Seventh Wave is the latest album from guitarist and composer Michelle Qureshi and follow-up to her excellent 2016 release, Scattering Stars. Known for creating uniquely characteristic soundscapes that incorporate an eclectic blend of contemporary and global instrumentation, Michelle further perfects her sound and style on what is arguably her most accomplished work to date. Comprised of thirteen compositions which span a little over sixty-seven minutes, Seventh Wave relies on the sounds of stringed instruments (both plucked and bowed), flutes, didgeridoos, idiophones, membranophones, occasional vocals and synthesized textures. Difficult to pigeon-hole, the album’s overall style could be equally classified as ambient, minimalist or avant-garde.

Metamorphosis is the debut album from Arizona-based duo Nouveau Papillon (French for “new butterfly”). Comprised of eleven tracks spanning sixty-three minutes, the album features Mark Bensette Aux Bois on acoustic guitars, harp and keyboards and Hildi Thelen on Native American-style flutes and percussion. Together, the duo creates a harmonious fusion of new age, ethnic fusion and contemporary instrumental arrangements.

Peter Kater is a remarkably talented and versatile pianist-composer who has released over sixty albums, earned multiple Grammy Award nominations and recorded with other notable musicians such as Native American flutist, R. Carlos Nakai. Coming off the heels of his impeccably gorgeous piano soundscape album, Resonance, Kater’s latest offering, titled Dancing on Water, showcases ten solo piano compositions dedicated to the water element, which are expressively melodic yet fluidly freeform.

Playlists for September 2017

Scott Cole is a versatile composer whose prior releases have spanned ambient, acoustic and world fusion styles of music. On his latest album, titled Beyond Earth – Bowed Dronescapes, Cole creates droning atmospheric passages among six compositions utilizing NS Design Electric-Upright bass, 4-string bass, French and German grip bows, and sound processing.

Lena Natalia is a Chicago-based pianist and composer with four albums to her credit, including her latest and arguably most stunning work to date, titled Almost Home. One among relatively few women working in the classical minimalist genre, Lena takes her already perfected sound to another uncharted level. Applying processed effects to her piano while incorporating other minimal layers and textures throughout, the result is a style of music that might be described as a kind of classical noir. Comprised of twelve stunning compositions spanning forty-eight minutes, the album seemingly plays out like a soundtrack to an indie film, collectively echoing the hallmarks of both notable ambient and classical minimalist composers such as Ludovico Einaudi, Ólafur Arnalds, Johan Johansson, Philip Glass and Steve Reich.

Ban Brothers are an Indian fusion musical duo consisting of real-life brothers Gautam Banerjee and Swagata “Ban” Banerjee. Recorded, mixed and engineered in various locations in India, their fourth album, titled All About Love, beautifully unfolds like a Bollywood movie soundtrack in which Eastern and Western, and retro and modern musical elements colorfully collide. Comprised of nine compositions spanning approximately forty-three minutes, the brothers are joined by an outstanding team of guest artists, including Vanil Veigas who lends keyboard programming to a couple of tracks and likewise provides additional arrangements alongside the notable Ricky Kej. Showcasing male and female vocals that alternately take the lead on each track, Hindi lyrics are delivered by guest singers Prajoth D’Sa, Supriya Joshi and Debasish Shome. Other musicians variably play instruments such as acoustic, bass and rhythmic guitar, bamboo flute, dholak, drums, keyboards, mandolin, percussion, saxophone, saz, table, violins and whistle.

rightIrish Mist is the tenth album from Seattle-based pianist and composer Richard Dillon, as well as the follow-up to his likewise recent solo piano release, Land of Nod. Rich in both ancient myth and tradition, the Emerald Isle has long been a source of fascination for many people and common inspiration among composers, painters and poets. Dedicated to Dillon’s mother, who recently passed away at the age of ninety-eight, the album elegantly showcases fifteen gentle compositions, which are imbued with a touch of nostalgia and often possess a subtle Celtic feel.

Keith Richie is a Texas-based electronic music composer with a diverse and ever-growing catalog of releases. Notably inspired by artists such as Tangerine Dream, Vangelis and John Carpenter, Richie’s albums stylistically range from Berlin-school, to film score, to ambient and chill-out, with each release based upon a central theme that conveys a soundtrack-type listening experience. Comprised of ten compositions spanning fifty-seven minutes, For the Willow Wept (Sunrise Edition), was inspired by a particularly difficult time in Richie’s life. Effectively conveying this theme, the music is deeply emotive and often permeated by a haunting melancholy throughout, with shimmers of sunlight and glimmers of hope sprinkled along its course. Incorporating both vintage and modern synthesizer sounds, Richie even brings in subtle acoustic elements, which lend an organic warmth to these melodic electronic soundscapes

Playlists for August 2017

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