All posts by Prog News

French Prog Band Eye 2 Eye Releases Concept Album The Wish

Eye 2 Eye - The Wish
One of the finest progressive rock acts in France, Eye 2 Eye, has a new album titled The Wish on the Musea label. The Wish is the group’s third title and their first concept-album, inspired by Oscar Wilde’s “Picture of Dorian Gray”.

Eye 2 Eye was formed in 2003 by former ADN musicians, Philippe Benabes and Didier Pegues. Their first album was One In Every Crowd (2006) and After All… (2009). Their style was initially influenced by 1980s Neoprog and Pink Floyd.

The current line-up includes Djam Zaidi (Transperception), Amirouche Ali Benali on guitars, Philippe Benabes on keyboards, Elise Bruckert on violin, Aymeric Delteil on bass and Didier Pegues on drums & keyboards.

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic to Perform at ProgDay 2012

Birdsongs of the Mesozoic - Photo by Claire Folger
ProgDay has announced that American band Birdsongs of the Mesozoic will be performing at the 2012 edition of the festival. “Progday is very pleased to host a long-overdue performance by these masters of contemporary prog.” ProgDay 2012 will take place on Saturday, September 1st, and Sunday, September 2nd, at Storybook Farm in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

Birdsongs is an instrumental quartet created in 1980 as a more classical/New Music, keyboard-oriented side project of Boston’s famed post-punk rock band, Mission of Burma. Desiring an outlet for his piano music, in 1980, Burma’s guitarist Roger Miller embarked on collaboration with keyboardist and studio producer Erik Lindgren, the former composer and keyboardist of Moving Parts, the Boston art-punk band that had spawned Burma.

To play a short, live set of Birdsongs’ music for the sampler’s 1981 record release party, Miller and Lindgren invited “tape-manipulator-turned–guitarist” Martin Swope, Miller’s co-member in Burma, and keyboardist Rick Scott to perform. Although originally assembled only for a one-shot performance, the quartet became Birdsong’s regular working lineup. The four skilled composer/musicians operated Birdsongs as a composers’ collective, with each member contributing pieces and having equal say in the group’s artistic direction.

Roger Miller left the Birdsongs in 1988 on very friendly terms. Since 1989, when Birdsongs of the Mesozoic signed to DC-based Cuneiform Records to release its 4th recording, Faultline the band has released over 10 albums and earned well-deserved, international recognition for its innovative, cross boundaries sound.

ProgDay is the longest running progressive rock festival in the world. For more information, and to hear music from this year’s bands, visit www.progday.net.

Progressive Rock Icons Chris Squire and Steve Hackett form Squackett

Steve Hackett
Two legendary progressive rock musicians, guitarist Steve Hackett and bassist Chris Squire have formed a new band and have recorded a new album. The Squackett album is scheduled for release on Esoteric Records (which is part of Cherry Red Records), around May 2012.

Chris Squire performed on Hackett’s solo albums Out of the Tunnel’s Mouth and Beyond the Shrouded Horizon. In turn, Hackett participated in Chris Squire’s Swiss Choir (2007). It is unclear if this new project will go in a progressive rock direction.

Steve Hackett was a member of Genesis during their progressive rock stage, from their album Nursery Cryme (1971) through Wind and Wuthering (1976). After leaving Genesis, Hackett recorded several progressive rock solo albums and later formed the Adult Oriented Rock (AOR) band GTR with Steve Howe (Yes). He has recorded blues and rock albums in recent years. His most recent work is the double Beyond the Shrouded Horizon. It contains a mix of beautiful acoustic pieces, blues, pop and progressive rock tracks.

Chris Squire has been part of Yes from the very beginning. He has released two solo albums, Fish Out of Water (1975) and Chris Squire’s Swiss Choir (2007). Chris Squire’s most recent recording is Fly From Here, with the new Bugglesfied version of Yes.

Acclaimed German Progressive Rock Album Reissued by Tempus Fugit

Ines - Hunting The Fox
Hunting The Fox (Tempus Fugit), a much-admired debut album by female keyboardist and composer Ines is now available as a digital download or CD on demand in some territories.

The album was originally released on CD in 1994. In 2010, Hunting The Fox was remastered and is now available worldwide for the first time.

In 1994 “Hunting The Fox” surprised the world of progressive rock with Ines Fuchs’ masterful keyboard work in the fine tradition of renowned keyboardists such as Martin Orford (IQ), Matthias Ulmer (Anyone’s Daughter) or Tony Banks (Genesis).

Aside from Ines on keyboards, the album features her husband Hansi Fuchs, Chris Bianchi d’Espinosa and Massimo “Max” Michieletto from Asgard on guitars, as well as a few studio musicians.

Hansi Fuchs sings a few of the songs. Other pieces were sung by Italian singer Kikko Grosso (Asgard), and four tracks were sung by Harald Bareth, the former lead singer of Swabian grand masters of progressive rock, Anyone’s Daughter.

Harald Bareth’s contribution was a real surprise to the progressive rock scene as he is one of the most popular singers in this genre, and since the 1984 Anyone’s Daughter live album he hasn’t sung anywhere else. Harald’s four songs on this album – “Water”, “Earth, Sun and Moon”, “Meet Me on the Mountain”, and “Innocent Girl” – are some special highlights on this throughout well done neo-progressive album. Those four songs quickly achieved iconic status among the many Anyone’s Daughter fans around the world.

Hunting The Fox is one of the leading German neo-prog albums from the mid-1990s. Ines also released Eastern Dawning (1996), The Flow (1999), and Slipping Into the Unknown (2002).

Digital version (North America)

CD or digital version (Europe)

Music Video: Bruce Arnold Plays Runway on Double Neck

Bruce Arnold
Guitarist Bruce Arnold provides a masterful demonstration of jazz rock fusion on his Music Man double neck and Asher slide guitar along with Kirk Driscoll on drums and Jerry DeVore on electric bass. The performance was part of the New York University (NYU) Summer Guitar Intensive.

Bruce Arnold was born in 1955 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, USA. He is an author, composer, educator and guitarist residing in New York City. He explores the applications of 20th century classical theory in contemporary forms, such as Rock and Jazz, creating a unique compositional and improvisational sound. As a guest artist Arnold has toured Australia, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Japan, Mexico, Russia and the United States.

His performance and recording activities include work with a wide array of styles. He has played with such diverse musicians as Stuart Hamm, Peter Erskine, Joe Pass, Joe Lovano, Lennie Pickett, Randy Brecker, Stanley Clarke, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the Absolute Ensemble under the baton of Kristjan Järvi.

Bruce Arnold’s recording credits include over twenty five CDs and DVDs (on Muse-eek Records, MelBay Recordings, Truefire and other labels), ranging from the standard jazz repertoire to free improvisation to the reinterpretations of classical music with the ensemble Spooky Actions. His compositions are published by Muse Eek Publishing, and MelBay Productions.

Bruce Arnold plays “Runway.” from Michal Shapiro on Vimeo.

Arnold’s theoretical works have explored the use of Pitch Class Set Theory within a improvisational setting. He is also written more than 60 music instruction books covering Guitar Pedagogy, Ear Training and Time Studies. He is the director of guitar studies at New York University and Princeton University as well as the creator of the New York University Summer Guitar Intensive. He has taught at New England Conservatory of Music, Dartmouth College, Berklee College of Music, New School University, and City College of New York.

He is a totally dedicated guitarist who likes to practice for at least 3 hours a day. He also likes to work with the computer program SuperCollider to achieve his various effects.

His latest CD is Heavy Mental (Muse-eek Records, 2010)

Video of the week: Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 by Transatlantic

Transatlantic
The music video of this week is Stranger In Your Soul by multinational progressive rock band Transatlantic. Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 is extracted from the Transatlantic DVD “Live In Europe.”

Transatlantic is the progressive rock supergroup formed by outstanding musicians from various countries who have performed in some of the finest progressive rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s, including Neal Morse (former Spock’s Beard), Roine Stolt (The Flower Kings), and Pete Trewavas (Marillion). The band also includes Mike Portnoy of the hard rock/metal band Dream Theater.

Stranger In Your Soul Pt 1 was taken from the band’s 2001 album titled Bridge Across Forever.

Stick Virtuoso Guillermo Cides Releases Live Album

Guillermo Cides
Renowned Argentine musician Guillermo Cides, who is one of the best Stick performers in the world, has released a new album after returning from his tours throughout Mexico and Spain. This recent concert was broadcast live on Facebook and Myspace. Meanwhile, he is preparing a new collaboration with Truey Mark’s project featuring Jon Anderson (Yes).

The live performance celebrated Cides’ 20 years of experience with the Stick. The concert was captured through a web camera located in a theater in Tarragona, Spain. Now this recording is released in CD format, signed by the musicians and sent directly to their fans.

Cides, who removed his CDs from the recording industry years ago, returns now with a live album in “a world without record companies, intermediaries and a real independent music” according to his official Facebook statement from where people can get a copy of the new album.

The album was recorded with drummer Alex Leys drummer and mastered by Tonica Studios in Buenos Aires. It is a limited edition and it is numbered and signed like “a simple object for collector,” says Cides.

Meantime he is preparing a new collaboration with Australian Truey Mark and Jon Anderson, former Yes frontman. This project directed by Truey Mark will born in 2012 under the name “Hope”.

Ohioprog 2012 Requesting Additional Pledges for Festival Tickets

Progressive rock festival Ohioprog 2012 announced that there are 2 weeks left to pledge a ticket to the OhioProg festival on Kickstarter. Roughly 45 tickets have been pledged so far and another 350-400 need to be pledged at the various ticket levels in order to reach the goal and hold OhioProg 2012.

Organizers explained that the process is like pre-ordering a ticket, except that the order is canceled if the goal is not met. The goal date is set to January 2, 2012 at 11:59PM (EST).

It is important that everyone who is going and is planning on going pledge their ticket,” said the press release. “ We’d like to consider alternatives to move forward but that depends on what the final number is on Kickstarter. All the ticketing info and additional event info can be found on the Kickstarter page as well as the festival website.”

OhioProg 2012 is set to take place September 7th, 8th & 9th of 2012 at the Canton Palace Theatre in Canton, Ohio. The tremendous 15 band lineup represents 5 countries.

Friday, September 7, 2012 “A Tribute to the Classics” Pre-Show

Going for the One perform the music of Yes (USA)
Gende’s Giant perform the music of Gentle Giant (USA)
Script for a Jester’s Tour perform the music of Marillion and featuring original Marillion drummer Mick Pointer and Nick Barrett of Pendragon (UK)

Saturday, September 8, 2012 “Main Event”
Orphan Project (USA)
Persephone’s Dream (USA)
RC2 (Spain)
Glass Hammer (USA)
FM (Canada)

Saturday, September 8, 2012 “After-Party” at The Auricle

Dag Swanö (Sweden)
Gravity (USA)

Sunday, September 9, 2012 “Main Event”

Kinetic Element (USA)
After the Fall (USA)
Cryptic Vision (USA)
Arena (UK)
Nightingale (Sweden)

More information at:

tickets.ohioprog.com
ohioprog.com

Spanish Prog Band Absente H Releases Vagalume

Absente H - Vagalume
Vagalume (Musea Parallèle) is the title of the new album by Madrid-based progressive rock band Absente H. Absente H plays original symphonic progressive rock, inspired by bands such as Genesis, Yes, Camel, Pink Floyd, The Flower Kings and Porcupine Tree.

Absente H produced and recorded the album on its own and licensed it to Musea for worldwide distribution. Band members include David Pérez on vocals, Juan Pedro Miralles on keyboards, Jesús González on drums, Alfonso Pazos on bass, María José Izquierdo on flute & backing vocals, María Sánchez on violin & backing vocals, and Víctor García on guitars.

The lyrics include topics such as environmental issues, nostalgic poems, mythology and exploration of the time and space domain.

Emerson Lake & Palmer Release Live At the Mar y Sol Festival ’72

Emerson Lake & Palmer - Live at the Mar Y Sol Festival '72
Live at the Mar y Sol Festival ’72 (2011) is another archival release of live music by legendary progressive rock band Emerson Lake & Palmer (ELP). This is the first-ever official release of this Emerson Lake & Palmer legendary concert. The Mar y Sol Festival was a Woodstock-like rock music festival that took place in Manatí, Puerto Rico, on April 1–3, 1972.

The album features the classic ELP line-up with Keith Emerson on keyboards, Greg Lake on bass and vocals and Carl Palmer on drums.

Tracks

1 – Hoedown
2 – Tarkus
3 – Take A Pebble
4 – Lucky Man
5 – Piano Improvisation
6 – Pictures At An Exhibition
7 – Rondo