Stephen Savage | Future Memory

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Electronic: Ambient Jazz: Jazz-Rock Moods: Featuring Piano
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Future Memory

by Stephen Savage

An album of ambient electronic jazz-rock soundscapes that are deep, soul searching and startlingly original.
Genre: Electronic: Ambient
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Ruby Sapphire
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3:59 $0.99
2. Then There Is Here Now
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4:24 $0.99
3. Other Shore
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2:51 $0.99
4. Hold That Thought
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3:57 $0.99
5. Gravity
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6:02 $0.99
6. After the Circus
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3:29 $0.99
7. Future Memory
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4:34 $0.99
8. Riding the Cusp
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4:07 $0.99
9. Leaf On a Stream
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4:36 $0.99
10. Ponder
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5:01 $0.99
11. Middle of a Moment
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3:13 $0.99
12. Talking Rocks
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13. Lux
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
I compose, improvise, and perform music, and have worked as a musician and teacher. I have written works in the traditional way for the traditional types of musical ensemble, e.g. solo piano, chamber, and orchestral pieces. I have also written and played rock and jazz at various points in my life, but had been mainly a "classical" composer.

Recently, I have been working with "Proof of Infinity" and its founder, my friend and producer Michael O'Connell, using some of the many electronic and virtual musical resources that are now available. He has generously recommended and provided some of these resources, and my recent efforts have grown from my exploration of them. He has also engineered and produced my music, and contributed his fine performances as drummer on several of the selections.

Throughout this process the old techniques are still there -- improvisational and compositional approaches to melody, counterpoint, harmony, orchestration/instrumentation, form, etc. I have brought them to bear on a different kind of music for me, one that is still my own but informed by what listeners are hearing now in the global culture, and that I hope will have some appeal to listeners today, using the resources available at this moment. The process requires the discipline of improvising coherently, but also combines this with the capacity to edit the captured real-time flow in an electronic environment, allowing not only deliberation and editing after-the-fact, but also all the Happy Accidents that contribute to the end result.

I am fascinated with the power of music in all its facets, and I hope that my work communicates to others, and that perhaps it may stir a similar fascination and awe.


Reviews


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Raj Manoharan (www.rajmanreviews.blogspot.com)

The RajMan Review
This is one of the best CDs I have ever heard, and as near-perfect a jazz/rock/new age/fusion album as you can get.

The disc is the debut release from keyboardist Stephen Savage, who has taught music for over three decades at such prestigious institutions as the Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music. Savage is obviously not only a master of music academia and theory, but he is also an accomplished composer and performer as well.

The album primarily consists of Savage on keyboards, synthesizers, guitars, and drum programming, with his student and producer Michael O’Connell playing drums and percussion on several tracks. The numbers with O’Connell have a fresh late 1970s/early 1980s jazz/rock fusion vibe, which is refreshing in this current musical period of redundancy and regurgitation. Even though these tunes only feature Savage and O’Connell, the duo sounds like a full band, with Savage displaying great fusion guitar chops and O’Connell unleashing a kinetic sound that reminds me very much of Stewart Copeland of The Police. These are so good that Savage should seriously consider starting a trio or quartet with O’Connell and going on tour.

The solo songs with just Savage are perfect examples of new age, with broad, sweeping melodies and shimmering, ethereal textures, sounding very much like a futuristic sci-fi soundtrack. This is the kind of music that would be at home in a planetarium. It’s soothing and full of mystery, wonder, and awe.

While each and every composition is unique, none sound out of place.

This is both a winner and a keeper.

Helena Dee

STEPHEN SAVAGE HAS CREATED BRAVE NEW SYNTHESIZER SPACE MUSIC
Keyboardist Stephen Savage has taught classical music for more than three decades and has served on the faculties of both the prestigious Berklee College of Music and the New England Conservatory of Music, but when it came time to compose and record original compositions for his first album, Future Memory, he went in a different direction and created synthesizer-based space music.

“I love classical music, but I am energized by the possibilities of space music,” says Savage. “I especially enjoy how it allows me to subtly incorporate elements of ambient-new age, avant-garde jazz, modern-classical and electronica.”

Savage’s musical influences range from Pink Floyd to the modern classical music of 20th Century composers such as Bartok, Charles Ives, Elliott Carter, Varese, Stockhausen, Stravinsky and Copland; jazz starting with Parker, Coltrane and Monk, and moving through Hancock, Corea, Tyner, John McLaughlin, Weather Report and Pat Metheny; and the very avant-garde cutting-edge music of artists such as John Cage, Steve Reich and Pierre Boulez.

Five of the tunes of Future Memory include drums or percussion to add the rhythm element to the music, but most of the other pieces are space-ambient in tone, texture and style with a more floating presence as the tunes progress. While synthesizer is the predominant instrument, listeners also will hear piano, guitar, chimes and other familiar instrumentation. This album signals the emergence of a strong new voice in the realm of synthesizer music.