Tag Archives: ambient

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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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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

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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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Peter Sterling’s Latest Album ‘The Winding Way’

I worked on this record for over one year during the time of the global pandemic and lock down. Tucked away from the world in my home studio, these songs came forth from my heart and soul during this difficult time for all of us. As in music so in life says the back cover. I have found as many others have that our life is not a trek from point A to point B, but rather a meandering journey down the Winding Way with many unexpected twists and turns along the path to the destination of our hopes and dreams. My wish is that this music will uplift and bring joy to your heart and soul as you journey forth. - Peter Sterling

About Peter Sterling
Born in Santa Monica, Peter began playing the piano at 6 years old, first accompanying his brother who was practicing violin. When he was 33 Peter moved to Sedona, Arizona, drawn to its energy vortices, its natural beauty, and its powerful connection to a higher purpose in life. It was in Sedona that Peter discovered his affinity for, or more accurately, his mystical connection with the Celtic harp. It was 1993 and he took to the instrument, without any formal training or lessons, like the proverbial fish to water.

His career as a recording artist began in 1994 with his first album, Harp Magic, released on the World Disc label. Success came almost immediately as the recording was nominated for the Best Instrumental Album award by NAIRD (now A2IM), an organization for independent musicians. His acclaim continued and grew exponentially in the 2000s with multiple nominations from the prestigious website New Age Reporter/Zone Music Reporter, including several nominations for Album of the Year. His albums consistently charted high up in their top 100, including grabbing the #1 spot for his 2013 release, Twilight Serenade. While his recent works are released on his own Harp Magic label (including his 2018 album, Magic Kingdom), Real Music, one of the giants of new age music, released his Shadow, Mist and Light album in 2005. His most recent recognition came in 2017 when he shared the Hollywood Music and Media Award for Best New Age song. In addition, Divine Reflection from Sanctuary of Light won the HMMA for Best Ambient/New Age song of 2021 and Sanctuary won the 2021 COVR Silver Award in the Visionary Music category.

When he is asked, “What is the best part of being a musician?” Peter answers, “Creating music that touches the heart and soul of listeners… bringing peace and healing to people all over the world. I love receiving letters about how my music has touched peoples’ lives.” Peter looks back at his path to the present now and humbled at his worldwide success. Back when he was recording his first 8-track compositions on a cassette tape in Byron Bay, Australia, and then marketing it by going door-to-door to Sedona’s stores, he could scarcely imagine that one day his music would reach people across the planet through international airplay (Pandora, SiriusXM, Soundscapes) as well as on major airlines (United and American).

Composed & produced by Peter Sterling for Harp Magic Music (BMI)
Peter Plays a custom made Lyon and Healy electric Troubador, keyboards, vocals, percussion, freenote chimes, G-Dov Gertzweig/violin, Richard Hardy silver and bamboo flutes, Hans Christian Cello
Mastered by Eric Boulanger, The Bakery Sony studios Culver City

The Winding Way is OUT NOW – via Harp Magic Music

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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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Connect with Gareth Koch: 

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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 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

All DSP’s and CD’s from

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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. 

Streaming

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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