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Guitarist Wanted - Clearwater, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 10-15-2014 ... 18:20 EST
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Spring 2015 ‘Carnival Live Concert Series’artist Lineup
Oct 17
Best of Live Music at Sea Program to Feature Journey, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Smokey Robinson and Styx With Additional Artists to be Announced Next Year

Cruising has never sounded so good! Today Carnival Cruise Lines unveiled its new Carnival LIVE Concert Series roster for spring 2015, bringing more of the best live music to sea from some of most popular and highly requested music acts. Coming on board in the first part of next year will be Journey, Rascal Flatts, Little Big Town, Smokey Robinson, and Styx, back by popular demand for the second season.
The exciting 2015 Carnival LIVE concert lineup continues this one-of-a-kind entertainment option, while building on the success of an inaugural year of high-energy, sold-out on-board performances. In addition to this incredible mix of GRAMMY® Award- and CMA Award-winning artists and nominees, next year the company will announce even more acts scheduled for the latter half of 2015.
Carnival LIVE was created to give guests the opportunity to experience exclusive live entertainment from major music artists, all at a tremendous value and with great convenience. Guests attend shows in the ship’s main theaters – which range in seating capacity from 900 to 1,300 – for an intimate on-board performance where there is never a bad seat in the house.
“Our 2014 Carnival LIVE shows have been tour standouts, so we are thrilled to get on board again to rock the boat next year,” said Tommy Shaw, singer and guitarist for Styx. “The audience of cruisers in a vacation state-of-mind combined with the ship’s theater design creates an incredible energy that’s fun for everyone, including the band.”
Guests will have even more Carnival vessels, homeports and itineraries to choose from with a total of 10 “Fun Ships” departing from six convenient U.S. homeports hosting concerts in spring 2015. Carnival LIVE voyages will originate in Miami, Port Canaveral, Tampa, and Jacksonville, Fla; Charleston, S.C.; and, for the first time, Galveston, Texas, the line’s second largest homeport.
The 2015 Carnival LIVE Concert Series kicks off next March and features one or more major artist each month, performing multiple shows on Carnival vessels docked in one of three ports of call: Cozumel, Nassau and a new port for the program, St. Thomas. Artists board the ship in port, perform in the main show lounge, and then debark following the concert.
· Journey kicks off the 2015 roster with two rock anthem-filled performances on March 18 and 19 in St. Thomas.
· The award-winning Little Big Town brings their unmistakable sound to “Fun Ships” in Nassau for three appearances on (March 30 and 31 and April 1).
· Guests “Cruisin’” to see Smokey Robinson sing timeless classics from his 50-year music career can catch the icon April 21, 22 and 23 in Cozumel.
· In May, country trio Rascal Flatts, one of the top-selling live artists in any genre, will perform a series of three shows for guests in Cozumel (May 5, 6 and 7).
· Rock fans are invited to “Come Sail Away” to see one of four Styx concerts to be performed in Nassau (June 16, 17, 18 and 20).

“We are thrilled to continue our Carnival LIVE Concert Series in 2015 and welcome aboard more fantastic rock, country and R&B artists for our guests to enjoy,” said Mark Tamis, senior vice president of guest operations for Carnival Cruise Lines. “This program has struck a chord with consistently sold-out shows and a tremendous response from past guests and travel agent partners, as well as those who sailed with us for the first time to catch their favorite performers.”
Carnival LIVE tickets for 2015 range from $35 to $60 for general admission, significantly less than land-based concerts. VIP tickets are available for $125 to $250, offering fans seating in the first four rows, an artist meet and greet, a souvenir photo with the artist and a commemorative concert pass.
For a calendar of spring 2015 Carnival LIVE concerts and to learn more about the Carnival LIVE sailings this fall featuring Lady Antebellum, Trace Adkins, Jewel, Daughtry and more, visit, contact any travel agent or call 1-800-CARNIVAL.
Carnival can be found on:
Facebook Fan Page:
Journalists also can visit Carnival’s media site, or follow the line’s PR department on Twitter at

About Carnival Cruise Lines
Carnival, a unit of Carnival Corporation & plc (NYSE/LSE: CCL; NYSE: CUK), is "The World's Most Popular Cruise Line®" with 24 ships operating three- to 16-day voyages to The Bahamas, Caribbean, Mexican Riviera, Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, New England, Bermuda, Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. The company’s 25th ship, the 135,000-ton Carnival Vista, is scheduled to enter service in 2016.
Fl Orchestra November Concerts
Oct 16
Raymond James Pops
Fiesta! An Evening with the Mambo Kings

Jeff Tyzik, conductor
Mambo Kings, guest artists

The orchestra fires up the evening with popular symphonic works infused with infectious Latin rhythms by Piazzolla, Lecuona, de Falla and others...followed by the high-energy blend of Afro-Cuban rhythms and jazz improvisations of the Mambo Kings performing such hits as Tres Lindas Cubanas, Blue Mambo a la Turk, Oye Cómo Va, El Cumbachero and other sizzling sounds.

Fri, Oct 31, 8 pm
Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Ferguson Hall
Sat, Nov 1, 8 pm
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Mahaffey Theater
Sun, Nov 2, 7:30 pm
Ruth Eckerd Hall

Media sponsor: WDUV

Tickets: $15, $30 & $45

Acura/ELS Presents
The Ben Folds Experience

Ben Folds, vocals & piano
Jacomo Bairos, conductor

Multi-platinum selling, singer-songwriter, indie-rocker and celebrity judge on NBC’s The Sing Off, Ben Folds will join the orchestra to perform such hits as Effington, Jesusland, Steven’s Last Night in Town, The Luckiest, Not the Same, Narcolepsy, Smoke, Landed, Rockin’ the Suburbs and Brick, among many more. He is also the soloist in his new piano concerto, which critics have hailed for its imaginative mix of “jazz, boogie-woogie, European baroque and Gershwin-esque, Hollywood sumptuousness.”

Fri, Nov 7, 8 pm
Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Carol Morsani Hall

Media sponsor: 97X

Tickets: $35, $55, $75 & $95

Special Concert
Ocean Voyagers

Jacomo Bairos, conductor

With recorded narration by Meryl Streep and music by South African composer Grant McLachlan, The Florida Orchestra will perform the eloquent and lyrical soundtrack to accompany the film Ocean Voyagers, documenting the relationship and five-year journey of a precocious baby humpback whale and his enormous 40-ton mother as they travel seemingly boundless oceans together. The concert also features the TFO premiere of Mason Bates' Alternative Energy providing an amazing trip through time from rustic fiddle tunes to digital techno beats and beyond.

This performance is a collaboration of filmmaker Feodor Pitcairn, composer Grant McLachlan, the Blue Ocean Film Festival and The Florida Orchestra.

Sat, Nov 8, 8 pm
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Mahaffey Theater

Tickets: $20, $35 & $50

New! Family Concerts
The Science of Sound

Have you ever wondered what makes a sound? Why are some high and some low? What is a vibration? Come find out with the Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI) and musicians of The Florida Orchestra! Join us for “Musical Playtime” starting 45 minutes prior to the concert. Activities will include an instrument petting zoo, musical games, stories and other learning opportunities.

Tickets are $5 per person and are available at The Florida Orchestra ticket center in advance or at the door of the given venue, pending availability. Due to limited capacity of 200 or fewer, it is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance. Parking is not included with the ticket price.

Nov 8, 10 am & 11:45 am
Mahaffey Theater Atrium, St. Petersburg

Nov 22, 10 am & 11:45 am
MOSI Auditorium, Tampa

Tampa Bay Times Masterworks
Carmina Burana

Danail Rachev, conductor
Elizabeth Caballero, soprano
Gordon Gietz, tenor
Cameron McPhail, baritone
The Master Chorale of Tampa Bay
James Bass, music and artistic director
Tampa Bay Children’s Chorus
Averill Summer, artistic director

SCHUBERT: Rosamunde Overture, D. 644
DEBUSSY: Nocturnes
ORFF: Carmina Burana

The evening starts with Schubert’s dramatic and spirited overture and then transitions into Debussy’s world of fantastic sounds and swirling, vibrant orchestral colors. Orff provides an almost pagan musical potion of soaring vocal solos, frenzied choral passages and pulsating percussive orchestration.

Fri, Nov 14, 8 pm
Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Carol Morsani Hall
Sat, Nov 15, 2 pm - Matinee Added
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Mahaffey Theater
Sat, Nov 15, 8 pm
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Mahaffey Theater
Sun, Nov 16, 7:30 pm
Ruth Eckerd Hall

Sponsor: Ark Royal Insurance

Tickets: $15, $30 & $45

Coffee Concert
No Strings Attached

Stuart Malina, conductor

Featuring percussionists from the National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba as part of our ongoing cultural exchange; a program of works showcasing brass, winds and percussion

DUKAS: La Peri Fanfare
DVORAK: Serenade in D minor, Op. 44
MOZART: Serenade No. 11 in E-fl at Major, K. 375

Stuart Malina conducts this morning concert featuring a program of works that showcases brass, winds and percussion, including Dukas’ La Peri Fanfare, Dvorak’s Serenade in D minor, Op. 44 and Mozart’s Serenade No. 11 in E-flat Major. Complimentary coffee and doughnuts will be served.

Thu, Nov 20, 11 am
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Mahaffey Theater

Tickets: $24, 29, $34 & $42

Raymond James Pops
Vegas and the Rat Pack

Matt Catingub, conductor
Anita Hall, vocalist
Steve Moretti, drums

The multi-talented GRAMMY Award winner Matt Catingub invites you to a swinging night of big band tunes made famous by Las Vegas’ Rat Pack...Sammy Davis Jr., Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. Singer Anita Hall performs such favorites as What Kind of Fool Am I, Everybody Loves Somebody, That’s Amore, Standing on the Corner, and I’ve Got the World on a String, among others.

Fri, Nov 21, 8 pm
Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Carol Morsani Hall
Sat, Nov 22, 8 pm
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Mahaffey Theater
Sun, Nov 23, 7:30 pm
Ruth Eckerd Hall

Sponsor: Courtyard Tampa
Media sponsor: WDUV

Tickets: $15, $30 & $45

Family Friendly! Special Concert
Pixar In Concert

Lawrence Loh, conductor

Experience the joy of Pixar’s most beloved characters and memorable scores with beautiful orchestral accompaniment. Featuring clips from 14 of Pixar’s animated films, including music from Toy Story, Finding Nemo, Ratatouille, A Bug’s Life, WALL-E, Toy Story 2, Cars, UP, The Incredibles, Monsters, Inc., Cars 2, Brave, Toy Story 3 and Monsters University, watch stunning HD, widescreen images while The Florida Orchestra performs the music live.

Presentation licensed by Disney Concerts © Disney/Pixar.

Fri, Nov 28, 8 pm
Straz Center for the Performing Arts, Carol Morsani Hall
Sat, Nov 29, 8 pm
Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Mahaffey Theater

Tickets: $20, $35 & $50
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Runar Halonen & Tron Syversen Combine Talents For Ambient Recording
Oct 29

Best-selling Norwegian new age music keyboardist Tron Syversen has teamed with wordless vocalist Runar Halonen to create the powerful and therapeutic recording, Voices From Heaven, a masterpiece of ambient and improvisational sound healing.

Syversen has created more than a dozen albums that have led him to the forefront of the new age music field. His music serves as a sanctuary for relaxation, rejuvenation and well-being. He is known for making music that is healing, meditative, healthful, stress-reducing and peaceful. Syversen has worked with many wordless vocalists on his previous recordings, so teaming up with sound-healer Halonen was a logical step. The duo has previously worked together on musical guided meditation recordings (Activation of Your Inner Healing and Create The Life You Want).

Syversen is acknowledged as a pioneer in the Northern-European relaxation-healing music community, but each year his music and influence has spread farther afield. Syversen’s CD, Piano Poems, went to #6 on the international monthly Top 100 Zone Music Reporter airplay chart followed by the #5 Peaceful Journey and the #6 Sacred Dreams -- some of the most-played new age music recordings of the past few years. On these albums he often plays piano and electronic keyboards with occasional guest musicians on acoustic instruments. Syversen also composes, arranges and produces the music.

Voices From Heaven and other recordings by Tron Syversen are available from his website (,, and many other online CD and digital download sales sites as well as at many large retail stores as well as music, gift and new age lifestyle shops throughout North America and Europe. His music has become extremely popular with holistic healers, massage therapists, spa managers, yoga teachers, reiki masters, doctors, school teachers and care-givers.

Halonen has been working in the healing industry since 1996 (“It is an in-born ability to convey universal energy.”). He completed a study of reflexology in 2000 and began working in the field fulltime in 2003. He is an Approved MNHA Healer in the Nordic Healing Association (qualifying members’ education, practice and ethical conduct) which is, in turn, approved by the government’s regulating Social Affairs department. Halonen does private healing sessions, as well as group meetings, seminars, conferences and concerts.

For Voices From Heaven, both Halonen and Syversen felt they “channeled” the music. “These tracks were created without previous planning,” explains Syversen. “We put ourselves into a state of mind so that the music could come to us freely.”

According to Halonen, “Sound healing is a powerful tool to use. I experience it as a deep form of healing. The energy created from sound healing is very sharp, and it can best be described as a kind of needle-energy. Sound healing creates unique frequencies that are very specific for each situation. The energies use my voice as an instrument to reach specific areas in your body or mind. The sound carries the energies. Different vocal sounds appear -- both high and low notes. Through inner images, I see where the sound is working on the client or within a group.”

Voices From Heaven is comprised of three lengthy tunes -- Voices in Heaven’s Cathedral,” “Voices for Mother Earth” and “Voice of Dreams.” Each piece features Syversen playing spacey, ambient, floating synthesizer music with occasional synthesized percussion or strings effects while Halonen adds soaring, sailing, drone-like, mood-setting, uplifting wordless vocalizing.

In his book, My Amazing Transformation, Halonen tells his own personal story of healing. He received this message, which he then passed along to his readers and clients: “You will bring heaven to earth and the people back to heaven. You are to build bridges between heaven and earth.” The Voices From Heaven CD is a continuation of this practice.

Syversen says, “I attended meditation training using the Silva Method some years ago, and one of the things I learned was to trust the ideas that came into my head. One of these ideas was to incorporate into my music a human voice as an instrument. This has added another deep human dimension to my music. It is like recreating a primal experience, the singing or humming that most mothers do with their babies.

“When composing,” Syversen explains, “I use both my improvisational skills as a jazz pianist and my understanding about how music affects our mental and physical health. We often live with a lot of stress that includes appointments on our agendas as well as expectations from ourselves and others. I realized that there is a big demand for music that can relax and heal the listeners both mentally and physically, so I always keep that in mind while I am creating the music.”

According to Syversen, “My mother played the piano and I started playing at age seven. I also received early musical training in classical piano music at the local music school.” A few years later he began playing trumpet and joined the school’s band. Later Syversen learned other important musical lessons such as jazz improvisation by studying with trumpeter Eckland Baur, a member of the award-winning Geir Lysne Ensemble. “I analyzed jazz tunes and found out how to move to other keys within a tune and I also discovered notes that could be used in melody lines in ways I did not consider possible before starting to play jazz.”

For years Tron played piano accompanying various choirs. He also played in many big bands including the Kings Guards Band. “This was when I started arranging music and it was a great period of musical development for me.” Syverson’s musical influences include Rick Wakeman from Yes, early Vangelis, Kitaro and the Irish-Norwegian duo Secret Garden.

Syversen had a successful career as a businessman, but never gave up playing music. In fact, at one point he built a warehouse, but added a music studio on the top floor and began arranging and producing records for other artists in his spare time. “It was easy for me to come up with musical arrangements. I always had ideas in my head.” Syversen began composing his own music for meditation purposes and for a doctor who specializes in patients with pain problems. “I recorded some of my own music which I sent to the Fonix Musik record company in Denmark and they accepted it for release.” This led to a fulltime music career for Syversen and eventually to the creation of his own record company. Now Syversen has a catalog of successful recordings such as Gentle Moments, Inner Balance, Garden of Visions and Whispers of Assisi.

“My goal has always been to make enjoyable music that people like to listen to,” explains Syversen. “But I also want the music to be good for deep relaxation, meditation, sharp concentration or improved sleep. If my music helps people in their daily lives, I have accomplished more than just entertainment. The music on Voices From Heaveen can be used soley for sound healing or in conjunction with other holistic therapies including massage, spa treatments or aromatherapy.”

Halonen says, “We believe this music will promote the listener’s inner balance. This energy, represented here as music, is the driving force of everything we see around us, yes, in the entire universe. We want to activate your own healing processes. All humans have the ability to heal themselves, and we want this music to help facilitate that therapy.”
Music CD Release
Out of USA
Megan Chaskey Created CD Perfect For Yoga, Meditation, Relaxation And Listening
Oct 15

Megan Chaskey would like to take you to the “higher realms” with the music on her fourth album, Naam Radiance, which features her chanting and singing traditional Sanskrit lyrics to melodies she mostly composed with backing from top musicians. She not only is a vocalist-composer and a flutist, but also a Naam Yoga Therapies teacher, a published poet, a spiritual coach, a Harmonyum Healing practitioner, and a Universal Kabbalist.

On Naam Radiance Chaskey is joined by a stellar lineup of musicians: cellist David Darling (a New Age Album Grammy Award winner), guitarist and pianist Scott Petito (who studied at the Berklee College of Music), percussionist Mike Guglielmo (who attended Molloy College for Music Therapy and is a board-certified music therapist), Celtic harpist Aine Minogue (a popular Irish recording artist, folklorist and lecturer), and supporting vocalists Leslie Ritter (Amy Fradon, James Taylor, Shawn Colvin) and Beth Reineke (Rick Danko, Pete Seeger, Anne Hills).

More information on Megan Chaskey is available at her website (meganchaskey dot com). Her CDs -- Golden Bowl of Naam, Surrounded by Naam, Light of Naam and Naam Radiance -- and digital download tracks from those recordings are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others. Chaskey’s books of poetry -- Voice, Heartwood and the just-released Birdsong Under the Wisdom Tree -- are also available at her website where she additionally offers one-on-one enlightened life coaching and Harmonyum healing treatments.

“My Naam Radiance album is structured similarly to one of my Naam Yoga therapy sessions which starts with a brief meditation, followed by time to get in touch with one’s present state through meditative movement while singing mantras, then our movements become very rhythmic and energetic during the middle portion, and finally it winds down again until at the end we are relaxing and settling into a deep sense of release. Throughout we are moving in coordination with our breathing,” explains Chaskey.

“Practicing Naam Yoga promotes radiant health through asana postures, rhythmic movements, mudras which are hand and finger positions, breath, and ‘naam’ or sound to harmonize all levels of your being -- physically, mentally and emotionally. It stimulates the life force within us and helps us develop intuitive awareness, spiritual intelligence and health.

“I wanted the album to serve as enjoyable music to listen to, but also as a relaxing and healing experience. You can simply listen or you can sing along. The music is as appropriate for a quiet, candelight dinner as it is for exercising, stress management or massage therapy. To make the music connect as fully as possible with the human experience, it is almost completely vocals and acoustic instrumentation including percussion for the rhythmic movement quality,” Chaskey states.

“The words for the chants are Gurumukhi, a form of Sanskrit that means ‘from the mouth of the guru.’ The words were written down about 600 years ago in a book of teachings by mystics and Sikh gurus, minstrel spiritual teachers, who traveled throughout India and sang their teachings in order for people to more easily absorb and remember them. These chants were passed down from generation to generation. In my own way I am trying to carry the teachings and chants forward by writing my own new melodies to allow the music to have broad appeal for modern audiences.”

Naam Radiance begins with “Invocation,” the one piece in which she uses the traditional melody instead of her own. “This serves as an introductory prayer. I always start my personal morning meditation as well as my Naam Yoga sessions with this.” Chaskey considers the rest of the album to move through three developments. “The next three tracks slowly lift us up. ‘Aardas Bahee’ and ‘Aapa Sahaee Hoa’ musically provide the sweet melancholy of a love song, and lyrically bring hope and blessings in the former and positive energy and opening of the heart in the latter.” Between these two long tracks is the only instrumental on the album, the two-minute “Cello Interlude” in which David Darling overdubbed many highly-variant cello parts.

The second in the trilogy of tunes “gets into the energetic, dynamic, percussive pieces that represent the movement of Naam yoga.” The final three tracks bring the energy level back down. “Haray Guray/Jazz Ballad” uses the same “Haray Guray” mantra as previously, but this time with a more lyrical arrangement that slows it down and presents it with piano-cello backing. Chaskey ends the album with the emotive, relaxing “Sat Nam” in which she overdubs her voice several times as if singing in a temple.

Chaskey brings to this project many years of experience as both a yoga teacher and a musician. As a youngster she gravitated toward folk music such as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Judy Collins, Peter Paul & Mary, Pete Seeger and Joni Mitchell. Megan started on violin at age 11, but was playing Baroque recorder in an ensemble when she was 14 (“which contributed to my life-long love of Baroque, Medieval and modal music such as the Aeolian scale.”). Two years later she discovered the flute (“the instrument closest to my heart”). During high school in Pennsylvania she studied with the principal flutist of the Pittsburgh Symphony. Chaskey earned her BA Degree in Literature with a minor in Music at Bennington College in Vermont. During those years she also studied choreography, music composition, and jazz and classical flute. She went on to earn her Masters Degree in Education at Lesley College in Massachusetts.

She lived in England for eight years where she first learned about meditation, chanting and throat singing. After returning to the United States, Chaskey started Zen Meditation followed by Kundalini Yoga (she became a certified instructor), Naam Yoga and Universal Kabbalah. She eventually began teaching yoga on a regular basis not only to adults, but also to junior and senior high students. She now teaches privately and at workshops, summer camps and retreats. Her musical tastes have always embraced Irish folk and new age musicians such as Solas and Enya, and later Chaskey enjoyed Kundalini and Kirtan chants by artists including Snatam Kaur and Deva Premal.

Chaskey’s form of meditation practice singing Naam “opened me to my true voice. I began singing at the end of my yoga classes, while people rested in deep relaxation, and their positive responses planted a new seed of creative expression which led me to capture and share this music by recording albums.” She did some early recording with flutist Jay Loomis and practiced creating her own melodies behind traditional mantras. She met musician Steve Eaton who helped her create her first two albums -- Golden Bowl of Naam and Surrounded by Naam -- “sacred music based on the powerful mantras of Naam Yoga.” Chaskey began to recognize the power of live percussion as the underlying foundation for the vibratory effects of sacred music. This led her to enlist music therapist and innovative percussionist Mike Guglielmo to work with her on her most recent recordings -- Light of Naam and Naam Radiance. Guglielmo introduced Chaskey to multi-instrumentalist, arranger and recording engineer Scott Petito (Brubeck Brothers, Chick Corea, Stevie Wonder, The Band and numerous other major acts).

“Although there are different varieties of yoga and chanting, these practices have become beneficial to many people,” explains Chaskey. “The opening up to everyone of these once-elusive, sacred teachings that at one time were passed down only to the elect few in order to keep the traditions intact, has now allowed us access to ways to evolve spiritually by means of taking care of all levels of our being, physically and emotionally, in harmony with the universal laws of nature. My purpose for creating the music on Naam Radiance is to further propagate and enhance these practices, this beneficial personal journey that anyone can take.”
Music CD Release
Chill-Out, Relax And Unwind To Weightless Ambient Music By Marconi Union
Oct 15
Weightless (Ambient Transmissions Vol. 2)

For the past twelve years Marconi Union have been creating a unique strain of minimal and introspective music, resonant and measured. Over the course of six critically acclaimed albums the group has developed a brand of music that can best be described as illustrative and impressionistic. Their latest album is Weightless (Ambient Transmissions Vol. 2).

The first Weightless track was created when Marconi Union were asked to collaborate with a sound therapist from the British Academy of Sound Therapy and write a piece of relaxing music. The plan was that the track would then be scientifically tested for its effectiveness. The prospect of being involved in this unusual project proved to be highly alluring and the Union quickly agreed to take part. When “Weightless” was tested at the Mindlab Institute scientists reported that their research indicated that the music slowed the heart rate, reduced blood pressure and decreased levels of cortisol, a steroid hormone that is released in response to stress. When the research was made public there was an instant and intense media reaction, with many newspapers, radio stations and television shows picking up on the claims that ”Weightless was “the most relaxing song, ever!” One British national newspaper even warned motorists not to listen to the track while driving. Appositely, the release even earned the track the accolade of being named as one of the Inventions of the Year in Time Magazine. [On the album the track is labeled as “Weightless Part 1.”]

Typically, Marconi Union’s reaction to the media furor was to say the least muted, they largely declined requests for interviews or statements. In part, this was because they have never been comfortable with publicity preferring to work away from the spotlight. They were also reluctant to speculate about the “Weightless” alleged attributes, as they had not been involved in the scientific testing, and their only interest in the track was from a musical point of view. However, there was another more important reason, they were suddenly very busy. The process of making the “Weightless” track had inspired them to create more music, using the same approach. They had long been aware that sometimes removing elements from tracks made them more interesting and the making of “Weightless” crystallized that.

Marconi Union’s Richard Talbot and Jamie Crossley began by forging their introspective ruminations as a means of making the music that they wanted to hear and couldn't find anywhere else. Tellingly, early releases - Under Wires and Searchlights (2003), Distance (2005) - appeared via the Ochre imprint (alongside releases by the likes of Will Sergeant, Avrocar and AMP Studio) and on All Saints, a label most readily associated with Brian Eno but also with out there/experimental/ambient luminaries such as Biosphere, Harold Budd and Roedelius. In recent years their music has been released on London-based label Just Music.

Marconi Union have had a symbiotic relationship with the visual arts, sound tracking art installations and theatrical/ballet works. They performed a three hour improvised piece at Manchester Art Gallery that accompanied a number of exhibitions including one by Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, an artist who explicitly sees his works as having a life and of being in a constant state of becoming, themes that chime with Marconi Union's stated intent of extracting emotion from their standard software and hardware. A Lost Connection (2010), prompted a series of 52 paintings by Colin Lawson on the themes of isolation and disconnection; about ideas of withdrawing from the world into an inner, more personal space. Conversely, say, Marconi Union, We always try to make music that connects with people in some way. We always aim to capture a specific mood, a specific feeling or a specific place and time.

Lawson also responded to Beautifully Falling Apart: Ambient Transmissions Vol. 1 (2011) with a series of mathematically structured compositions. Talbot and Crossley notably describe the release as a side step rather than a follow-up to A Lost Connection. The first of their Ambient Transmissions releases, the recording explored the incongruity of the beautiful, the stunning, the gorgeous and how it can often be found in unexpected and sometimes dangerous or ugly places. The duo have previously described the beauty of a gang of road workers, under flood lights, at the side of the motorway” where the vivid image of lights and sparks contrasts with hazardous and dirty reality of the situation, an idea referenced in the album's pretty closer A Shower of Sparks. It would be easy to imagine the track co-opted into Kompakt's Pop Ambient series. For Different Colours (2012), the band changed their sound-palette with the permanent addition of Duncan Meadows (he had previously played live with the band). The album feels less isolationist, brighter even, with a more emotive and soulful element that complements the more structured feel of the tracks.

The band note that their sonic inspirations - Kraftwerk, King Tubby, Steve Reich, Miles Davis, Neu, Wire, Avro Part, David Bowie, Joy Division, Brian Eno, Scott Walker, Marvin Gaye, Moritz van Oswald, Can, Lou Reed - might appear like a fairly obvious list of names but also that inspiration is a strange thing and it doesn’t necessarily strike where you expect it. We often find inspiration in lots of places, for instance the use of space and minimalism in our music is at least partly attributable to our love of dub, the pulsing bass drums we sometimes use could be linked to techno even we don’t make dub or techno records. We've even drawn inspiration from records we don’t really like, where we've thought 'we could apply that approach to achieve a different (and better) effect.’” Books, films, travel, cities and buildings, they say, are also significant influences. Tokyo (2009) was inspired by film and television images of the city (which they have never visited) encouraging them to write a soundtrack to the fictionalized city of their imagination, a tone portrait of a city from an outsider’s perspective.

Perhaps unsurprisingly for a band that tends to play submerged in darkness or beneath the video paintings of others, the group admits that the process of making music isn’t actually very interesting. “None of us is particularly interested in playing instruments, they’re only the tools we use to make the music we like. If you asked a plumber about his tools he wouldn’t tell you how great they all were, he would tell you about the job he’d been doing and that’s the way we look at it. We certainly don’t sit around jamming or practicing scales. In terms of the actual mechanics of making music we use standard software and hardware and our creative process is probably similar to many other musicians. The bit that is fascinating is not the interaction with us and the gear, it’s the interaction between us and how this makes the music evolve into something that none of us would or even could have come up with on our own. They are dismissive of the idea that they might be making music only for fans of ambient or electronic music and highlight their use of guitars, piano and strings as well as collaborations with musicians in other genres including Italian jazz trumpeter Giorgio Li Calzi and bass guitarist/poet/composer Jah Wobble.

Marconi Union recognize that there is a level of insularity in their work. We don’t really fit into any musical world, although we touch on lots of different things, they've asserted, We’re just out there, developing our own sound. Sometimes we think we’d like to be a part of a scene, but when it comes down to it we’re never really comfortable with it. It’s not just the musical side of it, there’s all the other nonsense you get when scenes start to develop their own rules about what you can and can’t do or like. We have occasionally been described as difficult. Of course we don’t think we are. Our take is that we just want everything perfect and we don’t want anyone else telling us how we should do things.” Nevertheless, appropriately enough for a band whose name seems to reference the Italian engineer known for his pioneering work on long-distance radio transmission, Marconi Union conversely seem to be about communication -- with each other, with other artists, with musicians and with audiences. After all, Weightless is reported to have attracted 12 million views on YouTube.

I can’t remember a point in my life when I wasn’t playing music - it’s always had a hold on me, says Marconi Union's Richard Talbot, Sometimes I wish it hadn’t.
Music CD Release
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Temple of the Soul - CD Release Concert
Oct 06
This Thursday, October 9th, Soundbrush Records proudly presents Roger Davidson in a CD Release Concert for Temple of the Soul: Rhapsodies & Meditations for Solo Piano.
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