Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic Explore New Music from a Quieter Place
Mindfulness music leader Real Music presents Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers, the pioneering third album in the award-winning Blue Landscapes series from internationally renowned pianist Robert Thies and flutist Damjan Krajacic. The instrumental album ushers in the new new age by generously offering 15 improvisational tracks; Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers is scheduled for worldwide physical and digital release and available everywhere music is sold on January 24, 2020; visit myndstream or Blue Landscapes for more information and music.
When Krajacic and Thies were introduced by a mutual friend in 2006, no one foresaw that their very different backgrounds and music pedigrees would lead to a prolific collaboration lasting over a decade and resulting in four albums. Krajacic (a native of Zagreb, Croatia) is a globetrotting performer who holds a Master of Music degree in Afro-Latin Music from CSU and has studied with jazz, Latin-jazz, and classical masters all over the world, including James Newton, while U.S.-born Thies' strict classical music training led to a Gold Medal win in the famed Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia, countless worldwide concert performances, as well as a recording career in the Film/TV industry.
What emerges when the universe aligns to support artistic curiosity? As their friendship grew, the artists found common ground in their love of music and nature, and eventually the idea of improvisation became the jumping off point for exploring an undefinable new sound that is often described as "blissful."
"Blue Landscapes is inspired and grounded by our love for Earth's beauty and all of her natural wonders. Whether it be the motion of the seas, the majesty of the mountains, the rhythmic flow of the rivers and streams, the migrations of her creatures, or the mysteries of the forests, all feed the imagination," they share, adding "It is our hope that this music will take you to a quiet and reflective space."
The music of Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers continues the tradition of the duo's earlier collaborations, in that the album was improvised over the span of five days, except for two previously composed works -- "Le Musicien" and "Goodbye." Though the music draws from the same spacious atmosphere and feeling of the previous Blue Landscapes albums, this album continues to explore different compositional approaches, metrically and texturally. Listeners will be intrigued to discover that all the sounds on the album were acoustically created on flute and piano, often by using extended techniques not commonly associated with the instruments, such as "puttied" strings on the piano or various textures on the flute.
Music writer Jonathan Widran observed, "Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers has a few colorful outliers that stretch their artistry, most notably, ‘The Abandoned Monastery,' which features Robert's four-voice chord progression and an eight-bar chorale-type phrase he visualized Damjan doing; Damjan in turn recorded each voice on bass flute. Another track that sets itself apart is the hypnotic ‘Forest Path,' whose main structure is a loop that Robert created on the piano using puttied strings. He used the sound those strings created to form a rhythmic and harmonic structure to the piece."
Much like life, improvisation is unpredictable, and sometimes magical. Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers delivers an honest, spontaneous musical conversation capturing breathtaking moments in time. Recorded live with minimal overdubbing, the uncertainty of the process enabled the musicians to reach deep and let go, unifying with the listener both musically and spiritually. The result is intimate music that evokes uplifting visions of nature, and reinforces a feeling of connection to our planet, and to all of humanity.
Beginning their history as friends and collaborators in 2006, Krajacic and Thies released a crossover improvisatory album, Difference, which eventually led to Blue Landscapes (2012) and Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries (2016), two albums of original compositions and improvisations. Critical accolades and a couple of well-deserved awards brought the duo to the attention of Real Music, which is planning the global, multi-format release for Blue Landscape III: Frontiers on January 24, 2020.
"From the first moment I heard the tracks of Blue Landscapes III, I knew this was going to be a special record, a record Real Music would be fortunate to release," says Darren Blumenthal, President, Real Music. "Improvisation in music is risky, but when executed well, you can sense the breath of the music that by design is unpredictable and uniquely original. I am confident the world will agree the execution here is flawless and Blue Landscapes III will forever live as an important soundscape for listeners' own personal landscapes."
The Global Music Awards honored Blue Landscapes III: Frontiers with a Silver Award; explore the past decade of reviews and accolades, as well as the artists' complete biographies on the official Blue Landscapes website.