Interview With David Arkenstone; From Symphonic Rock to New Age
On making Visions of Christmas:
"I had a great time, mostly because we recorded it with the whole band, live. Half the tracks are me and then the other tracks--right after we got off tour we went in the studio and recorded them... so that was exciting. That made it a little different than any of my other Christmas albums of course, because I had my friends all doing their thing.
Christmas Lounge was way different. I got asked to do that by this company and I thought it was going to be either disastrous and wacky or cool. And I think it became cool... and wacky.
I love going different directions... that are unusual for me, like a 'what the hell is he doing?' kind of thing. [laughing] I enjoy that because I think, as an artist, you have to do that. I know a lot of artists who just do the same thing and it's kind of disappointing--because you know they could do more, but they don't.
I don't want to be that kind of artist. I'd rather do a bunch of things that didn't work and take the shot than be safe." ~~ David Arkenstone
Video interview: David Arkenstone - From Symphonic Rock to New Age
The name David Arkenstone has rested upon the wearied cornerstone of music known as New Age for far too long. During the late 1980's a new breed of musician spawned a new genre of music; theatrical, orchestral, cultural, technological: it was branded as New Age. Since that time the genre, at first murky to even New Age artists, has become glutted with any musical form which cannot be handily labeled.
David Arkenstone's music was moved into the genre, probably more for convenience than for any resemblance it bore to others in the genre. His music over the years has been eclectic, ever changing, always however, it has been far closer to his own term for it, "Symphonic Rock", than to what most people would classify as New Age.
He began his career in 1987 on Narada records and quickly gained attention, along with three Grammy award nominations. He was often compared with Mannheim Steamroller and Trans-Siberian Orchestra, no small compliment for a one-man, musical techno-wizard. He then moved on to Windham Hill records where he worked with an incredible stable of artists from many different genres.
This year saw the release of David Arkenstone's sixth Christmas album, Visions of Christmas, which I recently reviewed. Along with that album, David has also been working on the latest World of War Craft, Cataclysm, to be released in time for the holidays this year, as well as the soundtrack for Echoes of Creation, a film by Emmy award winning director Jan Nickman which will be airing this month on PBS stations.Continued on the next page