Gareth Koch New Album The Guitar Player

"Gareth Koch New Album The Guitar Player"

GARETH KOCH NEW ALBUM THE GUITAR PLAYER

Following the EP Code Blue earlier this year and taking time out from multiple Steve Kilbey projects Gareth has put together this superb selection of his classical guitar work recorded in two European locations, a remote Austrian village chapel & a baroque Viennese monastery, while living in Europe for over two decades.

A curious & ancient bond unites the selections on this recording. Performed entirely on the ‘Spanish’ guitar, these works have been moulded by the traditions of Spanish classical music & the passionate folk art of flamenco. The musicological connection between folk & classical music is well documented, a phenomenon in which composers incorporate the spirit of folk music into their work. Spanish music is often imbued with the fire of ‘Gypsy song’, whose powerful artistic reach extends well beyond Spain.

ARIA Award winner Gareth Koch is uniquely placed as an interpreter of Spanish music. Trained in Vienna & Madrid, he brings both classical & flamenco perspectives to his interpretation. He is joined on tracks 3, 9 & 12 by Viennese cellist Herwig Tachezi – former Principal Cellist of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra.

 ‘The Guitar Player’ is an entirely natural acoustic recording using direct source microphones and purely the ambient spaces of the chapel’s thereby avoiding any extra processing.


Gareth Koch is an ARIA Award winning recording artist, guitar soloist, composer & songwriter. He has recorded a diverse repertory across multiple albums spanning works for classical guitar, flamenco, original compositions, arrangements, medieval projects & songwriting. He has appeared at major festivals within Australia, Europe, Asia and North America.
Born in Milan, Koch began his musical studies on piano and clarinet, and at age 12 was accepted into the Mozarteum in Salzburg. He received his Bachelor of Music degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music before winning a scholarship for advanced guitar study at the Vienna Academy of Music. He holds a PhD in Music.
In 2002 Koch formed what might be termed the first guitar supergroup. Saffire – The Australian Guitar Quartet soared to number 1 on the classical music charts and appeared on the pop charts. The quartet released a total of 3 best-selling albums.
Gareth is involved with many cross genre projects & in 2020 released two collaborative albums with ARIA Hall of Fame inductee Steve Kilbey (The Church).

The Guitar Player is OUT NOW – September 18 via MGM
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Fiona Joy Hawkins New Album Moving Through Worlds

"Fiona Joy Hawkins New Album Moving Through Worlds"

Fiona Joy Hawkin’s Presents New Album and Video
Moving Through Worlds

As the Australian Bushfires crept toward her rural home, Fiona Joy Hawkins turned to her Stuart & Sons piano to do what has always bought her solace: writing music. After crafting 4 songs that she later marketed as fundraisers for firefighters and wildlife rescue – and which are included on this album – she began final preparations on Moving Through Worlds.

Although she began recording and conceptualizing the album three years ago, one could say it is an album 44-years in the making. One of the more classical-crossover pieces is “For the Roses” which a 12-year-old Fiona wrote for her Grandmother’s funeral.

Fiona says, “I believe music is a gift from another world, from ancestors of the past communicating to inspire and give us hope. Music is a universal language that connects us without prejudice, it speaks to us all equally, yet is received with great variation. My wish is to open a few more hearts to the power of music. Now more than ever we need the connection to our past to find the pathway to our future.”

The 14-track album was beautifully produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records) and Tom Eaton. As per her usual style, Fiona defies genre by bringing Classical, Contemporary Piano, and New Age instrumentals together to create something uniquely her own, and reflective of all the worlds that she has moved through so elegantly while this powerful music gathered in her soul.

Fiona Joy Hawkins is an Australian Pianist, Composer and Singer who enjoys and regularly tours China and the USA and is also a member of the Contemporary instrumental group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). Fiona Joy Hawkins is best known for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements. A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and tells stories.

Fiona Joy is known for ‘Grace’, her song on a Grammy Winning album in 2014 and for her extensive catalogue produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records). In 2016 she won two categories of the Independent Music Awards at the Lincoln Centre in New York and has been awarded Best Piano Album by International Radio (ZMR Awards) for several of her albums. Nominated alongside Pete Seeger for Best LIVE Performance Album in the Independent Music Awards,Fiona was an ARIA Finalist in Australia in 2008. Fiona works with Australian piano maker Stuart and Sons, and has several albums with Blue Coast Records (content partners with Sony Music for hi-resolution releases).

Watch the Video (Premiered on Scenstr) for Calling County Clare here

In the case of Fiona Joy Hawkins’ latest collection Moving Through Worlds, there are glorious exceptions where it’s not hyperbole in any sense and fits today, tomorrow and for all…let’s just say I can’t imagine there ever being a time in the future when listening to this deeply personal, socially conscious, stylistically expansive 14-track musical narrative would grip me any less than it does today, in the midst of world gone mad 2020. – Jonathan Widran, JWVibe

“Moving Through Worlds” is OUT NOW (July 7) via Little Hartley Music. 

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Fiona Joy Hawkins’ New Single and Video

"Fiona Joy Hawkins’ New Single and Video"

Fiona Joy Hawkin’s Presents New Single and Video
 Calling County Clare

Music for this moment… A piano journey that finds joy. Calling County Clare is the first track on Fiona Joy’s upcoming album Moving Through Worlds due out 7 July. Calling County Clare is a Celtic dance and joyful celebration featuring piano with Irish Whistle, guitars, accordion and rhythm. In the video Fiona is standing on the shores of Town Beach at Port Macquarie and calling to the shores of Ireland. There’s some really beautiful drone footage of the Irish coast throughout the video shot specifically for the clip.

Fiona Joy Hawkins is an Australian Pianist, Composer and Singer who enjoys and regularly tours China and the USA and is also a member of the Contemporary instrumental group FLOW (Fiona Joy, Lawrence Blatt, Jeff Oster, Will Ackerman). Fiona Joy Hawkins is best known for her romantic, melodic songs and lush arrangements. A prolific composer, she has always been interested in creating music that evokes images, emotions and tells stories.

Fiona Joy is known for ‘Grace’, her song on a Grammy Winning album in 2014 and for her extensive catalogue produced by Will Ackerman (Founder Windham Hill Records). In 2016 she won two categories of the Independent Music Awards at the Lincoln Centre in New York and has been awarded Best Piano Album by International Radio (ZMR Awards) for several of her albums. Nominated alongside Pete Seeger for Best LIVE Performance Album in the Independent Music Awards,Fiona was an ARIA Finalist in Australia in 2008. Fiona works with Australian piano maker Stuart and Sons, and has several albums with Blue Coast Records (content partners with Sony Music for hi-resolution releases).

Watch the Video (Premiered last week on Scenstr) for Calling County Clare here

Blue Coast owner/producer Cookie Marenco says, “Fiona’s melodic solo piano and masterful performances are the perfect music to debut the kind of clarity double DSD audio brings to the home listener,”

“One of the brightest lights in contemporary instrumental music, Fiona Joy is poised to move into stardom,” -Will Ackerman, Founder of Windham Hill Records

“Calling County Clare” is OUT NOW via FOGHORN/MGM. 

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For further information, Files, CD and Interview Requests please contact:
Marshall Cullen at Foghorn Media
0416 143 030
marshall@foghornrecords.net

Review of Steve Kilbey and Gareth Koch album Chryse Planitia

"Review of Steve Kilbey and Gareth Koch album Chryse Planitia"

By Adam Jones 24/3/2020

 

Some artists and bands change like a slow-moving chameleon. Listen to Bowies first and last albums, and Queens, and the Rolling Stones. None of them gathered any moss, but did they gain any shine? 

 

In Australia we have some extraordinary and treasured original artists who consistently deliver creative fodder for the music loving Aussie cattle, and all those other beautiful creatures herding around this great continent and across the world. Enigmatic riders on the dragons of fiery passion and creativity. 

 

Some amazing dragons sons also have a long tail that lashes our ears with a quirky but blunt sentiment, along with a hearty serving of provocative ideas.  It takes a true lover of the art of contemporary music to really appreciate the legend that is Steve Kilbey, the master of The Church, and a maestro for the lovers of exceptional songwriting and performance. But he is still somehow pleasingly familiar.  When you get this close to musical utopia, the worst thing you can do is change too much!

 

But wait, theres more!! Another shiny dragon egg has borne a different, but kindred spirit, conjured up by the masters of fantastic melody and classical classiness, and his name is Gareth Koch. Wow, this Aria award winner plays the guitar better than the best lover in the world tinkers with the sweet body of the object of his desire. Gareth relentlessly pleased my ears, and they were suffering gladly from his incandescent acoustic sensory overload.

 

Their incredible collaboration, helmed by the solid and laconic vocals and songwriting from Steve, is a somewhat different, but just frigging awesome, version of those fantastic albums we were treated to last millennium in the only Church I would every prey in.

 

So what can we find between the pews, up in the mural-covered arches, and hidden in cobwebbed bell-towers? Well, I tell you right now. There is still so much to discover, even after a few listens I feel like I need to spend 6 months with this album hitting my ears at least a few times per week, before I could do it some real justice with my review.  But with only a few spins on my digital turntable, I will do my best, and give it a go!

 

Chryse Planitiais a smooth round golden plain, found north of the equator on the planet Mars, AND probably one of the most interesting and original album names Ive seen since Pink Floyd in the late 60s. Well, I suppose its a very appropriate name, because it definitely rocketed my mind to another planet!

 

This collection of great songs opens with the fast-paced band expression that is Fallen Crown. Hey baby, Im a billionaire! Woah! She said Ive got everything I need”. Well, lucky her, but her crown has fallen to the ground, because her broken King dont know what to say, clinging to the throne by a piece of string”.  Surely this is a critical appraisal of greed and power, but wow, you look so pretty!”.

 

The Fatal Hour strikes early on, still sour in its cage, while fools come out to promenade”. This slower, and darker song is modern folklore. With multiple acoustic guitars plucking along, this is moody melodies galore. Then a bit of Didge introduces us to that misnamed Tassie Tiger, the Thylacine, mourning the extinction of that weird native dog from the map of Tassie. Somebody came and took them all away, but still I wonder where they are tonight”.  Next comes Tears of The End Of The World, a ballad for all that we seem to have lost and destroyed on planet Earth.  And some people want to go and live on inhospitable Mars!  Why, so they can smile at the end of the day, mean everything, mean anything, give nothing away”?

 

In Ophelia Without Wine Steve is dying for the chance for her to come my way”.  Gareth is once again amazing on the nylon strings.  This whole album has so much to offer.  Rest assured that the rest of the album, with songs that are so easy to indulge in, and with titles such as Heart is Heavy, Lady Ishtar in her Garden, Broken Toys, and Lost At Sea, are sweet or sour treats that just keep coming, like a bottomless bowl of your favourite dessert or chilli con carne.

 

Honestly, this album has just been added to my Essential Listening List.  Say no more.

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(photo credit: Tony Mott)

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Apsara – Galatea EP

"Apsara – Galatea EP"

Apsara is an original project of classical soprano Michaele Archer, exploring a sound palate that is rich and raw. Composed with Latin text from Virgil and Roman woman poet Sulpicia, Apsara’s debut EP Galatea intertwines ancient and new sounds.

Leading the Apsara project on harmonium and vocals, Archer is joined by cellist Rachel Whealy, violist Gabrielle Laura Steele and guitarist Giuseppe Zangari.

APSARA_CLIP_DAY1

It been a journey bringing together the different layers for this project – Ancient Latin text, alto instruments and a vocal approach that blends opera and early music. “Once I had it the music came quickly. The songs almost wrote themselves. They came so fast in a matter of minutes recording on my phone.”

In addition to medieval vocals, ancient Latin text and deep analogue instruments, the flow of water and nature inspires Apsara. In Virgil’s Eclogue 7 there are references to Galatea, a water sprite and the name Apsara also translates as Indian water spirit.

APSARA_MICHAELE_ARCHER

Michaele has performed opera, song and oratorio in Australia and internationally and has featured in several world premieres of new works by Australian composers.

“Coming from an opera background and having a larger voice type my sound has always been full on opera”. Michaele has recently been performing and studying in Los Angeles with Robin de Haas, a leading voice coach in Europe and founder of a new performance and body work method called Breathing Coordination. Going ever deeper into anatomy and the science of breathing led Michaele to a new vocal style, blending Opera into medieval straight tone.

Discovering the poetry of Roman woman poet Sulpicia struck a deep chord.  “The portrayal of women in opera is often two dimensional and I wanted to depart from that,” says Archer.  Sulpicia was a woman who lived outside the stereotypes of Ancient Roman society in terms of being unmarried, writing poetry and writing explicitly about love. The feel and sound qualities of old Latin text and stories interpreted from a female perspective form a rich layer, built with instruments from the deeper harmonic spectrum.

“I’ve got a thing for the darker sounding instruments so combining the tone of the viola with cello and alto harmonium was a perfect fit.”

Cellist Rachel Whealy has been a muse since high school. The pair met in Year 12 Music class, where Michaele fell in love with Rachel’s playing and the mellow sob of the cello. There were quite a few maths lessons skipped to play Purcell on Balmoral Island with the waves. They have been performing, writing and recording together ever since. “We’ve created some beautiful original recordings, but I kept putting them aside. I hadn’t quite cracked the feel of the sound I knew I was looking for. I wanted to move slightly left of opera with an instrumental foundation that was real and textured.”

APSARA – GALATEA will be released on August 23 through MGM. 

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Steve Kilbey And Gareth Koch Join Forces For ‘Broken Toys’

"Steve Kilbey And Gareth Koch Join Forces For ‘Broken Toys’"

What happens when the musical worlds of Australian Music icon Steve Kilbey & classically trained ARIA Award winner Gareth Koch collide?

The answer lies in their new single Broken Toys – a refined and confident title brimming with sensitivity, experience and fresh ideas.

It’s not easy to describe a fascinating and unexpected collaboration such as this one. Steve Kilbey is perhaps best known as frontman of veteran rock band The Church. Gareth Koch on the other hand is a Viennese-trained classical guitarist/composer.

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(photo credit: Tony Mott)

The Kilbey/Koch musical arrangements are acoustic and highly sophisticated. ‘Classical’ is one way of describing the sound. But it is much more than that. Kilbey is a self-confessed classicist, so the pairing is actually spot on. Kilbey & Koch have roughly 1000 years of music history bubbling away in their consciousness, and coupled with this knowledge is a keen awareness of contemporary sensibilities.

Sparkling effervescent textures, percussion by veteran stickman Barton Price (of Models fame), dobros, classical and 12-string guitars and even a 1966 ‘Beatle Bass’ all combine to create a unique and original soundscape.

Their eclectic partnership draws inspiration from medieval music to post-modern psychedelia, with every imaginable influence in between. These experienced musicians have created a strong and immediately recognisable musical identity, a new sound and aesthetic that comes with a fluid movement across genres. The result is a unique blend of classical & pop sensibilities with lyrics poised for repeated listening.

Expertly mixed by Russell Pilling at Damien Gerard Studios Sydney and superbly mastered by Grammy Award winning King Willy Sound, Broken Toys is a feast for the ears.

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Fiona Joy (Hawkins) – New Single – Grace Chill Remix – Out Now

"Fiona Joy (Hawkins) – New Single – Grace Chill Remix – Out Now"

Fiona Joy (Hawkins) – New Single – Grace Chill Remix – Out Now

Soundslikecafe is proud to feature this International Tune on the new September 2018 playlist

“I originally wrote Grace as a piano instrumental and it ended up on a Grammy winning album in 2014. I wanted to add words and record my own singer/songwriter version as I really connected with the message in the song “To be with Grace, To live with Grace, Always with Grace’.   A slower acoustic recording was followed by a chill mix which featured on the first Say Yes To Love album in support of marriage equality.  This current remix of Grace is punchier Dream-Pop.  
The track features Tony Levin (Peter Gabriel) playing NS Bass, Marc Shulman (Jewel & Suzanne Vega) playing Electric guitar with a little Beat-Box by my son Nick Hawkins. 
The song has genre hopped from World to New Age to Pop and it’s been covered by a number of other artists including Flutist Sherry Finzer and Grammy winners Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman.



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