Playlist for December 10, 2017

Audiosyncracy airs on KTEP FM 88.5 in El Paso, Texas at 11:00 pm Sunday evenings (Mountain time, -6 UTC) or online at ktep.org. The program is not archived. Playlists are reported to ZMR.

Something Beyond – Steven CEmotive
Lazy Sunday – Johannes LinsteadAzul
Rendez-vous – Marie-PierCello Lounge
Inspiration – John BroughtonLove Remains

* Ode to Joy to the World – The Piano GuysChristmas Together
* Ecce Novum – Ola GjeiloWinter Songs
* December Sunset – Richard DillonRing Around the Moon
* Hallelujah – Sultans of StringChristmas Caravan

* 87 Keys – Philip Shpartov87 Keys
Horizon – Christen LienElpis
* Storm – Uwe GronauWhen Every Word Was Singing
Scenic Route – Gerhard DaumRural Renewal
The Light After – Timothy CooperGlobal Skies

* = debut (135)

Playlist for December 3, 2017

Audiosyncracy airs on KTEP FM 88.5 in El Paso, Texas at 11:00 pm Sunday evenings (Mountain time, -6 UTC) or online at ktep.org. The program is not archived. Playlists are reported to ZMR.

* Autumn – John Broughton – Love Remains
* Indian Summer – Gerhard Baum – Rural Renewal
Holiday in Shanghai – Annie Locke – A Glimmer of Hope
Lead Me Home – Camille Nelson – Lead Me Hom
b minor – Steven C – Emotive

Prologue – Christen Lien – Elpis
* Jealous Heart Reinvisioned – Isadar – Near the Edge of a Different Light
Burn – John Burke – Superstratum

Outside – Helen Jane Long
Ice Crystals – Charles Denler – One Drop Became an Ocean
Stars Above Sedona – Dan Chadburn – Held in the Light
Igloo – Francois Couture – Neige
Full Moon Night – Tom Moore & Sherry Finzer – Let There Be Light

* = debut

The Grammys, aka “Here we go again…”

It’s that time of year again….

Grammy nomination time.

Ugh.

Those of you who know me well or listen to the broadcast know how I feel about this award. For those of you who don’t, well, you’re about to get the full dose.

Let me begin by saying as clearly as I can: I AM NOT A GRAMMY VOTER! NOT. A. GRAMMY. VOTER!

Much of my resistance to the Grammy awards comes from the fact that the vast majority of voters have no real sense of what the music in the category includes, or who the artists in the category are. It seems to me that, in the absence of knowledge, they simply select names they’re familiar with and move on to the next category. Occasionally, an artist heard on my show gets the award, as was the case in recent years when Paul Avgerinos won in 2015, Ricky Kej and Wouter Kellerman won in 2014 and Laura Sullivan won in 2013. More often, it’s the big names that receive the nominations and, most of the time, the awards. Pat Metheny has won several New Age Grammys. I love his music, but come on! Yes, I wish I had a Grammy vote but I don’t and won’t, in the foreseeable future. That’s why I value the ZMR Awards so much more. They’re authentic, they’re voted on by radio hosts who work with these artists and this music on a daily basis.

With that out of the way, the 60th Grammy award nominations were released this week. It’s my opinion that, as almost always, the voters played it safe.

In case you missed it, the nominees for the 60th Grammy in New Age Music are:

I have exactly one of these CDs.

In all honesty, the other four don’t fit my format but I might use some Eno and Roach in there somewhere. I’ve played Kitaro before, but not enough, I guess, to continue receiving the CDs from the label.

The upshot of the problem is that The Recording Academy lumps all of “new age” music into a single category, so that you have the electronic music of Brian Eno directly opposite the solo piano of Peter Kater, and so on. In the rap world, however, the Recording Academy offers four categories. Don’t get me started on whatever in the world they consider the “Contemporary Instrumental” category.

My object here is not to bash on the Grammys or the Recording Academy. Most emphatically, I’m not here to critique the music of the artists nominated! I just think that a single award of this magnitude fails to characterize the broad scope of the music in this world and that unfairly represents the vast majority of artists who should be eligible for it. India.Arie is a gifted musician but I think even she would agree that her music is not “new age.” I don’t know what you’d call it or which other category you’d place her into but it’s not like the rest of the music being considered for the same award. Music has always been difficult to categorize. The music heard on Audiosyncracy is especially hard to categorize. I often describe the music I play as spanning from folk, to classical, to jazz and much in between.

I don’t begrudge any of the other artists in the list but I hope Peter Kater wins. He’s been nominated so very many times but has yet to take home one of those trophies. It’s about time, and Dancing on Water is deserving of the award.

So, as before, I’ll cheer whoever wins but grumble about the process. Unless it’s Kater, I won’t be playing their music on Audiosyncracy. I’ll look forward instead to the ZMR Awards this spring. There I will have a vote and know that the winners are truly the most deserving.

Playlist for November 26, 2017

* Restored – Steven C – Emotive
Rosita and Giovanni – FLOW – FLOW
Caravan of Souls – Jim Stubblefield – Guitare Mystique
Sogno di Volare – Christopher Tin

Secret Ocean – Peter Kater – Dancing on Water
Cristalle – Marie-Pier – Cello Lounge
Patterns of Light – Camille Nelson – Lead Me Home
The Lost Estate – Masako – Piano Sanctuary

The Light After – Timothy Cooper – Global Skies
Silver – Darshan Ambient – Lingering Day: Anatomy of a Daydream
Breath of Life – Dan Chadburn – Held in the Light
Heaven’s Gate – Arash Behzadi – Elsewhere

* = debut (126)

Ancestral Crossing – Scott Hartley

In the earliest days of Audiosyncracy, I was just becoming “plugged in” to the stream of music flowing from the promoters and artists who were finding out about my show. It was–and still is–exciting to open the packages that appeared at the station and in my mailbox when I started reaching out to this great community.

Ancestral Crossing - Scott Hartley - CD cover

Cover image for Scott Hartley’s Ancestral Crossing

In early 2001, I opened a package that turned out to be special. Inside it was Scott Hartley’s CD, Ancestral Crossing. When I first listened to it, I knew it was unlike anything I’d heard before and, in fact, it inspired me to start the “best of…” compilation show I do at the beginning of each calendar year and, eventually, this Essential Audiosyncracy Collection.

What struck me first was how beautiful all the arrangements were. Scott’s piano flowing seamlessly around the strings and percussion in “Legend of Rain;” the flute in “Daybreak” and the violin in the title track. It’s the epitome of what this genre is to me. It’s an uplifting album and never fails to boost my spirits when they’re flagging.

The piano itself flows naturally and doesn’t overpower the arrangements. There’s a delicate quality to it, such as on “The Gift,” one of my favorite tracks.  On “Common Ground,” the piano leads but the sax follows gracefully and the conversation isn’t one-sided at all. “Mount Vernon” manages to be majestic and understated at the same time. You can sense a wistful quality of remembrance on “My Old Playground” and it sounds almost like a holiday track at the same time. There’s a commonality of theme that seems to bind these tracks together in a way few other artists manage to do.

I don’t know what became of Scott Hartley. Ancestral Crossing was the only album I received from him, but I wish he had released more music. It was amazing. While you can still find it on Amazon,  it is not available anywhere else that I can find.

Playlist for November 19, 2017

Audiosyncracy airs on KTEP FM 88.5 in El Paso, Texas at 11:00 pm Sunday evenings (Mountain time, -6 UTC) or online at ktep.org. The program is not archived. Playlists are reported to ZMR.

Simple Pleasures – Michael Kollwitz – Serenity
The Last Sigh – Arash Behzadi – Elsewhere
Be Still My Soul – Camille Nelson – Lead Me Home
The Bird and the River – Masako – Piano Sanctuary

* Flirt – Marie-Pier – Cello Lounge
Mover – Darshan Ambient – Lingering Day: Anatomy of a Daydream
Crimson Chill – Al Jewer & Andy Mitran – Chicago Chill 1
Mystery Cafe – Joseph Akins – Into the Flow

Love Divine – Dan Chadburn – Held in the Light
Vanishment – Christen Lien – Elpis
Waves of Light – Tom Moore & Sherry Finzer – Let There Be Light
Sea – John Burke – Superstratum

* = debut

Playlist for November 12, 2017

Revelation – Arash Behzadi – Elsewhere
* Come, Come Ye Saints (feat. Steven Sharp Nelson) – Camille Nelson – Lead Me Home
* Seeing You in Everything – Bear – Jamming With Angels
* Held in the Light – Dan Chadburn – Held in the Light
 
* Outside – Helen Jane Long
* Full Moon Night – Tom Moore & Sherry Finzer – Let There Be Light
Natasha – Annie Locke – A Glimmer of Hope
Externalities – Christen Lien – Elpis
 
* The Land We Called Hope – Masako – Piano Sanctuary
* Dark Streets – Al Jewer & Andy Mitran – Chicago Chill 1
Earth – John Burke – Superstratum
Seasons – Faith Angelina – Reaching 12
* Lonely – Muses9 – Spring Begins
 
* = debut (121)

Playlist for November 5, 2017

Sorry for the late post! Stuff happens…..

* Awakening – Arash Behzadi – Elsewhere
No Hurry, No Worry – Michael Kollwitz – Serenity
Lullaby for Baby G – Joseph Akins – Into the Flow
Arc of Angels – Darshan Ambient – Lingering Day: Anatomy of a Daydream
Within Reach – Nick Farr – Between Then and Now

* Bitter Majesty – Christen Lien – Elpis
Chasing Rainbows – Faith Angelina – Reaching 12
Flight from the City – Tom Caufield – Wash the Dusk With Silver

* Core – John Burke – Superstratum
* Boreal – Francois Couture – Neige
Veil of Tears – Ann Sweeten – Flying Solo-Silhouette
* To the presence of movement – Kevin Kastning & Carl Clements – Even this late it happens

Playlist for October 29, 2017

* The Light After – Timothy Cooper – Global Skies
Moon Child – Johannes Linstead – Azul
Encounter in Venice – Annie Locke – A Glimmer of Hope
Three English Folk Songs – Peter Janson – Places in Time

Waiting for Sunshine – FLOW – FLOW
Silver – Darshan Ambient – Lingering Day: Anatomy of a Daydream
Angels – Michele Qureshi – Seventh Wave
A Love Story – Joseph Akins – Into the Flow

* Aeriel (Satre Dance) – Echo Us – To Wake a Dream in Moving Water
Together – Lisa Swerdlow – Equus Rising
Brooklyn Holiday – Falling You – Shine

* = debut

[The show on October 22 was a repeat of a previously-aired episode.]

Playlist for October 15, 2017

The Audiosyncracy playlist as heard on KTEP FM in El Paso, Texas on October 15, 2017:

* River Story – Annie Locke – A Glimmer of Hope
The Magic Box – Peter Janson – Places in Time
Flying Not Falling – Max Highstein – Flying Not Falling
The Waterfall Waltz – Joseph Akins – Into the Flow

* Sogno di Volare – Christopher Tin
Aurora Green – Nick Farr – Between Then and Now
Quiet Full Moon – Michael Kollwitz – Serenity
Abuelita – Faith Angelina – Reaching 12

Elysian Fields – Ann Sweeten – Flying Solo-Silhouette
Numbers Station – Tom Caufield – Wash the Dusk With Silver
Friday Night at Babaluu – Johannes Linstead – Azul
The Lost Hunter – Darshan Ambient – Lingering Day: Anatomy of a Daydream

* = debut

109 new CDs debuted this year