Tag Archives: instrumental

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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).

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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.

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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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Gareth Koch Releases New Solo Album ‘Saladin’s Dream’

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 ‘The Hall of Counterfeits’.

On his new solo project, ‘Saladin’s Dream’, Gareth explores the fanciful notion of Saladin’s dreamworld – his unconscious desires and wishes.  Saladin (1137-1193) was a warrior/sultan & ruler of Egypt, best known for his war against Christian Crusaders and the capture of Jerusalem.
Dreams and their significance in waking life are an enduring source of mystery.  On this album Saladin is visited nightly by ancient gods, bringing with them their harps & music of the underworld.  He then spirals into the mayhem of dark assignations with a succubus before veering into the chaos of an Egyptian bazaar. In his free-flowing dreams Saladin embarks on a surreal journey into the future, encountering Macbeth’s witches and their cats.
The album meanders effortlessly through a landscape of goatherds, ancient cities and other worlds.  Saladin’s Dream can be seen as a synthesis of Gareth’s musical journeys, ranging from classical, flamenco, medieval, folk & rock, flowing seamlessly into the realm of free experimentation & creativity.

Tracklist

Song Descriptions
Bazaar
This soundscape like track takes you to the Middle Eastern Markets of The Silk Road in ancient times.  With oud’s, guitars, hand percussion, even some calls to prayer like wailing this truly evokes a time and place – think The Arabian Knights put to music.

Saladin’s Dream
The title track to this new album by Gareth Koch, exactly half down the track order it creates a neat bridge from some of the more eastern sounds into what we may term more classical ones.  Some beautiful guitar melodies layered onto backing that includes resonating vocal textures.

The Nefarious Goatherd
Belying the tongue in cheek title this song moves along at a good pace and includes some solid bass and low-end percussion that keeps up the pace nicely.  With similar instrumentation to the album – background vocal layers, stringed instruments over the bass and percussion elements.

Saladin’s Dream is OUT TODAY July 9th – via MGM

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For further information, Files, CD and Interview Requests please contact:
Marshall Cullen at Foghorn Media
0416 143 030
marshall@foghornrecords.net

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GARETH KOCH feat. SHEYANA New Single I ONLY WANNA BE WITH YOU

Great songs tend to resurface on a regular basis. Composed by Mike Hawker & Ivor Raymonde, ‘I Only Want to Be with You’ was the debut solo single released in 1964 by British singer Dusty Springfield.

Since then the song has been the subject of countless remakes, usually up-tempo versions, used seemingly as a vehicle to break emerging artists into the music industry. It’s an old trick but a good one to use a successful song in this manner.

Gareth Koch & Sheyana have adopted a completely different approach in their interpretation. The central idea was to delve into the core sentiment of the song & to reveal what might lie within. Simmering under the surface of what is generally considered an up-beat pop song lurked something more profound. This recording reveals a poignantly heartfelt, almost bluesy interpretation, laced with classical guitars combined with plaintive dobro/slide guitar.

The companion piece is Gareth’s instrumental version of Steve Kilbey’s ‘Think of You’. Released originally in 2020 on Steve’s ‘Eleven Women’ album (featuring Gareth on keyboard, bass & classical guitar), the depth of writing lends itself to a non-vocal version. Similar instrumentation is used on both tracks: National Baritone Guitar, Classical Guitar & Hofner Bass Guitar.

Featuring the vocals of Shey from The Sheyana Band, this beautiful acoustic version of the timeless classic melds the classical influences of Koch’s guitar with Shey’s striking voice. Think Tuck and Patti.

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Gareth Koch new album The Guitar Player

GARETH KOCH NEW ALBUM THE GUITAR PLAYER

Following the EP Code Blue earlier this year and taking time out from multiple Steve Kilbey projects, Gareth has put together this superb selection of his classical guitar work recorded in two European locations, a remote Austrian village chapel & a baroque Viennese monastery, while living in Europe for over two decades.

A curious & ancient bond unites the selections on this recording. Performed entirely on the ‘Spanish’ guitar, these works have been moulded by the traditions of Spanish classical music & the passionate folk art of flamenco. The musicological connection between folk & classical music is well documented, a phenomenon in which composers incorporate the spirit of folk music into their work. Spanish music is often imbued with the fire of ‘Gypsy song’, whose powerful artistic reach extends well beyond Spain.

ARIA Award winner Gareth Koch is uniquely placed as an interpreter of Spanish music. Trained in Vienna & Madrid, he brings both classical & flamenco perspectives to his interpretation. He is joined on tracks 3, 9 & 12 by Viennese cellist Herwig Tachezi – former Principal Cellist of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

 ‘The Guitar Player’ is an entirely natural acoustic recording using direct source microphones and purely the ambient spaces of the chapel’s thereby avoiding any extra processing.


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).

The Guitar Player is OUT NOW – September 18 via MGM
All DSP’s and CD’s in store from October

 

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For further information, Files, CD and Interview Requests please contact:
Marshall Cullen at Foghorn Media
0416 143 030
marshall@foghornrecords.net

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Fiona Joy Hawkins New Album Moving Through Worlds

Fiona Joy Hawkin’s Presents New Album and Video
Moving Through Worlds

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: writing 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 Moving Through Worlds.

Although she began recording and conceptualizing the album three years ago, one could say it is an album 44-years in the making. One of the more classical-crossover pieces is “For the Roses” which a 12-year-old Fiona wrote for her Grandmother’s funeral.

Fiona says, “I believe music is a gift from another world, from ancestors of the past communicating to inspire and give us hope. Music is a universal language that connects us without prejudice, it speaks to us all equally, yet is received with great variation. My wish is to open a few more hearts to the power of music. Now more than ever we need the connection to our past to find the pathway to our future.”

The 14-track album was beautifully produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records) and Tom Eaton. As per her usual style, Fiona defies genre by bringing Classical, Contemporary Piano, and New Age instrumentals together to create something uniquely her own, and reflective of all the worlds that she has moved through so elegantly while this powerful music gathered in her soul.

Fiona Joy Hawkins is an Australian Pianist, Composer and Singer who enjoys and regularly tours China and the USA and is also a member of the Contemporary instrumental group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). Fiona Joy Hawkins is best known for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements. A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and tells stories.

Fiona Joy is known for ‘Grace’, her song on a Grammy Winning album in 2014 and for her extensive catalogue produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records). In 2016 she won two categories of the Independent Music Awards at the Lincoln Centre in New York and has been awarded Best Piano Album by International Radio (ZMR Awards) for several of her albums. Nominated alongside Pete Seeger for Best LIVE Performance Album in the Independent Music Awards,Fiona was an ARIA Finalist in Australia in 2008. Fiona works with Australian piano maker Stuart and Sons, and has several albums with Blue Coast Records (content partners with Sony Music for hi-resolution releases).

Watch the Video (Premiered on Scenstr) for Calling County Clare here

In the case of Fiona Joy Hawkins’ latest collection Moving Through Worlds, there are glorious exceptions where it’s not hyperbole in any sense and fits today, tomorrow and for all…let’s just say I can’t imagine there ever being a time in the future when listening to this deeply personal, socially conscious, stylistically expansive 14-track musical narrative would grip me any less than it does today, in the midst of world gone mad 2020. – Jonathan Widran, JWVibe

“Moving Through Worlds” is OUT NOW (July 7) via Little Hartley Music. 

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For further information, Files,  CD and Interview Requests please contact:
Marshall Cullen at Foghorn Media
0416 143 030
marshall@foghornrecords.net

 

Fiona Joy Hawkins

Fiona Joy Hawkins’ New Single and Video

Fiona Joy Hawkin’s Presents New Single and Video
 Calling County Clare

Music for this moment… A piano journey that finds joy. Calling County Clare is the first track on Fiona Joy’s upcoming album Moving Through Worlds due out 7 July. Calling County Clare is a Celtic dance and joyful celebration featuring piano with Irish Whistle, guitars, accordion and rhythm. In the video Fiona is standing on the shores of Town Beach at Port Macquarie and calling to the shores of Ireland. There’s some really beautiful drone footage of the Irish coast throughout the video shot specifically for the clip.

Fiona Joy Hawkins is an Australian Pianist, Composer and Singer who enjoys and regularly tours China and the USA and is also a member of the Contemporary instrumental group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). Fiona Joy Hawkins is best known for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements. A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and tells stories.

Fiona Joy is known for ‘Grace’, her song on a Grammy Winning album in 2014 and for her extensive catalogue produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records). In 2016 she won two categories of the Independent Music Awards at the Lincoln Centre in New York and has been awarded Best Piano Album by International Radio (ZMR Awards) for several of her albums. Nominated alongside Pete Seeger for Best LIVE Performance Album in the Independent Music Awards,Fiona was an ARIA Finalist in Australia in 2008. Fiona works with Australian piano maker Stuart and Sons, and has several albums with Blue Coast Records (content partners with Sony Music for hi-resolution releases).

Watch the Video (Premiered last week on Scenstr) for Calling County Clare here

Blue Coast owner/producer Cookie Marenco says, “Fiona’s melodic solo piano and masterful performances are the perfect music to debut the kind of clarity double DSD audio brings to the home listener,”

“One of the brightest lights in contemporary instrumental music, Fiona Joy is poised to move into stardom,” -Will Ackerman, Founder of Windham Hill Records

“Calling County Clare” is OUT NOW via FOGHORN/MGM. 

Streaming “Calling County Clare”
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For further information, Files, CD and Interview Requests please contact:
Marshall Cullen at Foghorn Media
0416 143 030
marshall@foghornrecords.net