Category Archives: Composer

Michael Stipe at Moogfest 2017

nide9wegxqr0r4grprhkMarking a significant moment for the multimedia artist and forefather of alternative rock, Michael Stipe will release a never-before-seen installation at Moogfest 2017. The installation will be a compilation of video footage he has shot over the years in New York City that explores desire and movement. Using Moog gear, Stipe will score the piece, marking his first solo composition ever. The installation will run continuously throughout the festival.

Stipe became involved thanks to festival’s exec producer Kai Riedl, a former member of experi-post-rock band Macha. It’s thanks to the Athens, Georgia connection, that Riedl and Stipe have been friends for 20-odd years.

“Over the last decade, Michael has expanded his futurist leaning and artistic output through various projects, many of these with imagery and film he’s shot himself,” says Riedl of Stipe’s involvement. “During this time, largely as a member of R.E.M., he has also worked often with Moog synths. This installation presents a unique opportunity to wed these two worlds in a multimedia experience and to expand on his explorations as a solo artist. Stipe has always had a futurist yet Southern leaning style and has had a rich history of creating in the South, so having Moogfest in the region of his hometown of Athens made it all the more appealing. In addition, Stipe has always been a voice for equality, new creative possibilities and futurist ideals—many of the same pillars of Moogfest.”

Here is a NY Times interview from last year that serves as a prediction to Michael Stipe’s return to live performance. He has joined his good friend, Patti Smith at several of her concerts including her birthday celebration on 12/30/16 at the Riviera Theatre in Chicago.

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Rick Wakeman, Piano Portraits

Piano Portraits is the 100th solo album from Rick Wakeman.

Painting pictures is how Rick describes his playing style and how he visualizes music, and this album paints a very vivid, lush landscape for the listener to explore.91qbv8ubofl-_sl1500_

Pre-orders are available from Rick Wakeman’s Pledge Music page.

Full Track List:

1. Help
2. Stairway to Heaven
3. Life on Mars
4. I’m Not In Love
5. Wondrous Stories
6. Berceuse
7. Amazing Grace
8. Swan Lake
9. Morning Has Broken
10. Summertime
11. Space Oddity
12. Dance of the Damselflies
13. Clair de Lune
14. I Vow To Thee My Country
15. Eleanor Rigby

CD Release Date: 13/01/2017
Vinyl LP Release Date: 03/02/2017

Rick Wakeman – The Phantom of the Opera

For true collectors… 
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The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table – Rick Wakeman

I am excited to hold in my hands an autographed CD edition of Rick Wakeman’s The Myths and Legends of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. I collect autographed CD covers and this is truly a gem for the collection.

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It was sharing of you Rick Wakeman to allow us fans to help support your recording project on Pledge Music.

I can’t wait to have the symphony of sound wash over my senses.

Thank you Rick. I hope I get to hear you play a selection or two of this recording this fall on the Anderson, Rabin and Wakeman tour.

Until then be well and Excalibur Sir.

The Hendrix Flat Opens

“Well I never been to England
But I kinda like the Beatles
Songwriter: Hoyt Axton Song Lyrics: Never Been To Spain

We long to visit London, England one day. Tourist attractions associated with The Beatles and the British Invasion are high on our list. A destination to include on the itinerary would be the flat Jimi Hendrix and his then girlfriend, Kathy Etchingham rented at 23 Brook Street, Mayfair.

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Photo: Alamy

 

The Handel House Trust unveiled the Hendrix Flat this past week on February 10th.  It allows fans to witness the rooms where the greatest rock instrumentalist in history conducted his famous jam sessions and, most excitingly, to view highlights from his varied music collection.

What I find fascinating is that the Hendrix Flat was right next door to the Handel house where the classic composer George Frideric Handel lived for 36 years. The synergy of music purveyors Handel and Hendrix in the same building is total kharma.

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Credit: Handel House Trust

The restored flat comes complete with Hendrix’s old Epiphone FT79 acoustic guitar, which he used to devise his epic cover of Bob Dylan’s ‘All Along the Watchtower’.

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Credit: Michael Bowles/Handel & Hendrix in London

Hendrix’s Vinyl Collection

Examining the timeframe when Jimi Hendrix resided with Kathy Etchingham in 1968 it was in-between the albums, Axis Bold As Love and Electric Ladyland. 

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The Vinyl Factor wrote an article about the vinyl records that Jimi Hendrix listened to while he was living at the flat, EXPLORE JIMI HENDRIX’S RECORD COLLECTION IN LONDON. Jimi Hendrix’s personal record collection included records from sitar guru Ravi Shankar and French music concrète pioneer Pierre Henry, psychedelic outfit Red Crayola and a copy of Handel’s Messiah performed by the English Chamber Orchestra.

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For Jimi Hendrix, 23 Brook Street was the doorstep to the London music scene of the late 60s. His flat was a short stroll from legendary venues like the Marquee, the Speakeasy and The Scotch of St James and he would spend many evenings wandering from club to club looking for a chance to play.

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Photography: Barrie Wentzell

Rick Wakeman: The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur 2016

It’s an honor to offer financial assistance to progressive rock composer/keyboardist, Rick Wakeman‘s initiative. He just launched a crowd-funding project on PledgeMusic, “The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur 2016”.

“I have always had in mind re-recording and performing an extended version of King Arthur as it has only ever been performed three times in the UK. I am delighted to now have the opportunity to do this and especially so with the help of the fans and my campaign on PledgeMusic……and if all goes well, maybe one day put it back on ice! In the meantime, I’m Iooking forward to the première performance at the O2 in London on June 19th as part of the Stone Free Festival.”
Rick Wakeman

The new recordings will be free of the studio limitations and single disc duration of the original and the new record will be a double album as it was originally intended to be.
There will also be new artwork by Roger Dean and the album will be available on a 2 x CD format, limited edition 2 X 12″ LP, and high resolution quality digital download, this new recording includes all the original music and also five new pieces of music all in the style of the original recording.

By ordering your copy of this new recording of The Myths & Legends Of King Arthur on PledgeMusic, you’ll also gain access to recording updates, bonus content, video clips and much more.

Tim Hardin, Live In Concert

I was driving home from church when for some inexplicable reason the music of Tim Hardin entered my head. I began to hear the strains of “If I Were A Carpenter” and I drifted back to seeing Tim Hardin perform live at Staples High School in 1971. I could picture him at the piano in the darkened auditorium singing through his tortured soul to us.

This prompted me when I got home to play some Tim Hardin via Tidal over the home entertainment network. It gave the perfect chance to try out the Google Chromecast 2 device wirelessly via the Sony Blu-Ray Home Theater system.

I played Tim Hardin, Live In Concert, which made Sunday afternoon lesson planning less arduous  🙂

Arvo Pärt – Musica Selecta: A Sequence by Manfred Eicher

One of the many musical blessings I have received over the decades is the music distributed by Manfred Eicher and ECM Records. The label goes beyond innovation with its rich tapestry of artists, compositions and sounds. I wish I could own the entire library that ECM has produced and made available.

The great Estonian composer Arvo Pärt celebrates his 80th birthday today, Friday September 11th. And on this occasion, ECM releases a special double album, Musica Selecta: A Sequence by Manfred Eicher.

Happy Birthday Arvo.

Composer Arvo Pärt and producer Manfred Eicher have maintained their creative partnership for more than thirty years. Eicher launched ECM New Series in 1984 as a platform for Pärt’s music, bringing the Estonian composer to the world’s attention with Tabula Rasa. Since that epochal release, all first recordings of Pärt’s major works have been made for ECM, with the composer’s committed participation. In this special double album, issued on Pärt’s birthday, Eicher revisits episodes from their shared musical quest, evoking fresh associations from juxtapositions of pieces in his dramaturgical sequence, as we are invited to hear the music anew.

Compositions heard here include the legendary ECM premiere recordings of Es sang vor langen Jahren, Für Alina, Mein Weg, Kanon Pokajanen, Silouans Song, Fratres, Alleluia-Tropus, Trisagion, Beatus Petronius, Wallfahrtslied/Pilgrims‘ Song, Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten, Magnificat, Festina Lente, Lamentate, Stabat Mater, Da Pacem Domine, and a previously unreleased version of Most Holy Mother of God.

Classic Quadrophenia

Pete Townsend has that unique talent to reinvent himself with his music. Imagine you write, score and deliver two major rock operas in your life. That is an amazing feat. The evolution of Quadrophenia into “Classic Quadrophenia” adds dimensionality and superb texture. For the last three years Townshend has worked closely with his partner Rachel Fuller on brand new arrangements for orchestra, soloists and choir. The results add a greater meaning to our existence through love, sea and life’s epic journey.

Classic Quadrophenia will be released by the esteemed classical label Deutsche Grammophon. It features the London Oriana Choir and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. The world premiere will take place on July 5th, 2015, at the Royal Albert Hall, London. Would love to attend that event.

Here is the first taste of the bountiful summer harvest, “Love Reign O’er Me”. British tenor Alfie Boe is stellar as lead vocalist!