Category Archives: Leon Alvarado

Prog Keyboardist/Composer Leon Alvarado To Release New Concept Album “The Future Left Behind” Feat. YES Legends Rick Wakeman & Billy Sherwood!

LATFLB Sq med res

For Immediate Release

Prog Keyboardist/Composer Leon Alvarado To Release New Concept Album “The Future Left Behind”
Feat. YES Legends Rick Wakeman & Billy Sherwood!

Houston, TX – Hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed third album “2014, Music from an Expanded Universe”, keyboardist/composer Leon Alvarado will be releasing his new album “The Future Left Behind” on July 30, 2016! The highly anticipated new concept album features guest appearances by YES Legends Rick Wakeman & Billy Sherwood, as well as Johnny Bruhn (CIRCA:) and Steve Thamer.

According to Leon, “The idea of creating a concept album out of instrumental progressive rock music had appealed to me ever since I first heard Rick Wakeman’s ‘Journey To The Centre of The Earth’. What I found difficult was to create all the individual pieces that would unify the set of ideas into a single concept. It meant for me to come up with a story, some music and a set of visuals that together would form an inclusive experience. I started by working on music that had more of a cinematic feel than my usual, meaning that when played, it evokes certain imagery in the listener’s mind.”

Says Leon, “My goal was to create something that would combine the artwork and the music into one cohesive vision. I thought that basing my project on a sci-fi story would be very fitting and would give me the necessary creative space to make music that entices the imagination, like what Vangelis’, Rick Wakeman’s and YES’ music do for me.”

Billy Sherwood had this to say about his participation on the album, “It was my pleasure to be a part of Leon’s new record… I had a blast working on it and I’m sure fans of great music are going to enjoy this new record!”

Leon’s first album, “Plays Genesis and Other Original Stuff,” drew on his strongest musical influences, primarily, the many styles in Genesis’s lengthy career. By the time Leon released his second album, “Strangers in Strange Places,” he had refined his method and his vision, and it’s the audience who wins. “Strangers” features Brand X’s John Goodsall on guitar and the legendary drummer Bill Bruford (YES, King Crimson, Earthwork) and reveals an intertwining of progressive rock and ambient textural sound that blossoms in, “2014, Music from an Expanded Universe”. For this third release, he enlisted the talents of Trey Gunn (King Crimson) and Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oats).

And now, much to the excitement of Prog fans worldwide, Leon is set to release his latest masterpiece, “The Future Left Behind.” In regards to the guest performers, Leon explains, “To help the story along and properly set the pieces of music we recorded some narrated bits. I wanted a voice with a large presence. A deep resonating voice that more or less commands to be heard. Steve Thamer is a Canadian voice-over talent who majored in Classical Theatre and has work doing voice-overs for audio books, films and animated shorts.

“As for Billy Sherwood, I envisioned his involvement in the project from the outset. He played a big part in the recording and helped me in elevating the music as a whole. Billy is very down to earth and has to be one of the hardest working musicians I have ever met. He is also extremely proficient and doesn’t waste any time when it comes to getting things down musically.

“During one of my visits to California I went to see Billy’s other band CIRCA:. The guitar player was Johnny Bruhn. I’ve seen many people perform YES music before but Johnny’s guitar playing captured the feel of it so well that it left an impression on me. When this album was conceived, I knew I would have a place for him.

“I have the greatest respect for all the people involved in the project. I must admit that when it came to working with Rick Wakeman, I was a bit nervous at first. But in the end, it was one of those ‘pinch me’ moments that worked brilliantly. It’s not everyday that you have one of your musical heroes performing on a piece you composed.

“The last person to touch the material was Andy Jackson. This is my third project working with him and I couldn’t be happier about it. Andy is better known as Pink Floyd’s engineer of 30 years and his work has been nominated twice for Grammys. He won two British Hi-Fi Awards for his work with Pink Floyd and was a co-producer for ‘The Endless River’ album. What I really like about Andy’s work is his personal taste for sound. To me he is truly a magician at the controls.”

For the fans, although also available as a digital download, the CD version of the album has the most to offer. Leon envisioned the album to be something more than just a set of musical pieces. Instead, he immerses the listener in the world he has conceived through music, story and imagery, and allows their own imagination to fill in the details, creating a very personalized experience for each. “It is the most ambitious album I have created so far. ‘The Future Left Behind’ speaks to those who like Science-fiction stories and futuristic artwork. Like many of my projects, my approach is always to create something that I would want to see.”

Tracks:

1. PREFACE 1:16
2. LAUNCH OVERTURE 6:10
3. A VOYAGE… 0:49
4. JOURNEY INTO SPACE 2:39
5. WEIGHTLESS 2:24
6. HARD CHOICES 0:50
7. THE ONES LEFT BEHIND 6:14
8. LIFE IN THE OUTSIDE 0:55
9. AMONG THE STARS 6:06
10. MUCH ADO ABOUT… 0:36
11. IN OUR QUIET ORBIT 6:36
12. TO BE LOVED 2:43
13. A SILVER LINING 0:39
14. THE STAR SEEKERS 3:28

Leon Alvarado: Keyboards, sequencing, drums, percussion, launch control voices
Billy Sherwood: Lead and rhythm guitars on all except for “To Be Loved”
Rick Wakeman: Moog solo on “Launch Overture” and extra keyboards
Johnny Bruhns: Acoustic guitar on “To Be Loved”
Steve Thamer: Narration

Produced and mixed by: Leon Alvarado
Guitar tracks produced by: Billy Sherwood
Mastered by: Andy Jackson / Tube Mastering
All songs by Leon Alvarado
except “To Be Loved” by Johnny Bruhns and Leon Alvarado
Based on “The Future Left Behind”, an original short story by Leon Alvarado
Design and Illustrations: Synergy Design / LA

To purchase:
http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/leonalvarado5
http://mrrmusic.com/leon-alvarado/
https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/leon-alvarado/id304356695

For more information:
http://www.melodicrevolution.com
http://www.leonplaysmusic.com

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

Advertisements

Prog Instrumentalist Leon Alvarado To Release New Film & Single “Persistence”

LA Persistencesm

For Immediate Release

Prog Instrumentalist Leon Alvarado To Release New Film & Single “Persistence”

“A short adventure of sight and sound”

Houston, TX – On the heels of his critically acclaimed album from 2014, prog instrumentalist Leon Alvarado is releasing a new short film and accompanying soundtrack single titled “Persistence” on December 15, 2015. The film is being described as “a short adventure of sight and sound”. The soundtrack single features King Crimson’s Trey Gunn, and was mastered by Andy Jackson who co-produced the latest Pink Floyd album.

Says Leon, “The film takes its own point of view at the chaotic pace that’s involved in our every-day life as a global society. The point of the film is to look at the mostly man-made chaos and contrast it with nature’s own process of going through time. In order to make the point, I changed the context of events so that the viewer can appreciate them from a different perspective. The music is an evolution from my last CD which was titled ‘2014 Music From An Expanded Universe’ and wasn’t recorded to fit the film but the other way around. I have always felt that my music is very cinematic in scope and making a film out of one of the pieces would be a natural move on my part.

“The CD itself has only two pieces of music on it. Originally I intended to release the music as a download-only single and the movie on my newly created Vimeo and YouTube channels. As I got deeper into the project I decided to get some CDs made for the collectivists out there. I suppose I could have waited until I had more music finished and release a full album or an EP but the reality is that I am also working on other projects that are quite different from this one and those projects will require a great deal of my attention. When I recorded 2014 with Trey Gunn, there were some tracks from those sessions that I felt could serve as a base for more music. I often wonder about my music, what if I do this to this piece or, what if I would have taken a different approach to the beginning of this piece? Those sorts of questions often lead me to either create new pieces or re-work older pieces. In this case, it led me to create the piece titled ‘Persistence. For the CD itself I decided to add one more piece of music. I decided on ‘Red Like Blood’ which is one of the pieces that was released with the 2014 CD. It also happens to be one of my personal favorite pieces. In this way, the CD will have close to 13 minutes of music but more importantly, it will have two of the pieces that I am most proud of. The sound still very much influenced by King Crimson but still very original in its own right.”

“Persistence” was a track that derived from an idea Leon had during the 2014 sessions. It was a track where he and Trey kept going back and forth in trying resolve some issues with the percussion tracks. Says Leon, “I was aiming at a percussion track that had a heavy improvisational feel to it and yet, kept a structure from which we could build on. Even though I somehow managed to kept it all in time and with a somewhat logical sense of phrasing, the overall sound came out a bit confusing and we couldn’t get the rest of the instruments to quite develop their own parts until I reworked the drums and percussion. In the end it all worked out fine and we were able to move forward. After a few months, I went back into the studio and expanded the piece. I also added more percussion tracks as well as other tracks including the sounds which can best be described as a mix between a drowning cat and something Adrian Belew would do if he played under water. Jokes aside though, the sounds were fun to work with and in my opinion, add a lot to the overall piece.”

As far as the film goes:
Says Leon, “Usually the difference between something looking professional or not is money. Making your own albums or making your own short films require lots of money which is something we could always use more of. I self-finance my projects so I have to be very conscious of where my money goes. Like many people I have big dreams but not enough funding to make them happen. Instead, I get creative with my approach. I have been fortunate enough to have travelled around the world. Some places leave a bigger impression than others but when I visited Japan it left a big impression on me. Tokyo is an amazing city that at night it takes a very science-fiction aura to it. It is a place where old traditions literally meet the latest in technology creating sometimes such a big contrast that can be taken as chaotic, depending on your point of view. To capture the frenetic pace of it was something that appeal to me. Like Tokyo, there are many places in the world that carry a similar sense of what I call ‘controlled chaos’. Vegas for example may not seem that chaotic despite the large mass of people walking the streets but when it’s viewed through time-lapse photography, it changes the way we perceive it and it starts to look more chaotic. And of course, in most of the places that I have visited I didn’t have a high-end video camera to capture everything I wanted to capture. When it came to make the film I went to a firm that specializes in handling stock footage and its rights. With the help of a friend of mine who’s in the video business, we looked at hours and hours of film stock before settling into what we would use for the short film. The real job came into editing all of the cuts that comprise the film. I hope that people will like it enough to share it with friends. My main goal is to reach as many people as possible to watch the short. The few people that I have shown the final cut seems to really like it which is always encouraging.”

Leon’s recordings date back to the late 70’s, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he released his first album, ‘Plays Genesis and Other Original Stuff’. The record drew on his strongest musical influences, primarily, the many styles in Genesis’s lengthy career. By this time he had been living in the United States for some time as an award-winning designer creating, among other things, artwork for album covers and promotional posters for many of the bands and musicians he had been originally impacted by, such as Jethro Tull, Roger Waters, Phil Collins, King’s X, Yes, Genesis and Jeff Beck. Approaching the work as both soundscape and visual has given Leon unique insight into broadening the experience as a whole.

By the time “Strangers in Strange Places” was released in 2010, Leon had refined his method and his vision, and it’s the audience who wins. “Strangers” features Brand X’s John Goodsall on guitar and the legendary drummer Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Earthwork) and reveals an intertwining of progressive rock and ambient textural sound that then blossoms in his third release, “2014, Music from an Expanded Universe”.

Not one to sit idle, Leon already has his next project slated for release in 2016, an album of original music featuring ex-Yes men, Billy Sherwood and Rick Wakeman, as well as a solo project of previously unreleased pieces. These push further into the artist’s evolution as a first foray into cinematic instrumentals and classically inspired composition.

In closing, Leon has this to impart, “I hope that people will watch the short film and listen to the music. My wish for this project is for it to make people take notice into my other projects and check for themselves what my music is about. I have had the good fortune to have worked with and featured some very well-know talented people in my projects. Some of them are my musical heroes, people like Bill Bruford, John Goodsall, Trey Gunn and Jerry Marotta to name a few.

“To the people that might have seen the name but aren’t too sure if they want to plunge at least a dollar for a download, please do. If you like bands like Genesis, Yes, King Crimson and Tangerine Dreams, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed and if for whatever reason you do end up disappointed, take refuge in knowing that it was only for the same price as a pack of cheap gum.

“Next for me is the completion of my latest album which is very different from my last CD and the music for the short film. It is a project that’s taken a lot longer than I ever anticipated but at the same time I didn’t want to rush just to release it. For that project, I have some very special guests like Billy Sherwood, who plays the guitars throughout the album and Rick Wakeman, who makes an appearance in one of the songs. The project is not quite finished so there is always a chance for other guest musicians to show up. I will also like to make more videos to go along the music of my existing catalogue so expect some of that. You can watch my videos, promos and interviews on my Vimeo or YouTube channels.”

The new CD single includes the tracks “Persistence” and “Red Like Blood” (from Leon’s “2014 Music From An Expanded Universe” album).

To watch the film:
https://vimeo.com/channels/leonplaysmusic
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk3dE4aIG_LmMFmfHKQGdpA?spfreload=10

To listen to the music only:
http://mrrmusic.com/leon-alvarado/

http://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LeonAlvarado

For more information: http://mrrmusic.com/leon-alvarado

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


Prog Keyboardist Leon Alvarado To Release Third Album Featuring Former King Crimson and Peter Gabriel Members!

Leon Alvarado cover 2014

For Immediate Release

Prog Keyboardist Leon Alvarado To Release Third Album Featuring Former King Crimson and Peter Gabriel Members!

“Full of atmosphere and beautifully put together.” – Steve Hackett

Houston, TX – Much to the anticipation of prog fans worldwide, keyboardist/composer Leon Alvarado will be releasing his third album ‘2014, Music from an Expanded Universe’ on October 30, 2014, the first under the Melodic Revolution Records banner. For this mini-LP, Leon enlists the guitar skills of Trey Gunn (King Crimson), the masterful drumming of Jerry Marotta (better known for his work with Peter Gabriel, as well as Orleans and later Hall and Oates) and the ambient music duo better known as “Cyber Zen Sound Engine.”

Says Leon, “The whole idea of the CD started by the need to put out some new product in between full albums. It had been a long time since I had put out new music and I decided to make sure I released something in 2014. What drove me to take the path I took was my wanting to work with some of the King Crimson guys on new music. Once the project started to take shape I kicked around some ideas regarding the packaging visuals. I have always liked the out-of-this-world look of the artwork by the recently departed Swiss artist H.R. Giger and I thought something with that sort of flavor would give the thing an air of futuristic surrealism. I think in a strange sort of way it suits the music. The actual song titles got settled in at the end of the project with the exception of ‘Blood Like Red’ which is in a way an homage to King Crimson’s music. The way I pitched the music to Trey Gunn was by describing it as a sort of ‘Crimson-Light’ type of project. So, if there is a message in this thing it would be the fact that I am consciously trying to move forward with my music while expanding the catalog with something that is fresh with creative ideas and the creative input from some very talented and well-respected musicians.”

As with many musicians, The Beatles were Leon’s first musical influence. However, as a teenager he was introduced to progressive rock via Genesis…and he was hooked. Other music artists that attracted Leon were Yes, Pink Floyd, ELP, Jethro Tull, Camel, Gentle Giant, Premiata Forneria Marconi, Tangerine Dream, Brian Eno, Synergy (Larry Fast), Tomita and Vangelis. And of course, there were solid rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Deep Purple.

Leon’s recordings date back to the late 70’s, but it wasn’t until 2008 that he released his first album, ‘Plays Genesis and Other Original Stuff’. The record drew on his strongest musical influences, primarily, the many styles in Genesis’s lengthy career. By this time he had been living in the United States for some time as an award-winning designer creating, among other things, artwork for album covers and promotional posters for many of the bands and musicians he had been originally impacted by, such as Jethro Tull, Roger Waters, Phil Collins, King’s X, Yes, Genesis and Jeff Beck. Approaching the work as both soundscape and visual has given Leon unique insight into broadening the experience as a whole.

By the time ‘Strangers in Strange Places’ was released in 2010, Leon had refined his method and his vision, and it’s the audience who wins. ‘Strangers’ features Brand X’s John Goodsall on guitar and the legendary drummer Bill Bruford (Yes, King Crimson, Earthwork) and reveals an intertwining of progressive rock and ambient textural sound that then blossoms in his third release, ‘2014, Music from an Expanded Universe’.

Not one to sit idle, Leon already has his next project slated for release in 2015, an album of original music featuring ex-Yes men, Billy Sherwood and Rick Wakeman, as well as a solo project of previously unreleased pieces. These push further into the artist’s evolution as a first foray into cinematic instrumentals and classically inspired composition.

Leon explains, “The new CD is more or less another expansion of my musical reach. It’s very different from anything I put out before and yet, it still has some of the DNA found in my other pieces of work. The name ‘2014 Music From An Expanded Universe’ is indicative of my intentions. I wanted to release a CD in 2014 and I wanted to be different from my previous work and be fresh. The expanded universe in the title refers to my personal musical universe and how I as a musician, try to take the border of my envelope and push it a bit further. At the time I was also involved in working on two other projects. One of them has a couple of ex-Yes men in it and the other is a compilation of pieces from sessions I have done throughout the years but have never been released before. For ‘2014’ I wanted to work with some of the Crimson guys that I had met over at Dreamland Studios outside of Woodstock. Dreamland is a studio operated by Jerry Marotta, the brilliantly creative drummer better known in the prog circles for his work with Peter Gabriel. It was there where I met Tony Levin and Trey Gunn. These guys weren’t only some of the best at what they do but also some of my personal musical heroes. It took well more than a year before I contacted Trey to participate in the album. I asked him if he would be interested in taking on the bass parts as well as the guitar’s and he agreed which ended up working brilliantly. Trey is the consummate professional and I got to say that working with him was a great experience. On two tracks I have Jerry Marotta’s drumming on his Taos drums kit which is a set consisting of hand-made natural log drums built by a company of the same name in New Mexico. Jerry is an extremely talented musician who happens to be a natural for percussion. The album also includes the ambient music duo of Smith6079 and Gracenotex (better known as Cyber Zen Sound Engine).”

Tracks include:
1. IRREVERENCE PART I
2. THE 2014 MICROCOSM
3. BLOOD LIKE RED
4. IRREVERENCE PART II
5. CINEMANIA “ALIVE”

In closing Leon has this to impart, “I try to create the type of music that I would like as a fan. I feel that there are many people out there that have a similar taste in music to mine. For those people, I would strongly encourage them to give it a listen because they may like what they hear. There are lots of influences in my music but my own pieces transmit their own original sound and vibe. I try to put my imprint on what I do, even when working on a cover song. I do music for music’s sake.”

To purchase:
CD Baby: https://www.cdbaby.com/Artist/LeonAlvarado
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/leon-alvarado/id304356695?ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Melodic revolution records: http://mrrmusic.com/leon-alvarado/
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Leon-Alvarado/e/B0055PD4LC/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1412696839&sr=8-1

For more information: http://mrrmusic.com/leon-alvarado

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