This collection of all instrumental New Age & Neo-Classical styles contain 12 new compositions. Instruments include Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Woodwinds and Brass, Castanets, Italian Grand Piano, Acoustic & Electric Bass, String Orchestration, Percussion Instruments, Choral Voices, Church Bell, & Harp.
The songs are shorter in length than the pieces on my first album, Visions & Emotions. This doesn't mean incomplete in any way. I want the listener to become involved with the interpretation, so that the music reflect parts of themselves.
“Spanish Isle” has a Latin feel both rhythmic & instrumental arrangement. “Suite Nightmares & Daydreams” is a four section composition distinctly different in each part. As in my first release of “Visions & Emotions”, this is a very 'you are there' feel, moving through orchestration and arrangement of Neo-Classical style to earthy sounds of the Caribbean Islands, and by the fourth section you feel like running across the lush green hillsides of Ireland.
“Helpless To Help” reflects feelings of frustration and heartache that comes from a loved one caught up in destructive addictive behaviors we cannot change for them.
“En Tiempo” weaves changes in time signature and retards in a Neo-Classical style.
“Big Sky Ride” has a wide open space feel of riding atop a horse in the deserts of the American southwest.
“A Tribute to the People” gives respect to the Indigenous Natives of North and South America. It is not so much in the instruments in the arrangement, but the feel of imagining the lives of the tribal nations surrounded by the immense size and beauty of the lands that they and the ancestors had lived on. It is ironic that the darker skinned natives were judged as 'savages' by the 'civilized' Europeans who invaded and stole these amazingly beautiful continents. There is no way to make amends for the wrongs done them, but rather a song admitting the sins of our past.
“Song of the Redwoods” feels like walking through the beautiful forests of Northern California. The peace of nature envelopes us as a choir of life sings its praises.
“A Time to Say Goodbye” uses Church Bells to place the distance of a funeral procession as it travels across cobblestone streets of an old Italian town. This Requium signifies the grieving for loss of my very best friend.
“A New Day” holds within, every aspect of looking forward to life, and all the good offered with a fresh start forward.
“Dance of Delight” is just that. It feels good listening to this happy reflection of moments filled with joy.
“Silva's Ride” is seen by the new Roman General Silva as he rides through the Hebrew section of the Palestinian lands that he was sent to control as its Governor in the First Century A.D.
The final selection, “Masada Overture” is a broad 13 minute arrangement depicting the conquest of Palestine. Following the destruction of the Temple of Jerusalem, 1,000 Jewish Zealots and their families fled the Roman army across the desert near the Dead Sea, to inhabit the Mesa of Masada.
Visions & Emotions
The Visions & Emotionsalbum opens with the tune “World Traveler,” a “tribute to my mother who always dreamed of traveling to exotic places. She finally did it at age 65 when she and her twin sister toured Africa, China, India, and the Amazon River, which is what I pictured at the very start of this piece. I want to bring awareness to our planet, because I worry about the earth, and the delicate ecological balance that humankind seems bent on upsetting.” My studio holds the huge world map I made for my mom with colored pins and string connecting the myriad of places she visited in her twilight years. I’m so happy she lived her dream, and I am living mine. She’d really love ‘World Traveler’”! Alek’s sister named the next piece, “Enraptured”. She felt that it envisioned afterglow, “the sacred space of lovers embracing as one.” Takala honors her sister’s memory by holding on to her interpretation. “Japanese Maple” was titled because she loves the simple beauty of the leaves unfolding in bright spring green to the mired of colors in autumn. Musically it incorporates a Japanese koto. “I have a great appreciation of the pentatonic scale used in Asian music. After visiting Hong Kong, I came back listening to classical Chinese music greatly influencing my style.” The next tune is “Ocean Swells.” After completion, Alek pictured indigenous people of South Sea Islands enjoying the swirling movement of the water as it bubbles and sways wrapping gentle waves around their legs, as they sing together. “The oceans are such a vital part of our planet, they need our loving care now more than ever.” “Road Trip (Hurry Up and Slow Down)” is Takala’s tongue-in-cheek ode to the difficulty of today’s vacationers. “Most people are uptight living in cities, so they often choose a laid-back place to spend vacation time in natural settings. They make daily plans so they won’t miss any sites, and in a frenzy to fit it all in, they miss out on the relaxation part of it. Hence the title, ”Hurry Up and Slow Down”. The composition “Melancholy” came from “a very difficult period in my life,” explains Takala. “Everybody goes through times when tough decisions have to be made. The piano part is my pleading for change in the beginning. It is time to risk the unknown. The fork in the road is never easy, but staying status quo became impossible. The passage repeats, but the second time there is firm resolve to do what I must.” All the music for “Groundwater” is the rich sound of a string orchestra. “It is my first attempt to write music with words to be sung by our community choir. The lyricist’s story about a commune in the forest, sitting circling a campfire in the redwoods as the fog drip made its way to the ground around the trees. Her lyrics helped me envision what was needed for the music to fit her story.” “Cascading Pools of Crystal” continues the water theme. This tune, a somewhat ambient piece, was inspired by the Seven Sacred Pools on Maui. A surprise marriage proposal at sunrise, on the top of Mount Haliakala, began a happy marriage of 24 years, thus far. “This is one of my favorite songs, it opens with electric guitar using a pitch bend. I love to bend notes, and I love the sound of guitar, so this is a twofer. This piece also includes piano, bass, drums, and you guessed it, strings! This song travels in 12 minutes. I love this ability to play with time. No clocks in my studio. No room for time here, but lots of room for eclectic world art. The 10-minute song, “Passing Clouds”, is more than a reflection on watching clouds cross the sky. Takala says it also is an analogy for passing moods. “In a society of instant gratification, social media, and antidepressants, it is important for people to know that life changes and so do emotions. If you are in a dark place, you need to know that it will not always feel overwhelming. Young people have very little experience with life, they haven’t been on the planet long enough to process dark moods. ‘When difficulties up for me, I remember they seem to last forever. The key word there is SEEMED”. The album ends with “Moonlight Over Havana” featuring a light Caribbean orchestral feeling and romantic Cuban rhythms, ending with some punctuating horns. “I picture a lone couple moving to the beat very close together under a full moon.” This brings in the Vision part of the music. In all ten songs, the mind’s eye sees all, and emotes with it.