digital music streaming platforms. About "Laimingo laimintuo" This song-ritual is about closest people. It’s a blessing and wish for luckiness to our relatives: mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers. About "Odeon" Odeon was written by my brother Donatas Petreikis. Currently he is studying saxophone and musical composition at Danish Academy of music. He draws his inspiration from Scandinavian culture that is immersed in winds and maritime climate. Odeon has a majestic sound that echoes the atmosphere of the sacred places where only the highest pieces of art are being shared - music, painting, sculpture, poetry... About "Tears of Duduk" Now - having in mind current global situation - is the right time to be more attentive to yourself and those around you. I would like to share my new song Tears of Duduk that me and my brother Donatas wrote. More than a year ago I was in Dzūkija where the first melody line for this song appeared. Donatas took it and found an overall sound as well as the right arrangement for it. Duduk (also known as balaban) is more than 2000 years old and is included in UNESCO on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Nomatter where I am travelling, this instrument is always by my side. It has a unique tembre. It allows to tell those stories that invite to stop, contemplate and touch something that is already experienced. Photos Rytis Šeškaitis Musicians: Saulius Petreikis - thin whistle Donatas Petreikis - acoustic guitar, composition Vytautas Mikeliūnas - violin Kestutis Pavalkis - keyboard Domas Žostautas - bass guitar Vytis Vainilaitis - drums Linas Rupšlaukis - trumpet Vytautas Milieška - trumpet Tomas Karka - trombone Sound: Tomas Verbaitis - sound recording Normantas Ulevicius - mix & master Camera: Edvardas Volginas, Akvilė Anglickaitė, Timūras Augucevičius Video Editing: Tomas Kalinauskas Lights: Valdas Latonas Special thanks to: Edvardas Volginas, Giedrius Ūsas, Vytukas Kisvinas Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/2GFzbOqM4myDz6MFJ3czEX?si=Mh4fT-gdQ7i9K0R4zwt-8A Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/saulius-petreikis/sets/live-at-tamsta-2020
 

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Abby J Hall is a Canadian singer/songwriter from Burlington, Ontario. She started songwriting when she was 11 and has been passionate about it ever since. She has been in the studio over the past year and is gearing up to release new music over the next few months. Abby recently released a new single and video titled "Little Things". The track is an uplifting song about love and appreciating the little moments in life we often take for granted. It's been paired with a fun, quirky visual to go along with it. Listen and Watch here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ACi-vzk05VA&feature=youtu.be
 

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Starpainter exists in the carved out spaces between rock, country, and pop. Their upcoming debut record is representative of a modern era of alt-country: a two-step here, a ballad there, a radio-worthy chorus in between. On this release, they have constructed a narrative of beauty, love, fear, and loss without seeming either too sweet or sorrowful.The band recently released new single "Wild Azaleas" - a rhythmic roots-rock track with twangy guitars and nostalgic melodies. Our ears are in LOVE! Give a listen here: https://soundcloud.com/user-993196554/wild-azaleas/s-9Vhib
 

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at Cardinal, Jeff Dick, Mike Nash, Doc deGroot, and Jay Der formed The Prairie States in 2017 and immediately started writing songs for their full length album, Lost In The Right Direction. Independently released in June 2018, it was nominated for the ACMA Album Of The Year and included three radio singles, which all broke the top 100 Mediabase Canadian Country Chart. Their current single, “Low Life,” is a bumpin’ tongue-in-cheek song about how the high life is no life for them. It’s all about finding joy in the simplest of things. To accompany the release of the song, The Prairie States teamed up with a local Edmonton business, Sea Change Brewing Co, to create a custom “Low Life” branded beer to accompany the song. Listen up here! https://soundcloud.com/theprairiestates/sets/low-life-auteur-private-link/s-DLYeWfZTUuH
 

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New release "THE INDIFFERENT" - KASPER SØEBORG & LARS BO KUJAHN "WORD´N GLOBAL" WOMEX virtualWOMEX Records "The Indifferent" publish new record delete this record edit record Kasper Søeborg & Lars Bo Kujahn "Word´n Global" ARTIST: Kasper Søeborg & Lars Bo Kujahn "Word´n Global" FEATURED ARTIST: Nantha Kumar (Tabla) RELEASE YEAR: 2020 STYLE(S): Flamenco, Oriental COUNTRY: Denmark FORMATS: Audio File / Digital, RECORD POSTED BY: Ohlsen, Kasper Søeborg LABEL: Olafssongs PUBLISHER: Olafssongs buy this record Links Kasper Søeborg Olafssongs Lars Bo Kujahn NEW SINGLE: WORD’N GLOBAL The Indifferent New single by Kasper Søeborg & Lars Bo Kujahn Olafssongs OSCD 039 Instrumental world music including lyrical meditations as well as explosive moments filled with energy. From Andalusian flamenco-fire over Oriental ornaments to cool Scandinavian roots - a style that Søeborg & Kujahn jokingly calls ”Scandaluzian Fusion” . “The Indifferent” is the first single from their forthcoming album ”Word’n Global”. The concept is music composed, and played, inspired by poems from Rumi (Jalāl ad-Dīn Rūmī, 1207-1273) and ancient 1000 years or more old Chinese poems. “The Indifferent” is inspired by a classical Chinese poem dating from the T’ang period, 618-907, and the music is composed by Kasper Søeborg. Kasper Søeborg: Spanish guitar Lars Bo Kujahn: Qanoon and percussive effects Nantha Kumar: Tabla Recorded in Cyborg Studio, Copenhagen, by Kasper Søeborg Produced by Kasper Søeborg & Lars Bo Kujahn Executive producer: Finn Olafsson Front cover photo: Shazia Khan Front cover layout: Torsten Olafsson This is the first of 4 singles! In May, June, August and September a new single track will be released digitally by Olafssongs. The Word’n Global album is scheduled to be released in late October 2020. The album features Nantha Kumar, Shashank Subramanyam and Chris Poole.
 

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New album Dear Music Lovers, I hope you are all safe during this crisis. Check out my new album "Norcabo" available on digital platforms. This album invites us to travel through the most famous Cape Verde musical styles, but also through Caribbean rhythms influenced by Norwegian folk and jazz music. Best wishes, AM. https://open.spotify.com/album/16Jl6LsFJRxKIPXcp5LAxo
 

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Scott Goodwin is a multidisciplinary artist and producer born and raised in Toronto, Canada. Having developed a reputation as a blues rock mainstay at historic Toronto venues like Horseshoe Tavern and the Drake Hotel, Goodwin plans to supersede his reputation and introduce fans to another side of himself - the experimental, late-night-tinkering producer. The Lonely Lover Boy. His latest album is out now with the lead single "Dirty," which our ears are certainly digging. We had the opportunity to catch up with Scott Goodwin for some one-on-one time as we dive deeper into his process. When you are writing music, what comes first within the song? Melodies, certain tones, harmonies... Usually it’s either guitar or a vocal melody. Guitar is my main instrument so I will often shape my songs around a riff or a few chords. I love experimenting with tones and I’m a big gear nerd so the tone will often inspire the guitar part or make me change how I’m playing it. I like to loop what I’m playing so I can focus on writing the vocal part for it. That being said, more recently I’ve been writing a lot of lyrics without any music and then adapting them once I start writing or recording with an instrument in my hands. For me, the hardest part of writing a song is finding the first few lyrics so, no matter where I am, I usually try and take a voice note or write down some words I find meaningful. What is the inspiration and aspirations behind the latest single release, "Dirty" which came out this Spring? Lyrically, Dirty was inspired by a fun flirty night out and trying to have a positive attitude about getting dumped. I wanted the song to be upbeat, goofy and relatable. I aspired to have a song about getting dumped that would make you smile. I think the music video really captures that. It relates to how there’s so much going on around you, so many ways of getting ‘done dirty’ but you have to keep smiling throughout. Musically, I think Dirty has a good mix of what I’m going for on this album. While it’s a ‘funk’ song it’s hard to put it in the box of one genre. Can you tell us about the upcoming music? How did you create it? Were there any outside key players? On this album (Valentine), I wrote and performed every part - vocals and instruments. I also recorded, produced, and mixed the entire album by myself. I created it all in my home studio in my mom’s basement. I love all types of music and I really wanted to demonstrate that with this album. I hope people will listen and consider me for more than just the blues rock material I’ve been performing over the last few years. With this album, I experimented with sounds and styles, and I hope it will introduce people to music they may not normally consider. While this was finished in my basement by myself, I really have to give a shout out to the key players on my team that have helped me tremendously in releasing it. Noah Mintz mastered the record, Ann Sommers shot the press photos, Dom Lisi did the album and single artwork, Mac Siwocha did the motion graphics for the singles, Steve Triv and his team at breathe entertainment did the music video, and Andrew Mansfield helped with the release. What is the ultimate inspiration when penning the tracks, especially within the new album? My lyrics always tell a story about my experiences, even if it is slightly embellished. I think my songs in one way or another, always lead back to getting my heart broken. It’s not always about a girl, it’s often how a life experience broke my heart. For this record I really wanted to paint that in broad strokes - these lyrics aren’t too specific and these songs each only have one verse. Musically, I am inspired by so many different genres of music and I really wanted to share that. When I started recording I was struggling to get the sound of my live band in my home studio by myself so I was inspired to try something new. I don’t think it’s that often that you find an album that covers this much ground as far as exposing different styles. Do you produce and record your own songs, or do you head into the studio? I really enjoy both. This record (Valentine) was entirely self produced, recorded, and mixed. I also wrote and performed all the parts for each instrument. I created a formula with these songs - I was recording and mixing these songs as I wrote them, so they were all completed in a very short amount of time. Because no one else was around, as soon as I was satisfied with a take, I would move on. This album was an experiment to see if I could do it all on my own but, I really enjoy collaborating. When I’m working with other musicians or producers, I want their ‘voice’ to shine as well. My live performance with my band will always adapt the songs to feature the personalities of each musician involved. What are your key musical goals for this year, especially as the tides have changed? They have definitely changed. I was really excited to play some shows and get a live off the floor record going this year with some of my blues rock songs but right now it’s hard to say when that will happen. I’ve got more songs that I’ve recorded by myself in the vault and I’m determined to release more music by the end of the year so you will definitely be hearing some new material one way or another.
 

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The daughter of musical parents, Marin Patenaude was raised on folk and country harmonies. While it was a huge part of her upbringing, Marin didn’t initially look to music as a viable career. From landscaping for the rich to running through the woods with her dog, a backpack, and a surveyors map, scrubbing toilets to training horses, she collected many random and interesting skills and experiences to use as songwriting fodder. Marin's upcoming album, Sight Unseen, shows a louder, grittier side of Marin’s indie folk sensibility. Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yafXiPln3FI&feature=youtu.be Ahead of the album, Marin has released new single "Cold Front" along with a video. The song is deeply confessional folk with emotional lyrics paired with softly powerful instrumentals and a stark visual accompaniment.
 

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Simo-many All Music
Simo-many All Music (05/08/20 19:46)
https://ethnocloud.com/Simo-many_All_music/?song=12743&b=6942
Saskatchewan's Next Star winner Katie Morgan's powerful vocals and high energy performance have grabbed the attention of fans and industry alike. Katie recently released her debut pop-rock single, "Leave" - a deeply personal and autobiographical track, capturing the feeling of hitting rock bottom and not knowing where to go next. Katie wrote the single with industry veteran Jesse Weiman, who also took on production duties for the song. It’s a deeply personal and autobiographical song, capturing the feeling of hitting rock bottom and not knowing where to go next. We're head over heels for Katie and the new track and are eagerly awaiting for more music this year. Let "Leave" take you away: https://soundcloud.com/user-82522077/leave-katie-morgan/s-0Hksh
 

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Claire Coupland is a singer-songwriter who crafts gorgeous tunes for the masses. Her newest single, “Leave Me Alone,” blends her style of intricate guitar playing and jazz influenced melodies, progressions and arrangements. The track has been paired with a visual highlighting Claire’s natural charisma with a dash of humorous narrative. Alongside her new video for the single, the true essence of Coupland is brought to life. Each note is brilliantly placed, offering a surreal and dreamy sound. A Vancouver Islander at heart, now a Toronto dwelling folk/roots singer songwriter, Claire Coupland effortlessly pulls her audience into her personal world of love and life experiences, but always with a touch of her wicked sense of humor.Her new single and video for "Leave Me Alone" shows the musical range of the artist; and her heart and soul as well. We had the chance to catch up with Claire for an insightful interview you can find below. Watch the video via Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOlO_0ZC0nQ&feature=youtu.be When you are writing music, what comes first within the song? Melodies, certain tones, harmonies… When writing songs, they come about in three ways for me, sometimes in conjunction with each other: a small snippet of a hook/melody comes to my head (sometimes when I’m falling asleep), a chord progression, or the lyrics come first. But it’s always a small nugget of an idea, something that needs to be elaborated on. The odd time, a whole song can be written in one sitting, but it’s rare. It’s more likely that just like most things, the small idea will take a bit of elbow grease! What is the inspiration and aspirations behind the latest single release, "Leave Me Alone" which came out last month? I was strumming my guitar and this long descending melody came out of a rather bluesy chord progression, and i decided to keep running with it. It was really enjoying matching each syllable to each note in these verses and the chorus came a little later. It was fun to create a story line too, leading to the punch line of the chorus. The song was inspired about the notion of finding strength within myself to walk away from somebody who brought toxicity into my life. Finding the courage to walk away knowing it will hurt, but knowing that it’s also for the best. In the music video/single, the narrator finally sees this person clearly, for what and for who they are, and takes matters into her own hands. I’m hoping the single will resonate with other people who also perhaps feel this way. I hope that they can find strength within themselves to handle difficult situations, but also, make art from it! Making art is a great release, because you have something you can be proud of, something that marks a time stamp of your life. Can you tell us about the upcoming music? How did you create it? Were there any outside key players? I had the song freshly written, and brought it to an engineer/co producer, who laid down the rhythm section in studio, and we also hired an organ play come in for overdubs. Our feature musician, whom we worked with remotely, was slide master Joey Landreth, based out of Winnipeg. We emailed back and forth with him until we had everything we needed, and I think we pieced together a killer lead part! What is the ultimate inspiration when penning the tracks, especially within the new album? For this new song, i was really feeling inspired by rock sounds, and i wanted to branch out a little more and get more of a bluesy feel. This song is pure fun and pure rock, and i was very excited to get it out with a funny and light hearted music video too! Do you produce and record your own songs, or do you head into the studio? i write my own songs and bring songs to band to flesh out arrangements. If the songs are full band, we’ll rehearse and gig with them and be able to smoothly lay out bed tracks in studio. Other elements are added over top, such as lead instruments, backing vocals, etc. Sometimes, if there’s minimal instrumentation needed for a song, i’ll bring the song straight into the studio and we’ll get the scratch track down and play around with other ideas over top such as pedal steel, strings, bass. I do make scratch demos at home though! What are your key musical goals for this year, especially as the tides have changed? I’ve set myself up with the ability to make good quality demos at home, and i’m working full steam ahead on some new songs for a full length album. It’s been quite fun learning how to make basic recordings and realize some of the musical ideas i’ve had. i don’t have to wait for a band to bring it to life, i can do all of it right now, there’s even virtual drummers, which are quite fun to work with. this will help me decide what works for arrangements, production ideas, which songs have potential, and gets me in a place where i can hit the ground running, when it comes time to bring the song to the real studio situation.
 

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The Brilliance regularly tour the U.S. and have performed at the MET’s Charity Water Gala, global festivals in New Zealand, Australia, Sweden, Israel, and Palestine. Childhood friends in Wisconsin, Gungor and Arndt create at a distance - between Minneapolis and New York - and their albums regularly feature guest cellists, singers, rappers and full orchestras. With diverse sound and stylistic influences, the word ‘Suite’ denotes the classical level of scale and intention. Their new single "Telephone," is a stunner twist on the group's music as they take the song to the next level. "Telephone" is the follow up to their latest album release, "World Keeps Spinning" which is a concept album released as part two of a series of ‘Suites’- songs and pieces united by a theme - that explores concepts such as modern anxiety and the search for acceptance and unity. The previous Suite, Suite No. 1 Oh Dreamer - inspired by DACA DREAMers - was recently featured on Spotify's New Music Friday, Chill Hits and multiple Spotify editorial playlists and has amassed millions of streams on Spotify and Apple Music as an independent release. Check out the new single via Spotify below: https://open.spotify.com/album/5S0PU8GSg4yQdvrwZPllC0
 

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An Interview with Spotted Peccary Artist John Gregorius John Gregorius has served as a producer, guitarist and engineer, recording various bands at his own studio in Southern California, Sound Art Productions. When he started recording his own compositions. it opened up a whole new dimension to his life that he obtained only by making music that honestly moved him rather than making music that he thought people wanted. His first album, Under the Ice was released in 2000, followed by Heaven and Earth, which became his debut album on the Spotted Peccary Music label, where he shared some of his thoughts about creating his music. “I’ve always enjoyed fingerstyle acoustic guitar and ambient, processed electric guitar,” says Gregorius. “Heaven and Earth is a combination of these two styles, which may seem quite different, but much like the intertwining of the physical and spiritual this combination seems to flow naturally from one piece to another.” Heaven and Earth has been played quite a bit on John Diliberto’s amazing nightly music soundscape radio program, Echoes, which is syndicated all throughout the known listening universe. Eventually, Heaven and Earth was voted number 62 out of the top 200 CDs for the last 20 years of Echoes. After this he recorded an independent release called Hours with John Wineglass on viola at Saint John’s Episcopal Church. His interest in the contemplative spiritual life influenced the song titles, which have been based on the hours of monastic prayer. Hearing these songs that were recorded live in that beautiful church is an amazing listening experience. His next album, Still Voice (continuing in his own words) “is a mixture of acoustic and electric instrumental music that ranges from earthy fingerstyle guitar to ambient textural soundscapes.” This recording features his well known electric and acoustic ambient guitar with piano, cello, upright bass, drums, programming and vocals. “There’s definitely a spiritual aspect to the music. Silence, simplicity, service, communion, mystery and contemplative thought, are all inspirations for this work. Still Voice is the Voice that tells us who we are, beloved and sacred.” The music of John Gregorius is easygoing and engaging, from refreshingly simple fingerstyle guitar to the emotional resonance of layered textural soundscapes. The sounds that result grow out of life’s mysteries, through this process the listener and player continue a search for meaning within a highly dynamic environment that is tightly focused on the volatility and transience of listening, a sound that is easily appreciated and enjoyed. I had the opportunity to ask John why he makes the music that he makes. John Gregorius: I think what drew and still draws me to instrumental music is the mystery. It’s a spiritual thing, it’s an awe inspiring thing that 12 notes can produce something that moves us so deeply. Music has often been used as a product but in its purest sense it’s the connection with something bigger, something beyond our understanding. It’s sort of like breathing, it’s just something I love to do. If prayer is simply talking, connecting and or listening to God, then while creating, recording or “painting” the music, being awake to this conversation or simply being awake to the divine presence is how music can become prayer. Instead of getting lost in the mechanics, get lost in the present, listening and speaking. Robin James: What would you like to share about your introduction to music as a child? JG: There was a new Music teacher in 4th or 5th grade who received a grant and bought a bunch of instruments for the school. She invited students to come in and just play instruments. For some reason I went right for the guitar and honestly don’t remember trying anything else out. Soon after I got a guitar and started lessons. RJ: What advice might you offer for someone starting out and considering their possibilities? JG: Through my years of playing with pop bands and many other times in life, I tried to make it or play the music I thought people wanted. It wasn’t until I started making the music that honestly moved me that “success” happened. Now, success often doesn’t mean money or huge numbers of people listening. Remember Van Gogh only sold 2 painting in his lifetime. Yet, there are stories of people playing my music through tough times and they found healing in it. Now, that’s success! I say this to you and to myself. I constantly question the worth of my music and why I work so hard to make it. This has to be the answer. I make music because I love making music. If one person benefits, then it’s worth it. There’s a poem by Emily Dickinson called “Not in Vain” which speaks to this perfectly. If I can stop one heart from breaking, I shall not live in vain: If I can ease one life the aching, Or cool one pain, Or help one fainting robin Unto his nest again, I shall not live in vain. RJ: How would you describe your music’s spirituality? JG: My music comes from the desire for communion. It can be deep or distant or mysterious and at times it’s a struggle but much of the time it’s a space of being home or grounded. For me, I cannot be content without a close, honest and prayerful connection with our Loving God. I think this comes out in the music. On Heaven and Earth you hear a specific spiritual space compared to Still Voice which was a deeper time of searching for both God and who I was. Full of life is simply letting Joy and Mystery flow together, discovering spiritual connection in nature and love. RJ: What is the most beautiful place you have ever performed in? JG: The most beautiful place I performed in was St. John’s Episcopal Church in Rancho Santa Margarita. The cathedral’s acoustics were amazing and was filled with natural light. It was a deep spiritual space which felt much like being up in the mountains with a breeze blowing through the trees. RJ: What was your most positive surprise in life? JG: Well, this is an interesting one. I was ready to go into an Episcopal monastery to become a monk. Then, by some interesting circumstances I met my now wife Catherine. Soon we got married and moved to beautiful Tucson Arizona, where we are discovering together the awe inspiring Sonoran landscape and local culture. RJ: What listening matter got you to where you are today? JG: This is a big list! I think Kansas and Led Zeppelin moved me early on in elementary school through Jr. High. In high school I was a big progressive music fan plus classical guitar which I was self taught during this time. A record by Allan Holdsworth called I O U came out in the 80s that simply blew me away. Another guitarist who influenced me was Phil Keaggy who could play incredible electric, classical and fingerstyle steel string guitar and is a man of faith. At the same time I loved Tears for Fears, Simple Minds and other 80s bands. Fast forward to my beginning of loving ambient music. After my daughter was born, I found this space of being in the moment, in nature and being a dad. Artists like The Blue Nile, Peter Gabriel, Cocteau Twins, Harold Budd resonated with me. I became inspired to start making my own instrumental music. As I look back, whether Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Beatles, Yes or Genesis, I always like the slower, minor, more ambient songs. This recording I released independently and soon after recorded Heaven and Earth. Today, I love modern classical like Arvo Part, Olafur Arnalds, and Max Richter along with Post Rock bands like Hammock. No matter what, there is a spiritual side to music that moves me. RJ: I see from your biography that you are involved with the Orange County Christian rock scene, such as East West, Reel Big Fish, Bionic Jodi… JG: Well, Reel Big Fish is a ska band I recorded while I was the owner/operator of Sound Art Recording. Now they definitely aren’t a Christian band but it was a lot of fun recording a style of music I hadn’t really listened to before and they were great kids. For other bands I became more involved in the production, guitar playing and writing processes. This was a great time to grow as a producer. As for bandmates, most of the people who have played on my recordings had a history of together in church. There was a great connection playing music together to celebrate God’s love. RJ: Where do you come up with your best ideas? I would say either sitting in a quiet room with a guitar, looper and reverb or out in nature. We were able to get a home on the east side of Tucson. We are only 2 miles away from Saguaro National Park west which is home to the Rincon Mountains. It’s a place we often hike. We often watch the evening light change these mountains to an amazing pink color. RJ: How does the landscape you are inhabiting influence your music? JG: For this recording especially, I’ve been influenced by the Sonoran desert of Tucson. There is so much life that thrives in the many seasons here. We have a fairly short monsoon season in the middle of the hottest time of summer which nourishes the plants and animals through the year. The Saguaro cactus somehow thrives in the environment and can live up to 200 years. The spring is full of colorful flowers and creeks running from snow runoff. It snowed a winter back and it was amazing to see snow falling on the cacti. So there is this great mystery of life in the desert. Maybe this is why mystics and monks have found deep spiritual life in the desert. RJ: What is one of your most meaningful moments/discoveries in your life? JG: On a beautiful day in the Pacific Northwest, I was walking with my freshman high school friends, laughing and having what seemed like a perfect day. Yet, once alone I had this deep question, is this all there is? This is where my deeper spiritual journey led me to communion with the Creator who loves us and brings us to wholeness which I found in Christ. Over time my faith has broadened and grown but the central view of Jesus’ life and death and life has been my connection, my communion with God. RJ: What would you like to try that you have not tried yet? JG: I’d like to do a solo backpacking trip. There’s something about the solitude and challenge that interests me. RJ: If you had a time machine, where would you go? JG: I would love to see what Southern California, Tucson and other beautiful spaces looked like when only the Native Americans lived here. I have a deep respect for the way the land was taken care of in a sacred way so maybe I could sit and listen to the wisdom and enjoy the clear air, flowing water and abundant wildlife. RJ: How do you balance producing and teaching and performing? JG: This is interesting, because as artists we have to make a living. The kind of music we do with Spotted Peccary has a broad audience (and I find most people desire contemplative ambient music) but there aren’t many avenues to play live. So teaching became my main source of income but I don’t want to belittle it’s importance. I taught art, Music and coached sports for 15 years and loved it. Teaching is something that came naturally to me. Currently, I teach guitar to about 50 students at Allegro School of Music. This gives me time to keep creating music and I’m very happy with the new release Full of Life which is deeply influenced by my new life with Catherine and the Tucson desert. I think this is fertile ground because I’ve written many new songs for my next recording as well. RJ: You have such an abundance of original music that you share with the world, what is your compositional process like? JG: It usually starts with one or two chords or arpeggio. Then, I add harmony which moves it the way I’m feeling it should go. Sometimes I start out looking for a certain space, like slower repetition or maybe a bit more complex solo piece. I’ve been inspired by using different tunings. For Full of Life, I used Robert Fripp’s New Standard Tuning which brought new ideas and ways of approaching the guitar and writing. Much of the music is “written” on acoustic with a looper to either create atmosphere or second and third parts or melodies. Solos are improvised but I do this sparingly. The more ambient pieces like Rincon Fading Light are at least begun with improvisation. From there I work intuitively with layers, atmospheres and melodies. RJ: How do you decide between electric compared to acoustic guitar sounds? JG: Hmmm, I wonder if it’s just what I picked up that day? I’ve always liked the sound of electric or electronics along with acoustic/organic sounds. So, as I’m recording, I may try different guitars to add interest or breathe a different life into a song. RJ: What is next for your music? JG: I’m very interested in music as prayer. Does that mean a more stripped down, solo performance kind of recording or a simple prayer without ceasing approach to production? Maybe it’s an entire record where the listener can sit in a prayerful space? I’m not sure yet, but I’m excited and inspired right now to keep creating. RJ: Thank you for this opportunity to explore your music further! A review of FULL OF LIFE Spotted Peccary Music SPM 1803 The music of John Gregorius blends a love of both acoustic and ambient electric guitars, resulting in a wonderful sound that is easygoing and engaging, a mixture of acoustic and amplified instrumental music that ranges from refreshingly simple fingerstyle guitar to the emotional resonance of layered textural soundscapes. The sounds that result grow out of life’s mysteries, and through this process continues a search for meaning within a highly dynamic environment that is tightly focussed on the volatility and transience of listening. For the tracks on his newest album, Full of Life, Gregorius employs New Standard Tuning, which was developed by Robert Fripp. Five consecutive open-notes of new standard tuning are spaced seven semitones apart on the chromatic circle; the highest interval is only three semitones apart, which places some of the guitar strings under greater tension than standard tuning. Standard sets of guitar strings do not work well with the tuning as the lowest strings are too loose and the highest string may snap under the increased tension. The body of the instrument seems to focus a heightened sonic awareness of what falls within the listener’s contextual perception, filling the space with a sound that we appreciate and enjoy, thus prompting a rich and satisfying mode of experiencing the music. His first album is titled Under the Ice, and was released in 2000, from his studio, Sound Art Recording. In his own words (found on his website https://johngregorius.com/) “From this, I discovered my music created a space for people to live, travel, pray or even sleep with. Under the Ice was followed by Heaven and Earth, which was picked up by Spotted Peccary Music, and that was followed by Still Voice, which features electric and acoustic ambient guitar with piano, cello, upright bass, drums, programming and vocals.” Yet, with all of these new instrumental layers and dimensions, there remains a sense of minimalism and mystery. “The music I create is part of a larger spiritual quest. I’m learning that being still and listening is important beyond measure and my hope is that my music will facilitate a deeper and more real experience of what it is to be awake and alive. Ultimately, if one sees a glimpse of the source of beauty and love from the music then I am greatly blessed.” The sound of Full Of Life, mastered by Howard Givens, makes me think of a unique new southwestern guitar sensation, with a very bright and wide open sky and yet somehow without a big cowboy hat on it. The rocky slopes and sandy areas of the desert floor merge in the distance into shimmering waves with harsh, serrated outlines of chaotic peaks and craggy ranges. The album’s brilliant and dazzling cover art features original photography by Micayla Gregorius. The Sonoran Desert’s biseasonal rainfall pattern results in more living species than any other desert in the world and are home to a variety of plants, animals, and other organisms which add their songs to the western wind for an unforgettable calming and attractive instrumental sound that is comforting in this mysterious auditory desert landscape. Full of Life opens with an energetic beat and that big sky feeling. An easy groove sets in right away, an upbeat sound with simple electric guitars and drums. “The Expansive Sky“ (5:45) expresses a picture of optimism and having no limits, like a deep ocean current in the sky, unseen, but flowing through all our experiences, moving us to seek fulfillment and connectedness, impelling us towards truth, goodness and beauty. Contemplation widens perspectives, and “Unfolding Beauty“ (5:08) continues the same electric guitar mood but the feeling for this track is more slow and delicate, it starts with no drums, the pace is set by fingers in the beginning, then some analog drum samples (provided by Howard Givens) emerge deep into the song. Fingerpicking, or playing fingerstyle, is a technique for playing the guitar with an interactive, interconnected, interdependent, and dynamic feeling, like the rocky desert slopes and hillsides that are teeming with life that evolved to have specialized adaptations to the desert climate. The title song, “Full of Life“ (5:49) is music created to fit perfectly to these surroundings, the music to the listener, and the listener to the surroundings. This track features a finger picked acoustic guitar, in the classical style with understated delicate synth frame in the background, riding along at a moderate pace with no other percussion, expressing the goodness that flows from the gift of life. The mood is quiet, somehow bringing us along to our spiritual home and a place of retreat and renewal where new insights for our numinous journey may be revealed. Allow yourself to be amazed, to let go, build layers upon layers of a finger picking progression of chords, soon strings emerge, with violin and cello played by Kayla Applegate. From the beginning of the track the only beat is set by the finger pattern, but half way through the strength of the structural pulse is joined by a drum beat. Prayer and contemplation are not separate moments from practice, they all become an inner element of that practice, along the “Path of Renewal“ (5:22). Deep in the darkness of night imagine large stretches of bare rocks, swept clear of sand and dust by the wind. The exposed rocks are thoroughly mirrored by a “Blanket of Stars“ (4:51) Lush electric guitar finger work with high hat and drums, layers of simple playing, haunted repetition creating an elegant sensation of slowly changing music, and occasionally supercharged by scorching lead riffs rocketing off into remote distances somewhere deep in the background. The long, stretched out, soft passages, with predominantly tonal and simple melodic contours, imply a music that could continue on into infinity, building guitar and synth dialogs, joined by drums and then what seems like a whole orchestral procession with strings, climaxing with a big production, “Winds of Change“ (5:21). I think it has to do with an instrument’s ability to impart feelings, like happiness and beauty, causing the listener to experience the sounds with a joyfully deliberate abandonment that results in a deeper realization of truth. Silence, prayer and listening to what the music has to say, “Wellspring“ (4:28) furnished by an electric guitar complete with drums and the whole band, big reverb overhead, repeating theme layers taps into the disturbing, chaotic undertow of the environment. Saguaro cactuses, which live in the Sonoran Desert expand like accordions to store water in the cells of their trunks and branches. A large saguaro is a living storage tower and can live for hundreds of years. Silence enables, communicates and reveals truth. “Early Reflection“ (5:01) brings a slow dreamy vista with electric guitar layers, slow finger notes emerge lots of sustained meditative atmosphere, there are no drums but there are restful, life-giving rhythms as well as abstract thinking, free choice, and compassion for others With tiny electronic buzzing and whispering, “Monsoon Clearing“ (4:49) has more non-guitar electronics than the other numbers and hand drums, and ethereal vocals soaring overhead which weaves a poetic narrative of ambient sound throughout and suggests a way of focusing one’s life, through prayer, living in love, and an awareness of nature’s presence. Drums were played by Mitch Ross, bass by Rick Baptista, with vocals by Kimberly Daniels. Climbing up and up to view panoramic serrated outlines of chaotic peaks and craggy ranges, “Painted Vistas“ (3:19) awards the listener with electric guitar finger picking with reverb layers, emerging drums, the basic energy living within a contemplative dimension to consider the situation from a variety of angles. I had the chance to ask John about this song, “Catalina“ (4:15) and he told me that in Tucson there are the beautiful Catalina mountains which could be translated as “Catherine.” So Catalina is actually a song for Catherine. Elegant strummed guitars with the finger style layers telling the story on top, with a soaring synth perfume in the background. My personal favorite track on this album is the final track, “Rincon Fading Light“ (4:00) because it has the most ambient electronic feeling. I hear a calm dark night with tiny tapped chimes and metallic objects, a form of music that can freely move in a perceived spaceless and timeless fashion to provide you with life-giving rhythms, grow your internal sense of self-awareness, bring about inner healing, sharpen your discernment, and lead you toward a greater sense of purpose. Full of Life has an awakening contemplative spiritual sound that invites mystery and joy to flow together, the listener experiences a series of smooth and polished instrumentals, exploring a deep spiritual space with layers, atmospheres and melodies that feel much like being up in the Sonoran Desert mountains with breezes blowing through the trees, discovering spiritual connections in nature and the spirit of love. John Gregorius invites you to watch the evening light change the distant mountain’s rocky slopes and high-desert washes as it flows, creating deep channels of shadows and mirages, “painting” the music. The listener can become awake to the divine presence, which is how music can become prayer. 1 The Expansive Sky 2 Unfolding Beauty 3 Full of Life 4 Path of Renewal 5 Blanket of Stars 6 Winds of Change 7 Wellspring 8 Early Reflection 9 Monsoon Clearing 10 Painted Vistas 11 Catalina 12 Rincon Fading Light FOOTLINKS THE ARTIST https://johngregorius.com/ FACEBOOK https://www.facebook.com/john.gregorius.1 SPOTTED PECCARY ARTIST PAGE https://spottedpeccary.com/artists/john-gregorius/ THE ALBUM FULL OF LIFE https://spottedpeccary.com/shop/full-of-life/ THE UNBOXING VIDEO https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XBZ_STwMTL0 THE ALBUM STILL VOICE https://ambientelectronic.bandcamp.com/album/still-voice ABOUT NEW STANDARD TUNING https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_standard_tuning
 

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Travel fans whose wings have been clipped will find a fanciful escape in the new music by Masa Takumi. An impressive, self-taught multi-instrumentalist, Takumi’s lively and spirited new work incorporates ancient instruments like the shamisen and the koto, a stringed instrument that is the national instrument of his native Japan, with modern sounds. Heritage releases on Domo Music on April 24 in 2020. The new album HERITAGE balances a journey into the past with modern beats and melodies; it is said to be reminiscent of the gorgeous work of June Kuramoto in the legendary Asian-influenced band Hiroshima. The expansive and exotic works of Keiko Matsui also come to mind upon hearing Takumi’s soaring, high energy piano and keyboard adventure, artfully blending intense, earthbound rhythms with transcendent flights of fancy and rich sonic detail. Takumi splits his time between Los Angeles and Japan, where he is a sought-after producer and songwriter with over 40 songs on Japan’s Top 10 Charts. After six years in the U.S. music business, learning the English language and earning two GRAMMY(R) nominations with Sly & Robbie in 2014 and 2015, Takumi says he felt compelled to share more of himself with his U.S. fan base. It is with a remarkable sense of invention and adventure that Heritage gives insight into every aspect of the artist’s cultural roots and its rich artistry. Recognized as a truly remarkable, trendsetting contemporary instrumental work, that aesthetic ties in perfectly with the monumental catalog of Kitaro, the legendary pioneering electronic artist who is now Takumi's label cohort. In a review of Heritage on JW Vibe, Jonathan Widram says that “Heritage gets off to a funky, rumbling and exotic start with the title track, which is dominated by a hypnotic koto melody, punchy synth chords and booming percussion. Takumi’s colorful koto-keyboard dynamic continues on Hanamachi Girl, a whimsical, mystical, easy flowing ballad with an elegant solo piano interlude that showcases the deeper dimensions of his artistry. Throughout most of the eight tracks, the artist works his magic blending piano and/or koto with lush atmospheres and rich electronic textures.” Prior to Heritage, Takumi released a 2016 album, his solo debut “Stars Falling” a sparkling orchestral dreamscape for which he composed and performed all the instruments. He followed, in 2017, with the album “Deep Down,” winning both Akademia Music Awards and Global Music Awards, as well as a nomination at the 2018 Hollywood Music In Media Awards for the music video “Deep Down.” His artistic excellence is represented again in the music video for the Heritage title track released on April 17, 2020, which can be viewed here: https://youtu.be/mJ2IHRNPNuM Takumi’s career is truly remarkable. He was proficient on several instruments by the time he graduated high-school, and in 2000, Takumi made his recording debut as a drummer for the rock band Siren, signed to Bertelsmann Music Group ( BMG) Japan. He evolved into composing soundtrack work for Japanese animation titles such as “Genshiken” (2004), Peach Girl (2005), "Witchblade" (2006), and "Claymore" (2007), while also becoming an in-demand composer, arranger and producer, earning more than 40 songs on Japan’s Top 10 charts and countless awards and accolades for his talented accomplishments with artists like Da Pump, Exil, AAA. He has produced projects with Mr. Big frontman Eric Martin and famed drummer Terry Bozzio. Takumi composed the songs “Let’s Make A Video” by YouTube star Poppy and “Reflection” for the Trey Songz album 11. And as if that were not enough, Takumi is also a mind-blowing and dexterous magician, a member of the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood, CA. Regarding Heritage, music journalist Robin James wrote that “The sounds of the island nation of Japan blossom on his palate of piano, drums, guitar, bass, koto, electronica, and awesomely cool funky beats. Your best bet is just to sit back and enjoy this hypnotic ride into history and dance to the joyful melodies.” Tracks: 1 Heritage (3:30) 2 Hanamachi Girl (5:12) 3 After The Nightmare (4:50) 4 Bells In Summer (4:27) 5 Toki (3:06) 6 Bamboo Forest (4:15) 7 Sakura River (3:36) 8 Midwater Night's Neo Dream (3:34) LINKS: Official artist website: https://www.masa.world/ Streaming: https://biglink.to/masatakumi Domo Music Group: https://www.domomusicgroup.com/ Music video: https://youtu.be/mJ2IHRNPNuM Spotify: https://biglink.to/heritage Press Contact Beth Hilton The B Company +1 310-560-8390 https://www.facebook.com/TheBCompanyPRandMarketing/ https://twitter.com/The_B_Company
 

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“The Politics of Digital Marketing in the Music Business” With every new technological development which enhances music makers' abilities to take ownership of their career via the DIY approach, the prevalent belief that the destiny of an artist’s success is in one’s own hands gains wider ground. Without a doubt, the tools given to music artists to encourage those artists to follow the DIY pathway has transformed the music business and the common understanding is that artists stand to benefit more from the way the music business operates today than the old record business model pioneered by the likes of Clive Davis & David Geffen. However, is this true? Has the record business really made a shift from the old politics to an equal opportunity industry? Have musicians globally, if they only use the correct marketing strategies, work hard, and preserver been given access to the “American Dream”? There is one debate that states that the DIY approach to making and marketing music has led to the democratization of the record industry. On the other hand, others have the understanding that the cosmetic transformation of the record industry is just that and that the ball is still being squashed in the same court it has always been. Canadian singer-songwriter and indie artist Ali Hugo known for writing Islamic country songs was recently interviewed by the Nigerian Musicology podcast where Hugo talked about some of the challenges of being an indie DIY artist in today’s music industry and Hugo expressed that industry accountability is still a concern for many artists. On the other hand, music manager Rick Barker who played a role in the success of Taylor Swift’s career runs a successful business that is based on the assumption that the right digital marketing know-how can certainly lead DIY to success. So how has digital marketing transformed the music industry? Does the surgically altered face of the music industry today express that there is less collusion between industry establishments to achieve common goals of mutual interests? Well, for one thing, the burden of marketing and promoting content has been shifted to the content creator through the “share” culture. This is having a noticeable impact on the marketing budgets of many record labels. In addition to this, the new face of the music industry has extended a lifeline to the careers of specialists like Rick Barker who have digitized their many years of experience in the music industry into a successful online business. Like Barker, there are the online vocal coaches, virtual music managers, and many more services available for the DIY musician. However, the question which puzzles most is how much value can be added by virtual managers from the Atari age to musicians born in the play-station and Xbox age? Does the new music industry give equal opportunities to a Japanese manager in Tokyo who has superior digital marketing skills to launch a successful virtual music management career? source: https://alihugo.co.uk.statscrop.com/ There are certain musicians who are skeptical about the rewards which can be reaped by the DIY approach and the idea that the ownership of the old music model has completely reached the end of its lifeline. Canadian Musician Ali Hugo’s team at belief records have frequently bragged about being known for successfully marketing Hugo’s music online, yet this does not explain the strange move by Hugo’s team at belief records to replace a premium owned website worth $12,000 and one which attracts 900 visitors a day with a free WordPress site. When asked to comment about this Hugo stated that the last thing any industry needs is another whiner. The team at belief records looked at the response from the fan mail coming in and that response did not match the performance stats being provided to belief records by some of its online service providers. Digital marketing is largely based on statistics and if we can’t depend on the data being given to us by our services providers, our team cannot strategies our next effective marketing moves which will take Hugo’s career to the next level. Resorting to a free WordPress site has many perks including accurate realtime statistics and associating the sites Ali Hugo content with Wordpress adds. The Ali Hugo team views this as a collaboration where the team will provide the content and WordPress ca push the content with sponsored adds to the mainstream and in this way, we have the assurance that the Ali Hugo music message reaches a wider audience and at the same time we avoid depending on phony numbers. Hugo also mentioned the need for cost-cutting. “cost-cutting for the Ali Hugo teams is not only about terminating a relationship with a website host thus relieving belief records from paying premium services fees, but it also means more dependence on organic growth rather than paid promotions. This leads to managing better relations which translate into Good Will on our end of year financial statements. An example of this type of relationship is the one the Ali Hugo team has with the Shift Radio and Television station based in Manchester UK. Our relationship with Shift has been fruitful. Sure there is a symbolic fee to it but the harvest includes access for Ali Hugo to a wide network of shifts music connections, for example, the Shift cafe, The music revolution, Shifts UK, and US talent seekers network. Is There Hope for The Meek? Despite the traditional music models and its oligarchies fighting to the death to live on, the hope for many indie artists is on the new innovative technology and new players in the industry. For example, TikTok has completely revolutionized the game where a person in Pakistan can gain instant celebrity status based on the equal opportunities provided for the content being published on TikTok. The team at belief records responded to opportunities provided by the likes of TikTok and other new players “well it's astonishing! the numbers speak for themselves.” Our video content was able to reach a wider audience for free with higher realtime statistic figures in a short period of time than what we achieved through paid promotions on some well-known digital platforms." So, does this mean that experience has no value in this new music industry, “it certainly does not” was belief records response, there is no room for the old biases and equal opportunity is non-optional. However, it might take Alibaba’s digital music platform a long time to reach the kind of success achieved by Amazon Prime and the Amazon digital music market. This may also be an impossibility if Amazon continues its ability to support its music streaming and download services with cutting edge technology which benefits all DIY musicians.
 

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Marin Patenaude is a name to be on the lookout for. The artist who has just released her new single "Cold Front," hails from Canada. A song that is actually filled with warm and harmonious tones, Marin sets the tone for her upcoming music. In support of her second album, Marin joined Dallas Green's Toronto based label Still Records. Sight Unseen was produced at Afterlife Studios in Vancouver, mixed by Karl Bareham, and mastered by Jaoa Carvalho. Marin took the reins on production, and enlisted the help of dedicated players she feels very connected to, musically and emotionally. They kept their hearts and the doors open for magical studio surprises, and the finished album reflects that open minded approach to sound. The upcoming masterpiece "Sight Unseen" shows a louder, grittier side of Marin’s indie folk sensibility. Citing the influence of artists like Joni Mitchell, Tori Amos, Ani Difranco, Sarah McLachlan, and Neil Young, there’s an underlying darkness beneath the clear, free spirited melodies. For Marin, her songs are an extension of self--an opportunity to be as honest and real as she feels, something she has difficulty doing in the so-called real world. It's big and it's not always light. Though she’s a bright personality by nature, she often uses her music as a way to process grief. Her vocals are strong and technically trained, and she's outspoken about the complexities of relationships and the uncertainty of our current political times. Discover the song here: https://open.spotify.com/track/1LtCssncVwI5ASoN29lGth
 

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The Dallas String Quartet is a charming collection of artists that take their Classical talents to the next level. With a series of new songs, and always more in the works, the group have built a strong foundation, and a prominent music career. The group which has expanded over the years in both members and in sound, bring a new tone that is uniquely and genuinely their own into 2020. We had the absolute pleasure to chat with Ion from the group, to dive deeper into the inner workings and musical genius of the Dallas String Quartet. When you are writing originals or creating new compositions for well-known covers, what comes first within the song? Melodies, certain tones, harmonies... Honestly, for me it’s a feeling. Sometimes I can hear a beat in my head or I’ll start humming something that I realize isn’t an actual song and I’ll try and jot it down and write something before I lose it and many times it’s surrounding what I’m doing, who I’m with etc… so while melodies, tones & harmonies of course create actual music, without the feeling the song doesn’t mean much. What are the inspirations and aspirations behind your most recent works? The holiday album, "Senorita," etc - and how does it tie into upcoming releases?  I hear you have an original album on the way... Inspiration comes from songs that bring joy, evoke emotion - sometimes the selections are people I’d like to collaborate with or those artists stories - how do they view music, where do they come from? More often than not it’s also the sound they bring and how can I incorporate their sound like brass or piano into our music. For upcoming releases we are focusing on original work right now. It's definitely different for us but it’s so exciting to create music from scratch and to take beats, melodies - ideas and really tell a whole story however you want. Can you tell us about how you create your compositions within the Dallas String Quartet? How did you create your visions together? Were there also any outside key players? It depends on the process for me. I arrange some songs but I traditionally work with an arranger who I have worked with for years. We talk about my idea of what I want, and they will  let each musician highlight what their strengths are. For example, it may be written for the bass player to add a really sophisticated and beautiful jazz component while the guitar may focus on an intricate flamenco sound etc… I play the viola which by instrument standards is meant to accompany someone else, the lead and I still get excited to be able to support the music that they all are able to play. There's so many key players and a huge amount of talent in this group combined. It's really, really impressive. How did the Dallas String Quartet come to fruition?   We started playing a lot of private engagements and people would say “hey! Play the Beatles!” Or “can you play Coldplay?” And I thought, wow this is way more fun! :) I thought it would be another thing we could offer to clients, and then it just took off to be able to mix our repertoire or classics with Modern, Contemporary, Top 40 and beyond. That’s what I love about our current tour, the first half is all classical and really beautiful arrangements, the second half is all symphonic rock. It’s so awesome to see the crowds' emotions throughout the evening shift and change - the energy is really special. What is the ultimate inspiration when penning your compositions? Finding my true voice and a way to implement the melodies I grew up with and putting them in a song where audiences in America will enjoy. Really, it’s the music in my mind and putting pen to paper. Do you produce and record your own songs, or do you head into the studio?  We have great studio partners. We have worked with Grammy winning engineers on our past 4-albums - they’re incredible and have been such an important part to all of our albums. I do have a small studio and recording capabilities to track ideas and collaboration before the official studio time but I can’t beat the quality and output that we get from our partners. What are your top musical goals for this year?  For 2020, we are looking to include more of an electronic aspect and sound into our music. We’re working to finish an original album as well and are focused on continuing to build and connect with our fans and engaging our community.
 

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Steve Ropes is an Italian musician and music producer, he has been an avid music fan since he was a little kid. At a young age, Steve learned how to play guitar and piano which he incorporates seamlessly into his productions. With a strong metal and rock influence he started to play in a band for a few years before getting passionate about electronic music and music production so he started his solo ‘Steve Ropes’ project in 2018 spending the last two years trying very hard to become a good music producer. Give a listen and applaud to Steve Ropes new single "Restless Heart" on Soundcloud and digital outlets: https://soundcloud.com/steve-ropes/steve-ropes-restless-heart
 

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Midnight Vesta is a folk-rock band based out of Toronto, ON. Since the release of their debut EP, ‘The Sleight of Hand’ the band have been working the 401 and expanding an audience with their live performance. After solidifying their lineup in 2017 the band released their first LP, ‘Seconds’, which saw them shift from a banjo driven folk group to a guitar laden quartet, smothered in harmony. With successful national tours, airplay on community radio as well as the CBC, Midnight Vesta continues to establish themselves as a band with unprecedented work ethic and multi-generational appeal. They are set to release their second LP in early 2020. Their latest single "I'll Have Another" is out now. https://soundcloud.com/midnight-vesta/ill-have-another/s-pDuJU
 

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Borza is an insightful artist for our current times. His new video and single comes in the form of "Guérir les hommes," a beautifully crafted black and white piece by Charlotte G Ghomeshi. Borza released a first alternative/folk EP called “playing with time” in December 2016, on October 25th 2019 he released his full length record “Cocoon" that has essences of alternative pop, folk & reggae, that was produced by his dear friend Malcolm Burn (Bob Dylan, Iggy Pop,Emmylou Harris, Daniel Lanois), and on April 2nd 2020 he released the video of his latest single “Guérir les hommes” directed by Charlotte G Ghomeshi. Watch Borza's new video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/X6vVpmw44dk
 

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Heartfelt lyrics and emotive vocals have helped Jade Hilton evolve into her distinctive sound. The singer/songwriter fuses earthy folk melodies over lo-fi soundscapes. She began building a steady following by posting covers and originals on social media. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on a full athletic scholarship, she moved back home to Toronto and began releasing music featuring her indie-folk sound with R&B-pop production. She has performed live on centre court at Rogers Cup Toronto, Virgin Mobile Mod Club, Fairmont Royal York Toronto, and at Ryerson University Frosh Week. Watch Jade's newest video here:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rqWWmLvG-DE
 

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Life’s journeys are marked by passages — moments or seasons of transition — often disorienting and vulnerable spaces, yet they offer the greatest opportunity to experience growth, if we are open to the uncertainty. Learning to embrace the beauty in these liminal states is the theme that runs throughout each track on singer-songwriter Zaac Pick’s long-awaited sophomore album, Passages. The eight-track album is a reflective and raw collection of songs that explore the ambiguities and complexities of desire, masculinity, mental health, disillusionment, and finding strength, with a hopeful and often poetic honesty. Based in Vancouver, BC, Pick originally moved from his native Medicine Hat, Alberta in the early 2000s, becoming immersed in the region’s burgeoning indie-folk music community as guitar player and songwriting member of the band Doubting Paris. After being dropped from their US record label, Pick ventured out on his own, releasing a string of EPs and an LP that earned him regional songwriting awards and nominations, generous national radio (CBC) support, opening slots for the likes of The Civil Wars, Noah Gundersen, and Bahamas, and numerous features for his songs on major network television shows. With Passages, Pick builds on the songwriting strengths of his previous work, but leaves behind much of the folk simplicity of his earlier recordings, diving into more diverse musical landscapes — where danceable rhythms, pulsing guitars, sweeping 70s strings, and arpeggiating synthesizers are juxtaposed against heavier subject matter, held together by Pick’s reassuring timbre. The album’s confessional folk-pop songs showcase a maturity as a songwriter and as a vocalist — his honeyed voice reaching new heights on the soaring chorus of opening track ‘Atmosphere’, about the tension between knowing and mystery in long-term relationships, and on ‘Play, Pause, Rewind’, a danceable reflection on a 30-something life crisis, co-written with Broken Social Scene’s Jason Collett. Pick’s acute lyricism shines on the introspective and affecting ‘Strong Enough’, a rumination on identity against the backdrop of gender stereotypes, and on cathartic closing track ‘Lighter Side Of Blue’ — a portrait of the singer’s struggle with anxiety and depression, the song’s swelling crescendoes mirroring the lyrics about finding relief in music. Though most of the songs that appear on Passages were written fairly quickly, the recording process would test Pick’s resolve, when three months of unfruitful recording sessions nearly derailed the project. Pick floundered, and the sessions were ultimately abandoned. Pick started over with a new producer, Jonathan Anderson (Andy Shauf, Aidan Knight, Jordan Klassen), at his rural studio in Maple Ridge, BC (Protection Island). Returning each song to its essence, Passages was recorded with a newfound confidence in a rush of inspiration over just a few weeks. The album features contributions from a number of well-regarded Vancouver singer-songwriters and instrumentalists, including Jordan Klassen, Taylor Swindells (The Tourist Company), Bre McDaniel, Skye Brooks (Co-Pilots, Fond Of Tigers), and string arrangements by sibling duo Brian and Caleb Chan (Dear Rouge, Holy Hum). Passages is slated for release on all major music platforms May 22, 2020. "Lighter Side of Blue" is out via all digital platforms now https://soundcloud.com/zaac-pick/lighter-side-of-blue/s-yIHSg
 

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Alternate Takes Album Alternate Takes, my latest digital album, has been released at Bandcamp. The recordings in this collection are alternate versions of eight originals that are on my previous albums. The 8-track album is $7. The music can be streamed (with the free Bandcamp app) or downloaded. As another option, individual recordings are $1 per track. Purchases help to fund new recordings of my originals. My recent digital albums comprise a 7-volume collection with 53 recordings of my originals. Each album has its own character, styles, and moods. Here is a link to the album: https://rogeraldridge.bandcamp.com/album/alternate-takes
 

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Musicology Podcast Interviews- Ali Hugo "Musicology is a podcast broadcasted from Lagos Nigeria. The show interviews musicians from all over the world about the changing face of the music industry. In this Episode show host, John Ngarimo talks to successful Canadian singer-songwriter Ali Hugo about his success as an indie artist and the challenges of the digital music industry"  Click below to Listen:-  https://ethnocloud.com/Ali_Hugo/?song=12623&b=7743
 

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New album out now Norwegian-Cape Verde artist Ary Morais's new record "Norcabo" has just been made available on digital platforms. This album, Ary Morais' fourth album, invites us to travel through the most famous Cape Verde musical styles such as morna, coladeira, funaná, but also through Caribbean rhythms influenced by Norwegian folk and jazz. Check out here: https://open.spotify.com/album/16Jl6LsFJRxKIPXcp5LAxo? https://music.apple.com/us/album/ary-morais-norcabo/1504753861? With best regards Ary Morais
 

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Ary Morais
Ary Morais (05/04/20 17:18)
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