Called How Much Is Enough? Posted by BT Fasmer on 14 June 2013
TAGGED: Peter Buffett
Peter Buffett has posted a new article in Huffington Post. It is in the Change Our Story series and is called How Much Is Enough?
You can read it here. Peter's articles always make you think. I admire his efforts.
Dedicated Pandora Channel for Marc Enfroy. Posted by BT Fasmer on 14 June 2013
TAGGED: Marc Enfroy
Many of Marc Enfroy's songs, including tracks from his new album Dreams of the Forest, are available on Pandora Radio. You can even listen to their dedicated Marc Enfroy channel.
Go to the Marc Enfroy page on Pandora.
A review of the new biography. Posted by BT Fasmer on 12 June 2013
Mike Oldfield - A Life Dedicated to Music is a biography written by Chris Dewey, published by Brimstone Press, released in connection with the 40th anniversary of Tubular Bells. The book is a great read and Mike Oldfield many fans will find the stories, quotes and pictures both interesting and entertaining. The best part is the fan perspective, which I'm sure many longtime MO enthusiasts will recognize. An alternative title to the book might have been A Life Dedicated to Mike Oldfield. The story about the magazine Dark Star is also interesting.
In 2007 Mike Oldfield published his autobiography called Changeling. Dewey's book is in many ways a welcome addition because it gives more balance to the story. Obviously, Mike Oldfield's personal experiences are different from the fan perspective. The fan tends to be forgiving and glorifying, while the artist himself is more self critical. It is no secret that this artist has had his share of personal problems. Still he has been able to produce the music we love for 40 years.
The quotes in the book are taken from various interviews and articles. The author has also spoken with people close to the artist. Dewey is better known as the editor of the Mike Oldfield magazine Dark Star. In the book we get the story about how the magazine came to be and its development through the years. That too has been a journey in close connection with the artist's rise and fall in popularity.
The story about Mike Oldfield is also the story about genre confusion. No one describes it better than Mike himself in Changeling (page 251):
"There have been various people who have called me things like the father of New Age, the godfather of ambient music. All the same, I have tremendous regrets about the period of my life when I was at my most successful. I still carry around a sense of guilt, that I wasn't able to be the spokeperson or figurehead for real, interesting, progressive music."
What Dewey's book tells us is that Mike really is wrong here, that he actually had (and still have) that position in progressive music. The underlying problem is that progressive music itself never could create true, 1970s styled rock stars. It just doesn't have the right edge. But that is a good thing if you ask me or any MO fan.
All in all I think Dewey has written a great book that all MO fans will enjoy. The quotes are well selected and the story is both personal and informative. It is a story about how fame come and go, while real fans stay true to their artist. To quote Amarok; Ha-ha-happy? My answer would be; Yes! Do you know, I really feel I could dance! (Margaret Thatcher voice).
Mike Oldfield - A Life Dedicated to Music is available in hardcover and as an ebook. Note that the ebook does not have pictures.
The book is available here.
A BIG pack of music. Posted by BT Fasmer on 11 June 2013
TAGGED: Serenity Relaxing Spa
Serenity Relaxing Spa Music by Aqua Purha is a massive collection of music. It consists of nothing less than 101 tracks, or a total of over 6 hours music. It is currently a best seller on iTunes in several countries and I suspect that the $ 9,99 price tag has something to do with its success. After all, we all like to do great deals and get value for our hard earned money. But is it any good as a New Age music release?
I remember with horror when the CD format was young and the first big packs of classical music were released. For the price of one Deutsche Grammophon release you could get 5 or more CDs with classical masterworks recorded by unknown orchestras. The quality was usually mediocre, both in terms of audio and artistic qualities. More is really less, I thought back then. Serenity Relaxing Spa is a bit like those "buy 1 get 5" offers. Not because it is a fundamentally bad release, but because there are so many that have much more to offer. There is little unique here, no personality. Just notice how the sounds of nature seems "splashed about" on many tracks. Most artists try to find the natural flow of the sample before adding layers of piano, strings or other arrangements.
The album is divided into sections. I like the way the album covers almost all aspects of relaxation music. Here you find meditation tracks, music for yoga, pilates, static noise and even classical music like Bach's Air, Für Elise and Ave Maria. These are taken from Michael Silverman's Canon in D album. But the tracks, also the non piano tracks, are all surprisingly short (3 to 5 minutes). I get a feeling that the goal is to squeeze in as many themes as possible to get wider search result on Amazon and iTunes. There is also limitations in having a 101 track album released within the boundaries of the CD format. If it was a pure digital product songs may have been longer.
I'll end where I started; Serenity Spa is not a bad release. It is a big pack of background music at a nice price. But I think there is better value in buying one truly great album than a less-than-great, 5-in-1 release like this. Hopefully the album's success will inspire people to check out other releases in our genre. Though deep down I fear that this compilation confirms the New Age music stereotypes many people have.
You can check out the album on iTunes here.
72 / 100 - See how we rate music here.
Interviews taken from our old site
We recently did a complete reinstall of our page. A high number of post from our 5 year long blogging history have not been reposted. But we have now created a PDF with artist interviews done by BT Fasmer from 2008 to 2013. Here you'll find:
- * 2 interviews with Marc Enfroy
- * 2 interviews with Medwyn Goodall
- * Interview with Paul Heinerman
- * Interview with Peter Buffett
- * Interview with Clifford White
- * Interview with Colin O'Donohoe
- * Interview with Dan Kennedy
- * Interview with Harlan Mark Vale
- * Interview with Jillian Goldin Aversa
- * Interview with Joel Kanning
- * Interview with Ken Elkinson
Download the PDF here. What a great read :)
Strategies for artists in the Internet age. Posted by BT Fasmer on 10 June 2013
TAGGED: New Age Music Promotion
As a radio host, blogger and music promoter I often have the pleasure of talking to artists about how they market and sell their music. The business side of our genre is perhaps not as pretty and relaxing as the music itself, but for artists it is important to have a strategy for promoting and selling music. I have also spoken with artists who create magnificent music - but who clearly don't understand much about selling music in the Internet age. So I thought that I should give a few of my opinions on that matter. Feel free to write a comment if you disagree or would like to add something.
1. If you want to be a New Age music artist, you should be able to play your music live.
To quote Tom Newman;
"My idea of making music is to have an idea and play it by hand, and if you can't play it by hand use a sequencer or sampler, but at least play as much of it as you can by hand, because we are human beings. It is very easy to get a machine to make music, that's fine, but it is not human beings expressing themselves. (Mike Oldfield, A Life Dedicated to Music, Chris Dewey)
Synths are great of course, and is in many ways a live instrument too (just look at Tangerine Dream's long career). But use synths wisely. A good idea is to use them only for the synth tracks - not the complete arrangent. Would you go to a fancy restaurant and get something the chef just warmed up in the microwave? It is the same with that flute solo, cello part or drum beat. Live is better, and it will sound much nicer on your recordings too.
2. Remember that New Age music fits nicely into programs on jazz and world music festivals. Our genre creates atmosphere and has great melodies, and that is what many concertgoers are looking for. Even pop and rock festivals needs music for relaxing after a hard night...
3. Don't rely on the album format; Understand what recorded music is today. Albums still sell of course, but you can also sell a track as soon as it is finished. If you use 6 months from the first song is ready to the album is all done, you have actually lost 6 months of promotion and digital shelf time for that first track.
4. If you want to make music, listen to music, get to know your genre. In his book On writing Stephen King says that if you want to be a writer, you should read as much as possible. You can't be a good writer without reading. I think the same goes with music. You would be amazed of how many artists say that they rarely listen to music. Not just New Age music, but any music. In order to be an artist, you should also love and appreciate the music of other artists.
5. Know and define your audience; Put yourself in the perspective of the future fan. In New Age music we are, in general, looking for positive, relaxing harmonies that are not too complex. I'm not saying that you should release a spa, healing or Pilates album. After all, it doesn't hurt to be original. But if you are an unknown artists, it will help you to release an album within an established marked. It is simple business sense.
6. Understand the value of a local audience; If you plan to release an album within the meditation music subgenre there is a large and ever-growing market for meditation classes and self help courses. Join forces with local profiles in this market, and you will have an audience that is willing to pay top dollars for a personalized music experience. This audience will be worth more than millions of playbacks on YouTube or streaming music services. Also remember that meditation music performed live is great for homes for the elderly and hospitals. Only Yanni fills a stadium these days, so no artists can afford to be picky...
7. Work with other artists and don't be afraid to contribute on their projects. You will grow as an artist this way; Creativity is about giving. Too few artists in our genre have "jam sessions" together. And when you do this you are promoting yourself to a new fan base.
8. Don't think you can do everything yourself .Just because you have Photoshop installed doesn't mean that you should do the cover.
9. New Age Music labels are great. Many labels are gone, true, but the ones that remain are here because they know what they are doing. They will be able to give your music the fine tuning it needs, and they know the market.
10. Consider hiring a New Age music promoter. They will be able to help you even if you don't need a label (or don't get a record deal) . They can help you with the market side of things.
11. Attend at different kinds of New Age and Healing conventions. Here you can market your music - and get a bigger network. Again; don't underestimate your local market.
12. Find a theme you like. As I mentioned under 5 that it doesn't hurt to be original. But there is also a reason why spa, meditation and relaxation albums are popular. In our modern, hectic world, inner peace and harmony is perhaps the most important thing of all. It will improve your sales if you highlight the healing powers in your music. A creative approach to spa and meditation will sell for sure.
13. Define your Internet strategy early on - and do it 100 %. It is better to have two or three main channels for communication (like Facebook, artist blog and music homepage) - than 10 channels that are almost never updated (like personal band pages on certain portal pages). Internet is not about making a fancy page once and then logging off; Internet is about frequent updates.
14. Online radio is a great way to promote your music and earn revenue at the same time. As a radio host I have seen how artists who are good at selecting the right channel for their music get lots of PR and sales (through iTunes and Amazon links in the radio player). My advice when contacting radio channels is to be personal and explain why your material would fit the programming on that perticular channel. I use 5 seconds to determine if this email was sent to 30 other channels at the same time. Why should I play your music if you don't know the profile of my channel? Also; Believe it or not, but channel managers add a certain artistic touch to their music selection too. If your music doesn't fit the program, it doesn't mean that it is bad - just not right for that channel.
15. Your music does not have to be available in 100 online stores. iTunes, Amazon, CD Baby and a few carefully selected stores (and/or streaming services) are more than enough. To have a main store is also great for the fan base. Don't underestimate the value of your own homepage as an online music store. This is where you can get 100 % of the sale price minus credit card fee and shopping cart subscription (like E-junkie). That is a much better deal than Apple or Amazon have to offer. Remember; make it easy for your fans to buy and download your music. A registration is NOT needed for a purchase.
16. If you want Internet success, be prepared to give away free music. Your success will largely depent on how much you are willing to give. I'm not saying that Torrent networks are a good way to promote your music, but new fans are recruited in many mysterious ways. I would suggest to make albums dedicated for giving away. Make them fast and make the cheap; Think of them as your promo titles.
17. Know where the real money is; Music Licensing. I know artists who sell 100 copies of their albums, but still makes more money that the ones who sell 200.000 copies. They have a name of themselves in TV and movies, and you can hear their music in the background of popular programs. New Age music is perfect for this use. Don't forget that businesses also have need for music for their presentations. I know artists who license their music to airlines and chains of hotels - even corporate websites and for events. Since music licensing usually is costly for companies, you can expect to earn good money here. Don't sell your music cheap.
18. Don't forget; New Age music is about positivity and optimism. You might feel better about your music if you are not doing it for a living. A day job will not hurt your creativity, and will give you a feeling of security. It is a great hobby after all. The days of easy money in New Age music are long gone.
Bottomline; You, the artist, must be your no. 1 fan. Start by paying 10-15 dollars to your artist account for your new album. This is to show yourself that this is a great product that even you would buy. If you wouldn't buy it, creating New Age music is not for you.
TAGGED: Deep Forest
On the page VO-Music is a nice article about the new Deep Forest album Deep Africa.
See the article here.
Limited offer from Domo Music. Posted 9 June 2013
For the first time ever, Kitaro has released a career-spanning boxset. It is called The Ultimate Kitaro Collection: Silk Road Journey and contains a full 15 CDs and 1 DVD. It includes many of his Grammy nominated releases, including the Grammy winner Thinking of You. 21 signed copies of this release is available from Domo Music.
01. Gaia – Onbashira - 41st Grammy nominee (1998)
02. Thinking Of You - 43rd Grammy WINNING album (2000)
03. Dream - 35th Grammy nominee (1992)
04. The Light Of The Spirit - 30th Grammy nominee (1987)
05. Kojiki - 34th Grammy nominee (1991)
06. Ancient - 44th Grammy nominee (2001)
07. Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volume 1 - 46th Grammy nominee (2003)
08. Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volume 2 - 48th Grammy nominee (2005)
09. Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volume 3 - 50th Grammy nominee (2007)
10. Sacred Journey Of Ku-Kai, Volume 4 - 53rd Grammy nominee (2010)
11. Spiritual Garden
12. The Best Of Silk Road
13. Peace On Earth
14. 442: Extreme Patriots Of WW II | Kitaro's Story Scape
15. The Impressions Of The West Lake - 52nd Grammy nominee (2009)
16. Yakushiji Live DVD
Take a trip to Africa with Deep Forest. Posted 7 June 2013
TAGGED: Deep Forest
As of writing the process of releasing Deep Forest's new album Deep Africa is well under way - though the album is not yet available on iTunes, Amazon or the band's own webpage . That said, we know that a good number of CD copies have been distributed to shops in Europe and in the US.
We will return with news when the album is ready for download.
This is just in... Posted 7 June 2013
What cool parents!
Where to see the most popular releases. Posted 6 June 2013
TAGGED: About Newagemusic.info
In the Internet age it is easy to check out the current international best sellers in any genre. For New Age music the best places to look is (of course) iTunes, Amazon and CD Baby. We must not forget Billboard either in this contex.
CD Baby is my favorite, but iTunes is always a good and reliable resource too. So I have made a quick access menu to the right (scroll down). Enjoy :)
The most recent Amethystium release. Posted 5 June 2013
Amethystium is a music project by Norwegian Oystein Ramfjord. This is one of those artists in the “hard to define” borderland between New Age music and electronica. His songs have always been very popular on our channel New Age Stars, and his most recent release is the Aurorae EP, released in January last year.
Check out the new release on Youtube. It is available on iTunes.
Now you can choose the song
The song Itu Lagu from the album "Hokulea"
The New AOMusic video has been uploaded to Youtube:
Are you ready for a Journey? Posted 3 June 2013
Mythos have just released a new album. It is called Journey.
It is now available on iTunes. It is also available on a special branded thumb drive (business card type) – for you to enjoy full versions of songs in 4 bit 44.1 Khz format, plus bonus videos. See more on the band's homepage.
We will soon publish a review of the new album.
Terry Oldyfield and Soraya in Russia. Posted 3 June 2013
Terry Oldyfield and Soraya have this to share with us today:
Well here we are in Moscow, on the Peaceful Hearts Music & Workshop Tour, a very interesting huge bustling city of aprox 15 million people. We were met at the airport by local angels without whom we would have been quite helpless. English is spoken rarely here and Russian is foreign in every way to us. Feeling a little like aliens we have been on a magical mystery tour. Everyone we have met so far have had open hearts and we are really touched by everyone. They have great enthusiasm for our music and contact with Australians. The people of Russia have a long way to go before breaking free of the old communist repression. I pray our music will uplift the few we touch and this will ripple outwards. Last night our at our concert it was overwhelming we were showered with flowers, hugs and applause.
The Rainbow Sprit Fest in Germany was wonderful and again open hearted people. We shared a wonderful concert and workshop. Great to connect with Peter Makena and Terry also played with his band. It was also special to catch up with old and dear friends, Narayan and Alexandra and the children.
We head to Estonia, Sweden and Spain on our next leg so see all the links on the Terry Oldfield site.
We also look forward to the UK where we will play in a Tubular Bells Tribute concert for Mike Oldfield and then go on to Manchester Monastery and then Cheltenham where we will share a MMM. I will also give a Young Living Essential Oils presentation in Stroud Gloucestershire.
See Terry Oldfield's site Also: Be sure to sign up for their newsletter, where this story is taken from.
Collections of fine New Age Music
TAGGED: Medwyn Goodall
As a radio host I must admit that I enjoy Best Of collections. It is nice to be able to sample some of the finest songs from several releases, and then check out the albums afterwards. MG Music recently released four Best Of collections of their artists in mp3 format:
You can check them out here (scroll down for featured products).
What has happened to the genre homepage? Posted June 1 2013
TAGGED: General New Age Music
New Age music has never been one of the main 20 or so categories on iTunes, but when opening an artist tagged as an artist within this genre one could open a page featuring popular New Age music titles. Now it seems like this front page is gone.
You'll see if you click the genre button you'll go nowhere (that is, back to the iTunes front page):
This might have nothing to do with the popularity of New Age music (or the lack of such popularity) - but a change in homepages of subgenres on iTunes. It is not a major thing of course since iTunes users still can browse through New Age music tagged artists on the search page.
New Age Music Albums of the month. POSTED 30 May 2013
TAGGED: New Albums
This May has given us many fine new albums. It is soon summer, so it is time to find some new tracks and add them to your playlist for the most relaxing time possible. Here is a hand-picked selection:
TAGGED: Terry Oldfield
Since Terry Oldfield now is on his and Soraya's European tour, I thought I would post this video:
Check out their tour dates here.
TAGGED: Peter Buffett
In the final installment of the "Poison the River" series, Peter Buffett examine the flow of communication and compassion in our technological age. Is it diluting the human condition?
Read it here. I find this to be very inspiring.
The search for the magic in music. POSTED 29 May 2013
For anyone who is into New Age music, there is nothing new in the fact that music has healing powers. Still, there is much research being done on the matter, and new information is available each month.
The newspaper Kitsap Sun has this story, through AP:
"The playlist of evidence that music has a special role in our lives and health has been getting longer in the past few months. Certainly, not everyone likes the same music, and music therapy tries to respect that. But one recent study shows that the brains of most people listening to the same music respond in the same way."
"A Japanese study published in March showed that the responses of the immune systems of mice to music could reduce their rejection of heart transplants. They showed that both opera and classical music could increase the time before transplanted organs failed, but that exposing them to single-frequency monotones or New Age music provided no benefit.
Many other studies in recent years have shown that different types of music encourage different outcomes in humans. Soothing tunes tend to more effectively address conditions such as pain, stress and sleeplessness, while more upbeat tunes can boost mood and improve mobility."
So there is an effect here, but it is hard to describe. Read the whole story here.
Arielle Dombasle soon to be released. POSTED 27 May 2013
Great news for all fans of the ERA music project and Eric Levi; The new ERA album will be released on 1st July 2013. It is called Arielle Dombasle.
Here is a presentation from Mercury/ Universal (I suspect that this text is translated from French to English via Google Translate):
Two years after issuing the album "Diva Latina", the singer and actress Arielle Dombasle announces the release of a new disc recorded with Era, "Arielle Dombasle by Era," July 1. Ten tracks recorded and arranged by Eric Levi, at the crossroads of two worlds that have never been so close.
A few months ago, Arielle Dombasle announced in the columns of Paris she was about to enter "the studio to record an album of prayers, motets (compositions for two voices, Ed), oratorios, cantatas. The mystical and symphonic music. " A project previously kept secret and whose Pure Charts shows you this morning the first elements.
Two years after releasing the album "Diva Latina", the actress and singer with many hats will be back in stores with a new album, the seventh, recorded with Era. Simply titled "Arielle Dombasle by Era", the project will be released on July 1 on Mercury / Universal and will consist of ten songs that come to life in the form of "incantations" as singer label. This project is inspired by the "true faith" Arielle Dombasle found in Mexico throughout his travels, and is nothing less than the fulfillment of a dream that occupies his thoughts for a long time. More than just a record, "Arielle Dombasle by Era" is an artistic and spiritual encounter between Eric Levi (Era) and the interpreter of "La Liberta", a "communion" mystical and modern in which the singer is discovered "a new voice."
At the crossroads of two worlds actually not that far away
At the crossroads of two worlds actually not that far away but have never been so close, "Arielle Dombasle by Era" is not an album on which Arielle Era has just worked, but rather an original disc and thought built for two, albeit with dominance on each piece as "Sins", which takes us further into the Celtic Era universe, and "Do not Take Pleasure of My Pain", that showcases the voice of the singer.
"Ave Maria" is a prayer dedicated to the Virgin Mary have repeatedly interpreted in different registers, as well as by Celine Dion and Beyonce Mylène Farmer. Era and Arielle Dombasle worked on a new confusing interpretation that should not go unnoticed, the essence of the singer. For Arielle Dombasle, like it or not, leaves no one indifferent. A woman of character, equally at home in the studio and facing the camera, the artist likes the big differences and prove once again the scene of Theatre Gymnasium Marseille from 14 to 18 May and 31 May Sarlat ..
"Arielle Dombasle by Era" also marks the return of Era, discreet in recent years since the release of the album "Classics" and "Classics II" (2009 and 2010). Era has sold nearly 15 million records worldwide and has touched the sensitivities with the titles "Ameno", "The Mass" and "ENAO Volara Mezzo".
The first single from the album has already been released - and can be found here.
Review of the new TwT album. POSTED: 26 May 2013
TAGGED: Transcend With Time
The Calling Whisper is the 5th Transcend With Time album. It contains 10 songs that all have the sound and atmosphere that have become the trademark of Mark Mendieta, the man behind the Transcend With Time - or TwT - music project. It might not be easy listening, but new and old fans will find that within each song is a mix of emotions and thoughts that are as beautiful as they are interesting.
In Transcend With Time's music is rare duality; on the one hand there is the deep, heartfelt artistic expression of classical masterpieces, like the music of Mahler or Brahms. TwT's musical canvas is covered with dark yet striking colors. On the other hand is the no-nonsense synth arrangement that almost seem too fragile to express such a powerful set of emotions. The same notes and melodies played by a big orchestra would have shown the larger-than-life qualities of TwT's music; This music will not leave you untouched.
The best songs on the album is the title song, The Calling Whisper and the very dramatic ending track A Moment. If you are looking for something slower, check out Tranquil Insights. There are some lighter songs here as well; From a Distance is a positive and uplifting song.
The Calling Whisper is TwT best album to date. It redefines and renews the project without removing anything that made previous albums great.
Sample and buy the album on CDBaby. The physical CD contains 2 bonus tracks.
Rating: 87 / 100 - see how we rate music here.
Chris Dewey with never heard, behind-the-scenes stories. POSTED: 25 May 2013
TAGGED: Mike Oldfield
Chris Dewey, editor of Mike Oldfield Fan Magazine Dark Star, has written a new biography on Mike Oldfield. This books was published on 25th May, 2013 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Tubular Bells. Here is a description of the book:
"How Mike Oldfield came to be who he is, his drive to become a musician and his personal motivations about his distinguished career are covered in detail in his own excellent autobiography, Changeling, published by Virgin books in 2007. A Life Dedicated to Music deliberately takes a different approach, documenting the events of Mike’s career through the information gathered in interviews during 27 years of producing Mike Oldfield fan magazines. The views of the musicians, music industry professionals, assistants and fans closest to Mike have been assembled in chronological order for the first time, with the addition of some new interviews and my own personal views, resulting in the first comprehensive record of Mike’s 45–year career to 2013. Mike Oldfield took the time to read and approve this book before publication.
It is available to order here. We will soon give you a complete review of this new book.
Concerts and Convention. POSTED 25 May 2013
TAGGED: Mike Oldfield
It is all about Mike Oldfield these days; To celebrate the 40th anniversary of Tubular Bells, the crew on Mikeoldfield.org is holding a convention in Reading on 6th July, the town where it all started sixty years ago.
There will be a live performance of the complete Tubular Bells by the Australian duo, Tubular Bells 'For Two' And Terry Oldfield is also holding a concert too.
PROVISIONAL EVENT TIMETABLE
The current anticipated timetable of events is as follows (this subject to change):
- * 1200 Doors open for fan convention
- * 1200 Mike Oldfield merchandise sale
- * 1230 Ryan Yard's transcription of Amarok
- * 1300 Mike Oldfield record & memorabilia fair
- * 1330 Tour through MusicVR
- * 1400 Rare video & audio material
- * 1530 Q &A expected to be with Tom Newman, Barry Palmer, Phil Spalding and other special guests yet to be confirmed
- * 1630 Mike Oldfield Quiz
- * 1700 Terry Oldfield live performance
- * 1900 Raffle with over £1000 worth rare Mike Oldfield prizes
- * 1930 Tubular Bells performance
- * 2100 Doors close
Plenty of rare audio and video material throughout the day!
See more on Mikeoldfield.org.
Popular new band inspired by New Age Music. POSTED 24 May 2013.
TAGGED: Pacific Air
Here is something fascinating; The up and coming band Pacific Air has this to say about their influences - according to Radio.com:
"Listen closely to the duo — comprised of brothers Ryan and Taylor Lawhon — and you might hear a bit of early ’90s R&B or hip-hop. Pay even closer attention and you’ll detect a little Enya.
“If you took the drums out of any of our music, it could be a New Age song,” Ryan, the oldest Lawhon, told Radio.com.
Thanks to their mom, the Lawhons grew up listening to New Age music. While no one is going to compare Pacific Air — who previously went by the name KO KO — to Enya, the guys say it’s definitely an influence worth mentioning.
“Instead of abrasive rhythmic synths we tend to go for more sprawling, very stereo, soft synths,” Ryan said. “Which is something heavily utilized in New Age music. It’s something that provides such a nice layer and it fills up the sound without overpowering rhythmically.”
Read the article and see an interview with the brothers on Radio.com.
TAGGED: Sounds From The Circle
The New Age Music Circle is a fantastic community of dedicated and talented artists and New Age music fans. You'll find the forum here. If you haven't joined it already, this might be a good time to do so.
Now their community album, Sounds From The Circle has been released in its 5th edition. You can sample and buy it on iTunes.
Here is the press release:
For the fifth straight year, the online community of over 1500 artists and fans of the genre have pulled together to generate an exciting new music compilation that captures the mosaic sounds of today’s international New Age music scene. Sounds From the Circle V (SFTC V) is the fifth in a series produced by the founder of the network, Suzanne Doucet, and associate produced by Beth Ann Hilton. The 40 tracks included provide listeners over three hours of beautiful music.
This particular volume contains music from 2 GRAMMY® winners, 5 GRAMMY® nominees, numerous ZMR Award winners, and some of the best new music available from across the globe today. Listeners may discover a new sound, a relaxing vibe, or an uplifting melody; the music is Mystical, Chill, Ambient, Meditative, Romantic and World Beat, all carefully sequenced for a pleasant sonic journey. Together, the tracks capture the broad scope of today’s New Age sub-genres, from Vocals to Space music, Channeling to Solo Piano, Harmonics to Chill, Meditation, Nature, Harp music and more.
SFTC V includes the artists AOMusic, Al Conti, Arun Shenoy, Lia Scallon, Fiona Joy Hawkins, Trine Opsahl, Hennie Bekker, Laura Sullivan, Steven Halpern, Tron Syversen, Omar Akram, Heidi Anne Breyer, Pamela Jamian, Eichstaedt, Liquid Mind, Michael Hoppe, Ron Sarja, Aleix Riera, Clarelynn Rose, Vibeke Sonora, Myristica, 4th Eden, Christaal, J S Kingfisher, Natascha Wilczek, Suzanne Doucet & Tajalli, Aum Orchestra, Jane Winther, David Vito Gregoli, Paradiso, Sabine Van Baaren and Mark Joggerst, Glenn Main, Hollan Holmes, Conni St. Pierre, 2mGamma, Louis Colaiannia, Asher Quinn, Sensitive Heart, Timothy P. Orr, and Zamora.
The annual compilations – available in both physical and digital formats – have become favorites among everyday music fans, professional radio programmers, and massage therapists who love the ability to play over three hours of relaxing music from just one CD. Each artist receives multiple copies to sell or give to their fans, and thousands more are distributed at various music conferences and healthy expos (such as GATE, MIDEM, INATS) throughout the year.
Doucet, who is an artist, composer and leading consultant within the new age market, says that despite the genre’s naysayers, the New Age music category is a healthy and growing international music niche, similar in scope to that of jazz music. In late 2008, she recognized the community-building opportunities on NING.com, founded the New Age Music Circle (http://newagemusik.ning.com), and watched the community steadily grow to include over 1500 people worldwide. Members enjoy sharing music, inspiration, event information, artwork and invitations to collaborate in various ways.
Doucet utilizes top-quality MP3 files to pack the ultimate amount of music onto the physical CDs. She begins by inviting Circle members to submit their tracks, then arranges the music to create the ultimate “flow” -- no easy feat with approximately forty tracks and three hours of music on each album. The overall process for producing each compilation takes about four months.
The physical compilations, manufactured by TSI in Valencia, CA, must be played in MP3-compatible CD players or in computer CD-ROM drives, and will download into iTunes. Packaging is a colorful eco-friendly cardboard sleeve with inserts listing each artist’s name, track, album title, cover art, and website address. While physical copies are limited, digital versions of the album can be purchased and downloaded as an iTunes Playlist at: https://c.itunes.apple.com/us/imix/sounds-from-the-circle-v-2013/id639499427
Huffington Post has an interesting article about the Shen Tao Studio in New York City where you can try trampoline yoga. Carolyn Gregoire have this report:
Although I prefer the flow of traditional yoga, I would definitely attend another class at Shen Tao. I appreciated the deep stretching, attention to individual students, and urban zen feel of the Park Avenue studio -- it's pretty tough to stay stressed when you're bouncing on a trampoline surrounded by new age music and waterfalls.
Read the article here. How about a dedicated trampoline yoga album? The deep, low bass can be the sound of the trampoline...
An attempt to illustrate the many subgenres of New Age Music. POSTED 19 May 2013
TAGGED: New Age Music History
As a New Age music promoter I try to answer the 40 year old question again and again; What is New Age music? Sometimes I feel that it would be easier to answer What is NOT New Age music? since the genre itself is so hard to define and covers so much.
I recently did a review of P. J. Birosik's book The New Age Music Guide from 1989. As an index of artists and records it is not the best release out there (Henk N. Werkhoven's book The International Guide To New Age Music from 1998 is much better - and more updated too). But the book devides the New Age music genre into subgenres in a very good way. Here is the index from the book:
In the book each of the subgenres are commented by a person (artist or reviewer) with special insight in this perticular subgenre. After reading the book and looking at the index again I decided to try to organize P. J.'s subgenres in some way or other - because I felt that it had real meaning and value - and ended up with this tree:
The general idea is that New Age music traditional is the main genre label. To quote Suzanne Doucet: "New Age Traditional Music distingushes itslef not by style, performance or technique, or personality, but by its nature which is contemplative rather than entertaining" (page 150, The New Age Music Guide). I devided the subgenres into 5 levels on the above tree. Each entry is almost (or fully) a genre of its own too. The top level is:
- * Solo Instrumental
- * Enviromental/Nature sounds
- * Meditation music
These are the main subgenres. They represent everything New Age music is all about, even though the Solo Instrumental category is extremely wide. To narrow it down, Shel Kagan writes (Birosik: page 110); "Without lyrics or dense instrumental layers to concentrate on, the mind is directed inward. While some artists' styles and techniques have symphonic or classical forms, New Age Solo instrumentalists also display new directions in composition and execution that set them apart from more historically bound forms of delivery".
The next level is:
- * Sound Health Music
- * Electronic/Computer Music
- * Space Music
Sound Health Music is a very interesting genre, and I'm sure that we have not yet seen its full potential. Jonathan Goldman writes: "New Age Sound Health music can either facilitate brain activity for accelerated learning or entrain the listener to very slow brain waves, taking them to deep places in the consciousness for meditation." (Birosik: page 122) Ambient music, where Electronic/Computer Music and Space Music may very well be placed, is much a genre of its own, of course, but in this context we are focusing on their place in New Age music. To quote the over 20 year old book: "This is electro-acoustic music by combining traditional instruments with state-of-the-art technology".
And then we have the "ethno-influence":
- * World Music
- * Native American/Indigenous Music
- * East/West
To quote Bodhi Raines (Birosik: page 6): This music comes "out of the interaction between East and West - through the meetings of musicians sharing ideas and art forms". What I find most interesting here, is that the New Age music version of the above genres has lost most its connection to the source. To illustrate: when Deep Forest used a recording from the Solomon Islands (called "Rorogwela") to create the 1990s hit Sweet Lullaby where the sample is taken from and what the words means have little or no meaning. It is everything about atmosphere. New Age music is in this way a fusion of East and West, of World and all kinds of Idigenous Music. But the fusion itself somehow removes the instrument, sample or vocal from its original source.
Level 4 is:
- * Vocal Music
- * Progressive Music
- * Jazz Fusion
New Age music is created in the crossing point between Jazz and more progressive music, like prog rock. To quote Dallas Smith (Birosik: page 46): "New Age Jazz Fusion represents a gentle rebellion against overly spacey New Age music and overly frenetic Jazz". It is progressive music without rock but with lots of harmonies.
And lastly, the two main genres that have influenced New Age music:
- * Folk Music
- * Pop Music
New Age music is influenced by folk and pop, and some titles have been just as much pop as New Age music - like Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells.
In sum, these subgenres makes it easier to use the term New Age music because they show where the genre belong. It is not the complete answer to the What is New Age music question, though I feel that it gives a general understanding of the topic.
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