Stephen Peppos is a composer and multi-instrumentalist whose fifth album, Leaving Terra Firma, explores a variety of atmospheric sonic terrain. Comprised of thirteen compositions spanning seventy-two minutes, the compositions herein range from classic new age to cosmic space and electronic-ambient music, which are often imprinted with unique touches of eclecticism.

February 2017 playlists for our weekly one-hour programs

Darlene Koldenhoven is a Grammy award-winning vocalist with an impressive resume that includes her role as the soprano soloist in the Yanni Live at the Acropolis performance, as well as having appeared in the movie Sister Act portraying a choir nun. Her ninth album, Color Me Home, is an exquisite eleven-track excursion which Darlene produced, engineered and composed the lyrics and music for, as well as sings, plays piano, synthesizer, native drums and shakers on. Beautifully and thoughtfully packaged, the CD includes a coloring book depicting images of nature, perfectly illustrating a spectacular collage of diverse arrangements and instruments. In what could perhaps be best described as a fusion of classical crossover, contemporary instrumental and new age vocal music with an often-touch of subtle world elements, the album’s track lineup alternates between sung lyrical compositions and instrumental pieces that feature wordless vocal intonations. Joining Darlene on this musical adventure is a team of talented artists, of which includes Tom Scott, Brent Fischer, Ricky Kej, Wouter Kellerman, Charlie Bisharat, David Arkenstone, Rocky Dawuni, Gayle Levant, Jeff Oster, Al Jewer, John Sarantos, Mike Miller, Lyn Bertles, Nick Vincent, Courtney Jacob, and Vanil Veigas.

Into Eternity is the sophomore release from pianist and composer Jim Gabriel, and follow-up to his debut album, Sojourn. Comprised of twelve compositions recorded at Imaginary Road Studios in Vermont, Into Eternity was co-produced by guitarist Will Ackerman and multi-instrumentalist Tom Eaton. Both are also guest musicians on the album (with Will on acoustic guitar and Tom on electric guitar, bass and accordion), along with Jill Haley on English horn, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn, Gus Sebring on French horn, Eugene Friesen on cello, Charlie Bisharat on violin, Tony Levin on bass, and Noah Wilding on vocals

Shapeshifter is the collaborative release by Scott Cole and Matthew Coffman, who create an intriguing blend of music that ranges from experimental ambient to acoustic, avant-garde and instrumental world fusion. Comprised of thirteen compositions, the album features an eclectic variety of instruments played by the duo, which include mountain dulcimers, bass, electric and acoustic guitar, synthesizer, keyboard, sitar, flute, reed instruments, didgeridoo, ukulele, cajon, melodica, guitarron, resonator, udu, and other percussion.

Sisu (pronounced see-soo) is the sophomore release from Jennifer DeFrayne and follow-up to her critically-acclaimed debut album, By a Wire. A self-taught pianist and composer of Finnish decent, Sisu is a Finnish word describing “a mindset that enables an individual to reach beyond their present limitations, take action against all odds and transform struggles into success.” Such a description couldn’t be more fitting for this album, one that has been conceptualized by an artist who experienced a series of personal tragedies, while her truest companion, the piano, guided her along through her pain and suffering. Comprised of twelve compositions written by Jennifer and produced with Corin Nelson, the album additionally features a handful of talented guest musicians throughout. Among them include Jeff Haynes on percussion, Premik Russell Tubbs on electronic woodwind instrument and saxophone, Michael Manring on bass guitar and EBow, Jill Haley on oboe and English horn, Sarah Milonovich on violin and vocals, Jeff Pearce on ambient guitar, and Jeff Oster on flugelhorn.

Rear View is a retrospective compilation from Perpetual Motion, a Denver, Colorado-based duo comprised of violinist Josie Quick and guitarist Tom Carleno. Featuring thirteen remastered compositions which have been culled from twenty-five years of previously released material, the album highlights some of the duo’s best moments in musical craftsmanship. Josie and Tom are joined by a handful of guest musicians throughout this collection who variably lend bass and percussion, as Tom provides acoustic guitar while Josie plays both electric and acoustic violin in addition to mandolin and percussion.

January 2017 playlists for our weekly one-hour programs

Al Conti is a Grammy-nominated recording artist whose latest album, Mystic, casts a seductive veil of enchantment upon a culturally rich and beautiful landscape. Beautifully packaged with artwork that visually captures the essence of the music just perfectly, the album’s nine outstanding compositions are likewise each accompanied by short stories that serve to further give the listener glimpses into the past. Conti wrote, arranged and performed the compositions, while two tracks (“Pilgrimage” and “Devotion”) were loosely based on traditional music that he arranged and adapted. Composed within a style that could perhaps be described as new age world fusion, the album draws most notably from Mediterranean, Near-Eastern, Persian and Indian cultural influences. A talented team of guest musicians throughout includes Grammy award-winning artist Ricky Kej, who serves as associate producer as well as lends additional programming, keyboards and harmonium. Vanil Veigas likewise provides additional programming, keyboards and santoor. Also joining the lineup is Jeff Pearce on electric guitar, Charlee Brooks on vocals, Pamela Copus (of 2002) on harp, Karthik K. on tabla, Butto on flute, and Jenevieve D’Silva on ghatam, cajon and assorted percussion.

Mystic’s Nine is the thirteenth album from Dyan Garris, an Arizona-based composer whom is also described as a “visionary mystic, voice recognition psychic, and trance channel medium who reads from the Akashic Records”. A classically-trained pianist and violinist who began playing at the age of four, her impressive repertoire of both artistic and healing tools consists of meditative music, as well as spiritual books and oracle decks. Named for the esoterically significant number nine, Mystic's Nine is comprised of eleven compositions spanning forty-three minutes that features both relaxing and rhythmic passages. The album mainly consists of piano and synthesizers throughout, as Dyan is joined by several guest artists on varying tracks, including Joe Bauer on drums, Scott Schaefer on flute, Amber Norgaard and Margo Joy on vocals, Jeff Oster on flugelhorn and trumpet, Will Clipman on percussion, Michael C. Ronstadt on cello, and Peter Sterling on harp.

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