Archives
some of my favourite songs:

Posts Tagged ‘elika mahony’

New Song Production: ‘Eternal Beloved’

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

For over 2 years now, I’ve been working on a song ‘Eternal Beloved’ with talented singer and composer Elika Mahony as part of her latest album of original new age pop music.

Eternal Beloved is a mystical and exotic journey about the arduous eternal quest for one’s true beloved. The lyrics were inspired by the writings of Baha’u’llah, and in fact some of them were first explored during a retreat at Bosch Baha’i center in the mountains of Santa Cruz, California.

Elika created the perfect melody, uniquely inspired for the music I composed. Her sweet and exquisite voice, and Navid Goldrick’s  beautiful Oud performance in the song makes it a song I am very proud, and feel it was well worth all our patient efforts. I have no doubt it will be something I look back on as one of our great achievements.

You can hear it on Elika Mahony’s blog post about the song here:

It has been a long journey to complete this song as there have been several challenges in getting it created. Firstly, it is a very different style than what Elika is used to composing and singing, so it took some getting used to. The combination of ancient and modern, blues drums, Indian percussion and Middle Eastern Oud is no small feat to pull off effectively. Throw into that mix my relocating the studio to Beijing, and then a fire that forced me out of home and studio during mixing of the song, and productivity tends to become severely impeded. In fact, the fire could have prevented the song from ever being heard!
That makes it very precious.
I’m very pleased with how well the mix of the song came out considering I couldn’t complete it in a proper studio… Thanks to the wonders of technology, namely my ARC system!

I look forward to hearing what you think.
Eternal Beloved is available for download on iTunes here.

 

Our work featured in Dawn Breakers film festival

Thursday, November 25th, 2010

The music video I shot and produced for Elika Mahony’s song ‘Where There Is Love’ was chosen as official selection for the Dawn Breakers International film festival happening this weekend in San Diego California.

You can read more about the video and song I produced and mixed on Elika’s blog.

You can watch it on Youtube here, or on Youku.com in China below:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dN6dal3mwK8

For viewers in China:

New Release: Meditations of the Spirit in Chinese

Sunday, February 28th, 2010

A Chinese CD, ‘Meditations of the Spirit’, which I collaborated on with Elika Mahony, and produced and engineered has just been released and sold out in less than a month!

All the songs are in Chinese with a few bilingual songs.  The lyrics are from the profound and highly spiritual Baha’i writings, and some compositions are translated versions of songs from Elika’s Fire and Gold album.
The project involved highly talented musicians and artists – the very talented Cheng Lin graciously agreed to sing on the CD and Jin R plays her original beautiful Yang Qin compositions.  Phil Morrison and Keith Williams generously added their gift of talent to the CD too and Siria Rutstein, the youngest of the group, contributes her magical voice to the mix.  Jimmy adds a few of his compositions and Flamenco guitar player, Eric Harper, adds to one of  the tracks.  We also have 2 talented ladies singing in Chinese – Zhao Li and Lily, with Elika Mahony singing one of the songs in Chinese and a part in Arabic on another.

You can find more information about the songs here and can order them on that website.
To make orders in North America and other parts of the world, click here.

Chinese CD cover

We’ve been in discussion with the publisher to do another album like this due to the great response, but that is probably a few years off as this was an exhaustive project.

Music production in Beijing

Monday, March 9th, 2009

I just got back last week from another trip to Beijing, my longest one yet as I had 3 projects to work on and a number of meetings…

I was working with artist Elika Mahony as usual, she has just released a new album on the theme of Love, ‘Birds of Love’ that we were consulting about the promotion for, and developing a limited edition version of. We were also recording new material for an upcoming new age style progressive pop album as well as her instrumental album.

Those alone were very exciting projects and it was amazing to work in person with Elika, she accomplished what I feel are her best vocal performances yet on this trip… But I was also working on a Chinese spiritual CD with some local Chinese artists including Chinese pop music legend, Cheng Lin that I will talk more about in the future.

A new project I was working on there, and one of my most unique and culturally diverse was an ambient instrumental relaxation album for Green T. Living owner, Jin R, who is also a very talented artist and performer of the beautiful Yang Qin, which I think is my new favorite instrument.
There are so many talented artists in China playing traditional instruments in new ways, You can have all the experience in the world, or a degree from a music production school, but finding and working with undiscovered talent like this is one of the most rewarding things for a producer.

Jin R had quite an ambitious and creative concept for her new album, one that would provide a soundtrack for guests of her new bath house. The concept was ‘A journey with a cup of tea’, one that you would take without leaving the relaxing confines of the bath house, so I helped her develop the album so that it went from traditional ancient Chinese roots using such ancient instruments as the Gu Qin (over 2000 years old, to the Yang Qin, to the flute and synthesizer with various sound ambiances and real world elements.

I used a Rode NT-4 stereo mic to capture the natural ambience of some of these instruments.
It’s really quite something, you may have to take a trip to Beijing to get a copy though…

For the first time, brought the mobile equivalent of my entire studio setup to work on these projects, but ran into a few challenges when I forgot that China is on 220 power! Luckily, some of my equipment such as an external hard drive with all my sound libraries, and USB hub with all my software licenses were able to run on 220 without a converter. A very good thing, as I plugged them in without thinking about it in my excitement… Not a good thing for the preamp I wanted to add to Elika’s studio. We got it fixed very quickly there, but it never quite sounded the same.

www.flickr.com/photos/jaromematthew/sets/72157615008213764/

More about the music industry related aspects of my trip are on the Pro Soul Alliance blog.

My latest production: Birds Of Love

Saturday, February 14th, 2009

On this occasion of Valentines day, I would like to express my eternal love for my dear wife Felisha.I would also like to share my latest production, the befitting new CD and book gift set by talented artist, Elika Mahony, Birds Of Love!

Birds of Love is a treasury of uplifting words and spiritually inspiring songs specially created for weddings, anniversaries and for loved ones. I’ve been working on it for over a year with Elika, and it is a truly diverse collection. I also assisted with the development and design of the book of quotes.

The response to Birds of Love so far has been overwhelming. So many people have expressed how it is lovely to have music and a book on quotes on the theme of love and marriage, and what a unique and useful gift it is for their friends getting married.  There is also special limited edition option which comes autographed with a handmade card, I was just in the silk market in Beijing assisting in the selection of some exquisite metallic gold fabric with blue highlights for this book, and it must be seen!

You can hear samples and see photos of the product on Elika’s new website which was developed by Pro Soul, who is also assisting in the promotion and release of the product.

My top five moments from 2008

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

Well, it’s the new year and 2008 has been a truly incredible one for me, with more traveling than I’ve done in a long time, so I thought I’d go through my top five moments from 2008 as well as my one most memorable moment of the year.

  1. Completing production and release of Elika Mahony’s Fire and Gold CD
  2. Traveling to China for the first time and then getting to go again the same year
  3. Getting to experience the most amazing and modern city on the planet, Hong Kong
  4. North American Theatrical release of feature film I was sound designer for, Sweet Amerika
  5. Launch of my new, innovative record label, Pro Soul Alliance

It was hard to pick just five amongst all the incredible things that happened this year, like the exciting new music I produced for Heather Dore, my trip to Las Vegas with Felisha, the collaborative music promotional project with talented artist, Laura Harley, ‘enjoy the cylons‘ which was viewed by over 16,000 people, the california Baha’i music weekend, Working with the talented Phil Morrison & Keith Williams, Jing R, and Cheng LIn in Beijing, and the completion of various other video and music projects…

If I had to pick one most exciting and incredible moment though, It would probably have to be getting stuck in the middle of a raging Nahatlatch river with my nephew Aaron while Whitewater rafting and getting out of it with barely a scratch!

I had a really tough year in 2007, so I had decided this would be an amazing year of travel and exciting things, and it sure was! Amazing how when you really set your mind on something, it happens.

As for last years resolutions unfortunately things didn’t go so well with them. In fact I actually managed to offend some people I truly care about with some of my blog posts and other casual blunt remarks…  So this year no resolutions, except a determination to improve balance in my life, and drastically simplify things over the next 2 years so I don’t have to work so damn hard all the time.

This first blog post of 2009 is particularly exciting for me because it’s the first one I’ve done using speech recognition software, Dragon MacSpeech Dictate, the best in the world. My typing is terrible ever since I quit that pre-widespread computer use high school typing class (because why on earth would I need to type people letters?)
So yes I actually spoke everything you just read, which I feel gives things a little more personal touch don’t you?

Enjoy 2009, and all the best to you!

Music Production For Worthy Charity

Sunday, October 26th, 2008

I am very selective about doing charitable work because of the amount of free time I have, but I have done my share philanthropy through various productions for organizations helping those in need primarily through education, more recently for a CD in Mandarin to help children of all backgrounds throughout Asia learn spiritual attributes and virtues.

My latest such production is with talented musician and writer, Alicia Cundall who wrote a theme song for the charity organization Red House called ‘One Story’ Which I did backing tracks for, recorded, produced and mixed.

RED House is a non-profit, non-governmental organization in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania that provides educational programs for disadvantaged and orphan children, ages 3 to 18.
Here is a video to give you a more of a sense of Red House:


Here is the website for Red House with the full length song:

http://redhousetanzania.org

It was great to help such a worthy cause that is helping youth through education. If your in Washington DC, attend the fundraiser and you can see Alicia peform this song along with a number of other talented performers.

My latest production, ‘Fire And Gold’ by Elika Mahony

Sunday, March 2nd, 2008

Over the last 3 years I have been producing an album that is quite different than what I usually do by the very talented composer, pianist, and singer, Elika Mahony.
I have blogged last year about some of the challenges of producing an album like this, and about how intense a project like this can become.
With it’s combination of electronic elements with piano, live cello, guitar, and flute and other exotic live instruments such as Persian santur, nay flute, and Chinese erhu, I have to say that this album, called ‘Fire And Gold’ is not only the most diverse and elaborate production I have worked on, but one of the most expensive. But it has done extremely well, selling over a thousand copies shortly after release thanks to Elika’s innovative music promotion techniques worldwide. You can listen here.

For those who are familiar with the musical styles I usually produce, the classical and new age overtones of this spiritually inspired Baha’i album on the theme of tests and difficulties of life may not be your thing. But you will most likely still be able to appreciate Elika’s sweet voice and elegant melodies.

Elika is also using some of the latest online music promotion techniques such as selling electronic versions of her songs online by donation, and offering discounts for multiple CD orders. One of her fan’s have even created a music video for one of the songs, This Is Faith.