David Kempers | Electronic Symphonica

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Classical: Orchestral Electronic: Virtual Orchestra Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Electronic Symphonica

by David Kempers

Classical violinist David Kempers combines acoustic instruments and synthesizers in his "Electronic Symphonica" to take us on a new musical journey, where tradition meets technology in a dazzling performance for all listeners.
Genre: Classical: Orchestral
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Infernal Danse from Stravinsky: Firebird
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4:16 album only
2. The Suite (Sinding)
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4:42 album only
3. Aquarium from Saint-Saens: Carnival of the Animals
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2:21 album only
4. Malinconia (Ysaye)
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3:06 album only
5. March to the Scaffold from Berlioz: Symphony Fantastique
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6:20 album only
6. Pavane (Faure)
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5:02 album only
7. Obsession (Ysaye)
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3:05 album only
8. Gymnopedie No.1 (Satie)
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3:53 album only
9. Danse Macabre (Saint-Saens)
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7:21 album only
10. Saturn from Holst:The Planets
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9:19 album only


Album Notes
David Kempers

Violinist David Kempers is an extraordinary musician, who is equally at home on the concert stage or in the recording studio. Mr. Kempers has served as Concertmaster of the New Orleans Symphony and Associate Concertmaster of the Fort Worth Symphony. As a section player, David has performed with the North Carolina Symphony, Sante Fe Opera, Cleveland Opera, Chicago Sinfonietta, West Virginia Symphony, Akron Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony and the American Sinfonietta.

David has been a soloist with major orchestras under the batons of conductors Maxim Shostakovich, Catherine Comet, and Erich Kunzel, and has been a featured performer with the Bolshoi Ballet.

Mr. Kempers has worked extensively in commercial music, with artists ranging from Johnny Cash to Bugs Bunny. He has backed up YES, Styx, Josh Groban, Mannheim Steamroller, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, Ray Charles, Vince Gill, Sarah Brightman, Smokey Robinson, Chris Cross, Jewel, ELO, The Moody Blues, Sheena Easton, and Jon Secada. Mr. Kempers has performed at the New Orleans Jazzfest and was in the all-star band backing Brian Wilson on his Imagination TV special.

As a recording artist, David has done countless commercials and has performed on over 50 album projects. Mr. Kempers received a multi-platinum award for his work on the CD Out of Time with the rock band R.E.M. David’s talents as a musician, producer, and arranger are on full display in his Four Winds debut album “Electronic Symphonica.” He produced and engineered the entire recording, and plays most of the instruments on every track.

Notes on Electronic Symphonica

The blending of orchestral and electronic instruments has been a popular concept for many years now; composers such as Messiaen, Honegger and Martinu added a groundbreaking electronic instrument called the Ondes Martenot to their compositions. During the same time period, the famed conductor Leopold Stokowski was introducing a generation of listeners to his transcriptions (or re-workings) of the classics, most famously the Bach Toccata and Fugue. As electronic instruments advanced (and adapted the name “synthesizer”), it seemed a natural progression to mix the modern electronics with new re-workings of the classical repertoire. The commercial breakthrough of this combination came in the 1960’s with the release of the hit album Switched- on Bach by synthesizer legend Walter Carlos.

By the 1970’s, the advances in synthesizer technology changed the musical landscape. Synthesizers were no longer merely novelty items nor the exclusive realm of scientists. They were bona fide musical instruments, creating colors and timbres previously unknown. A Japanese composer named Isao Tomita was keenly aware of their potential and started re-orchestrating the classics with a palette of sounds made solely from synthesizers. His recordings of works by Debussy, Ravel and Mussorgsky gained legions of dedicated fans and inspired a generation of film scores. The synthesizer became the dominant instrument of Hollywood studios and remains in that place today.

The progressive rock movement of the seventies added a new twist to the re-workings of the classics: groups such as YES and Emerson, Lake and Palmer performed the classic works of such composers as Brahms and Copland with a new attitude and a different beat. Some of these experiments were musically (and commercially) successful, some less so (disco versions of Beethoven come to mind). In today’s musical world, the torch has been passed to groups like Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, while film composers delight in “borrowing” musical excerpts from the masters to beef up their material.

In keeping with this tradition, the ten tracks of Electronic Symphonica were recorded using combinations of instruments (traditional and electric), genres, and 21st Century technology. Indeed, the advances of computer and internet technology have forever altered the way recordings are conceptualized and produced. In this case, it was possible for one violinist to “overdub” as many violin parts as needed. Some of the tracks have up to 39 violins, all played by the same violinist ( me!). The invention of MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) language has seamlessly integrated synthesizers and personal computers into a composer’s dream, a virtual sonic soundscape at one’s fingertips. Long-distance recording is no longer a fantasy. The various musicians performing on this CD have never been in the same room together. They are spread throughout the U.S. Everyone recorded their individual contributions at their home studios and sent them via the internet to my studio in Ohio, where I had the rewarding task of “assembling” each part into a cohesive piece of music.

Working on this project was a joy and a labor of love. Every composer represented has been a musical hero of mine. I have been given the pleasurable task of following in the footsteps of those I so deeply admire: Tomita, Carlos, YES, Stokowski and the rest. I owe a debt of gratitude to them, as well as the wonderful musicians performing on this CD. ~ David Kempers


to write a review

ray C

A dark orchestral space where virtual meets reality where strings sing sombre an
A dark orchestral space where virtuality meets reality, where strings sing sombre and celebratory prayers to a different take on beautiful.
Mr. Kempers' balance of real strings from his traditional & electric violins & those of his collaborators' guitars with the layered tracking of superb samples and synths creates a fresh take on classical and serious music.
Developing a selection of works that are less trodden yet superb examples of the art of great composers, Mr. Kempers has arranged, played & recorded a gem for those tired of misrepresentative MIDI aural copies of popular classics.
This CD is a soundscape inhabited by wit, melancholy and a masterful blend of modern with traditional musical technologies. No sugar coated pill or student primer: if you like orchestrally arranged music with as much bite as sparkle "...do yourself a favour..." and get a copy of Electronic Symphonica.

Dave R.

Best of the best!
This is a supremely outstanding album. David, you rock!! My favorite track is "The Suite". The production is top 1% of the top 1% - one of the finest albums I have ever had the pleasure of enjoying. David - if you see this - I met you a couple of times at Trans-Siberian Orchestra shows, specifically in Youngstown. I hope you are working on a second CD.

Chuck Sweitzer

A wonderful display of musianship and artistry
David Kempers has presented a magnificent display of musicianship and artistry that is sure to provide the listener with an intrigueing trip thru new sonic territories. Veteran fans of classical music will find new textures to delight and those who are not familiar with the genre will be drawn in and I hope will be made hungry for more.


Amazingly tallented artist!
Absolutely brilliant! I highly recomend this C.D. to everyone. I have it in my C.D. player at work and listen to it all of the time. Mr. Kempers is an amazingly tallented artist! I wish Mr. Kempers good luck and success!


Aural Visualizaion
The first listen to David Kemper’s new album, Electronic Symphonica released by Four Winds, is like a whirlwind tour through an art gallery. Before the painter sets brush to canvas the subject is the essence of the work. Avoiding standards, he selects beautiful classical pieces that are just enough out of the average listener’s memory to be interesting, while remaining accessible, laying a foundation for rapt attention. He begins his craft and it is immediately obvious that a master is at play. With long, smooth strokes here and a flourish of bristles there, an aurally stunning work unfolds. Landscapes, portraits, epics, still-lifes all move through time. Jaws drop, eyes widen, and breaths catch as each new image comes into view, fills the field of vision, and begins to shrink only to be replaced by the next track. One is left with the desire to repeat the tour slowly and deliberately, as many times as necessary to appreciate the exquisite detail in each piece.

And where was this masterwork assembled? Deutsche Gramaphon Studios? Polydor? What tools does such an artist wield? Neumann microphones and other eclectic equipment? No, even more to his credit. Recorded in an ordinary Cleveland apartment, this is the fruit of the most ordinary hobbyist recording equipment accessible to all but the teenager too busy practicing shredding to get a job at McDonalds. But the extraordinary artist with passable tools nevertheless creates great art. Is the master’s head so swollen that friends are obscured to him? No, he publicly called for any who would to participate, and those invaluable contributions are boldly placed front and center without hesitation.

There are musicians of every ability. Some of us are struggling to keep our crayons inside the lines, cursing our limitations, and thinking that hope lies with better crayons or the latest paper formulation. The CD demonstrates that the soul of the artist can be unleashed with crayons and construction paper or canvas and oils when the artist thoroughly understands his craft.

Congratulations, David. I hope there’s enough time until your next to get adequately acquainted with this aural artistry.

John Vergilli

A spellbinding ride through a dark universe
Wow, this has to be one of the most interesting classical CDs I have heard. It's a look at the classics through a dark set of eyes, with a massive array of timbres and textures. Superbly played, with some very imaginative arrangements. It is probably the darkest CD I have owned, the Malinconia sends chills down my spine. Brilliant Production and incredible Playing.

Umair Hoodbhoy

I loved every track except for Obsession because of the teasing effect it had. To clip several popular pieces in one track is not cool.