Category Archives: Dennis Haklar

Guitarist Dennis Haklar & Percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo Journey Into Inner Worlds On New Album “Transcendance”

For Immediate Release

Guitarist Dennis Haklar & Percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo Journey Into Inner Worlds On New Album “Transcendance”

Guitarist Dennis Haklar & Percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo released their new album “Transcendance” on August 15, 2020. This collaboration between guitarist Dennis Haklar and Grammy award winning master percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo began as a studio improvisation, and developed into a journey to another world. Appearing on “Transcendance” is the beautiful and mysterious Steffie Moonlady adding her ethereal vocals.  Moonlady was instrumental in the overall production of “Transcendance” which offers healing energy to our Planet during this challenging point in time.

“Transcendance” is a journey into inner worlds. It is the process of release through sonic meditation. Travel inward, unafraid, with full belief in yourself, knowing that what others think will not disturb or deter you. Tune into the vibrations of sound and transcend to the “Inner”.

Says Dennis, “Gio and I got together at my studio, ‘Europa’, in Orlando. We recorded a series of improvisations. The sessions were so intense that they lasted for days. I had hours of material to go through and sonically sculpt into what has become ‘Transcendance’. At first it was overwhelming sifting through the best of moments, but that is the beauty of improvisation, you never really know what will happen until you are in the moment. This is a 180 degree spin from trying to create music through online collaboration, or playing to previous recordings, or even to composed music. Improvisation is an art that can take a lifetime, or perhaps several lifetimes to get ‘right’. On the other hand it can happen effortlessly. The key is not to be restricted by expectations of the industry, not to play according to your genre.

Giovanni has a huge fan base in the Latin jazz genre, when he and Dennis did this they agreed to be themselves and not be restricted by anyone or anything. The pieces on “Transcendance” were not composed in the conventional sense of ABACAB form, or any form even remotely related to that. Essentially, the duo strove to create a new genre. The music is hard to classify, they will leave that up to the listeners…

Says Dennis, “Living with the tracks, I studied them and began to extrapolate what were the most powerful moments. I then added my sounds and created the transcendant textures. At the point where it began to really take on a life of its own I decided to bring in Steffie Moonlady to add her vocalizations rounding out the textures with a beautiful female touch. Once she completed her tracks, I presented it to Gio and asked if he was cool with his tracks. He came back to add some fine points, icing on the cake. The mixing took months to complete. On certain pieces, I had over 64 tracks to mix. Moonlady was very instrumental in helping me find the right balances, pans, and textures.”

Dennis Haklar first started performing music at Rutgers University.  During this time, he joined the Improvising Structures Ensemble lead by minimalist composer Dan Goode. The group also featured jazz saxophonist Eric Kloss. They performed the music of John Cage, Terry Riley and others. After a few years playing with this ensemble he left to work as a session guitarist at Pyramid Recording Studio. He eventually became the chief engineer of the studio and worked with Gloria Gaynor, Kool and The Gang, Whitney Houston and many others. Dennis released his first solo work “Lizard’s Tale” as a composer, arranger, engineer and producer utilizing what he learned over the years. The album featured Larry Coryell, Jon Anderson, Mark Egan and Thierry Arpino. After working with Larry Coryell on “Lizard’s Tale”, Dennis got to know Larry Coryell better and they started working together more and more. They became close friends. Coryell asked Dennis to work on the final Eleventh House album “Seven Secrets”. He composed “Dragon’s Way” with bassist John Lee and played acoustic on the album.

During his career, Giovanni Hidalgo has worked with Bola Abimbola, Sikiru Adepoju, Art Blakey, Muruga Booker, Jack Bruce, Don Byron, Candido Camero, D’Angelo, Paulinho da Costa, Steve Gadd, Sammy Hagar, Kip Hanrahan, Zakir Hussain, Cassius Khan, Airto Moreira, Charlie Palmieri, Tito Puente, Hilton Ruiz, Paul Simon, and Carlos “Patato” Valdes. Hidalgo received a Grammy Award for his contribution to the album “Planet Drum” performed by an ensemble of the same name led by Mickey Hart of The Grateful Dead. He played on another one of Hart’s Grammy-winning albums, Global Drum Project and on the album Danzón (Dance On) by Arturo Sandoval which won the 1995 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Performance. In May 2010, Hidalgo was awarded an Honorary Doctorate of Music from Berklee College of Music.

“Haklar and Hidalgo seamlessly blend their talents across a sonic landscape that evokes a wide emotional range, at times both energizing and tranquil, resulting in an impressionistic feast for the ears. With its tasteful use of ethereal guitars, globe-trotting percussion parts, and spacey vocal flourishes, ‘Transcendance’ provides a vastly rewarding listening experience.” – Paul Sky

In closing Dennis has this to impart, “It is our hope that our music will give you a sense of inner peace. We are here together on this planet dealing with challenges as they happen. We all have the innate ability to Transcend. Reach inward and outward knowing that we are part of a something greater. Release by taking a moment out of your day through ‘Transcendance’. Love and Light!”

Tracks
1. Bongui
2.Timba
3.Venus
4.Flamas Azul
5.Crystalline
6.Inner
7.Crotales
8.Mara
9.Shekere
10.Invo
11.Frames

Giovanni Hidalgo: All percussion including Congas, Tablas, Bongos, Chekere, Crystal and Metal Bowls, Shakers, Rainstick, Wooden Sticks, Bodhran, Bells, Chimes, Synthesized Percussion.

Dennis Haklar: Acoustic and Electric Guitars, Bass Guitar, Citera, Synthesizers including Roland Guitar Synth, Moog, Arp 2600 Modular Synth, Samples, Analog Tape Effects.


Stefanie (Moonlady) Haklar: Vocals, Processed Voices

Recorded at Europa Studio, Orlando, Florida 2020
Recording, Mixing, and Mastering Engineer; Dennis Haklar
Assistant Engineer; Stefanie (Moonlady) Haklar
Produced by; Dennis Haklar, Stefanie Haklar (Steffie Moonlady), and Giovanni Hidalgo
Compositions by; Dennis Haklar and Giovanni Hidalgo ©℗ 2020
Moon Phase Publishing (BMI) / Hidalgo Speaks Music (ASCAP)
Graphic Design (Album Cover): Erik Haklar

To purchase:
https://dennishaklar.com
Amazon Music:
https://www.amazon.com/s?k=giovanni+hidalgo+and+dennis+haklar&crid=IWBHFYZ43PG6
Apple Music:
https://music.apple.com/us/album/transcendance-feat-dennis-haklar-giovanni-hidalgo-steffie/1527138426
Google Play:
https://play.google.com/store/music/album/Giovanni_Hidalgo_and_Dennis_Haklar_Transcendance?id=Bfhnlncj2lafdxiymqzgbt6oc6i&hl=en_US

For more information:
https://dennishaklar.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/dennishaklar

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 1-828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com


Dennis Haklar’s ‘Lizard’s Tale’ Featuring Music Legends Jon Anderson and Larry Coryell Now Available!

For Immediate Release

Dennis Haklar’s ‘Lizard’s Tale’ Featuring Music Legends Jon Anderson and Larry Coryell Now Available!

Oct. 1, 2012 – Central, NJ – The music community is buzzing with excitement about the debut CD release by guitarist Dennis Haklar titled ‘Lizard’s Tale’, featuring guest performances by music legends Jon Anderson (YES) and Larry Coryell. Also featuring Mark Egan on bass (known for his work with Pat Metheny) and Thierry Arpino (known for his work with Jean-luc Ponty) on drums, ‘Lizard’s Tale’ is an enchanting, dynamic jazz-inspired album filled with emotional virtuosic performances.

“Dennis Haklar asked me to sing on his very inspired album earlier this year, we had already been working on a large scale project dealing with Ancient Asian music, so it was such fun to hear what he was creating. I said I would enjoy singing ideas as they came to me, and to join vocally with such great musicians. It has been a pleasure for me to sing on this album, I hope that people will find time to relax and enjoy.” – Jon Anderson

Hailing from Amboy, New Jersey, Haklar studied jazz guitar at an early age. At Rutgers University he became interested in Electronic music and worked with a modular Arp 2600 synthesizer with many osc modules, sequencing, as well as several reel-to-reel tape machines, creating sounds in unorthodox ways. After college he joined the Improvising Structures Ensemble, which was an avant garde outfit that performed the music of John Cage, Terry Riley, as well as original compositions. Dennis entered one of his pieces into a young composers competition and won a student membership to IRCAM in France. This culminated in a master class with Pierre Boulez at Carnegie Hall; an evening he conducted and premiered his masterpiece “Explosante Fixe”. Haklar confesses “I was never the same after that divine experience!”

And how did Dennis Haklar secure such music icons as Jon Anderson and Larry Coryell to perform on his debut album? Dennis explains, “A few years ago I began to collaborate over the internet with Jon Anderson on a large-scale work. Charka Music, very involved. I had also sent him some music I had written. He sang on several pieces and we continue to collaborate. When I was working on composing the music to ‘Lizard’s Tale’, I had sent Jon four compositions we had just recorded in the studio – ‘Leap Of Faith’, ‘Prelude To Dawn’, ‘Dawn Of An Era’ and ‘Crossing Over’. He quickly responded with the perfect vocal tracks and really helped convey the meaning of the songs. I love working with Jon!” As far as connecting with guitar legend Larry Coryell, says Dennis, “I had known Larry Coryell for several years studying jazz improvisation and composition with him. I had presented some songs to him that I was preparing for this project and asked if he would be interested in playing on the recording session and producing it. He agreed and we got to work straight away. We had composed the title track in one sitting. As the project developed we had agreed that the best rhythm section for this would be bassist Mark Egan and drummer Thierry Arpino.”

“This was a great session – it was a real ‘Jersey-New York’ thing complete with bedbugs in the hotel down the street from the studio, which was either too hot or too cold – plus there was all kinds of equipment and mechanical problems. Nothing went smoothly – hence it was a great record, sometimes it’s like that. Dennis’s European-inspired work ethic also paid off – especially for his compositions and arrangements. One twelve-string part he wrote for me was not easy to play, and he was makin’ me sweat – but I got it after he showed me the correct fingering. Mark Egan and Thierry Arpino were superb – we’ve been playing together for some years now, and they are a tight team. I was blown away by the beautiful contribution made by the great Jon Anderson – I’ve always been a fan, and he certainly has evolved to a special place in the vocal spectrum. And so in tune!! It was a crazy session – and a good one – that’s why I nicknamed this date as ‘Denny and the Mad Hungarians’.” – Larry Coryell

The concept behind ‘Lizard’s Tale’ is awareness. The lizard represents friendship, and is quick to escape from harms way. The lizard can survive for long periods of time in harsh environments. The pieces on ‘Lizards Tale’ evoke the ability to look inward for peace and harmony with the universe, to flow with it. “Leap Of Faith” is about courage to face the unknown and leap without fear. “Dawn Of An Era” is about the realization that this is not the same world as your fathers and we must adapt to survive, like the lizard. As the lizard runs across the desert, he looks to the heavens and dreams of crossing over. We journey with the lizard.

In closing, Dennis has this message to impart to his listeners: “Look inward to find that place of peace. Move towards the realization that we all come from a place of love. There are always conflicts surrounding. Unrest is an ever-changing world. Let go of bad energy and amp the good. My wish is that people hearing the music will become a part of it, and allow it to become part of them.”

To purchase Dennis Haklar – ‘Lizard’s Tale’ CD: http://www.abstractlogix.com/xcart/product.php?productid=25585&cat=0&page=1
CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/dennishaklar

For more information http://dennishaklar.com/

Press inquiries: Glass Onyon PR, PH: 828-350-8158, glassonyonpr@gmail.com