Showing posts with label Independent Artist. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Independent Artist. Show all posts

7/17/2014

Get Your Song Ideas from Symphonic and Heavy Metal Music

Russ Suereth

Last week we discussed getting music ideas from new age and ambient music. This week we’ll discuss getting ideas from symphonic music and heavy metal.

It’s hard to find two types of music that are more different from each other than heavy metal and symphonic music. But they are also similar, because both can excel at musical passages that are simple and hard to get out of your head.

Case in point is Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor. Written around 1805, this composition starts with the famous ta-ta-ta-daa, ta-ta-ta-daa. These eight notes are part of our ordinary music knowledge, and have been used by modern groups such as the Electric Light Orchestra.

The point here is that these eight simple notes can be used as a basis for your eight-note or ten-note hook. Sometimes it’s the simple things that are memorable and that catch a person’s ear.

The same goes for heavy metal music. There have been a lot of great hooks in heavy metal for years. Black Sabbath’s Paranoid album is full of powerful hooks. For instance, the beginning of the song “Ironman” has a great guitar hook that feels like a giant metallic beast stomping across the countryside. That piece still makes me smile today.

Other heavy metal examples, of course, can be found in Led Zeppelin tunes. The song “Good Times Bad Times” starts off with a great riff from Jimmy Page that is simple and memorable.

Just because Beethoven and Page were, and are, great artists does not mean you should be intimidated. Just focus on the notes, and forget the rest of the song, and everything else. Start playing some notes on the keyboard or the guitar, and find something you like and that sounds catchy. Keep it simple. And then embellish it a little with your style and tone. Or embellish it a lot. It’s your riff!

7/10/2014

New Age Instrumental Review: Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman-Winds of Samsara

Release Date: July 2014
Label: Listen 2 Africa

If you are looking for an album of peace and positivity, look no further than Winds of Samsara. Over one hundred and twenty stellar musicians went into the making of this epic album of love and light. Featuring tracks highlighting the lives of Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi amongst others, Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman have created a pattern of starry skies and moonlit wonders as vast as the heavens. 

Some of the contributing artists are: Wouter Kellerman (flute, fife), Ricky Kej (bass, keyboard), Ciro Hurtado (guitar), Prakash Sontakke (vocals, Hawaiian guitar), Vanil Veigas (keyboard, Santoor), Keerthy Narayan (keyboard, orchestral arrangements, synth), Cochin Chamber (string section), Manoj George (choral arrangements), Bangalore Women’s Choir (choir), Varsha Gowda (percussion), Lamine Sonko (vocals), Janine Maunder (vocals), Angela Librandi (vocals), Joe Creighton (vocals), Tholsi Pillay (keyboard), Gopi (Indian vocals), Mauritz Lotz (guitar, programming), Vinnie Henrico (drums), Veena Biju, Chaithra HG (vocals), Gayathri Suresh (vocals), Denny Lalouette (bass) and many others. This album is chock full of amazing performers who light up the album with their talents. If I could give a higher score than 5/5 I would in a heartbeat. 

“Heaven is Here” begins with eloquent meditative flute sounds paired with atmospheric spaces and chanting. The keyboards bring balance, as do the Santoor, bass flute, Sitar and percussive elements. The highlights for me were the soothing feminine vocals from Alexis D’Souza and scat vocals from Jyoti Venkatraman. Kej and Kellerman are simply rapturous in this piece. Heaven could not sound any more soothing or in tune. The textures layer and weave in amongst themselves to band into a cohesive sound fit for the ears of the angels themselves.

“Remembrance” also named “Greensleeves” is a classic we have heard many times before. Just not quite like this. Edgy flute blended with hollow sounds and ethereal landscapes brings this piece to life. Synth, guitar, bass, piano, cello, the magical Sitar, drums and soothing vocals twist and wind around you like a vine from a village hidden in time. This piece brings to mind the elegant ladies of medieval days and Renaissance fairs. 

“Nocturne” is the final track on the album and features classical pianist Michael Lewin. Kej, Kellerman and Lewin have quite the reenactment of Chopin’s composition. There is a fusion here of flute and piano with vocals drifting in and out like cloud formations. Emotionally infused, this piece will take you back in time to memories of things loved and lost and found again. It is simply breathtaking.

Winds of Samsara is a breathtaking effort by hundreds of artists and it stands out in a crowd. In many New Age albums, one track leads into another without much to distinguish between the pieces. This is not the case here. Each composition stands for something and is audibly different. From a tribute to Nelson Mandela to a resurgence of Chopin’s magnificence, this album captures classic sound and infuses it with Indian influences; World Music, unique instruments and vocals that will make your heart sing or weep as the emotion takes you. I have listened to it for over a week and have not gotten tired of it once. Let this album wake you up in the morning and tuck you in at night. It is a soothing cup of tea for the soul and I highly recommend it.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Heaven is Here, Remembrance, Nocturne

Tracks:
 01. Mahatma (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
02. New Earth Calling (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
03. Crystal Moon (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
04. Madiba (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
05. Longing (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
06. Heaven Is Here (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
07. River of Time (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
08. Eyes of Wonder (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
09. Remembrance (Greensleeves) (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
10. Journey to Higher Grounds (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
11. Mountain Solitude (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
12. Desert Wind (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman)
13. Grace (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman featuring Fiona Joy)
14. Nocturne (Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman featuring Michael Lewin)

 
Dana Wright, Sr. Staff Writer

July 10, 2014

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

7/02/2014

From Where The Artist Sits: Creating A Music Video

Russ Suereth

There are a lot of processes and a lot of steps to creating a video. 

I just finished a new music video for my song, Portraits from Living. This week’s article is about the process I went through to create that video, how I did it, and why I did it that way. So let’s start.

First, I determined what type of music video I wanted to create. There are all types of music videos out there today. My budget is on the low side. Accordingly I decided to do something minimal like the recent videos from a variety of remix channels. A great example is the Majestic Casual channel on YouTube. These videos simply have a still photograph, the words “Majestic Casual,” and their logo.

I’ve have liked that minimal style lately because those single images are usually better than the moving images I see in music videos. I also think that the minimal style helps me pay attention to the music.

So I took that idea and embellished it. I got a single image and added some minor movement effects to it. Then I added my name, the title, and my logo over the top.

What did I use to make this music video? Here’s a list of the hardware and software I used.
·         Computer:  iMac i5
·         Video Software: Final Cut Pro X
·         Video Software Plugin: PRO16MM from Pixel Film Studios
·         Graphic Software: Adobe Illustrator

And that’s it.

I use Illustrator for the title, my name, and my logo on the video, but you can use the text capabilities within Final Cut Pro to do that instead. Also you can use the effects that come with Final Cut Pro instead of the plugin. Or you could use any tool like iMovie or Adobe After Effects instead of Final Cut Pro.

Here are all the steps I took to complete my video project:

Step 1. Find a photograph, painting, or graphic design that you like. Try to find an image that can somehow connect to the music. Take a picture of a river, or a friend. Or pick something from the many stock photo sites on the internet. Make sure that you have the proper copyright capabilities with any photo you purchase. Just because you purchase an image doesn’t mean you can use that image for your video. Check the small print available on the stock photo web site.

Step 2.  Find a font to use for your name and the title.  The software you use will have many fonts to choose from.  Or you can buy a font that may be a little more unique to your video.

Step 3.  Add some effects to your image. Video software usually comes with a library of effects to enhance the colors and the image. You can go from subtle to aggressive on the effects. Regardless of your choice, I really think you should add some degree of effects to give the video your own personal touch.

Step 4.  Add your name and title to the effected image.  I like adding the text on top of the image and effects, so that the text stands out.

Step 6.  Whether you have a complete movie, a single-image that moves, or a still photo you’ll need to save that in a format that YouTube can handle.  This YouTube link discusses the proper formats and how different formats can be converted.

Step 7.  Upload the video to YouTube.  I normally use Final Cut Pro X to do many of the steps listed above.  Final Cut Pro, as well as other video software programs, enables you to share your video to YouTube by making a few clicks.  Alternatively here’s another link from YouTube about uploading your video.

Step 8. Once your video is on YouTube, go to your Video Manager and choose the thumbnail that people will see before they click your video. Then provide an interesting description of the video. And don’t forget to promote yourself!

6/17/2014

Music Distribution: A Look From The Inside Through The Eyes of An Artist

By Russ Suereth

This week’s article is a discussion about online music distribution.

There are dozens of ways to distribute your music online.  The tough part is figuring out which is the best one for you.

Your music can be sold online a number of ways including your own website, Facebook, online radio, satellite radio, terrestrial radio, and online stores like iTunes, Amazon, or CD Baby.

Two of the main companies out there for music distribution are TuneCore and CD Baby.  These two basically have the same features. The main difference seems to be that TuneCore has a yearly fee, and CD Baby takes a small percentage of your sales. Some people will argue that they are very different but I don’t see that.

I used TuneCore on my first EP, and now I’m using CD Baby on my new CD.  I changed just to try out CD Baby, and they both seem the same to me.  Although I do like the CD Baby player that I can put on my web site, I would definitely recommend either one of these two distributors.

I’ve also had my music played on college radio stations, though I never really felt that it allows me to establish a connection with my listeners.  I always felt that my music went into a black void.

I also have used Radio Airplay quite a bit, but I don’t any longer.  I started using it because it looked like I could connect to listeners who liked my music.  Radio Airplay does allow you to know who liked your songs.  But your communication back to them, even something simple like, “Thanks for listening,” goes to an area of Airplay that users never pay attention to.

So that takes me to my website, where at least I can set up a newsletter or some form of communication with listeners who want to provide their email address.  And that’s a topic for another day.  Actually it’s several topics because there’s a lot to discuss.

1/28/2014

Andrew Pearson Third International Releasing Live Music and New Download Only Single


Andrew Pearson left England in 1973 and came to the U.S. and never looked back. Since that life changing trip across the Atlantic he has recorded music with his own band and toured alongside luminaries such as Rory Gallagher, Jeff Beck, Fleetwood Mac, The Band, Elvin Bishop and Aerosmith.
 
After many years of honing his skills and paying his dues on the road, Pearson took around 10 years off. After making music his life he then became part of the populace that worked normal jobs on a daily basis. Music kept calling him back and since his return he has released 4 recordings total, most recently a DVD, titled IDES with his band Third International. A new download only single called “Formaldehyde” has been released today as well to prime his audience for an upcoming live DVD.

Pearson lives and breathes the word “Indie.” It is part of his physical, mental and spiritual make up and that is transferred into the words and music he creates. He believes since his return to music, that there is no point in making music unless it has a purpose, a meaning that people can hold on to. His sociopolitical messages are supported by his unique yet expressive vocal style and a psychedelic tinged blues rock sound that takes you back to a simpler time that laid the foundation of all rock music. Do not mistake the music for a throwback type of affair however, everything about it is modern and the production attributes allow it to sound very much today by using blues rock to build waves of sounds and words that will pull you in and make you listen.

A verse from the new single “Formaldehyde” will give you an idea of where Pearson is coming from:

Now I’m feeling the vibrations
Spatial sensations
Of heady aspirations
Compelled emancipation

There is plenty more where that came from and if you enjoyed just a taste you will most certainly require the full course meal. The music of Andrew Pearson Third International can be sampled and ordered directly from the website at www.thethirdinternational.com. As the music and ideas of Pearson take shape and are transformed into music they become reality and find a home on his website then become available through today’s traditional methods of distribution such as iTunes, CD Baby, Amazon and of course directly from the artist website. “Formaldehyde” is a download only release.

Andrew Pearson offers more than music, he challenges you listen and take stock of your own life and helps you to decide if you are spending enough time on the things you are passionate about and believe in and then will take a stand and fight for at any cost. Check out Andrew Pearson Third International and find your path to emancipation.



11/11/2013

Jazz Fusion Review: Ivan Verrastro-Sentience

Artist: Ivan Verrastro
Title: Sentience
Genre: Jazz Fusion
Label: Independent
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Ivan Verrastro is a true master of his craft. Every second is as important as the other on every song. Not a second is wasted. Sentience is clearly a labor of love that he has poured everything he has into making this album..READ MORE...

10/30/2013

New Age Celtic Review: Shauna Burns-Violet

Artist: Shauna Burns
Title: Violet
Genre: New Age/ Celtic
Label: Red Rock Music LLC
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If you are a fan of Sarah McLachlan, you will find a lot of similarities in sound, Celtic flair and deeply emotive vocals in this album on the whole. In particular, the song “Vienna” gouged at my heart with a spoon...READ MORE...

10/11/2013

Lance Reegan-Diehl Introduces The Player Signature Swing Guitar Line

Seoul-Korea-October, 8-2013- When Lance Reegan-Diehl met the owner of Swing Guitars a partnership was born. Lance was asked to provide a design of a guitar that he would like to play. After his many experiences modifying
guitars he found it natural to sit down and sketch out some designs....READ MORE...

9/25/2013

Pop Review: Woody Russell-Delicious Days

Artist: Woody Russell
Title: Delicious Days
Genre: Pop
Label: Cuts Music Group
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I listened to it four times before I even put my shovel in the dirt. Having heard most of his previous work, I thought I was familiar with Woody. His last vocal album, Up Against It, was a classic Texas blues and soul masterpiece that I still listen to on a regular basis. But, Delicious Days is an entirely new level on the house that Woody built and it sounds like a man who has truly found his sweet spot...READ MORE...

8/30/2013

Pop/Rock Review: Leah Jee-The Rest is Ours EP

Artist: Leah Jee
Title: The Rest is Ours EP
Genre: Pop/Rock
Label: LRT Music Group
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The Rest is Ours EP is the debut release from Southern California’s Leah Jee. Jee is a singer/songwriter with Pop/Rock style with a punk spin on it, and her mantra is, “I’m Leah Jee, and I am here to rock you out!” Does she fulfill this mantra on her debut?...READ MORE...

7/08/2013

Country Review: Linda Lundqvist- A Piece of Me

Artist: Linda Lundqvist
Title: A Piece of Me
Genre: Country
Label: Musik and Film
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Linda Lundqvist hails from the fair land of Sweden. In an environment that is full of talented musicians, Lundqvist is an example of talent that stretches across boundaries and genres. For almost twenty years she has been engaging audiences through music and theater, both as an instructor and performer...READ MORE...

3/25/2013

New Age Instrumental Review: Grant Michael Allport-Imagine This

Artist: Grant Michael Allport
Title: Imagine This
Genre: New Age Instrumental
Label: Independent
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Grant Michael Allport is a musician and composer from down under. His blend of pop and New Age Instrumentals is one that will keep you guessing what tricks he is hiding up his sleeve...READ MORE...

3/20/2013

Folk-Blues Review: Mike McGuire-Kentucky Morning

Artist: Mike McGuire
Title: Kentucky Morning
Genre: Folk/Blues
Label: Independent
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Mike McGuire is a singer-songwriter that sings folk songs with a blues edge. His thoughtful, often witty, lyrics blend together with his music and put him a notch above a lot of his peers. After a couple of years away he is finally ready to release some new music; a six-song collection called Kentucky Morning...READ MORE...

3/18/2013

Roots Rock Review: Ten Ton Man

Artist: Ten Ton Man
Title: Ten Ton Man
Genre: Roots Rock
Label: Ten Ton Man Records
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Ten Ton Man is a roots rock trio consisting of Paul Livornese (vocals/guitar), Paul Triff (drums), and Paul Dugan (bass) from New York City. Formed in 2011, Ten Ton Man has been making a scene, playing the New York City venues with their bluesy roots rock sound. Born in Brooklyn, Paul Livornese is a Parson School of Design graduate...READ MORE...

3/12/2013

Jazz/Americana Review: Jude Johnstone-Shatter

Artist: Jude Johnstone
Title: Shatter
Genre: Americana/Jazz
Label: Bojak Records
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Jude Johnstone began her musical career at the young age of eight and by sweet sixteen was playing in a band. Discovered by E Street saxophonist Clarence Clemmons, she has since blossomed into a fiery songwriter that has captured the attention of and been covered by greats such as Bonnie Raitt, Bette Midler, Johnny Cash and Trisha Yearwood....READ MORE...

12/11/2012

Holiday/Adult Contemporary Review: Margo Rey – This Holiday Night

Artist: Margo Rey
Title: This Holiday Night
Genre: Holiday/Adult Contemporary
Label: Organica Music Group
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Margo Rey is a singer and songwriter originally known as Margarita Reymundo. Her sound is best described as adult contemporary with infusions of alternative pop. Laced with ambient guitar, vocals imbued with raw emotion, and a style all her own, this artist has crafted a sound that has taken her to number six on the National Adult Contemporary Music charts. This album is full of energy and good cheer...READ MORE...

11/12/2012

Pittsburgh Rockers Big Atlantic Drop Their Long Awaited Debut CD and Video Featuring the Single “Verdict”

Pittsburgh, PA-November, 13, 2012- Big Atlantic, a high energy band, with a name that is quickly becoming synonymous with some of rock’s greatest acts, has recently released their long awaited self-titled full length CD featuring the single “Verdict.

The album brings out the very best in this emerging rock act with its innovative and creative writing style, demonstrating a unique flare rarely heard in today’s rock music scene. Although every song on the album is extremely strong in its own way, the featured single, “Verdict” with its obvious strong hooks accompanied by the melodic riffs is, without question, is the stand out track on this recording. The song just brings it home on every turn. While each band member may have his own personal favorite, there are so many strong songs on this album that it was very difficult to decide which one was the strongest. You could play this record for ten different fans and get ten different opinions.

The energetic CD was produced by formidable record producer Rob Freeman. The band was also involved in the production. Blood, sweat, and sometimes tears went into this effort recorded at multiple studios; JKG studios in Pittsburgh and the Pilot Studio in Boonton New Jersey. The mastering took place at Turtle Tone Studios in New York City. When it was all said and done, the result was an astounding full length record.

Four rock steady musicians round out the quartet that is Big Atlantic. With Lee Caruso’s powerful red hot lead vocals and searing guitar riffs, Benjamin Hull’s syncopated bass groves, Tom Gascon’s dynamic drum beats and Jim Zamerski’s mesmerizing keys and guitar; Big Atlantic is proving to be a formidable force in the rock world.

Aside from great creative songwriting, an exciting live performance is probably one of the foremost trademarks of this high energy original progressive/alternative rock band. Their contagious spirit and obvious on-stage motivation is what sets them apart from all others. Although Big Atlantic is yet to share the stage with any high profile national acts, they are on their way, and are in the process of setting up a regional and national touring schedule. When asked what emotions he wants the band’s audience and fans to feel after a Big Atlantic performance, Lee Caruso replies, “We want our fans to feel full of hope, passion, energy, and motivation, giving them the confidence to take on the challenges they may face while chasing the dreams they long for.”

Big Atlantic’s new release is available at their official website and on iTunes. For more information on this up and coming rock outfit, to view the official video for “Verdict”, and to purchase the new CD, you can visit the band’s website at www.www.bigatlantic.com.

Track Listing
Verdict
Luminosity
Open Up
New Beginning
Change
Still: Waiting
I Don’t Wanna Be Free
Mad House
Say Hello to the World
Elocation
Born in the Wind
Motive

Media Inquiries:

Contact: Ken Cavalier, Publicist

Company: Allure Media Entertainment Group, Inc.

Location: New York, New York

Tel: 1-888-242-9331 x105

Email: alluremediaent@gmail.com

Band Website: http://bigatlantic.com/

Verdict You Tube Link: http://youtu.be/PlCouy2vo38

10/30/2012

Leo Drioli Releases First Single “Give It Your Love” On House of Wow!

Adelaide, Australia-October 30, 2012- Leo Drioli is well known as a spiritual leader and now he is making his way into the hearts of music fans with a pop single that will remind music lovers everywhere of The Beatles and similar artists who ruled the airwaves. “Give It Your Love” is a positive message from a man that has many to deliver and now his audience will become much larger...READ MORE...

7/03/2012

Review: Project Grand Slam – Spring Dance

Artist: Project Grand Slam
Title: Spring Dance
Genre: Jazz
Label: Cakewalk Records
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Project Grand Slam is an internationally known New York based Jazz group. Formed in 2007, the band consists of Robert Miller (composer, electric bass), Ron Thaler (drums, percussion) and Gilad Ronen (saxophone). Guest artists include Danny Lerman (saxophone), Mike Eckroth (keyboard) and Joye Hennessey (vocalist). Spring Dance is the band’s third album...READ MORE...

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