A world-class soprano is a diva. A world-class tenor is a divo. But a classically-trained jazz singer who also happens to be a composer and arranger can only be...RANDALL GILBERT!
WHAT AUDIENCES ARE SAYING ABOUT MIRAGE:
"Every song Randall performs on 'Mirage' is wonderful. The first day I had this CD, I must have played it 10 times."
"Soothing, hauntingly beautiful...deep and moving...I'm telling my friends throughout the country about him!"
"His music is smooth, fun, and alive-it touches, moves and inspires~!"
"More enjoyable than Josh Groban."
"A mix of Middle Eastern/Soul/Classical all rolled into one - MidSoulClass! An ethnic journey that will take you to other lands."
"A wonderful blend of classic, opera, and modern mixed together...both interesting and beautiful."
"This CD is really beautiful. Randall has always had a tremendous voice, but this CD is spectacular."
"I got a lump in my throat when I heard him in Orlando."
"Randall Gilbert is fantastic."
Fan in Washington, DC
"I have 'Mirage' in my car and listen to it all the time!"
"Everyone in my office is listening to Mirage, and the comments are all favorable!"
"Randall's performance is awesome!"
Carrie, fan in Orlando, FL
"Bolo to velmi pekne'. Piesne boli prijemne' na pocuvanie a oddychovanie pekny' hlas a vynikajuce orientalne prvky! Aj viac by ich mohlo byt pre mna."
Anna S, Slovakia
I was born in the small community of Warren, Pennsylvania in the United States. My parents' influence has taught me never to be complacent about where I am with music. I guess that's why my music runs the full spectrum of classical to jazz.
I hold a Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Edinboro University in Pennsylvania (I thought I'd be a psychologist one day) and a Master of Arts in Applied Behavioral Science from Wright State University. I've also written a few books which have had very modest success. One is called "How to Make a Total Flop of an Organization" (believe it or not) and the other, a novel, is entitled "The Conqueror". Being around corporate America for some time provided me with quite a bit of material to write both books.
All the while, music has been my innermost passion. I've admired great choirs in European cathedrals, the bossa nova of Antonio Carlos Jobim, the discipline of Bach, the jazz of Don Ellis, and the romantic organ compositions of Durufle. Since I was a boy, I wondered if I could combine all my preferences of music to become an established artist. I moved from town to town, singing as a guest soloist with choirs, orchestras, and pianists in Erie, Dayton, Pittsburgh, Montreal, Atlanta, and Orlando. Somehow, I even managed to be a part of the NASCAR circuit where I sang the National Anthem at Martinsville Speedway on the Fox and Speed television networks.
For a good part of my life, I hesitated to pursue my musical ambitions beyond casual amusement. Then, following my television appearance, something inside me said that this is what I was meant to do. Now, I wish everyone would feel the joy I do when I'm producing music. It takes incredible energy, yet it's not work. There's an adrenaline rush when I hear it all come together. I truly believe everyone is entitled to their calling and music is mine!
ABOUT RANDALL'S MUSIC:
“My songs are a roadmap of my life – where I’ve been and where I am. If you listen closely, you’ll know very well what I’m about.” So says multi-talented vocal sensation Randall Gilbert on the subject of Mirage, his 2005 release.
Mirage is a rich collection of tracks, including several original songs by the hushed-voiced baritone. Collectively, they paint a musical landscape ranging from a warm classical style to dance club reverberations. Randall’s trademark is evident - a combination of strings, driving percussion, and buttery smooth vocals.
Plucked from a Fortune 500 corporation in southwestern Virginia, Randall Gilbert soon found himself singing in large venues: appearances at Disney World and appearances on the Fox Television Network. The Mirage release brings to fruition a lifelong ambition of this versatile artist.
“Following the deaths of my parents within a short time span, I realized that I must complete the journey of this collection in their memory. Though they supported me in all my non-musical professional endeavors, I think my parents knew that music was the part of my life that cried for an intense focus.” Randall’s mother had been a concert pianist and his father introduced him to a wide spectrum of music. “Due to the musical exposure I received from my parents, I felt that the gift I was given was no longer for casual use.”
An author of two books and several poems, Gilbert has always been immersed in writing. “Writing a book takes a good deal of discipline. But combining music with lyrics allows me to be absorbed in the art wherever I may be, and to continue ‘thinking’ the music long after it’s recorded. Personally, it seems to be a more natural process than simply putting words on a page.”
In addition to writing and singing, Randall plays classical guitar, piano, and Eastern percussion on Mirage. And he never ends his search for just the right sound. With a laugh, he adds, “I’m a perfectionist who never reaches perfection. One of my vocal coaches was with the Metropolitan Opera, and I believe she would agree!”
Mirage is a reflection of meaningful memories for Randall. “’Lumens Divina Christus’ was a song that came to me during the 10-hour drive to my father’s funeral. I wanted to express hope to my father’s surviving relatives and friends (and even to myself) during this time of loss.” The same may be said of “Light of the Sun,” dedicated to the orphaned children of the 2004 tsunami.
But not all of Randall’s music is about sorrow. “My mother was a part-time dance instructor who enjoyed the music of American composer Leroy Anderson. I’ve always loved the Spanish texture of his ‘Serenata’ and decided to add lyrics.”
That rhythm is important to Randall is evident in the title opener, “Mirage”. “I wrote this one afternoon after having had the flu for a week. This composition signaled my return to wellness. The combined Middle Eastern tonality and the European night club rhythm were what the doctor ordered,” he muses.
Randall’s choral training is evident in his delivery of the a cappella eight-voiced “Salvation: A Theme”, based on Russian composer Pavel Chesnokov’s “Salvation is Created”. “While touring in Leningrad, I experienced live opera. The power of Russian music has lived inside me since. I wanted to share it in this collection, along with the familiar Russian classic, ‘Podmoskovneyeh Vechera’ (Moscow Nights) which is a traditional Russian tune, with African rhythms. This piece accentuates the boldness of traditional Russian music.”
The crossover from classical to popular music represents Randall’s versatility. “Wanderlove” from Singapore, and “Ue o Muite Aruko”, a rock classic from Japan, are representative of his borderless arrangements. “The koto is a beautiful instrument that originated in China and found popularity in Japan. It was a joy to use it as a solo instrument on ‘Ue o Muite Aruko’.”
“Star of Pachelbel” is a flowing arrangement of the famous Canon which is complemented by a familiar French children’s tune. “The beauty of the Canon,” states Randall, “is that its elegance can dress up even a simple song.”
Early in 2006, Randall released Love Singles, a pair of new pieces which showcase his remarkable vocal dexterity. “’Once’ reflects my feelings for all people who hold memories of loved ones they knew in the past.” And with the European rock hit, “One Way to Paradise,” Randall has found his place as an emerging artist around the globe. “’One Way to Paradise’ is a hot song I wrote to portray the colors of my voice – from Italian opera to modern rock.”
Whether in the studio, on CD, or in concert, Randall Gilbert understands who he is and what he wants to convey. "For me, my music represents a personal melodic statement. I want to thank you so much for listening and for joining me on this journey."