Category Archives for Behind the Music

Mainly Piano ONE Album Review

One is the anxiously-awaited follow-up to composer/multi-instrumentalist Todd Boston’s award-winning 2012 release, Touched By the Sun. Although several of the eleven tracks sound like ensemble performances, this is truly a solo album with Boston performing all of the instruments (a variety of guitars and percussion instruments, flutes, etc.) as well as composing, producing, recording and engineering the album. The guitar parts on two of the tracks were recorded during the making of Touched By the Sun at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios and the album was mastered by Tom Eaton. Five years in the making, this acoustic new age/ world fusion music is gentle, peaceful and uplifting - a very welcome respite from the craziness of today’s world. 

One begins with the title track, a short intro with flute, the sound of birds, and strings. “Fresh Strings” follows with acoustic guitar, bowed strings and slide guitar (and maybe a few more!) plus some light percussion - a very warm and friendly welcome! Instead of being “food of the gods, this “Ambrosia” is heavenly flute and guitar that is light and enveloping. “Astral Heart” combines the sounds of plucked and strummed strings with the grace of bamboo flute - a favorite. “She’s Home” is more on the ambient side - relaxed, spare, and very free. “Realization” is also a favorite. Its catchy rhythm and lighthearted movement reflect on the fact that “every thing is constantly changing.” (quoted from the liner notes) “Early Reflections” is more somber, dark and ambient. “Blue Pearl” is mostly acoustic guitar, with some bamboo flute and slide guitar for additional tonal color. Haunting and mysterious, it’s another favorite. Light and carefree, “Hawk Medicine” soars effortlessly. “Kalyan” returns to a more serene mood - open and very spare and then segues into the hypnotic closing track, “Dreamtime.”

As I mentioned above, One is a wonderful antidote to the craziness and fast pace of contemporary life. Like a long walk on the beach or in nature, everything just kind of settles down and the mind relaxes for the duration of the experience. One debuted in the Billboard Top Ten New Age Albums for October 2017, so expect to hear a lot more about this album! It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Highly recommended!

One by Todd Boston - Album Review

One is the anxiously-awaited follow-up to composer/multi-instrumentalist Todd Boston’s award-winning 2012 release, Touched By the Sun. Although several of the eleven tracks sound like ensemble performances, this is truly a solo album with Boston performing all of the instruments (a variety of guitars and percussion instruments, flutes, etc.) as well as composing, producing, recording and engineering the album. The guitar parts on two of the tracks were recorded during the making of Touched By the Sun at Will Ackerman’s Imaginary Road Studios and the album was mastered by Tom Eaton. Five years in the making, this acoustic new age/ world fusion music is gentle, peaceful and uplifting - a very welcome respite from the craziness of today’s world. 


One begins with the title track, a short intro with flute, the sound of birds, and strings. “Fresh Strings” follows with acoustic guitar, bowed strings and slide guitar (and maybe a few more!) plus some light percussion - a very warm and friendly welcome! Instead of being “food of the gods, this “Ambrosia” is heavenly flute and guitar that is light and enveloping. “Astral Heart” combines the sounds of plucked and strummed strings with the grace of bamboo flute - a favorite. “She’s Home” is more on the ambient side - relaxed, spare, and very free. “Realization” is also a favorite. Its catchy rhythm and lighthearted movement reflect on the fact that “every thing is constantly changing.” (quoted from the liner notes) “Early Reflections” is more somber, dark and ambient. “Blue Pearl” is mostly acoustic guitar, with some bamboo flute and slide guitar for additional tonal color. Haunting and mysterious, it’s another favorite. Light and carefree, “Hawk Medicine” soars effortlessly. “Kalyan” returns to a more serene mood - open and very spare and then segues into the hypnotic closing track, “Dreamtime.”


As I mentioned above, One is a wonderful antidote to the craziness and fast pace of contemporary life. Like a long walk on the beach or in nature, everything just kind of settles down and the mind relaxes for the duration of the experience. One debuted in the Billboard Top Ten New Age Albums for October 2017, so expect to hear a lot more about this album! It is available from Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby. Highly recommended!

Hawk Medicine Music Video

Hawk Medicine from the album ONE (Billboard Top Ten) by Award Winning Multi-Instrumentalist Todd Boston. The inspiration for the composition is the feeling of rising above our fears to see from a more broad perspective what limits us and to soar into reaching our full potential.

Please support our music videos at www.ToddBoston.com/Patreon

Buy the Album ONE www.ToddBoston.com

Music Played on Martin Guitars & TogaMan GuitarViol by Jonathan Eric Wilson

Film by Art Film Studios - Andrea Boston & Todd Boston
www.AndreaBostonVisuals.com

ONE Echoes November CD of the Month

John Diliberto 10/30/2017

We’ve always had a soft spot for Todd Boston. We first heard him with his east-west duo Urban Nature with percussionist Ramesh Kannan in California. But he grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs with his radio dialed into Echoes on his local radio affiliate, WXPN. He became immersed in the sound of Windham Hill Records and guitarists like Will AckermanAlex De Grassi and Michael Hedges. He also got exposed to Indian music and studied sarod with Ali Akbar Khan, which turned out to have been a gateway to an even wider world of music.

Todd Boston’s second album, Touched by the Sun, was an Echoes CD of the Monthpick in 2012, as was his first solo album, Alive, in 2010. Touched was produced by one of his heroes, Will Ackerman, and that influence elevated Boston’s game immensely. Since then, he’s become a pretty good producer in his own right, making records with artists around the Kirtan scene. And now he applies those skills to his latest album, simply called One.

The title comes from the fact that there is only a solitary musician on the record: Todd Boston. But he turns himself into a one-man world music ensemble, playing guitars, dobro, the Chinese guzheng zither, African djembe and udu drums, Indian bamboo flutes, and others. The result is a contemplative, pastoral journey full of vivid colors.

The second track, “Fresh Strings” lays out the framework for the album, a languid country-tinged piece with lap steel guitar accents and chamber modes coming from the GuitarViol, an instrument whose sound and look you can divine from the name. Boston uses it as a cello-like undertow.

“Fresh Strings” is an idyllic slice of Americana, but the following composition taps Boston’s global side. On “Ambrosia” the bamboo flutes, multi-tracked, carry the main melody with a counterpoint from a mini-guitar ukulele that he plays more like a mandolin. It’s one of those world-influenced pieces that floats without country, but out in the ether of unity.

One has a kinship with Mike Oldfield albums like Ommadawn or a bit more obscurely, Mark O’Connor’s 1982 album of multi-tracked strings, False Dawn. Like those recordings, Boston’s One creates a space, and sets a scene in a beautifully arranged world. “Astral Heart” suggests a perfect autumn day in New England, and the perfectly balanced and resonant sound of “Blue Pearl” evokes a Zen garden.

“Realization” takes Boston back to his Urban Nature sound with udu drums providing a loping groove while Boston plays the melody on guitar, bending and dragging notes as if playing a sitar.

Most of One is light and vibrant, in a good way, but Boston dips into some deep contemplation on “Early Reflections,” featuring the GuitarViol in multiple overdubs, etching a deep Arvo Pärt-like elegy.

One ends on the very contemplative “Dreamtime.” There’s no acoustic guitar, Boston just plays electric guitar swells while he ruminates on flute, finally fading into crickets. It’s the only standard new age move on the album, and it’s still really good, a quiet close to an album that has been a journey from beginning to end. It makes you become One.

LA Yoga Review of ONE

Todd Boston ONE

Todd Boston is no newcomer to the conscious music scene. His albums have topped the list of various World/New Age listening charts throughout the years. A composer, guitarist, multi-instrumentalist, and producer, he fuses world music together with live looping and computer technology. Todd tours internationally supporting concerts, festivals, and yoga classes. He performs regularly with artists such as Snatam Kaur and one of my personal musical heroes, bassist Tony Levin.

Cover of One by Todd Boston

ONE by Todd Boston

ONE is Todd’s latest album. It is a project that has been in the making for five years. He plays all of the various instruments on ONE as he takes the listener on a sonic journey of organic textures of guitar, percussion, orchestral instruments, and environmental field recordings.

The title track “One” begins the immediate shift into a tranquil sonic world. In “Fresh Strings,” Todd begins to flex his refined musical muscle with layers of beautiful guitar stylings, topped by lap steel guitar mimicking the flavor of sitar.

Favorite Tunes on ONE

“Ambrosia,” my favorite track, is a stripped down and mysterious track combining bamboo flute, GuitarViol and guitar ukulele. This song could be the beautiful sonic backdrop in a movie scene showing the rustic countryside going by through a train window. It reminds me of the high-quality and lush recordings you can often find on Putamayo world music compilations. Not surprisingly, Todd’s songs have been a part of those compilations.

Another one of my favorites is “Hawk Medicine.” Here, more of Todd’s guitar magic shines. He really makes the guitar a contemplative extension of himself. I also appreciate how he layers so many stringed instruments in one track without having them compete too much in the arrangement.

Todd Boston describes music as an “ally, teacher and friend.” His aim is to spread this same positive musical healing to listeners. I’d say Todd has more than accomplished this on ONE.

More music by Todd Boston

Read Dan Blanchard’s review of Todd Boston’s album Touched by the Sun here.

Learn more about Todd Boston and his music on his website ToddBoston.com

original article link - https://layoga.com/entertainment/music/one-todd-boston/

McKenna Rowe

McKenna caught the “yoga bug” as a little girl, watching Lilias Folan on PBS. She leads an active life hiking, running, sometimes snowboarding, and once was a nationally-ranked equestrian. After years of working in the digital industry for clients in entertainment, publishing and fashion, she took a sabbatical to acquire her yoga teacher certification. A desire to help people heal soon followed. Also a successful musician and composer, McKenna shares cutting-edge music during yoga classes, recruiting musicians and DJs to perform with her. She owned and operated East Hollywood’s Chakra 5 Yoga studio throughout 2011, creating a vibrant community on and offline, but decided to shift to a mobile model. Now Chakra 5 brings yoga classes on site and by appointment to businesses, schools and organizations throughout greater Los Angeles. McKenna was certified in Hatha/Kundalini at Karuna Yoga, and has additional teacher training in Restorative Yoga with Master Teacher Judith Lasater. She teaches yoga at Chakra 5 classes and international retreats.

http://www.chakra5.la

First copies of ONE are here!

What happens when you have your studio full of instruments and you just wanna play them all!?? Getting creative #toddboston #onemanband#newalbumcoming

Laying out the instruments I played on the recordings for a photoshoot today...This album ONE has been long in the making but I am really excited to be sharing more coming soon!" ~ TB 🙂 🎵 

Setting up all the instruments played by Todd on the new album ONE

Nice touch from Andrea Boston with the twine and Rosemary from our garden, each album is signed and sent by us from Magic Cottage Studios! 

Super excited! We received the first copies of the new solo album titled ... ONE ... set to release Friday Sept. 29 2017!! 😊🎶❤ A great way to support this project is to pre order on iTunes or Bandcamp and help us build momentum! You will immediately receive the first download single now called Hawk Medicine.

Thanks to Andrea M. Boston for the beautiful photo artwork and Tom Eaton for the pristine Mastering work!

TB Music Vlog – Nara Japan

Hi Friends...here is some new music and a behind the scenes Music Vlog! 

Filmed in Nara, Japan. I traveled with Will Ackerman to perform at the Kasuga Shrine ceremony which was one of the most beautiful concert experiences of my life. Will is quite famous in Japan from his days at Windham Hill Records which had such a big impact on the Japanese People. This was his first time returning there in 30 years. Our hosts were so gracious and friendly, Takamine provided all our guitars and we played amazing music together with brilliant Japanese Musicians. On my last day, I woke up at sunrise and hiked to the top of a nearby mountain in the Kasugayama Primeval Forest. On the way I stopped at many of the 1500 year old shrines and temples to capture the stillness of the atmosphere. In the forest I recorded a flute song inspired by this amazing place (I will put the link for that video in the comments) Nara is the ancient capitol of Japan and a national treasure. I love Japan so much and hope to return in the near future! To travel with my friend, musical collaborator and mentor Will Ackerman was truly a gift and an honor. This is the first of many...please let me know what you think and share with your friends!  



The GuitarViol – A New Journey

We all know the phrase, Life is a journey not a destination." Well it can be said,
"Music is a journey not a destination."

A few months ago my wife Andrea found an instrument online called a GuitarViol made by a master luthier and multi-instrumentalist named Jonathan Eric Wilson. A few google searches later I came across some videos and a website named TogaManGuitars.com.

Something inside of me screamed "you have to play one of these!!" We visited with Jonathan and his wife, Nela in LA and it that was it, I was hooked. It set a series of events in motion that culminated in this moment!

The GuitarViol is an instrument that was designed and created completely by Jonathan based on his desire to play a bowed guitar. Over the course of years he formed his own unique instrument combining elements of the guitar, viol da gamba, cello and viola. The result is an instrument that sings with passion and soul.

Jonathan hand crafted a unique acoustic GuitarViol with spruce top and spalted ambrosia maple sides and back specifically for me! In my many years playing music and collecting instruments this was the first time one had been built specifically for me. She has been appropriately named Ambrosia. I am honored and grateful to have begun this journey of learning to play, it is challenging but rewarding everyday advancing and going deeper. I look forward to sharing music with you soon! ~TB

www.ToddBoston.com

Little Dear Music Fan

This music sings in my heart when the morning rises and when the night falls. She is the Choir of Angels, the Calling of the Soul and the Song of the Earth, selfless giving, compassionate and present. One within you and without you… ~ TB

Music can be a healing force in our lives! As an artist one of those most fulfilling experiences is sharing and performing music live. I learned something that forever changed the way I approached “performance” and that is, it is not about me. If I consciously give my gift to the “audience” with the intention that the music serves in whatever way is needed, practice my part, give it my best then get out of the way and let the music do it’s magic…then something bigger happens and everyone feels it! This picture was taken by Andrea when we were working on some music in the studio. This little deer sat at the window for about 10 minutes listening intently to the magic we were creating!

~ TB

www.ToddBoston.com

Windham Hill Winter Solstice Tour

Little Miracles do happen…When I was about 15 years old around the holidays I was visiting my friend Paula’s  house and her parents had this great CD we loved called Windham Hill Winter Solstice. At that time (and still) I was a guitar playing sponge and was always trying to find anything guitar oriented. I went to the mall and to the record store where I found a Windham Hill Guitar Sampler featuring Will AckermanMichael Hedges and Alex Digrassi, Needless to say the album became a huge influence and sound that changed my musical life.

Fast forward 25 years and I find myself performing on guitar at the Annual Windham Hill Winter Solstice tour with Will in front of sold out crowds at some of the greatest venues in the world along side incredible artists such as Pianist Liz Story, amazing composer and multi talented Barbara Higbie, Alex De Grassi and of course Will Ackerman.

 

Follow your heart, follow your dreams, you never know where you might end up! Dreams come true!!

Welcome to my new blog!

Hello and Welcome!

Every once and a while it’s good to clean the closet and start fresh.

This is a New Beginning.  The last few years have been an incredible journey and in my heart of hearts I feel the best is yet to come.  I am exited about life and I feel exited to create music.

TB Guitar1

There is a deep yearning in my heart to play music, if I don’t for a day or a few days some part of me starts to ache and I get a little less patient and potentially more grouchy.  I play the guitar, a flute or perhaps a drum for more than a few minutes and something remarkable happens.  I transform.  I relax.  I become completely present and absorbed in the mystery and magic of music.

Music is a very practical thing, according to Webster’s, “the science or art of ordering tones or sounds in succession, in combination, and in temporal relationships to produce a composition having unity and continuity.”

That is an accurate definition of music but still there is something beyond that definition that defies scientific explanation.  There is something missing from that definition.  What’s missing is the immeasurable impact when a person “orders tones or sounds…” with heart and soul.  When tone and human come together to make music, heaven and earth collide and the realms of “reality” and miracle become indistinguishable.

And As far as I can tell music is a miracle.  In all of the great stories from every spiritual tradition sound, tone, music is deeply in relationship with whatever or whoever is believed to have created everything.  I have yet to hear a creation story that doesn’t involve some kind of vibration or sound.  The mystic would say Nada Brahma.  What does this mean? Simply,  Sound is God!

~TB

www.ToddBoston.com

 

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