Tag Archives: instrumental

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Gareth Koch Releases Single ‘Song For Taylor Swift’

Song for Taylor Swift is the first in a series of dedications to influential artists of the modern era by Gareth. There is a rich history of one artist acknowledging another in music, ranging from Beethoven to David Bowie, the latter having written his Song for Bob Dylan.

Song for Taylor Swift explores the gentler side of her output, with a recurring fragile interlude subtly reminiscent of her ballad-like material. The resonator & lap steel guitars reference Taylor’s occasional country influences, as does the cover art of the release.

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

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Gareth Koch Releases Album ‘Carmina Burana’

Remastered and Released to streaming for the first time in 2024 here is one of Gareth Koch’s Master Works.

My first encounter with the Carmina Burana was as a young chorister in a performance given in 1983 at the Sydney Opera House. The choir and orchestra were directed by one of my teachers, the late and great Richard Gill. The excitement of that musical experience made a lasting impression on my musical consciousness.

During the European summer of 1995 in Vienna I began a draft version of the Carmina Burana for Solo Guitar. Transcribing the medieval & folk-inspired movements came first, then the challenge of the mighty opening chorus O Fortuna. In an attempt to interest record companies in the project I recorded a ‘demo’ version of O Furtuna, in a single take, in a Viennese cellar!

My publishers and several record companies showed great interest in my interpretation of Orff’s work and very quickly plans started to come together to record in a venue in Vienna. Unfortunately, these plans fell apart due to some pre-existing contract obligations. An opportunity arose to record the work in Australia, and this prompted my return.

The recording of Carmina Burana for Solo Guitar was completed in 1997 over three consecutive nights in Newcastle’s Christ Church Cathedral. The natural resonance & ambience of the cathedral compliment the recording. There are no added effects to this recording which is completely natural & live sounding.

Recording the Carmina Burana was both a physical and mental achievement that has become one of the highlights of my career. The opportunity to re-master the recording and release it digitally brings back to mind the exhilaration of that performance in that venue, over those three nights – still deeply embedded in my memory. It is the synthesis of a lifelong interest in medieval music and the desire to create an exciting and unique live performance piece for guitar.

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

Born in Milan, Gareth 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  scholarships for advanced guitar study at The Royal Madrid Conservatorium & the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music & has lectured in music across Australian & European universities.

In 2002 Gareth formed the first guitar supergroup with Karin Schaupp & The Grigoryan Brothers, Slava & Leonard. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to #1 on the Classical Music Charts and even featured on ARIA  pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums & was Australia’s biggest selling classical act for several years.

Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & has released a succession of collaborative albums with Martin Kennedy & with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church). His recent release ‘The Guitar Player’ received a coveted 5 star review from The Sydney Morning Herald. Gareth’s current output has a strong rock bias with classical overtones & his writing is increasingly focussed on the ethereal nature of music.

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Gareth Koch Releases Single ‘Rumba Flamenca Arabe’

With around a quarter of a million streams already this series of Flamenco Guitar from one of Australia’s best is ready for a new brilliant track to start 2024,

The rumba is an upbeat & rhythmically syncopated flamenco style, ideal for dancing & festivities. It is an incredibly flexible genre, able to assimilate a multitude of influences such as Latin, Arabic or pop-contemporary. The rumba is arguably the most recognisable & widely listened to of all flamenco music. It’s lively tempo & irresistible groove, make it hugely popular around the world.

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

Born in Milan, Gareth 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 scholarships for advanced guitar study at The Royal Madrid Conservatorium & the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music & has lectured in music across Australian & European universities.

In 2002 Gareth formed the first guitar supergroup with Karin Schaupp & The Grigoryan Brothers, Slava & Leonard. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to #1 on the Classical Music Charts and even featured on ARIA pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums & was Australia’s biggest selling classical act for several years.

Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & has released a succession of collaborative albums with Martin Kennedy & with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church). His recent release ‘The Guitar Player’ received a coveted 5 star review from The Sydney Morning Herald. Gareth’s current output has a strong rock bias with classical overtones & his writing is increasingly focussed on the ethereal nature of music.

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Foghorn Christmas Releases

Get Into The Christmas Spirit With Gareth Koch’s Instrumental Album & Daxton’s Homegrown Blues/Jazz Album

‘Exquisite & ancient music reimagined with a shimmer of jangle. An audiophile recording.’

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 Descriptions
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.

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.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects. Over recent years he has released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).

All DSP’s and CD’s from official store below

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Daxton ‘On The Eve Of Christmas’

There is a good chance in any Christmas album you will hear the well known traditional songs about mistletoe, stockings and large jolly gentlemen in red suits. Many artists have been there but not all write their own songs. Daxton Monaghan has just released his own unique jazz style Xmas album for 2023.

After deciding last Christmas that there wasn’t an album of Christmas songs that suited him, Daxton has spent the past year slowly crafting a tasty array of melodic songs for his own special Christmas album.  Entitled ‘On The Eve Of Christmas’, the nine tracks include some well-known and Daxton family favourites: White Christmas, Little Drummer Boy and of course, Jingle Bells. The rest of the album is made up of Daxton’s own songs. These compositions have been inspired by Daxton’s family Christmas gatherings. Bouncy rhythms, heart warming lyrics, sing along harmonies, strings, brass and Daxton’s familiar vocals all feature.

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Let The Carols Sing
A classic sing along Xmas tune from bluesman Daxton. Some fine holiday vibes from the sax, beach boys style ‘ooh aah’ backing vocals and keys.

Little Drummer Boy
This timeless tune gets fine reworking by Daxton. Programmed drums and keys give the song a modern edge with Luke Gallen’s sax the icing on the cake.

About Daxton
Daxton has appeared at major festivals including the Sydney Blues & Roots and Tamworth Country Music Festival where he supported artists such as Kasey Chambers and Beccy Cole. He also has had one of his tracks ‘Moody Liz’ featured in the popular American TV series Doll House.

Based on the Central Coast, Daxton is best described as a blues/rock artist with a twist of pop and rock.  He plays slide guitar rock/blues songs with a fresh and innovative sound. His last album, ‘Electric Satellite’ was released in 2022 and featured his signature heavy and rustic blues rock sound.

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Gareth Koch – Tangos del Gato

For the past 12 months Gareth has been recording and releasing tracks that explore the various forms of classical Spanish dance forms: Tango and Flamenco.  His output has built a solid base of keen listeners, now over 10,000 monthly listeners.

This latest release is a Tango.  Tangos is a dance form that developed primarily between Cadiz and Sevilla.  It is a 4/4 beat rhythm and has some reminiscence with certain Arabic rhythm and groove patterns.  The flamenco Tangos, has nothing to do with the Argentinian Tango.  The style of dancing is also sensual which includes much hip movement due to the Arabic belly dancing style.

Tangos, together with Bulerías are the two favourite forms of jamming and partying in all the Juergas (a flamenco party-jam) usually in celebration of a wedding, baptism or any joyous occasion.

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

Checkout the new single ‘Tangos del Gato’ (Foghorn/MGM) November 16

OR Direct link right here

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JayBird Byrne Releases New Single ‘The Wolf’

Once upon a time, long ago. A bright, young, determined pup named Jackman witnessed his first full moon. He was at the tallest mountain within seconds to try and notice this new unknown silver ball in the sky, but he could not reach it; no matter how high he jumped, he couldn’t. Eventually, he lay down, tired from his antics.

However, the moment he dropped, he heard something. It was a wolf howling. Jackman had never socialised before, and although it was a scary step, he needed to make this step. Slowly he stood up, and with all the energy he could muster, he shouted his life stories into the night.

JayBird: ‘In this song I am using my guitar instead of Jackman’s howl to tell his stories. Jackman is a German Shepherd with almost unlimited energy who wants simply to run free. He is also a gardener, worker, protector and strangely enough, a master thief (with an uncanny ability to find and steal anything and everything of value). This song is a reincarnation of his perks, quirks and totally unique personality. The rapid and consistent tempo represents his heartbeat, the whammy bar noises represent his howling, and the first solo simulates his sharp teeth tearing through anything you value. I do hope he settles down.  Hopefully, my song sets him up for that with a soft section that feels like he grows wise and becomes a mentor to other young dogs just as naughty as him.’

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JayBird Byrne, a 13-year-old guitarist, has been captivating audiences with her extraordinary talent since she started playing the guitar at the age of 8.

Her passion for performing is matched only by her unwavering dedication to practice, making her a rising star in the guitar world. Under the guidance and mentorship of Simon Gardner, JayBird has refined her technique and honed her song writing skills, benefiting greatly from his expertise.

Drawing inspiration from legendary guitar virtuosos like Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani, JayBird has developed a unique style that showcases her admiration for these influential figures.

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Her debut single, titled ‘Convergence’, received widespread acclaim, earning her the prestigious First Prize with Honours at the International Youth Music Competition in the Modern & Contemporary Category. The judges praised her composition, describing it as “impressive work at such a young age”.  They also commented on the excellent balance of instrumentation and texture, and highlighted her remarkable precision and mastery of the guitar.

Despite her tender age, JayBird delivers performances with an intensity and spirit that surpass her years. In 2022, she secured the coveted title of ‘Best Guitarist’ at the RockFEST competition, leaving the judges astounded. They hailed her performance as “fantastic” and an absolute showstopper, acknowledging her incredible energy and mind-blowing level of ability.

JayBird Byrne is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, and her musical journey is poised to captivate audiences worldwide.

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Gareth Koch Releases New Album ‘Ghost Stories’

In ‘Ghost Stories’, Gareth Koch creates an ethereal sound world, blending the aesthetic nuances of medieval chant with rock psychedelia. The mood of the album is defined by chiming cathedral-like textures, as if the monks themselves are playing guitars, percussion & lyres.

This record could perhaps be described as prog-rock, yet it effortlessly manages to be much more than that. The listener will discover the album’s unique identity & subtle references to music past & present. This is a refreshingly new recording which deftly sidesteps easy characterisation.

‘Ghost Stories’ could be seen as an evolution of Gareth’s duo albums ‘Songs From Another Life’ with Steve Kilbey , and ‘Music in the Afterlife’ with Martin Kennedy. While the previous albums might serve to shed light on the preoccupations of this one, it is very much a standalone & distinctive creation.

The titles & ambience of ‘Ghost Stories’ guide us on an otherworldy journey. We are led variously through imagined states of being to experience Catacombs, Unblessed Spirits, Longing & Redemption via this shimmering & beautifully crafted recording.

Recorded in and inspired by the mystery and wilderness of Tasmania.

Song Descriptions
Redemption
The first track from the album is uptempo and has a fully formed rhythm section underpinning the many layered trademark guitars. By no means his usual classical/world offering, although some elements remain. This song has a more rock orientation featuring electric guitars and big drums.

Old Church
A melodic and hypnotising bass line underpins this modern instrumental rock track. The drums are powerful and help to drive the tune along, while layered guitars and keys keep the interest even without vocals. His lead guitars offer a crisis section to the song before resolving into a fine outro section.

Dance Of The Unblessed Spirits
Another short and sweet frenetic full band instrumental rock piece with plenty of breakdowns that remind the listener of his classical roots. A fascinating piece of music by a master of his craft at the top of his game.

Benedictine
The title evokes a monkish, monastic vibe and from the beginning you can hear this in the piece. It’s not rock, it’s not classical but it is certainly superb instrumental guitar. This tune is a break from the first few on the album, dispensing with drums and sticking with guitars.

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

Born in Milan, Gareth 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  scholarships for advanced guitar study at The Royal Madrid Conservatorium & the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music & has lectured in music across Australian & European universities.

In 2002 Gareth formed the first guitar supergroup with Karin Schaupp & The Grigoryan Brothers, Slava & Leonard.  Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to #1 on the Classical Music Charts and even featured on ARIA  pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums & was Australia’s biggest selling classical act for several years.

Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & has released a succession of collaborative albums with Martin Kennedy & with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church). His recent release ‘The Guitar Player’ received a coveted 5 star review from The Sydney Morning Herald. Gareth’s current output has a strong rock bias with classical overtones & his writing is increasingly focussed on the ethereal nature of music.

Stream / download here
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13-Year-Old Guitar Prodigy JayBird Byrne ABC Appearance and Single ‘Pups At Work’

JayBird Byrne, a 13-year-old guitarist, based in Redcliffe QLD, home of the Bee Gees in their younger years,  has been captivating audiences with her extraordinary talent since she started playing the guitar at the age of 8. 

Following her debut on ABC TV last month on the 100 Instruments Countdown featuring in the Electric Guitar section with her own interview and live performance Jaybird Byrne now releases the single ‘Pups At Work’ a guitar instrumental drawing on her extreme talent and the many high pedigree influences she draws on. 

A recent shoutout from another young Australian guitar prodigy Taj Farrant has helped to boost her profile even further.

This up-tempo electric guitar instrumental with full band backing comes right out of the box from the start and never lets up. Think Joe Satriani meets Hendrix but then add that JayBird is 13 years old, and you get the ‘wow’ factor.  This girl is one to watch.

 Pups at Work-Instrumental (Foghorn/MGM): 

OUT NOW JULY 7

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Now her skills have attracted the attention of Australia’s National Broadcaster…

Tripe J Radio and ABC TV have just completed shooting with Jaybird for the 100 Countdown with The Melbourne Symphony Orchestra to be aired on Sat 24 of June 2023. Time Slot is 7.30pm. This comprised a 7 hour shoot and interview at Team Musicare in Queensland. Jaybird is one of the features of the show.

JayBird said“Im so excited to be asked to be included in the National broadcast on ABC. We were in shock when we heard Triple J and ABC had been in touch with my management. Its quite surreal for me. I’m very grateful to all my team and especially my parents who have helped and supported me from day one.”

Her debut single, ‘Convergence’, received widespread acclaim, earning her the prestigious First Prize with Honours at the International Youth Music Competition in the Modern & Contemporary Category. The judges praised her composition, describing it as “impressive work at such a young age,excellent balance of instrumentation and texture … guitar playing skills are fantastic and precise“.

Despite her tender age, JayBird delivers performances with an intensity and spirit that surpass her years. In 2022, she secured the coveted title of ‘Best Guitarist’ at the RockFEST competition, leaving the judges astounded. They hailed her performance as “fantastic” and an absolute showstopper, acknowledging her incredible energy and mind-blowing level of ability.
The first 60 seconds of this video says it all here

Her passion for performing is matched only by her unwavering dedication to practice(4 hours a day), making her a rising star in the guitar world. Under the guidance and mentorship of Simon Gardner, JayBird has refined her technique and honed her song writing skills.

Drawing inspiration from legendary guitar virtuosos and already receiving comparisons to Eddie Van Halen, Randy Rhoads, Steve Vai, and Joe Satriani, JayBird has developed a unique style that showcases her admiration for these influential figures.

JayBird Byrne is undoubtedly a force to be reckoned with, and her musical journey is poised to captivate audiences worldwide.

JayBird will be on iView on Saturday 24th June at 7:30pm this Sat (AEST).

Her new single ‘Pups at Work’ will be out on July 7

 Song Description 

JayBird – ‘Pups at Work’ is all of my dog training experiences expressed as an instrumental rock guitar song. The song’s progressive rock feel represents the training and unpredictability of the ‘pups at work’. According to my pup, it is: Dog training, but on my human’s guitar.’

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Fiona Joy Hawkins and Rebecca Daniel Release Album ‘To The Wind’

Fiona Joy Hawkins and Rebecca Daniel Present New Album
To The Wind

When Fiona and Rebecca flew to the USA from Australia, it was to tour and to record with producer Cookie Marenco. Fiona and Rebecca played to full houses in a series of iconic venues that would add a lustre to any artist resume: Carnegie Hall, Dizzys Jazz Club, The Moss Performing Arts Centre, The Hollywood Piano and topped by a live concert at Echoes for NPR.

With the tour done they moved to the studio. Producer, Cookie Marenco, known for her trademarked pristine recordings to DSD256, was ecstatic with the results. The now critically acclaimed “Heavenly Voices” is a testament to their virtuosity. The time on stage meant their skills were honed to a knife edge and “Heavenly Voices” became a heavenly recording.

‘Rather than stop recording, this duo decided to try something new – compose music on the spot and reimagine songs they had recorded in the past. They brought freshness to older pieces with piano, violin and voices. All recorded in one take, live in the studio,’ says Cookie.

“Heavenly Voices” was released globally in March 2021 with great success. With the world still shut down, Fiona, Rebecca and Cookie agreed that those stunning ‘one take’ sessions should be released. They have become the follow up – “To The Wind”.

Rebecca:
‘Personally, ‘The Void’ and ‘Blue Dream’ are two of my favourites to play. ‘My Hands Were Busy’ was initially going to be on the Lightness of Dark album, but we ran out of time. The song then became an integral part of the concerts, due to its moving and emotional connection with the audience. This collection brings a true “live” experience, presenting a concert performance with a studio quality sound. No tricks, just two musicians in a studio, recreating highlights from their concerts.’

About

Fiona Joy Hawkins is a classically trained pianist and singer inspired by Mendelssohn, Chopin and her Celtic heritage. Her song ‘Grace’ was on a GRAMMY ® winning album in 2014. In 2016, she won two categories of the Independent Music Awards. In Australia, she was an ARIA Finalist & MusicOZ Winner.

Rebecca Daniel studied violin and chamber music with Emanuel Hurwitz and the Amadeus String Quartet at The Royal Academy of Music. She was invited to move to Australia to join The Australian Chamber Orchestra, and was Orchestra Leader for Les Misérables, Phantom of the Opera, The Sound of Music & Beauty and the Beast. She has recorded and performed with John Denver, Bread, James Galway and the Chieftains, Will Ackerman, Shirley Bassey, Barbra Streisand, Men at Work and INXS.

Both virtuosos, together Hawkins and Daniel make for an incomparable team.

‘To The Wind’ is OUT NOW on Blue Coast Records
Available on SACD and Digital

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