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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
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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
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Connect with Gareth Koch: 

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:
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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. 

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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

Tim Walker

Tim Walker’s New Album Bridge of Angels Out Now

Ex-Sydney singer-songwriter Tim Walker moved back to his hometown of Adelaide earlier this year and immediately began recording this new album, his first for a while.

The album was inspired by a recent trip to Europe, where Tim was struck by a culture saturated with centuries of spiritual and religious symbols, strivings and sentiments. The new album has more universal themes than his first (Fellow Traveller), which was very Sydney-oriented.

Beginning in folk, he went into a country rock act, and now is a prolific soloist, doing gigs around Adelaide. He was a regular on the Sydney live circuit and played at several NSW festivals. He found a SA recording studio in Grange this year, and immediately began laying down tracks according to a careful plan, devised over many months.

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Track list with Descriptions:
  1. On The Bridge (a prelude): This is a crossroad, of civilisation, of history, the course of your own life, a juncture, a leap. The “bridge” refers to Rome’s Bridge of Angels of the album’s title, which is lined with 10 angels and overlooked by a castle, on the River Tiber. A short classical piece, it provides the thematic underpinning of the entire album – a beautiful, floating spark of hope and redemption for a world in flux.
  2. The Loving Arms (those we love): The race is on from the day you are born as time and love play off against each other, and the kindness of strangers. The real currency of life, more valuable than gold or silver, never to be taken for granted.
  3. Every Story Tells a Picture (the plague): With 7.8 billion people on Earth and millions more being added every year, we are running out of everything, including our humanity and our judgement.
  4. Mirror of Love (a reflection):A photograph can lie, but love cannot lie. It is the ultimate mirror.
  5. Red Velvet Chair (a friend in need): When you sit in this chair you tell the truth, and the truth is told to you. It’s the advice of a friend, the helping hand. But hey, you can have some fun with it too!
  6. Streets of Rome (eyes are opened): The ancient capital was no stranger to the album’s themes. Without the benefit of science, its original citizensinvented their own answers to life, preserved today with respect and awe, embedded in every stone of the city. And they had to deal with the same spiritual questions as us. Rome was therefore the accidental epicentre of the album.
  7. The Bolshie Swing (the dance): Time for a break. This track started off as a playful riff and expanded into a mini-orchestra, was left on the shelf for a while, then rushed into action as track 7. It was the understudy.
  8. Face Without a Name (stare inside): Ultimately we are just one of the crowd. It’s a big world and that crowd is made up of billions. Not often can we roar; more often at most we can squeak. Not invisible -but maybe only a “hill of beans”, as Bogart said in one of his films.
  9. Fly into the Sunrise (flying home): You have been away, seen many things. Now you wing your way on a long flight home, from the nighttime behind (the past) to the sunrise ahead (the future). The huge jet streams past, its passengers look out and simultaneously look in, through half-asleep eyes; the moment is sublime.
  10. Star (inspiration): Maybe it’s love at first sight; maybe it’s the inspiration that keeps alive a distant flame. Perhaps it’s fate.

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Tailor Birds (AUS)

Tailor Birds NEW ALBUM – Where Will We Go To Break Free From The Crows

Sophie Kinston is Tailor Birds.
Tailor Birds newest album is music that soothes the soul, warms the spirit, and ignites your passion.
Even though the content is 6 songs they are each a 7-10 minute ‘Piece’ forming an album length body of work. Following the success of the previous work ‘Stilts on the Water’ (a single 40 minute piece) this release explores further electro/folk/world territory with more instrumentation such as Piano and Flute added to the already lush soundscape. Recorded in various studios throughout Europe while on tour and mixed and mastered  at Damien Gerard Studios Sydney the sonic quality is exceptional.

In Sophie’s own words, “Tailor Birds combines electronic violin, live looping, foley art, percussion, and rich harmonised vocals, to create a sound like no other. A sound that is all about the vibe and positive energy, building an audience that is as diverse as much as it is one, you could say that Sophie is a traveling troubadour. She believes that music should not just be about playing one gig after another with just the music making an impact, but is also o about connecting people to something good again, in a world that is constantly changing. Music needs to inspire and placing Tailor Birds in a space that can do just that, it makes an impact greater than you could ever imagine.”

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“Faint echoes of Kate Bush here, Enya there  but really like neither and often much spookier”
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Michael Smith – Rhythms Magazine

Tailor Birds’ key influences are Sigur Ros, the Kronos Quartet, Bear’s Den, Chet Faker and more. 
-=Sophie Kinston

Tailor Birds is currently touring through Australia.

Friday October 26 – Miama Marketta, Miami QLD

Saturday October 27 – Storytellers Festival, Raymond Terrace, NSW

Saturday November 3 – The Sound Society, Rainforest Green, South Bank Parklands, Brisbane QLD

Sunday November 4 – Peregian Beach Markets, QLD

Saturday November 17 – Cooran Acoustic Night,  Cooran QLD

Tune into these radio stations this week to hear Sophie talk about her new album and the tour.  Click the station logos to listen live via their websites!

 BAY FM 99.9 Byron Bay – Arts Canvass show at 9am this Thursday November 1

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4ZZZ Melbourne – Goldilocks Folk show at 6pm this Saturday November 3

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Rachel LaFond

Rachel LaFond – New Album – Encounters of the Beautiful Kind

Rachel LaFond – New Album – Encounters of the Beautiful Kind

 

Come along on a powerful musical journey inspired by Rachel LaFond’s experience, of being a stranger in a new country. New Zealand to be precise where she now calls home.

This beautiful solo Piano Album was recorded in high resolution audio at her home and mastered by the golden ears of Mike Bloemendahl.

The music explores universal human experiences: feelings of loneliness, worries about not being good enough, and the evolution we undergo as existing friendships change or fade while new connections spring to life.

This journey culminates in the realisation that as we bear each other up and connect with one another, we make the world a more beautiful place for all of us.

Rachel LaFond

About Rachel LaFond:

Rachel LaFond is an American composer and pianist now residing in New Zealand who has been steeped in musicality her entire life. Her appreciation of the piano began when she was a toddler as her mother (a piano teacher) played with a young Rachel on her lap. She began formal lessons at age five, and by the time Rachel was eleven, she began teaching lessons herself. She lived in Vienna and studied piano performance there as a teenager, then returned home to major in piano at the University of Washington. After university, she continued to teach and perform professionally, but for years Rachel didn’t realise she had a talent for writing music hidden inside herself until David.

David she had met just weeks ago. Rachel couldn’t stop thinking about him on one rainy autumn afternoon, everything changed. Gazing out the window of her teaching studio, Distraction transformed into inspiration, and by the end of that evening she had finished her first original piece, Loving in the Rain. This first piece stood alone for a while as Rachel got swept up in life’s adventures: Rachel and David got married, quit their jobs, and embarked on a year of long-term travel around the world.

Rachel’s music is inspired by, and engages with, the full depth of human experience. Whether she’s capturing the heady wooziness of falling in love or responding to the chest-cracking pain of Barcelonans who suffered in the terror attack of summer 2017, her pieces are unflinching and compel the listener to lean into the feeling of the song for just a moment more. Rachel’s drive to bring beauty, light, and kindness to dark places through her music lends a striking sense of purpose to her creative work. And she’s just getting started.

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All recorded in Auckland, New Zealand in Rachel’s home.

Mastering by Mike Bloemendahl

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Loren Evarts (USA)

Loren Evarts- Newest album Home Again

Loren Evarts newest album Home Again

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Home Again is the 6th original album, of this amazing contemporary pianist. It revisits several pieces previously recorded by Loren in the 1980’s, and eight new ones. It was produced by Grammy award winner Will Ackerman (Windham Hill Records) at his Imaginary Road studio in West River valley, Windham County, Vermont and was engineered by Tom Eaton.

Featuring Grammy-winning artists and Grammy-nominated Artists Eugene Friesen on cello (Paul Winter, Trio  Globo), Rhonda Larson on many types of flutes (Paul Winter, Ventus) and Jeff Haynes on percussion (Pat Metheny, Pete Seeger), bassist Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel and King Crimson).

Besides Piano, Loren Evarts has been known to perform by singing, trombone, hammered dulcimer and organ.

Loren has performed professionally in the Connecticut area of USA in a variety of musical situations for over 40 years. He has been grateful to have been involved in performances with artists such as Dave Weckl (Chick Corea), Gerry Neiwood (Chuck  Mangione), Everett Silver (Chuck Mangione), Mike Davis (Rolling Stones), Danny Stiles (Bill Watrous), Fred Vigdor (Average White Band), Rhonda Larson (Paul Winter Consort).

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About Loren Evarts:

I was in first grade when I heard a fellow classmate play the piano, and I said, “Hey, I want to do that, too.” Of course, I had no idea that you had to practice, which made me think twice about my choice. But due to frequent beatings from my mom, I persisted, Partially kidding!

I started playing classical piano at age 7, but like a lot of kids, I started listening to pop radio in middle school. Fortunately, I was allowed to stick in a few popular tunes in my lessons along with the serious music. In high school I started to get influenced by jazz. My biggest influences were bands like Chicago and Tower of Power, Elton John, James  Taylor, Carole King, Jazz singer Al  Jarreau, and jazz pianists like Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Liz Story.

What can a crowd expect at a live show? 

My music is probably best described as a mix of new age, jazz, classical and world. It’s piano-based but sometimes I will add a percussionist, bassist or woodwind player for concerts.

What are your future plans for 2018/2019?

Well, I am an American so, like many of my fellow citizens, I am looking to survive until 2020(enough on politics). But otherwise, At my stage of the game, I just want to put out a good product, and I hope to write some new material now that my newest album has been released. And that means I have to sit down at the piano and start! I am always gratified when people enjoy my music. I no longer crave being a big star. It’s nice being in this place.

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