Our Favorite Recently Released Contemporary Solo Instrumental Music Albums

August 13, 2014 by Admin

Below we present a list (not in any particular order) of our favorite Contemporary Solo Instrumental Music (non-piano) albums released during the second three months of 2014. We highly recommend each of these albums. To qualify for this list, an album had to be a new release (not a re-release) in either April, May, or June of 2014, feature solo instrumental music (or solo instrumental with light accompaniment) and be available for purchase on either iTunes, Amazon.com, or CDBaby.com. In selecting these four albums from several hundred possibilities, we applied the same rigorous standards that we use in choosing music for play on GAIA Prime Radio. So if you enjoy the music we play on our station, we are confident that you will enjoy the music on these albums as well. Click on the album title or CD cover image and you will be taken to iTunes where you can listen to samples of music from that album and/or purchase it.

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Hidden Treasures – Hans Christian
Passionate, sophisticated, and richly textured music with Hans Christian’s unmistakable cello as the lead voice. The music spans a four year creative time period in which Hans recorded various musical ideas and archived them for future completion. Featuring a strong orchestral blend of layered strings within a contemporary instrumental style production, the music ranges from gorgeous melodic structures to deeply felt emotional renderings on solo cello. Hans Christian fans in particular will be extremely pleased with his breathtakingly beautiful and carefully crafted performances on Together We Were, Cathedral Of Tears (recorded inside Chartres Cathedral in France), and I Lift Up Mine Eyes.
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Bare Wood – Ottmar Liebert
Originally born in Cologne, West Germany, Ottmar Liebert began playing classical guitar at 11, and flamenco guitar at 14, after he “found a Flamenco LP in the bargain bin at a local supermarket”. As a young adult, he moved to Boston where he performed in various rock clubs. Then, after a few years, he settled in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he began to create an original musical sound. The result was a new, more accessible style of “Nouveau Flamenco” guitar that has netted him 38 Gold and Platinum certifications, five Grammy nominations, and the best selling Flamenco Guitar album ever.

Bare Wood is a compilation of pieces originally created between 2002 and 2012 by Liebert. However, for this album, all of the songs were completely re-crafted, remixed, and re-recorded. All electronic instruments and electronic sounds were removed from the original recordings, as well as anything that was not Flamenco guitar or cajon. Additional Flamenco guitar parts and upright acoustic bass parts were added for every piece. The result was an entirely new collection that expresses the essence, the soul, the “bare wood” of the music — with only light (handheld) percussion, stand up bass, and of course acoustic Flamenco guitar.

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Moonsongs – Jonny Lipford
Jonny Lipford is an award-winning instrumentalist who specializes in music produced with various world flutes hand-crafted using wood and bamboo. His movements and melodies are done with such grace and agility, one can’t help but be engaged in his music. On this album he conveys the qualities of “the moon” and creates lush nightscapes, romantic melodies and deep introspection using Native American style, Persian, Mojave and Irish flutes.
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Guitars – Stamatis Spanoudakis

Stamatis Spanoudakis – Σταμάτης Σπανουδάκης – is a modern Greek classical composer. Early on he studied classical guitar, went through a rock music phase, but then continued classical studies at the Würzburg State Conservatory with Bertold Hummel and later in Athens with Konstantinos Kydoniatis. Over the past few years, he has followed a prolific, multifaceted and personal path in music that has included collaborations with the greatest singers in Greece, music for the cinema and television, but also ecclesiastical works of Byzantine music. In addition, he has performed at some of the greatest venues such as The George Enescu Hall of Bucharest and The Royal Albert Hall in London where he gained further international recognition for his work and gave international audiences the opportunity to experience his unique relationship with Greek music.

This album features a collection of musical pieces where Stamatis plays acoustic, amplified acoustic, and electric guitars in his unique melodic way “surrounded” by rich orchestration and choirs. While some of the works have a slight “traditional Greek music” feel to them, and a few others with decidedly “rock” qualities, most are multifaceted works that transcend cultural and musical boundaries, especially those that are largely acoustic. The result is a unique glimpse at this “hidden side” of the composer.

Coming Soon: Our favorite “Contemporary Instrumental: Piano” and “Contemporary Instrumental: Multi-Instrumental” albums released in the second three months of 2014.

Our Favorite Recently Released Contemporary Solo Instrumental Music Albums

May 6, 2014 by Admin

Below we present a list (not in any particular order) of our favorite Contemporary Solo Instrumental Music (non-piano) albums released during the first three months of 2014. We highly recommend each of these albums. To qualify for this list, an album had to be a new release (not a re-release) in either January, February, or March of 2014, feature solo instrumental music (or solo instrumental with light accompaniment) and be available for purchase on either iTunes, Amazon.com, or CDBaby.com. In selecting these five albums from several hundred possibilities, we applied the same rigorous standards that we use in choosing music for play on GAIA Prime Radio. So if you enjoy the music we play on our station, we are confident that you will enjoy the music on these albums as well. Click on the album title or CD cover image and you will be taken to iTunes where you can listen to samples of music from that album and/or purchase it.

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Pavane – Paul Higgs

An inspiring collection of original compositions that blur the boundaries between New Age and jazz, led by the elegant and seductive sound of Paul’s trumpet. From the sense of romantic longing in A Simple Truth, through the rising elegiac quality and counterpoint of Crystalline, to the haunting mystery of Catalonia, ‘Pavane’ takes us on an inspiring musical journey.

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Unlike the Stars – Vin Downes

This is the third release from fingerstyle guitarist Vin Downes. “Unlike the Stars” was recorded with Grammy Award winning producer Will Ackerman and co-producer/engineer Tom Eaton at Imaginary Road Studios in Windham County, Vermont. The songs are emotional, expressive, and draw on a wide range of styles.
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Awakening – Michelle Dunn

A cross-genre of pop/mainstream, traditional folk, and contemporary classical styles producing a seamless integration of indigenous/world flutes: Native American flute, fifes, bansuri, whistles, recorders, Anasazi, Akebono, Desert, Shakuhachi, and the Western concert flute. Whether singing along with the melodies or dancing to the rhythms, listeners are sure to enjoy the flute tapestries of this CD.

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Emergence – Lawrence Blatt

Award winning musician Lawrence Blatt’s latest album consists of 12 original compositions for acoustic guitar that will stir the imagination.

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Vision Quest – Samuel Kjell Smith

A collection of original works for Native American Flute with light accompaniment. It’s intention and sound design is to support a deep state of relaxation and peace. Perfect for meditation, yoga and massage.

Coming Soon: Our favorite “Contemporary Instrumental: Piano,” “Contemporary Instrumental: Multi-Instrumental” and “Celtic Music” albums released in the first three months of 2014.

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