Most music publications and reference guides list David Arkenstone as a "New Age" musician...Self imposed and arbitrary labels of limitations set forth by some record companies are at times misleading at best. "New Age" is simply a format term for those unable to deal with traditional jazz but are not exactly ready for the easy listening section yet. Arkenstone is a multi-faceted artist, a musical visionary whose talents have transcended a plethora of genres and styles from the more symphonic oriented to Celtic along with some subtle New Age and World Music flavor and in doing so Arkenstone has opened the eyes and in some cases the ears of those previously unaware that much in the same vein as "Smooth Jazz" - "New Age" is a meaningless label at best but the best one A&R executives could come up with at the time and much like Smooth Jazz - the shelf life is limited with only the cream of the crop including Jim Brickman and Acoustic Alchemy being perhaps the three top acts to originate and excel at forming their own special artistic voice.
Arkenstone is a musical visionary, never allowing the self imposed limitations of "genre specific" stagnate his creativity with his new release Loveren (available March 5th) which is arguably the most ambitious project he has taken on thus far. New Age, Celtic, Ambient relaxation all find Arkenstone in what many consider a predictable wheelhouse yet upon closer examination there are a myriad of influences and a rich color palette from which Arkenstone and vocal artist Charlee Brooks set sail on a mermaid love story released on Arkenstones own QDV label. Arkenstone has the ability to transcend genre with music on a more cerebral level for many but with the uncanny ability to strike certain emotional chords in all of us.
Loveren is based on a story that Akenstone commissioned Steven Vlasak to create with a stunning end result which includes a full string section, New Age flash points, and world music rhythms while retaining a surprisingly pop feel of accessibility and development. Vocalist Brooks was inspired to craft lyrics and lush melodies based on the emotional qualities and aquatic means of communication, which led to the invention of the Mermish language. Think Avatar on the high seas. The Nashville Soul Choir create a celestial ambiance with the completed work bordering on a more post modern or neo-pop classical approach. A striking and open ended style of performance allows Arkentstone and Brooks to simply tell a beautiful story leaving the imagination of the listener to fill in any gray areas.
A stellar musical adventure for the heart and soul for all listeners but especially for those that long for and appreciate the beauty of exquisite melodies and the ebb and flow of a complete production.
Tracks: Origins; The Forbidden Sea; Lumaria; Sessa Nulma; Jamboree; Song of Loveren; Lost; Slip Away; Love Always Waits.
Photo from www.davidarkenstone.com