Finally, The Sound of Dreams has been released worldwide! It's been quite a journey filled with lots of ups and downs. It's a landmark album which brings together many of my heroes from the prog world who I grew up listening to. I can't thank Justin Hayward, Steve Hackett, Annie Haslam, Billy Sherwood, PJ Olsson, Julie Ragins, Geof O'Keefe, Kerry Chicoine and of course my son Justin Minasian enough for their amazing contributions to this album. I truly hope you all enjoy it. Already the album seems to be generating a lot of positive vibes. The album's second single The Sound of Dreams (Third Movement) featuring Genesis legend Steve Hackett was streamed more than 30,000 times in the first few hours following its release. Please visit www.davidminasin.com for the latest news and updates regarding the progress of the album.
Friday, September 11, 2020
Monday, August 10, 2020
The Sound of Dreams (Third Movement) featuring Steve Hackett is the follow-up single release from the Golden Robot Records album The Sound of Dreams. The instrumental track was co-written by myself together with Steve and features an extended guitar solo from him that ranks up there with one of his best. The single is a radio edit of the final section of the 11 minute three part title track The Sound of Dreams which also features legendary Renaissance lead vocalist Annie Haslam, Yes bassist extraordinaire Billy Sherwood, along with Pentagram drummer Geof O'Keefe and guitarist Justin Minasian.
Wednesday, July 15, 2020
The premiere of the new music video for So Far From Home, the first single from The Sound of Dreams, was streamed live today on multiple platforms including Facebook Live and Webinarjam with thousands worldwide tuning in. So Far From Home features a dramatic vocal arrangement from the song's Grammy Award winning lead singer PJ Olsson, who also stars in the video which was shot entirely on location in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado. The video was part of a 40 minute program featuring interviews with many of those who helped create the album including Olsson, Genesis legend Steve Hackett, Geof O'Keefe, Justin Minasian and myself, and was hosted by the music video's director Trinity Houston.
Monday, May 18, 2020
So Far From Home, the first single from our upcoming Sound Of Dreams album was released today by Golden Robot Records. The song features Grammy Award winning vocalist PJ Olsson, lead singer of the Alan Parsons Live Project, with Justin Minasian on guitars, Geof O'Keefe on drums and myself on keyboards, 12 string guitar and backing vocals. It's a new recording of a song I wrote back in 1999 for a movie starring Kris Kristofferson. So far, the reaction to the song has simply been great. Producer/Director Trinity Houston is gearing up to put together a music video for the song which will be released shortly.
Sunday, November 10, 2019
Today, Trinity Houston and I found ourselves in Melbourne, FL filming Justin Hayward in concert on the final night of his Nights tour. We enlisted the crew of Christian Cashmir's Lightwave Media in Tampa to help out. It was a reunion of sorts as Lightwave Media had assisted me in the production of Justin's Live In Concert at the Capitol Theatre and The Story Behind Nights In White Satin DVD's back in 2014. This was the second Hayward concert we had filmed in less than a month; the previous one having taken place on October 18 at the famed Concert Hall in New York City. Tonight's show went off without a hitch, with Mike Dawes, Julie Ragins and Karmen Gould all playing magically. The question is, which show will make it to DVD... NY or FL? My money's on FL.
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Saturday, July 20, 2019
To view the video, click here:
Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Thursday, October 4, 2018
Saturday, September 29, 2018
Monday, April 30, 2018
Sunday, April 15, 2018
For more information about the album, go to: www.davidminasian.com
Wednesday, March 29, 2017
Saturday, December 31, 2016
Thursday, April 30, 2015
2015 is gonna be a great year!
All my best;
Friday, February 6, 2015
As you may have noticed, I have been extremely busy producing/directing/editing a number of music oriented DVDs in recent months, including three for Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward ("Spirits…Live", "Watching & Waiting", and "The Story Behind Nights In White Satin") and one for our favorite English progressive rock band Camel ("In From The Cold").
First, I was more than thrilled to be able to renew my working relationship with Andy Latimer and Susan Hoover of Camel Productions. Camel had finally returned to the stage after a ten year absence to perform their classic album "The Snow Goose" in its entirety, along with a collection of some of their most magnificent epic compositions. It was a breathtaking performance at the legendary Barbican Theatre in London, and the resulting DVD, "In From The Cold", is perhaps the best DVD yet from Camel Productions that I have had the pleasure of being involved with. If you don't have a copy, you owe it to yourself to get one!
In addition, within days following the release of Justin Hayward's "Spirits…Live" DVD which we had filmed in Atlanta back in August, 2013, the disc reached the #2 position on the Billboard video charts, thanks to all of you! And then a few weeks after that, we found ourselves in Florida filming yet another concert with Justin Hayward. Justin wanted to make sure the setlist for this new tour was markedly different from the "Spirits…Live" setlist. So I suggested the classic Moody Blues track "You Can Never Go Home" from 1970's "Every Good Boy Deserves Favour" since it had never been played live before. Justin liked the idea, and suddenly it was in, along with other such rarities as "Watching and Waiting", "I Dreamed Last Night", and the previously unreleased "No Regrets", together with fan favorites "Nights in White Satin" and "Tuesday Afternoon".
There was a magical atmosphere at the Capitol Theatre that night which I think we managed to capture on film. We also recorded an extensive interview with Justin after the show which made for a very long day for all of us. The resulting film, "Watching and Waiting", is just one of two new DVDs that feature Justin Hayward (along with Mike Dawes and Julie Ragins) live in concert. The DVD has eight songs not featured on the "Spirits…Live" DVD and is therefore the perfect companion piece to it. Two of the songs, both from the Blue Jays album, were recorded backstage in Florida with only Justin and I present and have been included as bonus tracks on the "Watching and Waiting" DVD. A private concert by one of the world's best singer/songwriters… how cool is that?
A second DVD that was just completed is a documentary titled "The Story Behind Nights In White Satin" and contains the first ever live performance of "Nights" from 1967 captured on film, which has never appeared on DVD before, along with Justin's surprising account of how the classic song wound up becoming one of the most popular recordings of the rock era.
Both of these DVDs will be available exclusively through the PBS television network beginning later this month. Make sure to tune into your local PBS station starting February 28 to catch a re-edited version of "Spirits…Live". I predict March will become Hayward-mania month here in the US.
Several other projects have recently come my way including a few big Hollywood films. However, I am committed to getting the new album done and have even ordered some new keyboards and recording gear which should be arriving any day now. I will be heading back into the studio in the coming weeks and will keep you all posted regarding my progress. In addition to getting the new album in the can, I hope to continue to work with Justin Hayward on more music and film projects, and possibly rekindle some old acquaintances... 2015 looks to be an exciting year indeed.
All my best;
Friday, August 1, 2014
The PBS station in Atlanta will become the first to broadcast excerpts from the concert on August 15 at 7pm. If you're in the area, you may want to check it out.
I apologize to all those patiently waiting for a new David Minasian album to appear on the horizon. As previously mentioned, we do have one new song done and have the rest of the album written and ready to go. It's just a case of finding the time to get back into the studio. But we're going to do whatever we must to make it happen.
More news to come…
All the best;
Friday, August 30, 2013
Recently returned from Atlanta where we managed to film the final stop on Justin Hayward’s solo tour for a brand new DVD release which I am producing & directing. It was an amazing show and it has now been captured in hi-def for posterity. Justin, as you all know, is lead singer & guitarist with the Moody Blues who has written and performed such classics as Nights in White Satin, Tuesday Afternoon, Question, The Story in Your Eyes, The Voice, Your Wildest Dreams, I Know You’re Out There Somewhere, etc.
As such, the recording of the follow up to my album Random Acts of Beauty will remain on hold until I’ve completed the post production on Justin Hayward’s live DVD. But I promise to get back to it in due time.
Tuesday, August 6, 2013
Now I know it’s been awhile since there has been any news coming from the David Minasian Music camp. I had hoped to get a new album out before now, but life has a way creating its own path. The last couple of years have indeed been a challenge.
Nevertheless, recording on the new album began in June and so far, we’ve managed to get one song in the can, an untitled instrumental. In fact, recording started four years to the day since the first notes of Masquerade were laid down. Once again, I will be working with my son Justin, guitarist extraordinaire, on the new material. There is also the potential for members of two different well known bands to appear as guests on the album. Both of these bands hail from England and are considered by many to be pioneers of progressive rock. You may recall the gorgeous guitar and vocal contributions Andy Latimer of Camel made to Random Acts of Beauty. He recorded his tracks in England and sent them to me in California over the internet. The same process will be used by these band members for the new album, and as soon as I receive their parts, I will let you all in on their identities.
Soon, the recording process will go on a brief hiatus so I can join this other artist on tour and begin work on his DVD. I will try and keep you all updated on the progress.
Believe it or not, it’s been nearly three years since the release of Random Acts of Beauty and the album is still garnering rave reviews. Check these out… www.davidminasian.com/reviews.html.
My son Justin and I are truly grateful for the response the album continues to receive all over the world.
Just to let you know, I do have two official facebook accounts – a page for “David Minasian Music” which you can “like”, and a personal one for “David Minasian” where we can be friends.
Once again, thank you all for your patience… it’s going to require a little more… but hopefully you will ultimately feel it’ll have been worth the wait.
My very best;
Wednesday, September 28, 2011
Just a quick note to let you all know that I will be providing a free download of an unreleased vintage song recorded during the 1980's to all of you who are on the mailing list as my way of saying thank you for your wonderful support. This track will only be provided to you and will not be available for download anywhere else at this time. So I would ask that you don't share it or upload it to any of the file sharing sites on the web. Another newsletter will be sent to you shortly after October 1st with information on how you can download the track. So remember to look for the next newsletter, as the song will only be available for download for a very short time.
I hope you all enjoy it. In addition, there are lots of new (& old) photos that have been added to the website in the bio and gallery pages.
In the meantime, Justin and I are gearing up to begin work on the follow up to Random Acts of Beauty. So stay tuned...
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Our album Random Acts of Beauty was released worldwide on October 5th. Nine weeks prior to this time, it had been available only through ProgRock Records and its sister company Mindawn and had spent all 9 of those weeks at the #1 position as the best selling album download at Mindawn. Since October 5th, the album has been available at various retail outlets all over the world including Amazon, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, HMV, ebay, and itunes. If you don’t have the album yet, what are you waiting for! Check http://www.davidminasian.com/shop.html for a retail outlet near you.
Many of you have commented on how wonderful it has been to hear Andy Latimer of Camel in action once again after such a long absence. His guitar and vocal contributions to the album’s opening track, the 12 minute epic Masquerade, are truly amazing and again, I can’t thank Andy enough for his beautiful playing. Many of you have also expressed your enthusiasm for my son Justin’s incredible lead guitar work on the rest of the album. Both Justin and I are truly thankful for the fantastic response the album has been getting. The good reviews seem to outnumber the bad ones 20 to 1, with many of them actually leaving us speechless. Check these out:
For those who might be interested in hearing what I have to say about a variety of music-related topics, I’ve recently completed a series of interviews which you can access here:
That last one is a 40 minute audio interview with Don Cassidy of Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio. Just click on the word ‘interviews’ on the left side of the screen and then scroll down the center until you find my name. More interviews are on their way including ones which will appear in the next editions of Terra Incognita Magazine and Cosmos/Big Bang. Just check http://davidminasian.com/news.html for all the latest news.
Random Acts of Beauty did get a mention in the October 2010 issue of Classic Rock Presents Prog Magazine (in an article featuring an interview with Camel’s Andy Latimer) and will be featured in the upcoming issues of Classic Rock and Classic Rock Presents Prog as well. Masquerade has been nominated for the ‘Best Long Track of 2010’ by ARfm Radio in England and the album seems to have become a favorite of some who are in the process of compiling various ‘Best of 2010’ lists, including Sea of Tranquility and Delicious Agony Progressive Rock Radio. Up until last week, the album had been in the running for the ‘Best Album of 2010’ on the Prog Archives website until a rather disgruntled reviewer decided to take it out. But there’s still a few days left in the year, so get your 5 star reviews into Prog Archives before Dec 31st and let’s see if you can get the album back in the running.
Finally, there’s a new YouTube video up that includes extended clips from all of the album’s tracks:
And for all you Camel fans, don’t forget to check out the new Camel DVD The Opening Farewell directed by yours truly. It’s an incredible performance by one of the best bands in the world. You don’t want to miss it.
Those of you on the mailing list are the first to know that I have decided to re-record many of my old songs that originally appeared on the Tales of Heroes and It’s Not Too Late albums in a style similar to Random Acts of Beauty rather than try to get those old albums re-released. This process is going to take some time and there’s hopefully going to be an album of new material next year as well, so it’s not going to be anytime soon, but it will happen eventually. At least that’s the plan for now.
Happy Holidays to all and best wishes for the New Year.
Friday, September 10, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
For those of you who ordered the CD through ProgRock Records, your copies will begin shipping out right away. Justin and I sat down and signed copies for the first 100 of you who ordered the album through ProgRock.
Earlier in the week, I did an interview with Don Cassidy of Delicious Agony Radio out of New York which should post to their website shortly. Check davidminasian.com for all the latest details. The ARfm UK radio show Rock On hosted by Shane Carlson last week featured the world broadcast premier of four tracks from Random Acts of Beauty. And according to Shane, the show was very well received. Reviews of the album are beginning to pour in from around the world and so far have been mostly positive. For example, take a look at the review posted by Dr. Nick on the Amazon.com UK website.
Incidentally at this very moment, the album is amazingly at the number one and number two position on Mindawn.com - the sister company of ProgRock where you can get downloads. How can one album hold two positions you ask? Well, Mindawn is currently offering two versions of the album - the regular version, and a high quality 'flac' version. In addition, four individual tracks are currently in the top 10 - Masquerade at #1, Frozen In Time at #4, Blue Rain at #7, and Storming The Castle at #10. What can I say except thank you!!
I truly hope you all enjoy the album. I'd like to hear from you after you've had a chance to listen to it.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Since the completion of the album, things have been happening at lightening speed around here. Downloads are now available from Mindawn.com, and listings for the Random Acts of Beauty CD have started popping up all over the place, such as on Amazon and Prog Archives. Speaking of Prog Archives, one surprise was to find myself today at the #8 position on the website's most popular artist list. What?? The album is still a week away from being shipped! Some of you may know that ProgArchives.com is the biggest of all the progressive rock websites on the net. It lists thousands of progressive bands from all over the world and ranks the 40 most popular bands each day. In front of me were Yes, Genesis, King Crimson, and Rush - obviously. But I found myself ahead of acts such as Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Pink Floyd, Jethro Tull, Steve Hackett, Renaissance, The Flower Kings, Kansas, and even Camel. What's going on?? Has everyone simply gone mad???
Happy, yet confused;
Saturday, July 24, 2010
The CD has a street date release of October 5, 2010 and that’s when it will hit the stores. By then you will be able to find it at all the usual places such as your local CD store, Amazon, itunes, etc. However, those wishing to get their hands on copies right away can order them directly from ProgRock Records beginning today. They will most likely be shipped to you in early August. Not only will you get a $2 discount (for a limited time), but the first 100 orders made through ProgRock will receive a copy that has been signed by Justin and I:
And those of you looking for downloads will be able to get them at Mindawn fairly soon:
The album’s track listing is as follows:
1) Masquerade (12:32)
2) Chambermaid (8:53)
3) Storming The Castle (5:29)
4) Blue Rain (7:44)
5) Frozen In Time (14:37)
6) Summer’s End (8:00)
7) Dark Waters (5:12)
The album’s musicians are as follows:
David Minasian: Keyboards (Grand piano, mellotron, harpsichord, moog, pipe organ, organ, cello, violin, oboe, flute, recorder, clarinet, French horn, cornet, dulcimer, sitar, voices), acoustic 12 string guitar, classical guitar, bass, drums, percussion, lead and harmony vocals.
Justin Minasian: Electric lead and rhythm guitars, acoustic and classical lead guitars (tracks 2-7)
Guy Pettet: Drums (tracks 3, 5)
Don Ray Reyes Jr.: Drums (track 5)
Nick Soto: Electric rhythm guitar (track 2)
With special guest:
Andrew Latimer: Guitars and vocals (track 1)
There’s a few people I’d like to thank at this time: My son Justin Minasian for his brilliant guitar work and enthusiastic attitude; Camel’s Andrew Latimer for his encouragement and beautiful guitar and vocal contributions to Masquerade; Guy Pettet, Don Ray Reyes Jr., and Nick Soto for their expert musicianship; Shawn Gordon, President of ProgRock Records for his unwavering belief; Michael Leadingham for his breathtaking cover art; and Lara Feamster, Ashley Danielle, Mike Gillmore, and Joel Minasian for their superb photography.
And now here’s where you come in. Please join with us in helping to get the word out. After listening to the album, if you like it, then by all means post something on the internet about it during the next few months… or write a review and submit it to Amazon.com or ProgArchives.com or any number of retail or music review sites.
In addition, spending a few moments to post items about the album on facebook or on various band forums that have similar musical styles or other progressive music sites will be essential to the album’s success in the days to come. And it will be greatly appreciated! This type of internet ‘word of mouth’ really does work wonders.
One other thing: Please do what you can to stop any download piracy of this album that you might come across. Don’t hesitate to let us know if you find something suspicious. It’s a far bigger problem than you can imagine especially for independent releases such as this and it could very well threaten whether or not we can continue making music for you.
Let us know if there are additional items you may want such as t-shirts or posters featuring Michael’s beautiful cover art. If enough people tell us they want such items we’ll look into making them available. And again, thank you all for being part of this and joining us on this wonderful journey. You can contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, June 21, 2010
You'll be happy to know Justin is doing better and we've resumed our work on the album's final track, Frozen In Time. Michael Leadingham has completed the artwork for the CD cover and it is breathtaking. It will be revealed soon. Our distribution agreement with ProgRock Records has been signed and we've been added to their website. A release date will be announced during the first half of July if all goes well. And the website has reopened. Look for our first official newsletter in the weeks ahead and join the mailing list if you haven't already.
Monday, June 7, 2010
On a brighter note, a face to face meeting last week with Shawn Gordon, President of ProgRock Records went extremely well and negotiations should be wrapped up shortly with a release date for the album soon to follow. Also, talented fantasy artist Michael Leadingham has been commissioned to paint an original piece of artwork for the CD cover and from the looks of things so far, it's going to be stunning!
Thank you all for your continued encouragement and support.
Wednesday, May 26, 2010
Following the posting of a brief audio excerpt from the track Masquerade on our website, we received numerous emails from Camel fans all over the world who were delighted to hear a preview of Andy's beautiful contributions to the track.
Justin and I are right now in the process of finishing up the album's final song, an epic joint composition which will likely end up being the album's longest track.
We're also scheduled to finalize a worldwide distribution deal next week, and we'll be organizing the CD's artwork, printing, and mastering very soon as well. So things are looking good. Hang in there...
All the best;
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Justin and I have one track to finish up - the epic instrumental which will in all likelyhood get a name change before we're through.
We continue to update the website with new things so check it out when you have some time. We hope to set up a mailing list shortly so you can be kept up to date on all the activities.
Best wishes to all of you, and thank you for your continued support.
Sunday, April 4, 2010
We should hopefully be mixing the nearly 13 minute epic Masquerade sometime next week and will be putting up some audio clips on the website soon thereafter. We're now aiming to complete the album sometime in May. If you have some extra time, you may wish to check out David Minasian Music on Facebook and become a 'fan'.
Monday, March 8, 2010
I also managed to finish the lyrics to the previously untitled track which shall now be known henceforth as Summer's End. Justin pulled out all stops on this one and came up with what has got to be one of the most amazing guitar solos in all of rock history. You can hear a brief segment for yourself at the website under the audio/visual link.
Andy Latimer mentioned that my moog solo (which can be heard on Panic Attack clip #1) reminded him of the late great Pete Bardens of Camel. Thanks for that, Andy!
I know that in my original post I stated that I thought we'd be finished by now, but things always seem to get in the way. But we're nearly there - 5 songs completely mixed and in the can and only two more to go. Shouldn't be long now...
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Only a few things are working at the moment (Home, Bio, Blog, and Audio/Visual - which is where you can hear the samples)
Vampyre has been completed and mixed and once again Justin's powerful guitar leads are the highlight. You can hear a snippet of it on the sample, along with an excerpt of his gorgeous Blue Rain leads.
We're in the middle of recording the untitled track at the moment and if the past is any indication, I'll probably have the whole song finished sans vocals before I write the lyrics. This one's turning out very Floydish-Camelish-Moodyish-Crimsonish. In other words, very "Dave."
Saturday, January 16, 2010
"It's a lovely song... The guitar solo sound is fabulous and it's a very Moody track. I'm sure it will be a great album for David." (Justin Hayward, January 7, 2010)
Although understandably disappointed, I was still very encouraged by Mr. Hayward's enthusiasm for my own vocals which will now grace the final version of the song instead of his...
"I don't think they need me anyway as I really like the feel of the vocal on there already." (Justin Hayward, January 7, 2010)
I think a lot of people besides myself would have loved to have heard Andy Latimer and Justin Hayward appear on the same album.
I have now completed the work I was scheduled to do on Camel's forthcoming DVD The Opening Farewell and will be heading back into the studio momentarily.
Thursday, December 31, 2009
With this, my final post of 2009, I'd like to thank all of you who have been so encouraging to me since this project began. As Random Acts of Beauty (the album's tentative title) moves closer toward the finish line, I would like to especially thank legendary Camel guitarist/flautist/singer/keyboardist/composer Andy Latimer whose guidance and words of wisdom have been truly invaluable; along with my son Justin who continues to amaze me with his talent and sunny attitude; and brother-in-law Guy for his amazing drumming and state-of-the-art mixing studio. What 2010 holds remains to be seen but I have a feeling things could get rather exciting.
The instrumental Vampyre is now finished save for Justin's guitar leads. We will most likely mix that song along with the highly complex Chambermaid sometime next week which will bring the number of songs that are completely in the can to four (Blue Rain, Panic Attack, Chambermaid, and Vampyre). Masquerade is nearly complete but remains a work-in-progress to some degree.
We're going to take a short break while I concentrate on getting Camel's new DVD The Opening Farewell, which I am producing, ready for release. When we resume recording, we will begin tracking the new as yet untitled song which should (hopefully) turn out to be one of the album's highlights.
Hope you all have a healthy and exciting New Year!
Monday, December 21, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
I decided to get some feedback on our latest completed track and sent it halfway around the world to a good friend of mine in Scotland also named Dave. Dave owns millions of CD's (well... it seems that way) and knows just about everything there is to know about music (well... it seems that way). And I trust his opinion (well... oh, nevermind). Here's his reaction to Blue Rain which he posted on the Genesis forum last night...
"Well guys and gals, I have just had the pleasure of listening to a track from Dave Minasian's forthcoming album. The song is called Blue Rain and it's 7 and a half minutes of class. The song begins with a solo piano and then haunting oboes are introduced over a backdrop of lush synths very reminicent of Camel at their most symphonic. Then we enter into Moody Blues/Barclay James Harvest territory with John Lodge style hushed vocals over those gorgeous oboes. The track also reminds me somewhat of the Paul Cusick track Fade Away in the same symphonic style. Things pick up with drums and bass coming in during the next verse and there is no doubt the influence on this track from the aforementioned bands. Just when you think you have heard it all, in comes a lovely harpsichord which reminds me of Denis Quinn's excellent Open Secret and then a superb guitar solo that John Lees or Justin Hayward would be proud of. The piano comes in again and a final chorus and guitar reprise brings this superb song to a close.
If this is a taster of things to come then I cannot wait. I have heard some of David's older material but this is a big step up to my ears. I cannot thank him enough for allowing me to hear this song. All I can say is that this is shaping up to be something special if this song is an example of what is going on the album."
Thanks Dave from Scotland, we'll continue to do our best.
Monday, December 7, 2009
"first off, i need to tell you that your work is really great - beautiful stuff you've done here. all the tracks you sent me are very strong.
masquerade - very beautiful orchestral textures, the mellotron is great, vibey vocals, this almost has a sorta kinda pink floyd vibe which i love - also cool melodies and counter melodies, harpsichord is awesome.
chambermaid - also very cool stuff, ethereal, haunting, beautiful, great arpeggio runs, great lead guitar, cool.
panic attack - all great. love the ye olde fairy tale beauty then big rock! this almost has a trace of a vibe like the band muse would do. very cool.
dynamic, visual, regal, delicate, rude, and ultra musical. it's the kind of music that you don't just listen to, but you actually step inside it and experience it."
Whew! Considering that this gentleman has worked with everyone from Rod Stewart to Shania Twain to Motley Crue, this is very encouraging indeed.
Regarding album progress, Blue Rain is nearly in the can. In addition to the previously recorded piano and harpischord, we were able to add mellotron (strings and choir), cello, 12 string guitars, oboe, bass, drums, and vocals this past week. All that remains now is the lead guitar scheduled to be recorded later today. After we've done a couple of mixes (one with vocals and one without), we will forward them to our potential guest vocalist who will decide whether or not to participate. If not, well, I'm afraid then you're stuck with me singing lead... oh, the humanity!
Thursday, November 19, 2009
I've also looked into bringing on a seasoned producer to help with the mixing process. The plan would be to do some final mixes of 4 or 5 of the completed songs sometime next month and use those songs to secure a distribution deal as well as get some samples out there on the net. And while that's going on, I can be finishing up work on the remaining three or four tracks.
Gotta keep moving forward...
If you have any questions, feel free to ask:
Monday, November 9, 2009
I thought I would bring those of you who are interested up to date on the progress of the new album. I wrote the final song for the album this last weekend and I think it's going to be a good one. Subject to any last minute changes, here's how things are shaping up...
Track 1: Masquerade. I have yet to receive all the files from Andy Latimer who continues to record parts for this song. Initially clocking in at around 7 minutes, the final version could very well swell past 13 minutes depending on how things end up being put together. Andy's contributions to this track so far are truly goosebump inducing.
Track 2: Chambermaid. An epic 9 minute track with an accesible melody, lush 12 string guitars, pianos, mellotrons, etc. and a long instrumental section that should please most Genesis fans. My son Justin has added a couple of excellent Steve Hackett/Justin Hayward style guitar solos and there's a nice moog solo ala Pete Bardens or a subdued Rick Wakeman from me. Lyrically it's a bit strange - a Tony Banks story song of sorts with a touch of Ian Anderson cleverness. Hopefully you'll find it all somewhat interesting. This one is completely finished, except for the mixing.
Track 3: Panic Attack. A 5 minute instrumental piece featuring cellos, harpsichords, flutes, and mellotrons which takes a sudden left turn about 2 minutes in, and that's where the electric guitars, synths, bass and drums begin to battle it out. Another left turn results in a Renaissance-like passage before an explosive ending. We only need a few guitar overdubs (probably this week) and this one's ready to go.
Track 4: Blue Rain. A lovely 8 minute piano and harpsichord based ballad. Only the basic tracks have been recorded so far. I'm hoping to get a very famous guest vocalist in for this one. It probably won't happen, but you never know.
Track 5: I Thought She Was a Sandwich. An epic 10 minute prog instrumental written back in 1978 and never recorded. It's been sitting in the back of my head all this time - boy am I glad to get rid of it! I'm not sure about the title for this one yet (Can you guess where I got it from? Here's a hint - it's a line from a famous music-oriented movie made during the mid 60's). Only the basic tracks have been recorded - this one needs a lot of work.
Track 6: Untitled. This is the newest song written only a few days ago which replaces one I wasn't too keen about. I still have the lyrics to write. Fans of the Moody Blues' core 7 albums or Kayak's lush ballads (Phantom of the Night, Frozen Flame) should be happy with this one. Maybe it's a bit too similar to Blue Rain, but who cares... I like it.
Track 7: Room With Dark Corners. A short catchy uptempo track in 3/4 and the only song on the album which even remotely has a chance as a single. The classical arrangement will probably keep that from happening though - which should make all you proggers happy.
Track 8: Vampyre. This third and final instrumental piece is a haunting classically based song of mine from 1979 and was originally featured in a much shorter version on my first album. All the usual pianos, harpsichords, mellotrons, flutes, and lead guitars are here in abundance.
And there you have it. Still got a lot left to do. I hope to keep you all updated with the recording process in the days ahead.
Monday, October 26, 2009
It was an audio file… a guitar solo to be specific… a long, very special guitar solo. I immediately played it. The sound was unmistakable. Even without the benefit of hearing it with the rest of the instruments, I knew it was perfect.
I then quickly booted up another computer in my studio which held the Pro Tools tracks I had been working on since June and transferred the solo to its appropriate spot nestled among the swirling keyboards, strings, woodwinds, and drums. I hit play… and held my breath…
The opening track from my new album had reached a whole new level. The song, a classically-tinged progressive rock tour-de-force, was turning out far better than I ever could have anticipated. Featuring piano, harpsichord, mellotron (strings and choir), cello, oboe, classical guitar, 12 string acoustic guitar, bass, drums, and vocals, the track was now highlighted by a powerful, passionate, and melodically stunning extended lead guitar solo from the fingers, mind, and heart of Andrew Latimer, legendary guitarist for the band Camel. Is it as good as Ice or something off Rajaz? Maybe, but I might be biased. You’ll have to be the judge.
I wrote back to Andy saying that I couldn’t thank him enough for contributing to my album. Knowing all that he’s been through in the past few years, I simply could not fathom that he would take the time to record this for me. But he did, and for that I will always be grateful.
But it didn’t end there. Over the next few days I continued to receive more files of additional guitars and even vocals. I was stunned. The song was being transformed into a true epic right in front of me.
I had met Andy and his wife and lyricist Susan Hoover back in 1997 when I was asked to produce and direct Camel’s concert DVD Coming of Age. Since then I have produced an additional six DVD’s for Camel Productions including Curriculum Vitae, Footage I, Footage II, Total Pressure, Moondances, and the as yet unreleased Opening Farewell, an epic concert extravaganza recorded in Santa Cruz, CA during Camel’s Farewell Tour in 2003.
For those who may not know my background, I began classical piano training at the age of five. Later, after hearing the track Land of Make Believe from the Moody Blues on the radio, I became interested in progressive music and began my discovery of bands such as Genesis, Yes, Jethro Tull, Renaissance, Barclay James Harvest, Strawbs, and of course Camel.
In 1978, after deciding to give the music biz a go myself, I began writing and recording demos. But alas, my timing was off. Record companies in LA at that time simply didn’t want prog. So I successfully pursued my other passion – filmmaking. In my spare time, I went ahead and independently recorded the album Tales of Heroes and Lovers. It eventually got released in 1984 and was accompanied by a self-directed music video which actually got MTV airplay.
An ill-fated attempt at recording a pop album for CBS (with ex-Yes and Moody Blues keyboardist Patrick Moraz slotted to produce no less!) in 1986 was nearly completed, then shelved. The 1990’s saw an additional album being recorded with limited release along with a song being placed in a Kris Kristofferson film, and this kept the musical flame flickering… barely.
Finally in June of 2009, with Andy's encouragement, I decided to go ahead with plans to record a new album and was more than delighted when he kindly offered to contribute to the track Masquerade.
I hope to complete the album, titled Random Acts of Beauty, by the end of the year with a release date set for sometime in early 2010. It will include mostly brand new material, and even one or two pieces I wrote back in the pre Tales days!
Here's hoping that the lush, symphonic, melancholic, melodic, classically–tinged progressive rock we create will find a home in some of your hearts. Check...
for more details in the coming weeks and months.