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Keyboardist Wanted - ST PETE, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 01-17-2015 ... 11:56 EST

Guitarist Available - Largo, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 11-21-2014 ... 18:28 EST
Lead/Rhythm Guitar available for good band playing local Gigs (or ready to) in Pinellas, Hillsborough. Gear, wheels, enjoy rocking heavy and having good time with other professionals. Kick Ass Lead and Rhythm chops. AC-DC, Nugent, Zep, SRV, Hendrix, Clapton, Nazareth, STP, ZZ Top, Velvet Revolver, Molly Hatchet etc...Mid 40's with lots of experience. ... 284972 ... Contact:

Guitarist Wanted - Clearwater, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 10-15-2014 ... 18:20 EST
TOMMY ROXX (& NUTHIN' FANCY) is looking for a new full time guitar player. TOMMY ROXX is am original/cover band with one CD out and a second one in the works. NUTHIN' FANCY is the ultimate Lynyrd Skynyrd tribute experience with National exposure. ~ You would get to be in BOTH bands.You must be able to play multiple styles on the guitar. You need to be able to play Southern Rock like Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, & the Allman Brothers, Classic Rock like Bad Co, Stevie Ray & Bob Seger, Nugent, and Dance Funk Soul styles as well. You must be a real team player, no drug or alcohol issues, and a pro attitude and gear etc.....NOTE: If you don't have a day job or other means of survival ~ you will not make a living playing in this band - we do it for the music and the fun.... ... 5773941 ... Contact: Tommy 727-204-0491

Drummer Wanted - Dunedian, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 09-02-2014 ... 23:34 EST
Professional rock cover band seeks drummer (tampa bay area)Band with upcoming shows need drummer. Professional musicians need only apply. Please submit a portfolio/PROMO IF AVAILABLE with ANY VIDEOS for further consideration. No druggies, drunks or drama queens. Band does have major backing and gigs booked. Please have capability of learning material in next 3 weeks for upcoming shows. Go to to see a list of Cover songs we do. Only serious professionals need apply. Paying Gigs with upcoming tour in spring. Thank you. ... 4497819 ... Contact: Michele Haldeman,

Vocalist Available - hernando, TampaBay Area FL ... Submitted: 06-14-2014 ... 17:24 EST

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USA Press Room

Are you ready to Laugh Out Loud this weekend?
Jan 12
Patrick Garrity is enjoyed by our audiences every time he appears and is hailed as the funniest comic you have never heard of. Combine his hilarious take on every day life with his amazing impersonations and you've got a heck of a show!

Patrick has been featured on FOX TV and

Appearing Jan. 15, Jan. 17 at 6pm, and Jan. 18
Various showtimes
See below for a limited free ticket offer!

Dom Irrera is a comedy legend. This CableACE Award-winning comedian was also nominated six times for the American Comedy Award! He has been seen on multiple late night talk shows and movies, has been featured on podcasts galore, and was named one of Comedy Central's Top 100 Comedians of All Time. Why?

Come find out!

Appearing January 16 - 17
Various showtimes
See below for a limited discount ticket offer!

Thursday BONUS!

Come see the show on Thursday with Patrick Garrity and you will get to see 4 of the Elite 8 of our first annual Tampa Bay Comedy Competition!

These comic are competing for cash prizes and stage time around the southeast and we want to know who you think should be in the Final Four!

Competing this Thursday:
Andrew Silas vs Paul Soleo
Jared Waters vs Bill Zapf

Call 813.960.1197 or visit us online and use Promo Code FUNEMAIL for the following FREE or discount ticket offers:

Up to 6 FREE tickets for:
Thursday January 15 at 8:30pm - click & pick table here for small fee!
Saturday January 17 at 6pm - click & pick table here for small fee!
Sunday January 18 at 7pm - click & pick table here for small fee!

Up to six 2-for-1 tickets for:
Friday January 16 at 10:15pm - get 2 tickets for the price of one. Valid for up to 6!
Click here to click & pick your table online!

Reservations required. Please call 813.960.1197. Free and discount tickets have limited availability. Does not apply to tickets already purchased.
Coming Up At Sidesplitters
Jan 02
HYPNOTIST Flip Orley January 8 - 11

Since Flip Orley has bursted onto the comedy seen he has single
- handedly reshaped the image of hypnosis from its vaudeville image, to an act hip and edgy enough for the MTV generation. Flip’s appearance on the “Today Show” brought rave reviews and stopped traffic in midtown Manhattan. His one - man show has set comedy club attendance records from coast to coast.

Faithful fans and new comers alike find themselves screaming with laughter as Flip ignites his volunteers’ subconscious minds and transforms reality. What sets Orley apart from others in his craft, is his true comedic ability, delivering a hilarious stand up set before unleashing his volunteers creative imaginations.

The Los Angeles Times attests that “...the beauty of Orley’s show is that, because most of the humor comes from the volunteers, and no two
performances are alike.”

The Dallas Morning News reports, “It’s difficult to remain skeptical after seeing Flip transform a panel of well behaved audience members into a family of trailer - park dwellers from Arkansas, Southern accent and all!”

Orley has been seen on “Entertainment Tonight,” "The Martin Short Show," “Comic Strip Live,” the "Ricki Lake Show," Maury Povich" and "Space Ghost Coast To Coast." It is his uncanny way with subjects, his finely tuned power of suggestion and rapid - fire delivery that keeps audiences coming back for more. Unlike past generations of hypnotists, Orley does not humiliate his subjects for comic effect, but entertains by enlightening his audiences...often with lasting beneficial effects on those who have been inducted. After making them forget their own names, having them regress to age 5, or pledge undying love to complete strangers in a highly original version of “The Newlywed Game.” Flip’s subjects often awaken from their hypnotic trance reporting less stress, sleep better, have more energy, and a renewed libido!

Flip is adamant about “not” embarrassing his volunteers. “I want the audience to laugh with them, not at them,” he says. “This is the purest form of improvisational entertainment you will ever see as the show rewrites itself every night, and the volunteers are my partners, not my victims. Each subject is treated with respect and gentility.”

Orley’s journey to becoming the country’s hippest hypnotist of his time began when he bought a book in the 6th grade called “How to Pick Up Girls Through Hypnotism.” Although the advice in that particular book
did not pay off, Orley became obsessed with the subject, realizing the creative potential and learned everything he could about it. Flip studied psychology at University Of Arizona with the intention of
becoming a clinical hypnotist. It was while majoring in psychology at the University of Arizona, however, that Orley discovered stand - up comedy.

Hypnosis took second place for a time as Orley honed his comedic skills in small clubs around the country eventually merging the two. The rest is comedy club history as marquees across the nation invariably read
“Flip Orley/Held Over By Popular Demand , for up to 12 weeks at a time.
Realizing the value of the clinical side of hypnotism, Flip developed techniques in seminars and workshops to help people get in touch with their inner strength through the power of their own subconscious minds.

Orley’s self - help CD’s address a verity of issues such as, stress management, weight control, quit smoking, and sleep disorders. Dentists, doctors and patients who are allergic to anesthesia have called upon Flip’s abilities. Orley assisted one dentist who operated on a patient for almost 2 hours without an anesthetic. The subject awakened without pain and thought the whole thing was a scam, until she looked into a mirror. He’s been credited with helping to bring difficult pregnancies to full term through stress control, and aiding
couples in rekindling the passion in their relationships. Orley maintains that he teaches his subjects how to more successfully explore the creativity, imaginations and unlock their own subconscious minds.

When Flip takes the stage and rolls up his sleeves, his audience can expect two hours FUN and an experience they will never forget.

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Jan 26

Timothy Wenzel, who has become a leading new age keyboardist over the past few years, uses his music to explore major concepts about our planet and then relates them as analogies that pertain to our daily lives. His new album, Summon the Wind, takes one of earth’s most pervasive natural forces -- wind -- as its encompassing theme.

“How humankind relates to wind is symbolic to life itself,” says Wenzel. “We have no absolute control over wind. It comes and goes as it pleases, and there is little we can do when we face tornados and hurricanes. But we have learned to use wind starting thousands of years ago with sailing vessels and kite-flying, then on to windmills for pumping water or making electricity, and flying machines that create their own air currents. Throughout history there has always been men with a mystical wish to control wind, perhaps with sorcery, to ‘Summon The Wind’ or ‘Still the Wind,’ and those elusive concepts became the titles of the first and last compositions on the CD, and the over-riding theme of the album.”

Wenzel explains further that the idea of wind also is a part of our lives on a symbolic and metaphorical level. “We speak of the wind of change, or politically a new wind is blowing, or new ideas blew in. Life is all about dealing with social wind as well as wind-storms. On a personal level, sometimes it feels like our minds, our lives, are a whirlwind, and we need to still that wind by stilling our mind, either through meditation or listening to gentle music.”

The big themes on Wenzel’s albums often become re-occurring sub-themes on later recordings. On his first album, Mountains Take Wing, he explored earth and nature. The next CD, A Coalescence of Dreams, centered on dreams and our personal journey. With River Serene, Wenzel used a flowing river as an analogy for life. But music about love, light, water and our planet resurface again and again.

Now on the latest recording, Summon the Wind, Wenzel not only delves into the wind metaphor (with tunes such as the frenetic “Whirlwind”), but he also continues to produce love songs (“Peace to My Lady,” “All That Might Have Been”). Earth and rocks reappear with the tune “Crystal Man,” inspired by poor workers in Africa digging for diamonds. Wenzel, a longtime scientist, has a love for exploring the unknown which is shown on the compositions “Tesla’s Dream” (an ode to electrical engineer and inventor Nikola Tesla), “Edge of the World” (a tribute to early sailors who journeyed beyond known waters, and any scientific research pushing past what is already proven), and “Mariner’s Lament” (a prayer for all those lost at sea over the years, and acknowledging the part that wind and water played in global exploration).

“While it is interesting to ponder the big themes of life,” states Wenzel, “part of being human is the relationships that make up our lives, and the choices we make along the way on a day-to-day level. What inspired the piece ‘All That Might Have Been’ was simply the thought: What if you had smiled back at that beautiful girl so many years ago and said hello? Would it have appreciably changed your life? Another example is the tune ‘The Photograph.’ Finding an old photograph of a former lover can bring with it a rush of unbidden memories and whisk you back in time. Even though I have written many pieces of music about dreaming, this time I penned one called ‘Awaken’ because I wanted to say, ‘Come out of your slumber, embrace the world, see what the day brings and enjoy the beauty around us’. I also feel life needs a little magic and mysticism so I included the tune ‘Elven Dance’ which is a tip of the hat to Tolkien-like elves.”

Musically Wenzel places the most emphasis on piano, which he has played all his life, but he also is a master synthesist and augments the piano parts with a wide variety of instrumental sounds including violin, cello, flute, harp, guitars, bass, drums and percussion as well as bells, and the wordless vocalizing of men’s and women’s choirs. He is joined on this CD by two special guest musicians -- electric guitarist Michael Rud from Denmark (on “The Photograph”), and drummer Lenny Levash from Nevada, USA (on “Tesla’s Dream”). Wenzel’s music has great appeal in the new age genre, especially because of the haunting melodies and dreamy arrangements that create a sense of peacefulness and relaxation. Some of his music has Celtic influences evident. There also is a visual element within Wenzel’s music which is often inspired by dreams, films, stories and nature scenery. In addition, he usually creates or seeks out for each tune an appropriate piece of artwork which he makes available for viewing on his website.

More information on Timothy Wenzel is available at his website (timothywenzel dot com). All four of his CDs and digital download tracks from those recordings are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others. His albums regularly receive airplay on hundreds of radio stations and channels around the world, and always race into the Top 10 on the international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 monthly airplay chart.

Wenzel spent his childhood in South Haven, Michigan, where he was born and raised. As a boy he divided his time between being outdoors enjoying nature, but also inside playing the piano. “There was always a piano in our house. It was built by my grandfather who worked in a piano factory.” Tim’s mother played piano and encouraged him to play. He started plunking on the keys when he was three, and two years later was taking lessons. “I remember I did a recital when I was six,” Timothy says, “and the unusual thing was that they let me do an original piece that I came up with. My entire life I have not been able to walk by a piano and not sit down and play.”

Wenzel says, “I was deeply into classical music at first, but later I started being influenced by rock’n’roll and what I heard on the radio.” Initially Wenzel enjoyed Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones, Jethro Tull and the Moody Blues, and later U2. As he got older he began to appreciate new age music (“George Winston and the whole rosters of the Windham Hill and Narada labels”). His next journey was female singers that incorporated some Celtic sounds -- Loreena McKennitt, Clannad, Enya and Sara McLachlan. In recent years Wenzel also has begun working with female singers from around the world (he contributes music and lyrics).

Music is Wenzel’s second fulltime career following an initial career in science. “Music and science have always been my two main passions. I see a correlation between them. Scientific exploration is full of creativity and is very much like writing a song. In both cases you start with an idea and then explore the possibilities of where it can lead.”

He earned a BS degree in Chemistry at the University of Missouri, then his Masters and PhD in Physical Organic Chemistry at Cornell University. He first served as a post-doctoral researcher in organometallic chemistry at the University of California at Berkeley. This led to a career in research science, first with Union Carbide in West Virginia, and then with Dow Chemical back in Michigan where he still lives. “I primarily worked in making polymers using catalysts -- discrete molecules with a metal atom that does most of the work. Polymers are a chemical compound of repeating structural units. My work was primarily in polyethylene using a new generation of catalysts to make different plastics. The culmination and highlight of my career was when they let me run with a far-out idea I had, and I headed a team that found a way to make two catalysts talk to each other. First one would weave a strand and hand it off, and then the other would weave one, and they created building blocks together. It is a powerful technique to make new types of polymers. It was a major discovery, a home run. Over the years I was issued about 50 U.S. patents.”

Regarding the over-arcing theme of his latest recording, Wenzel says, “I have always had a fascination with wind. I am a weather geek and a storm-chaser. I also have a sailboat which I enjoy. When I am out on the water sailing, I really feel the wind and react to it. I am actively engaging with a force of nature. Sometimes it is a battle between me and the wind, and I always wonder who is going to win.”
Music CD Release
Jan 26

In all of human history, being able to light a fire whenever needed was one of the world’s most important discoveries. For thousands and thousands of years nothing was as crucial as being able to see at night, cook the food, keep safe from animals of prey, stay warm, and gather around a fire to share stories. So the acoustic guitar duo Terra Guitarra named their latest album Firelight as a tribute to the historical significance of this development by mankind.

“Creating fire was arguably the biggest innovation on the planet,” states Terra Guitarra’s Bruce Hecksel. “People have almost forgotten how significant it was, but occasionally we feel the pull toward the flickering light when we are around a fireplace or campfire or festival bonfire. This new music is our way of remembering the old ways and trying to remind the world of the importance of the basic elements of our existence -- fire, earth, air, water and the sun.”

Terra Guitarra creates a warm, earthy, natural, all-instrumental sound by blending the steel-string acoustic guitar -- with Julie Patchouli primarily laying down the group’s strong rhythmic base -- and the nylon-string Latin-styled acoustic guitar played by Bruce Hecksel, who soars with lead picking that is fast-and-fiery, warm-and-passionate and fluid-and-melodic. This combination of instrumentation, and their mostly original compositions, makes for a highly-satisfying sound that begins in the realm of the popular nuevo-flamenco genre before lifting off into the group’s own high-flying territory that incorporates elements of jazz, new age, folk, classical and world-fusion. The two guitars are sometimes augmented by drums, ethnic percussion, bass and Native American flute.

There is no denying the popularity of Terra Guitarra’s music, not only from the sales of their five albums, but also because they perform before the public more than 200 days each year (more than 2,750 shows so far). In addition, their last album, Dragonfly, went to #4 on the monthly international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 airplay chart, was one of the Top 5 albums in the ZMR Awards “Best Acoustic Instrumental Album” category, and was ZMR’s #27 album for the entire year. Touring gives Terra Guitarra the opportunity to try their new music out on an audience which gives the group immediate feedback. These performances also allow Terra Guitarra to change, expand or improvise new sections of their older repertoire to keep it fresh for the public. “Performing is a major part of our music which takes on characteristics of where we are and the flavor of the audience,” explains Julie.

More information on Terra Guitarra is available at their website terraguitarra(dot)com. Their Earthsign Records CDs -- Terra Guitarra, Winter Solstice, The Mother Night, Dragonfly and Firelight -- and digital download tracks from those recordings are available at online sales sites such as CDbaby, Amazon, iTunes and many others. Fans can also purchase recordings by Bruce Hecksel and Julie Patchouli’s alter-ego group, the eclectic acoustic singer-songwriter duo called Patchouli which has more than a dozen albums available.

Terra Guitarra, as their name implies, focuses on two things -- guitar explorations and planet earth. The music encompasses their love of nature, travel, fiestas, the outdoors, journeys of personal growth, and spiritual reflection. “Usually the melodies first come to me when I am outside experiencing nature,” says Hecksel. “We travel constantly and we find each place has its own musical feeling. Our music celebrates the landscape and the people there. The melodies are reflective of the earth’s energy and vibrations.”

The tunes on Firelight represent “a spiritual and physical-healing journey of personal exploration and discovery,” according to Hecksel. “It’s about everyday’s eternal labyrinth where we strive to find our heart center.” Patchouli adds, “This recording has a lot of rhythmic diversity and energy, a fiery spirit. We also take the Firelight concept to another level by thinking of our sun as the ultimate firelight. So we bookended the album with the tunes ‘Maya’ and ‘Coucher du Soleil’ that represent a sunrise and a sunset, some of nature’s beauty that people have been enjoying since the time humans originated. Bruce’s artwork also incorporates this since he painted a sunrise for the front cover and a sunset for the back of the CD.”

“Some tunes, such as ‘October’ and ‘Summerdance,’ were inspired by the natural cycles of the seasons,” according to Hecksel. “Other were influenced by places, ‘North Country’ and ‘Sierra,’ while a couple of others, ‘Cloud Bird’ and ‘Sonando,’ came about through meditation or a lucid dreamstate. ‘Heartland’ is less a place of the world and more about me soul-searching and coming to a place inside my psyche where I can experience peace.”

“The day I was developing the rhythm for ‘Sunshower’,” says Patchouli, “there was a quick shower of pouring rain and then the sun came back out. When we were recording it, another sunshower arrived along with a double rainbow, so we took it as a sign and named the piece ‘Sunshower.’ The only music on this CD that we didn’t write is the traditional tune ‘Malaguena’ and we do a dramatic, fluid and energetic version with some speed-lead.”

Bruce, who is from Minneapolis, Minnesota, started playing piano at age five (he won several state contests), moved to guitar at 13, played electric guitar in punk-rock bands in high school, and became enamored with acoustic guitar when he was 18. He attended college, first as a music major (studying piano, guitar, choral music and composition) before switching to theology. “My father was a pastor and I’m fascinated with the metaphysical, but eventually my love of guitar-playing took over my life. I studied with Eric Lugosch, who was a national fingerstyle champion, and he introduced me to the music of Rev. Gary Davis, Leo Kottke and Michael Hedges. At that time I started composing solo guitar pieces spontaneously. When I began performing professionally I became more of a flatpicking acoustic lead guitarist, but always incorporating rock and classical influences.”

Julie grew up in the Chicago, Illinois, area where she began playing violin at age seven, moved on to drums and percussion through elementary school, learned trombone in junior high, and switched to acoustic guitar at age 15. “I started playing in bars downtown before I could drive. I was fairly fearless.” Her early influences included Tracy Chapman, Joan Baez and The Pretenders. In college she studied classical guitar. She also studied upright bass. But she continued to compose and perform on the acoustic steel-string and classical guitars. In addition to her music, in college she studied medicinal botany (including a field study program studying plants in Mexico), ethnobotany (how plants are used in all parts of our lives) and environmental studies.

Both Bruce and Julie studied at the Old Town School of Folk Music in Chicago (intense courses taught by top musicians). They began playing music together in a folk-rock group called Aunt Betsy (Bruce on guitar and Julie on bass) that performed full-time for four years. “It was the exploratory years,” explains Bruce. “We were like six hippies touring in a van and living on a Native American reservation in Washington State. We were influenced by Joni Mitchell, Cat Stevens, Paul Simon and Leonard Cohen.” But Bruce and Julie also began composing instrumental music. The first one they wrote they called “Patchouli” which became Julie’s stage-name and eventually the name of their own songwriting duo when they left Aunt Betsy. In 2008 they founded Terra Guitarra.

Bruce, who has painted all his life, began a special series of guitar-based paintings for the artwork on the first Terra Guitarra album, and his art has continued to be featured on all their subsequent CDs. Hecksel’s painting has expanded and evolved leading to art shows and exhibits, and sales of originals and special prints (details are at the group’s website).

Hecksel says, “Gathering around a fire is a long-held ritual of all ancient cultures, a communal experience bringing people together to a place where they feel safe, a time of sharing, the focal point of the day. Often music was part of the celebration. We want our Firelight album to be an extension of that experience.”
Music CD Release
Jan 21
Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose

In the world of experimental, explorational, ambient/new-age/neo-classical music, something very special has happened. One of the inspirational and influential “lost classics” has re-emerged. In 1976, multi-dimensional artist Jordan De La Sierra sat at a specially-tuned piano and recorded Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose. The original vinyl album has been out-of-print for more than 30 years. Now the recording has been released for the first time on CD, digitally-remastered from the original tapes. The legend continues.

This historic music is finally available again -- now as a two-CD set, as a double-vinyl-album and as digital downloads -- thanks to the careful reissue by Numero Group, a specialty label based in Chicago. The package includes a 20-page booklet with extensive information about the project and its history as well as India-inspired drawings and De La Sierra’s musings on “the tableau of space.”

There are several reasons this music is so coveted. The music itself is exceptional, emotion-stirring and timeless, although it also originally was considered cutting edge, ground-breaking and influential to other musicians (it was one of the first acoustic-ambient recordings). Remarkably, it sounds completely contemporary to this day. In addition, De La Sierra was always a leader in the field of modern sonic-art, avant-garde, psycho-acoustic, new frontier music. He studied with (and became a good friend of) legendary minimalist musician Terry Riley, Indian classical singer and Kyhal master Pandit Pran Nath, forward-thinking teachers Robert Ashley and Bill Maraldo at the Center for Contemporary Music at Mills College, La Monte Young, and tantri-sufi teachers H. Johari and Tariq Hamid. And, finally, Gymnosphere was co-produced by De La Sierra with Stephen Hill, founder and creator of the popular international radio show Hearts of Space, who originally released the music on the esoteric, independent, but soon-legendary Unity Records label.

Before new age music even acquired that genre-name, De La Sierra -- classically-trained musician, composer, poet, author, visual artist, philosopher, environmental designer, visionary and self-described “possibilist” -- was exploring cosmic concepts in the Northern California Bay Area. For this project he embarked on a journey of alternate tunings using a nine-foot Steinway D acoustic concert grand piano recorded with a little console reverb in a subterranean Berkeley studio lit only by a single candle that De La Sierra made from a twisted cotton wick and a jar of clarified butter. He also transformed the tiny 15-foot studio to give the feeling of an Eastern temple strewn with silks, gardenia flowers, open bottles of essential oils, a few gemstones, and a small piece of gold. After three days of late-night sessions, the tapes were taken to San Francisco’s Grace Cathedral and played back through speakers and recorded again to capture the remarkable and resounding reverberations available within those rock walls. Producer Hill mixed the original tapes with the Cathedral ones to create the final sound. The result was solo piano music as it had never been heard before (or since).

Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose, originally culled from five-and-a-half-hours of tapes, is comprised of four lengthy tunes -- “Music for Gymnastics” (24:17), “Temple of Aesthetic Action” (24:55), “Music for Devotional Pastimes” (27:13) and “Sphere of Sublime Dances” (27:00). De La Sierra said the music was meant for “softly arousing sleeping senses” and has called the project a “temple of aesthetic-action.” The sounds have on occasion been aptly described as “interstellar space piano music” and “sensory engulfing.”

De La Sierra also says, “The search is for precise frequencies and the music between the notes. I feel this is a much more sensitive approach to the music than with amplified sounds. Music comes from higher energies and as we open ourselves up to the music, then the time disappears.”

De La Sierra attributes the inspiration for this recording project to Terry Riley, one of the acknowledged minimalist music masters and innovators, who, along with La Monte Young, championed the idea of “pure sound with shape” – musical ideas created from notes in scales tuned to whole number ratios, a system of modal-tuning wherein all the notes that are sounded in a particular scale are notes that ring in harmony with one another. This approach to tuning magnifies the sympathetic resonance inherent in all naturally occurring soundwaves. These “well-tuned” principles differ greatly from the traditional “well-tempered” approach to tuning, a system wherein each octave is divided into twelve equal semitones. De La Sierra subtitled his recording “Music for the well-tuned piano,” a phrase used a decade later by La Monte Young in titling one of his albums.

In addition to the unusual tuning, the piano was played so that the notes are left to reverberate to the full extent of their potential, at varying lengths, to be bent by and shaped by De La Sierra’s improvisations and textural sonic explorations. Natural drones were achieved through the adept utilization of the piano’s sustain and soft pedals. The subtly-shifting piano figures, myriad tone clusters and seductive repetitions create a mesmerizing, hypnotic and atmospheric thrill ride into far-off intergalactic dimensions and time warps seldom experienced by what De La Sierra termed “fellow members and space colonizers here present in this, our local universe.”

Raised in Central California, De La Sierra became a choirmaster at church at age 15, and the next year was offered a record deal and went to Hollywood to record an album of his own material, Every Time It Rains. At 17, he gave his first solo classical vocal recital (singing in English, French, German and Italian) and earned a full scholarship to San Francisco’s prestigious Conservatory of Music where he majored in voice and composition while also studying ancient temple dancing from China, Japan and India in his spare time. A few years later he was producing “environmental theater” shows where he performed original compositions such as “A Stitch of Light of Fragrance and The Music and The Sphere” and “Music in Waves and Poppies Dance the Light and Sound of Nature” surrounded by light sculptures (the concerts were broadcast on radio station KPFA).

During these years De La Sierra studied and performed electronic music at Mills College, became a protégé of Terry Riley for three years, studied North Indian singing with Riley and their teacher Pandit Pran Nath for several years, and went to New York and traded ideas with La Monte Young and his wife, visual artist Marian Zazeela, as part of the avant-garde community there that included the renowned “Dream House.” De La Sierra published his first book of poetry, Songs By the Pools of Pavonine in 1974 and a book of his drawings, Views Into Self, in 1976, while writing further treatises on “aesthetic evolution” and “the “nonessentia principle” relating to space and sound. During the Eighties De La Sierra played concerts regularly with his groups The Jemstone Band and New Symposium, and played on-stage and in the studio with new age artists such as Steve Kindler, Teja Bell, Rick Henderson, Joaquin Lievano, Dallas Smith and Bill Ryman. In the late Eighties De La Sierra released an album, Valentine 11, containing both vocal and instrumental original tunes.

For fans of spacey, experimental music, Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose has long been a highly-collectible touchstone, difficult to find, but passed along among the faithful as a cult artifact to be treasured. Finally, after decades of waiting and 37 years after it was recorded, this seminal new age music is available to the world once more, sounding better than ever.

“I want to acknowledge the human race in my music, help people shed their fears, and inspire them to express themselves in all ways because everyone has something to offer to the tribal community of the world,” explains De La Sierra. “With Gymnosphere, it is my intention to share this offering of ‘pure sound with shape’ with all beings who live and breathe, expressing love through the grace of music as a form of spacial food.”
Music CD Release
Jan 21

“Our biggest quest in life is identifying a personal dream and then fulfilling that dream, making it a reality and living it,” says keyboardist Carmen Rubino, who explores this universal journey on his debut album, Aquarian Dream.

Rubino stresses that everyone’s ambitions for the future are different. “The important thing is to find a road that feels right and leads toward your destiny, and then to make the journey special because it is just as important as the destination.”

Rubino – who has been influenced throughout his music career by progressive-rock, classical, jazz-rock-fusion and new age music – has created a large-scale symphonic sound that captures elements of all of those genres. This music’s rich tapestry of auditory delights includes piano and electronic keyboards as the primary instruments, but includes a dazzling array of sounds including a large string-section, flute, harp, French horn, percussion and various other orchestral instruments as well as the judicious use of birds, wind, thunder and crashing waves.

“Even though I want the music to have universal appeal and to serve each listener as a soundtrack for the journey they are on,” explains Rubino, “I also had certain distinct thoughts in mind when creating it. I was thinking of someone born under the sign of Aquarius that provided me a vision from their dream on September 24, 1976. For on this day in time, my life would be forever changed, and would lead my spiritual journey, where many years later, I would discover the connection. The long awaited vision takes place in Kansas, right in the center of The United States, the heartland. It’s sort of like ‘Wizard of Oz.’ You may also capture the Aquarian Dream concept in great detail from the movie ‘Somewhere In Time’.”

“This music is about finding your place within your spiritual soul, your life, and a person to share your dream with. Along the way there will be trials and tribulations, but if you stay the course, you will be rewarded. The journey may take you clear across the country to a coast and an ocean, or even farther to foreign lands, perhaps to some mystical places, but when you look up at the stars at night, you know you are on the right road.”

The Aquarian Dream album opens with a short prelude, “Transcendence,” because, Rubino explains, “Wherever you start, you have to transcend that place and move on. Part of the journey is a spiritual quest.” This leads to one of the album’s highlights, the nearly ten-minute “Infinite Hearts Desire,” with its multiple sections. “I wanted to give it an uplifting mood because desire has to do with passion, whatever it is you want – love, an accomplishment, a better or different life path.” Rubino describes “Tears of Joy” as “one of those moments when it all comes together in your life and you are so happy that your emotions pour out and you can’t hold back the tears.”

“Spirit of Our Reflection” is a slow, deep, emotional piece that captures being so close to one another that, “you see yourself in them and they see their self in you.” “Perfect Harmony” represents a symbiotic state of being. The tranquil and mesmerizing sounds of nature, provide the perfect setting for one another. “‘Christmas Wish’ has the warmth of giving your heart, which can be found in the music. After unwrapping the present, a music box is revealed.” “In Our Place” can be interpreted as a physical place, says Rubino, or “that special territory shared by one another, a place that we created, a place that we can call our own.” The romantic feelings continue on the track “How I Love You” (“I tried to musically depict the various emotions and feelings of love.”).

Another major opus on the album is “Father,” which journeys through several moods and changes over the course of more than 12-minutes. “‘Father’ is also a tribute to a Kansas man who is very much loved by his family. All the great memories, and traditions, will always be observed.” The spiritual aspect continues on the next track, “Sweet Angel Return,” which is about “the force that gives you guidance to find the place where you belong.” The music of “Sacred Vows,” states Rubino, “is a promise to stay true to yourself, and to one another. A transformation takes place in the music, serving as confirmation of our destiny.” The recording ends with the majestic title track, “Aquarian Dream,” containing more than 13-minutes of music that “sums up the journey, celebrates the dream and allows time to enjoy the fulfillment attained.”

Rubino was born and raised in Buffalo, New York, and has had a strong love for music all his life (his mother told him that before he could walk he would crawl up close to the stereo speaker to hear the music more carefully). As a teenager, Carmen became entranced with progressive-rock including Emerson Lake & Palmer, Yes, Genesis, the Moody Blues and Kansas, to name a few. “But two of the primary musical influences in my life have been Jethro Tull and the band Renaissance. Ian Anderson of Jethro Tull was a huge inspiration and gave me a real love for the sound of a flute. Ian also has been inspirational in developing me as a songwriter and composer. Once when I was practicing piano at the University of Buffalo, a woman told me my original music reminded her of Renaissance. The next week she gave me three of their albums: Prologue, Ashes Are Burning and Scheherazade. I instantly fell in love with their music. These musical acts represent a life-long love affair for me, and they inspired me to want to write more and more music.” Rubino’s musical education through recordings continued with classical music. “I listened to a vast array of classical music, and especially loved anything from the baroque period. My favorites would have to be Bach and Beethoven. Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight Sonata’ has always been particularly moving to me.” Rubino’s inspirations also broadened to include a variety of jazz-rock-fusion artists such as Chick Corea, Stanley Clark, Jean-Luc Ponty and Al DiMeola. In more recent years Rubino has explored the world of new age music and found Yanni and Secret Garden to be the most influential, but Rubino also has listened to a wide range of artists from Jim Brickman to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra, and styles from Celtic to modern-classical.

“When my father was born, his father bought a player baby grand piano for him, but, ironically, he never played the piano. My siblings took some piano lessons on it, but it did not get played much until I was ten and I started learning. When I was 16 I got more serious about my music and I started to compose.” While still in high school, Carmen would hitchhike several times a week to the University of Buffalo which had a distinguished music school and a group of practice rooms with a Steinway piano in each one. Any time one of the rooms was free, Rubino would immediately jump in and practice his original music. “I would hear what the students there were practicing and I tried to copy what they were doing. I started honing my skills and learning music theory.” Rubino also met with a music professor at Buffalo State College who asked me to identify a series of notes that were played on the piano. I correctly identified them from across the room, and he stated that I have the rare gift of perfect pitch.” He then encouraged Carmen to continue pursuing music composition.

After high school Rubino put together a prog-rock band, EKTRA, that only played original material. The group’s name stood for “Eternity Keeps Time Reaching After.” The band members consisted of John Barcelona on drums, Steve Schiavi on guitar, and Chris Noto on bass (the son of world-renowned jazz trumpet virtuoso Sam Noto). The band played at bars, restaurants and jazz clubs throughout Western New York State, and made several recordings. Rubino also performed solo over the years, at many different venues, and, at the urging of his lifelong friend, the legendary broadcaster Lenny Rico of Casa Rico, Rubino often improvised on piano.

“Improvising is my first step for composing. When I find a theme that I like, I start to explore it more thoroughly. Then in my studio I begin building upon it, arranging it and deciding what other forms of instrumentation would sound good developing that musical idea. I have recorded quite a variety of material, but I selected the music for Aquarian Dream because it fit together well and presents a consistent sound,” Rubino explains.
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