Tag Archives: classical

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Darlene Koldenhoven’s new album has reached #1 on the Soundslikecafe instrumental chart

GRAMMY® Award Winner and 3 time Nominee Darlene Koldenhoven’s new album ‘Traveling the Blissful Highway’ has been cruising up the Soundslikecafe  charts since its release in October and has now hit the number 1 instrumental album spot!!
Not only that but the single ‘Jade Dreams’ is hanging out at number 2 on the overall top 10.

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 The album also had local Australian articles in Scenestr magazine and Whats My Scene. Darlene was recently interviewed across the pond for Aparna Vats Point of View show on Alive 90.5 fm Sydney.

The chart position isn’t surprising considering these great reviews of the album below:

It is some of the most relaxing and
dreamy music you will have the pleasure of enjoying – a slice of heaven.
– Keith “Muzik Man” Hannaleck, New Age Music Reviews, Founder 7/18/22

The music of “Traveling the Blissful Highway” is colored with many colors, as if you are enthusiastically
leafing through a color album of a wonderful photographer who captured the most beautiful landscapes
that he met on his way. And each new page is even more beautiful… There is sophistication and a lot of the
smallest nuances in its perfect sounding music. A wonderful end to a hard day, bringing peace to the soul
and clearing the mind of worries.
– Serge Kozlovsky, Minsk, Belarus skozlovsky.com 7/30/22

“Traveling the Blissful Highway is an album you will want as your musical companion, to help make your life
joumey a more enjoyable and beautiful discovery. Darlene’s experience and exposure to varied cultures,
countries and traditions have contributed positively to her broad and diverse vision of humanity and our
world which comes through in her musical compositions and especially shines on this album.”
-Lizzette Cascante, Aurelscapes 8/3/22

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Travel with Darlene Koldenhoven and her musicians on the blissful highway in her new album that features twelve instrumental tracks including four with her angelic, harmonic vocalese, occasionally used as background instrumentation. All of her compositions and arrangements invite us to go out and see the world and have a good rest at the end of an exquisite day. There are 53:46 minutes of colorful timbres and some nature sounds to keep you balanced, focused, refreshed, and joyfully relaxed. Darlene performs on keyboard synths, creating a culture of calm: half the album has ethnic influences to gently keep you going on the road and half lets you exit to the rest areas. Even when real travel is not in the picture, pack these traveling soundscapes for your inner and outer journey. With this album, the only passport you’ll need for these destination cities – peace, calm, happiness and bliss is your own mindfulness to visit them and the album as your tour guide.

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About

GRAMMY® Award Winner and 3 time Nominee, Darlene Koldenhoven is a vocalist, pianist, composer, arranger, lyricist, speaker, and sonic therapist from Studio City, CA, born and raised in Chicago, IL. Her last two albums, “The Grand Piano Spa” and “The Grand Piano Spa: Legacy” debuted on the prestigious Billboard Classical Crossover Charts at #4 and #8, respectively in May & November 2021.

She was inducted to the Indie Music Hall of Fame at the GRAMMY® Museum in 2019 by the Indie Music Channel Awards and the COVR Award hailed her “Chromatones” as Album of the Year a few months later. Several of her albums ranked #1 on the worldwide ZMR Radio Charts and she has 2 Best New Age Vocal Album and Best Holiday Album from ZMR.

Darlene is best known worldwide as the featured soprano in “Yanni, Live at the Acropolis” and for her role as the tambourine-waving choir nun in both “Sister Act” films with Whoopi Goldberg.

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Gareth Koch Releases Single ‘Flamenco Arabe’

More sublime Spanish Flamenco Guitar from Australia’s very own Gareth Koch.

Moorish influence in flamenco music goes back thousands of years, but it was the Islamic invasion in 711, that determined the musical influences from North Africa. The Moors and Arabs brought their musical forms to the Peninsula. The Emirate, and later Caliphate of Córdoba became a centre of influence in both the Muslim and Christian worlds where it attracted musicians from all Islamic countries.

This flamenco piece starts with a Tabor drum and includes some bass guitar filling out the lower frequencies. The song evokes a Middle-Eastern as well as a flamenco mood and as always the playing is superb and is a worthy addition to the monthly single releases Gareth is undertaking.

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About Gareth Koch

Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.

Born in Milan, Koch began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning a scholarship for advanced guitar study at the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music.

In 2002 Koch formed what might be termed the first guitar supergroup. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to number 1 on the classical music charts and appeared on the pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums.

Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & in 2020 released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).

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GK arabe

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Gareth Koch Releases Single ‘Soleares Flamenco’

Soleares is one of the most profound forms of flamenco, often referred to as the heart & soul of the genre. The mood is solemn & grand & when sung the lyrics are deeply heartfelt. The style originated among the Calé Romani people of Cádiz or Seville in Andalusia. The metre or ‘compás’ of Soleares is one of the most widely used in flamenco & is the foundation style for many flamenco forms. The track was recorded in a single take on a beautiful Ignacio Rozas flamenco guitar, hand-built in Madrid.

Song Description

Tasteful nylon string guitar begins this full sounding flamenco piece. Traditional guitar ‘knocks’ feature here and there on the percussion side. The song is so masterfully played it’s hard to imagine that it is just one guitarist and done in one take.

About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Born in Milan, Koch began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning a scholarship for advanced guitar study at the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music.
In 2002 Koch formed what might be termed the first guitar supergroup. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to number 1 on the classical music charts and appeared on the pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & in 2020 released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).

Soleares Flamenco is OUT NOW – via MGM

Stream / download here:

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CoverWEBHeavenly Voices

Fiona Joy Hawkins and Rebecca Daniel Present Heavenly Voices

Australian musicians Fiona Joy Hawkins and Rebecca Daniel team up once again to create a remarkable acoustic new age album titled Heavenly Voices. Recorded and mixed by Grammy-nominated producer Cookie Marenco and released under Marenco’s own label Blue Coast Records, Heavenly Voices sounds close and present. The entirety of the album was performed live in Blue Coast’s Extended Sound Environment (E.S.E.) and recorded straight to DSD256 (1). Expert recording techniques combined with the high definition audio bring to life every rich keystroke and string vibration. Heavenly Voices is a testament to what great musicianship and audio engineering can accomplish.

2 Portrait LOD Rebecca and Fiona

Pianist Fiona Joy Hawkins has won several awards including Album of the Year by Zone Music Rewards, Best New Age Album by Independent Music Rewards, and her song “Grace” was featured on a Grammy Award winning album in 2014 (2). Violinist Rebecca Daniel has performed around the world. The Australian Chamber Orchestra in Sydney invited her to join their ranks where she held duties as the Orchestra Leader for several of their productions (3). Both virtuoso in their own right, together Hawkins and Daniel make for an incomparable team.

Checkout the video

HV Video

Hawkins’ pensive piano playing lays the foundation for Daniel’s expressive violin work. Listeners will become immersed in the evocative melodies and harmonies, where the piano and violin have their own emotions that they wish to convey. Tracks such as “Sugar Plum Ghost,” “The Lightness of Dark,” and the title song “Heavenly Voices” also feature Hawkins’ and Daniel’s voices, adding a greater ethereal element. Though every part was performed live, much of the album sounds other-worldly, as though Hawkins and Daniel are pulling back the curtain to reveal a glimpse into the afterlife. In a way, Heavenly Voices is a lament. It evokes feelings of grief and loss, though not without a ray of hope, as if the very impermanence that causes our mourning is also the source of beauty upon which we gaze.

Onstage DUO

Expertly crafted in composition, performance, and production, Heavenly Voices is an album that fans of contemporary classical music will not want to miss. We’re sure once you hear the music this will be a MUST HAVE!

This is how the piano and violin were meant to sound!

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Gareth Koch releases new single ‘Zambra Flamenca’

Gareth’s second flamenco single for 2022 is the Zambra Flamenca – an upbeat, high adrenaline, skirt-swirling flamenco guitar solo. The track was recorded in a single take on a beautiful Ignacio Rozas flamenco guitar, hand-built in Madrid.

The Zambra is a style of flamenco dance, typical of the Gypsies of the provinces of Granada and Almería in Andalusia. It was often danced during wedding ceremonies, although nowadays it is frequently performed in the caves of Sacromonte in Granada and in the caves of Almería. It is danced barefoot with finger cymbals; the blouse is tied under the bust and the skirt is very tight around the hips, then flares out and has a ruffle at the end.

Song Description

Gareth’s Zambra Flamenca shows the mid-tempo side of Spanish flamenco nylon string guitar. This allows for more intricate finger picking and a deeper emotional message from the music. Gareth’s delivery is nothing short of astounding and the sounds capture you straight away. Highly recommended.

About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Born in Milan, Koch began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning a scholarship for advanced guitar study at the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music.
In 2002 Koch formed what might be termed the first guitar supergroup. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to number 1 on the classical music charts and appeared on the pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & in 2020 released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).

Zambra Flamenca is OUT NOW – via MGM
Stream / download here:

Connect with Gareth Koch: 

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Gareth Koch Releases New Single ‘Rumba Latina’

Andalcia Spain, 1975. A young boy sits enthralled at the feet of a flamenco guitarist, feeling the addictive power of this music for the first time. The spirit of flamenco enters his soul forever. Since then Gareth Koch has woven a diverse life in music. In a career spanning over 20 albums he holds a PhD, has won an ARIA, is a multi-instrumentalist & writes across diverse genres.

In its purest form flamenco combines elements of song, dance, percussion & guitar playing. As early as the 4th century B.C, Roman chroniclers praised the dancers of Andalucia. From then on the history of the region saw a succession of invasions & immigrations by Romans, Jews, Vandals, Celts, Arabs, Berbers & Gypsies.

During Islamic rule (711) the exiled Gypsies created a unique music which retained strong Eastern & Moorish characteristics. The guitar put in a relatively late appearance in this musical epic. Its most direct ancestor arrived on the scene in the 17th century in the Christian courts of Spain, before it spread to folk music to such an extent that it has become a national symbol of Spain.

The ‘Rumba’ is now one of the most popular styles in the flamenco genre.

About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Born in Milan, Koch began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning a scholarship for advanced guitar study at the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music.
In 2002 Koch formed what might be termed the first guitar supergroup. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to number 1 on the classical music charts and appeared on the pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & in 2020 released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).

Stream / download here:

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Gareth Koch New Reviews

GARETH KOCH

ELIZABETHAN JANGLE

A CHRISTMAS ALBUM

Foghorn Records

 The past couple of years has seen the recorded output of classically trained guitarist Gareth Koch rise exponentially to match (almost) that of his most recent musical collaborator, Steve Kilbey, releasing two solo albums, an EP, Code Blue, and now a second EP, Elizabethan Jangle – really a mini-album, its seven pieces succinctly and elegantly arranged and performed – all instrumental, as well as two albums with Kilbey within the past 20 months. This time around, Koch has returned to familiar territory, the music for lute composed by John Dowland (1563-1626), some of whose catalogue he’s recorded for ABC Classical. This time around he’s “reimagined” some Dowland, as well as Henry VIII’s ‘Greensleeves’, and rearranged some pieces from the Elizabethan era for a contemporary audience, the solo lute replaced by flamenco, classical and steel-string guitars, occasionally accompanied by Hofner and Rickenbacker basses as well as the odd bit of bodhran (I think), the additional instrumentation, all played by Koch, never overwhelming the central melodies, which drift between feisty and celebratory and liltingly romantic. ‘Tis pity ‘tis so short a time one gets to share with this remarkable minstrel in this context. Another dozen pieces please! Ensuring some sort of continuity with his even more prolific collaborator, the pastel portrait of Koch gracing the CD’s cover is by Steve Kilbey. Just for good measure, Koch released a third solo album just before Christmas 2021, his take on a variety of Christmas music from medieval through traditional to ‘Little Drummer Boy’, again all beautifully arranged and performed, nothing saccharine, so keen readers might want to grab a copy of A Christmas Album to put away for Christmas 2022.

MICHAEL SMITH

Stream Elizabethan Jangle here:

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Gareth Koch Releases ‘A Christmas Album’

Imagine timeless European Christmas music played instrumentally, as if upon a choir of lutes. Ancient & exquisite songs, deep within the human psyche, are now newly arranged by ARIA Award winning guitarist Gareth Koch. The interpretations reveal his signature blend of contemporary flair laced with medieval sensibilities.

The arrangements are both elegant & appealing, sidestepping any notion of commercialised Christmas clichés. Re-imagined as troubadour-like ballads or tender Austrian folk songs, each carol receives a unique treatment. The listener is invited into an array of soundworlds, ranging from the early medieval to English folk-revival.

The music of this album leads us away from the bustle of many modern realities. Instead, we are drawn into a gentler universe, filled with subtlety & nuance. In any year, at any time, this album presents a Christmas message we all need to hear.

Song Description
Little Drummer Boy
This timeless mid-tempo classic Christmas carol is dealt with not just using multiple classical guitar parts but with hand percussion and rice shakers.

Ding Dong Merrily On High
An up-tempo and superbly played Christmas piece dating right back to the 1800’s. Even some 12 string electric features in Gareth’s new arrangement.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
A very old piece, dated to the 16th century and referred to in Charles Dickens ‘A Christmas Carol’. Gareth recreates the vocal melody perfectly and becomes a terrific hum along piece. Bass guitar rounds out the arrangement featuring multiple guitars: acoustic, nylon string and electric creating a lush sonic tapestry.

About Gareth Koch
Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & song writing. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects. Over the past two years he has released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church). Earlier this year a third collaboration with Steve saw the release of double album ‘The Hall of Counterfeits’ which was nominated in this years AMP Prize.

A Christmas Album is OUT NOW  November 26th – via MGM
Pre order CDs in shrink wrapped double gatefold package below

Order CD from the Official Store or stream/download below

CD’s Also available at good retail record stores across Australia

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GARETH KOCH RELEASES THE ELIZABETHAN JANGLE EP

Release Date:  September 3rd  (Foghorn/MGM) Digital Platforms
and CD in Store.
Genre- World/Classical

Imagine music from the time of Shakespeare colliding with the Byrds & the 60’s jangle of 12-string guitars.  A fanciful scenario, yet one of the many wonders art & music can perform.

During the reign of Elizabeth I the lute was the king of instruments.  Its chief exponent, John Dowland, was England’s star musician.  He wrote music for Shakespeare’s plays & was lauded across Europe.

Fast forward some 400 years to classically-trained Gareth Koch who re-contextualises Elizabethan music in a contemporary framework.  The lutes are replaced by flamenco, classical & steel-string guitars, while the viols give way to Hofner & Rickenbacker basses.

This brand new musical endeavour embraces both informed historical performance practise & pop sensibilities.  Add to this an over-arching aesthetic derived from shimmering guitar pop & we have a new sound, the sound of Elizabethan Jangle.

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Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & song writing.  He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects.  Over the past two years he has released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).  Earlier this year a third collaboration with Steve saw the release of double album ‘The Hall of Counterfeits’.

Song Descriptions
Can She Excuse
The opening track to this fascinating step back in time to the world of troubadours and courtiers and palace commissioned concerts.  Koch’s mastery of the Classical Guitar is augmented by his skills at percussion and arrangement to create a world music element as well.

The Hags of Gloucester

The title alone is intriguing and sure enough the track doesn’t disappoint with soaring peaks of guitar arpeggios and subtle percussion and jangling backing guitars.

Praetorian Jangle

Maybe if classical guitar had been around in Roman times you would have heard this in Caesar’s court or in The Forum.  With a bit of a military backbeat and some other percussion the guitars layered on top tell the whole story.

Fun Fact
The unique original oil portrait was painted by Steve Kilbey.

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Elizabethan Jangle is OUT TODAY September 3rd – via MGM
All DSP’s and CD’s from official store below

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