If there is such a thing as New Age Classical then this is it. On this one Douglas King is like listening to a fusion of Ravi Shankar, Keith Jarrett, Liz Story, George Winston and Michael Hedges with Chopin, Mozart and Bach.
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Dr. Douglas King is a former CEO who worked for three governors and three University presidents in the public sector. But early in his life, he was a keyboard performer.
After attending the prestigious Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, he won awards at juried piano performance competitions attended by thousands of people. He briefly played on television, in clubs and for special events. But he stopped to pursue another career: His passion for the noble social purposes of public service.
He was candidly recorded in hundreds of private sessions at the keyboard. Those lucky enough to listen said they never heard anything like it before or since. They urged him to share his music. But he remained a reclusive enigma, making only impromptu appearances and he donated his grand piano to a Buddhist healing center.
Then one day, his music was played at an art exhibition attended by two hundred people. Their response was overwhelming. One hundred of them personally requested copies of his recordings. Their enthusiasm coaxed him into finally releasing some CDs. Now a niche audience of adventurous listeners is following his music.
These tracks are moments recorded live at the keyboard. They are spontaneous one-take improvisations that unexpectedly come to Doug from the mist. They were captured as they happened -- unpracticed at different times and in different places.
The tracks are warm and raw. They do not rely on recording tricks. You are listening to them as they occurred: unpolished and complete with nuance, quirky unaccountable effects, miking artifacts and background.
The music is a mesmerizing, narcotically addicting collage of eccentric, deceptively simple keyboard and synthesizer melodies. They invade your mind like musical worms. Some are so intricate it is hard to believe that you are listening to a solo keyboard played by one man recorded in one take.
Listening to the reclusive, enigmatic and eccentric Douglas King is like Liz Story meets Jean Michel Jarre meets George Winston meets Phillip Glass meets David Lanz meets Bill Evans meets Keith Jarret meets Michael Hedges meets the Ravi Shankar Ragas meets the Chopin Preludes.
The sample cuts are an eclectic blend of ambient, classical, jazz, romantic, blues, east Indian raga, Celtic, native American, Indonesian, new age and world music. An unconventional salad of unexpected sounds and styles that defy categories.
Some are relaxed; some are intense. Some are long; some are short. Some are warm; some are atonal. Some are rhythmic; some are halting. Some are familiar; some are odd. All just flow.
No two are alike. But they all have one thing in common. They are deceptively simple mind worms: easy to remember and hard to forget. Enjoy!