Category Archives: Music videos

The Red Planet Orchestra – Changing the Status Quo of Film Scores



Conceived and conducted by Vincent Rees, the Red Planet Orchestra combine classical composition with a contemporary structure of electronic ambient music.

With sound artist Pete Smith, the Red Planet Orchestra has accumulated a growing body of work both rich in invention and subtlety. A sound palette of future memories and past dreams. Each release has created a landscape of intense serenity.

Their debut album, Aurora Symphony, was warmly received and now a firm favourite among fans – All albums feature original artwork conceived by Belgium artist Nicolas Crombez.

The Red Planet Orchestra continue to compose music for emerging film soundtracks such as the brilliant ‘Gorka’

Albums
Aurora Symphony – 2013
Secrets of Eternity – 2013
We Breathe Together-2014
States of Space -2014
The Angry Silence -2014
Time of Dark Consequences – 2016
Contamination – 2016

Red Planet Orchestra
Contact Red Planet Orchestra at bandcamp.com



 

Richard Demy and the Arabic Euphonium



My mother Grew up outside of Beirut, Lebanon, and I had listened to a lot of Arabic music growing up.  I started playing euphonium in school and loved it so much that I focused on that for a while.  I heard Ibrahim Maalouf on the radio and it resonated with me so much that I looked him up, and got in touch with his father on Facebook.

Nassim his father studied at the Paris Conservatory under Maurice Andre, and invented the Arabic trumpet.  after passing some recordings back and forth, he helped guide me how to play the style properly.

This fall I have presented a lecture on how to modify all low brass instruments to be able to play the quarter-tone system, lectured at conferences, and have given masterclasses all over the US on the subject.  I should have my first CD out this summer.

B i o g r a p h y

Dr. Richard Demy is an international award winning musician who has performed all over the world.  He graduated  from the University of North Texas with his DMA under Dr. Brian Bowman, including other notable teachers – Dr Joseph Skillen, Don Palmire, and others.

Richard won the 2012 Leonard Falcone Euphonium Artist Solo Competition.  He was a finalist in the National Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competition and  the International Tuba Euphonium Conference Euphonium Artist Division.

He performed a solo recital at the Kennedy Center as well as with with wind bands across the United States and Europe.  He has performed with symphonies and given over 100 recitals and master classes in many states in the USA

“My passion is to teach masterclasses and workshops on brass.  I focus on practice habits, with an emphasis on teaching technical elements from a musical paradigm.   Send me an email to discuss how I can assist your program ” 

Richard has worked hard to expand performance opportunities on the euphonium by publishing articles promoting lesser known genres featuring the euphonium, presenting recitals on historical instruments, and performing modern compositions with audience biofeedback.

opficleide
Richard Demy performing on the Ophicleide

He currently performs with the Lone Star Wind Orchestra based in Dallas, Texas and released his first album in June 2016.  You can read more about upcoming performances at DemyMusic.com.  Richard plays exclusively on a WILLSON 2900TA Euphonium.

Richard Demy
Contact Richard at Demymusic.com by clicking here



Introducing the stunning Martina Difonte



Whether it’s fashion, music or art, the most beautiful things are made in Italy. Martina Difonte is no exception with her rich, powerful vocals, poise and graceful movement, Martina is simply a star of Rome.

One of the most beautiful films ever made, in my humble opinion, is Giuseppe Tornature’s Cinema Paradiso.  Martina’s cover of the Ennio Morricone theme  from the movie is a perfect tribute to this timeless classic.

Martina Difonte
Visit Martina Difonte’s Official Page

Martina Difonte

 




Introducing the brilliant Lisa Ballew – Why Did You Wash Me Away?



The talent for writing and crafting a song aren’t always innate, but with Lisa Ballew it was something that was instinctive. Raised on the west coast of California, she connected with a deep-rooted musical family tree and began writing her own music at the early age of 13.

At 20 she ventured to Nashville to grow her musical prowess and feed and perform in a creative community. She eventually returned to the West Coast to be near family and continued to develop her art. She has crafted hundreds of songs that are ready for an audience.

“I think there was a period where my songs were cathartic and more for me…an outlet to express how I felt and saw life during both beautiful and difficult times. I finally had a realization that I had been stowing away my songs, my gifts and talents. I felt a strong sense that it was time for me to put it all out there. I needed to move forward in my musical journey and share my songs.”

That journey lead to the creation and release of “Ready For The Ride.” It showcases a pop sensibility and Lisa’s ability and passion to create songs that are relevant and commercial. This is just a glimpse of a deep catalog of songs waiting to be heard. The ride is just beginning…… 

Large H

Visit Lisa Here and check out the full album




Behind the Original Cover of “Bohemian Rhapsody”


Go to the profile of Daniel Nester

Queen’s mega-hit has been interpreted countless times. But who did it first?

Three years ago, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the Queen classic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” complete with a reissue of the single’s original artwork for Record Store Day’s Black Friday and a Queen-endorsed brew, aptly named “Bohemian Lager,” made in — where else? — the Bohemia region of the Czech Republic.

Over the years, the Freddie Mercury-penned song has evolved from a radio staple to competition showcase for melismatic singers everywhere to something akin to public domain. There’s countless parodies: “Bohemian Carsody,” a car-themed parody by the all-female comedian troupe SketchShe, has racked up almost 30 million hits. There’s also ascience-themed “Bohemian Gravity,” College Humor’s “Bro-hemian Rhapsody,” “Bohemian Momsody,” the Minecraft-themed “Bohemian Craftsody,” and “Nintendohian Rhapsody.” And that’s just scratching the surface.

Interpretations of “Bohemian Rhapsody” also abound. Ukulele master Jake Shimabukuro’s TED Talk cover from 2010 has nine million views and counting. American Idol’s Adam Lambert’s rendition of “Bo Rhap” led to a job playing Mercury himself in a biopic set to release this year. Kanye West, the supremely self-confident rap artist and provocateur, opened his headlining set at Glastonbury Music Festival with a “Mama” heard ‘round the world in a performance that could charitably be described as pitch-imperfect. Remember Robert Wilkison? Arrested for driving while intoxicated in Alberta, Canada, he proclaimed his innocence with a full-throated “Bohemian Rhapsody” from the back of a squad car. He racked up 11 million hits. They did not let him go.

But who made the very first “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover?

Perhaps 1982’s recording by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra?

Or maybe the 1987 cover by Bad News, the comedy metal band?

Good guesses, but both are wrong.

The very first “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover was recorded for a Top of The Popscompilation volume and released in December 1975, three months after the original song was released on the airwaves. Not to be confused with the television show by the same name, the Top of The Pops series were budget-priced compilations that featured studio musicians and singers recreating chart-toppers, and usually featured a scantily clad model as the album art. We’re talking everyone from the Supremes to the Sex Pistols. Found on Top of The Pops #49, the “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover was recorded at De Lane Lea Studios, next to Wembley Stadium, where — it might be noted — Queen recorded early demos for tracks like “Keep Yourself Alive.”

Recently I tracked down Tony Rivers, one of the four Top of The Pops singers who recorded that first “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover. He was also the vocal arranger on the sessions, a thankless task for which he was well-prepared: Rivers’ long and varied career includes working on tracks from early 60s vocal groups Harmony Grass and the Castaways, recordings with Pink Floyd and INXS, and singing backup for Cliff Richard and Elton John — all of which he’s written about in his book, I’m Nearly Famous: The Tales of a Likely Lad.

Rivers was kind enough to let me pick his brain over email about the original “Bohemian Rhapsody” cover.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.


Everyone covers or parodies “Bohemian Rhapsody” these days — from the Muppets, Phish, Flaming Lips, William Shatner, Zac Brown Band, Kanye West — everyone climbs Bo Rhap Mountain, it seems.

Well, not many could manage to put this together, least of all Kanye West!

But you were the first.

I have always assumed that [it was], mainly because harmony wasn’t many singers’ strong point at that time, and it was the most complicated arrangement to learn in a few days and record.

Tony Rivers in the 1970s.

A few days? The original famously took three, four weeks.

There were very few around who could have done it that quickly. It was a bit easier for us four, all coming up with vocal group backgrounds. All four of us sang on “Bohemian Rhapsody.” We usually took a day to lay down lead and backing vocal tracks, and would be on our way home by 11pm. Not this time!

So it wasn’t easy to do, then.

No. With due modesty it was difficult for us because of the time restriction — maybe two or three days to live with it (once the committee had chosen it).

By “committee” you mean the people at Top of The Pops?

A small group of Hallmark employees, along with producer Bruce Baxter, would sit down prior to the planned sessions and choose the potential hits. That, of course, was the secret to the label’s success. I have no idea what their thoughts were in choosing “Bohemian Rhapsody” other than “what an amazing record!”

The cover is pretty much perfect, note-for-note. How did you pull that off?

As usual, I had the job of sorting out the vocal arrangement. I had to listen and memorize the parts. John Perry and Ken Gold were also listening and were both assigned lead lines that suited their voices, which they did brilliantly I think. Oh, and let’s not forget the late Stu Calver, who was the very high voice on the Roger Taylor parts — the “Gallileo”’s and so on.

Normally this wouldn’t be too big a deal, but with this song, I had to sit for hours at home listening, making notes, and memorizing vocal lines — apart from the other tracks we had to do that day!

The time-consuming job of layering track after track of vocals ’til we got the sound and the voicing right seemed to take forever. But in the end, it had been a great opportunity to find out how that song was put together.

I’m still trying to wrap my head around you doing all of this in a few days, to be honest.

The harmony parts were obviously part of the problem, but they are not difficult harmonies. The problem was lack of familiarity with the whole thing. We could copy sections, piece by piece. The other problem was the time needed to achieve a similar “sound.” That kind of mass tracking takes time, and wasn’t usually available in big lumps. This was something with many lumps!

We were helped greatly by the fact that all three of us had good range in our voices with JP and Stu blessed with fantastic falsetto range.

I believe we spent the early part and the rest of the day, singing whatever vocals or harmonies needed on the other songs that had been selected.

You worked on other songs at the same time?

Memory tells me at around 7pm we started on Bo Rhap, bit by bit, until each section sounded good, and added voices until it did. We finished and hit the A406 [a main London road] around 7 the next morning in a daze, in rush hour traffic, with “Gallileo”s running round our heads.

I have nothing but admiration for the man who created it: Freddie Mercury. What a record.

A bit different from something like [The Sweet’s] “Little Willie!”

The original version made a splash, of course, but the TOTP version made headlines as well. Kenny Everett, who famously played the test pressing of the original track, also played your cover.

Kenny Everett was a big name at that time , and decided to see if the listeners could tell which version had taken months and a fortune to record, and which was done in a few hours on a budget album! He played our version and Queen’s, cutting between the two, asking “Can you tell which one’s the ten-bob version, and which one cost six million quid to make?”

Did you ever hear from the Queen camp regarding your cover? I know you worked with Cliff Richard for quite some time, and Freddie Mercury and he were friends.

Ken Gold was introduced to Freddie whilst on an Elton John tour of the USA. Ken decided to ask Freddie what he thought about “that cover.” He looked pensive, then added, “Hmm, an interesting version!”

I did meet Brian May once. He said, “Hi, Tony! Roger and I used to go to see you live at Loughborough Uni/College, and you were a very big influence on our harmonies!” Not bad, eh?



Introducing Luca Brassy



For the past 13 years, Luca Brassy, born and raised in Upstate NY, has been building a reputation in the Tri-State area as one of the hottest emcees in the region.  His journey really started in entertainment through professional wrestling at age 13.  By the time he turned 16, Luca was running his own professional wrestling training center (24/7 Wrestling Productions LLC) in Upstate NY.

Due to things out of his own control, 24/7 closed its doors in the summer of 2003.  From there, Brassy had a hard time finding himself again until he discovered his love for writing and music in 2004.  In October 2004, he met Jgreen Moneytalkz who has been producing his music ever since.

Luca Brassy has performed at numerous cities and states including Schenectady, Albany, Glens Falls, Syracuse, Amsterdam, Rochester, Pittsfield, Pittsburgh, Massachusetts, Buffalo, Newport Rhode Island, Brooklyn, Bronx NY, Manhattan, Staten Island, Ardmore PA, Uniontown Alabama, Birmingham, Atlanta GA, Marshall NC, and Memphis TN among others and has been building a name for himself based on his politically and socially oriented music.

Among other great accolades, he has opened for several well known emcees such as Rakim and Lil Kim.  Brassy is now moving in a new direction with his music and putting his old school lyrical mentality to use with his club vibe which has brought him a whole new fan base as well as a different kind of recognition.

Brassy’s first mixtape was released in 2006 titled “The Project: Stereotyped”, and his first full length album “The Narration: The Heart of a Champion” in 2010.  A remake of that album was released Through Tate Music Group in 2014 titled simply “The Heart of a Champion.”   Luca was recently signed to Sony RED where he released 2 singles “Like That” and “3000” (produced by Younglord).

With this, he continues to be active around his own community as well as others.  He continues to grind and make new contacts in radio, magazine, film, blogs, etc.  He most recently was signed to CNY Mode modeling agency based in Syracuse NY!  In music, his newest single “Lose Your Mind” was recorded in Los Angeles with the music video being shot in ATL.  Brassy stays on the grind and is always active in his music and all business endeavors.  Stay tuned for the latest on Luca Brassy!  POW!!!

Luca Brassy
Visit lucabreassy.com

 

Luca Brassy



Introducing Maddy Carty – Not Just a Political Songwriter

By Roger Moisan

The other evening, I had the great privilege of meeting Maddy Carty and was instantly struck by her engaging and powerful message. Hailing from the same camp as Amy Winehouse, Adele and Jessie J (the Brit School) Maddy Carty is an equally phenomenal tallent. Like many of Maddy’s generation, she is able to see through the blatant lies and glaring stupidity of this current Conservative government.

With rough sleeping at a record high across the UK, millions of families relying on food banks just to survive and our public services being eroded on an industrial scale, Maddy’s songs cut through the fog of media spin and tory propaganda.

Maddy Carty
Maddy Carty

Maddy’s latest album, ‘Come And Get It’ is not just a political statement but a beautiful blend of humour, sadness and fun coupled with the West London Sound.

As a West London resident, Maddy was deeply affected by the unnecessary tragedy,  one year ago, of the Grenfell Tower fire. A year on and many families are still displaced and looking for answers as to why their lives were turned upside down on that dreadful night. Maddy highlights the issues surrounding Grenfell and the many injustices in our society in her songs.

Never before has there been greater inequality in our society with the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer. It is through artists like Maddy Carty that we can see a glimmer of hope that things are about to change.

If you haven’t downloaded Maddy’s latest album, you should!

 

Visit Maddy Carty Music

Maddy Carty Music
Maddy Carty Music

Biography

South London-born singer-songwriter Maddy Carty is an ex-BRIT School student who went on to study at Leeds College of Music. After graduating, she headed back to London to form her own band, and record her debut album, Come And Get It.

Drawing her inspiration from artists such as Tracy Chapman, India.Arie and Van Morrison, Maddy writes all her own material.

She has supported Norman Jay and Madness at House of Fun Festival, played The Brooklyn Bowl with Maxi Priest and performed at venues such as Ronnie Scott’s, The Troubadour and The Scoop for More London Festivals.

Maddy’s first album, ‘Come and Get It’ has received support from Radio 1xtra, BBC6 and BBC London amongst many others. Her new feature track ‘Got No Love’ has been championed by Mistajam and DJ Target on Radio 1.

Maddy is now writing for others as well as working on her new project and the first single ‘Same Way’ is out now. 

“Fantastic, great sound. Well done girl!”
Robert Elms BBCLondon

“A strikingly sophisticated and self contained talent Maddy Carty’s commanding yet delicate vocal is serviced by original songs of depth and commitment.”
Gavin Martin, Music Journalist

“Sickeningly talented – and using her gifts to make the world seem just a little bit fairer.”
Ian McCann, Record Collector Magazine

“Love her voice, love her song!”

David Rodigan BBC1xtra



String Rakes on Bass Guitar



In this video I’ll show you how to spice up your bass playing by using string rakes!!

Thanks so much for checking out my weekly bass lesson here at Musicians Unite!! I hope you found this lesson on string raking helpful!!

Please check back next week for another video and in the meantime catch up with me on my websites!!

-George Urbaszek – MU Educator

George’s Websites:

Creative Bass Lessons
Walking Bass Lessons
Blues Bass Lessons
Good Music Practice

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Knowing the Building Blocks of Jazz Chord Progressions



A jazz chord progression is made up of smaller blocks of progressions. This video will go over the three most important types of blocks or progressions that you need to know in order to understand the chord progression of a jazz standard. These will help you memorize and play jazz songs and make it possible for you to get better at sight-reading jazz lead-sheets!!

Thanks so much for checking out my weekly lesson at Musicians Unite!! I hope you found this chord progression discussion helpful!!

Please check back next week for another lesson, and in the meantime please catch up with me on my website and social media pages!!

Jens Larsen – MU Educator

Jens’ Website
Jens on Patreon
Jens on YouTube
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