Showing posts with label Peter Calandra. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Peter Calandra. Show all posts

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Calandra-Ambient Tuesdays

Release Date: January 29, 2021

Label: Independent


The first thing I noticed on Peter Calandra’s new release Ambient Tuesdays was the texture of the album cover. If you look closely or blow it up larger you can see it has the same surface as the paper on canvas. It of course works very well because it is an oil painting and it looks like the image used was the actual painting. I think it was a clever idea to do it this way.

When I started to listen to the first track it was an instantaneous reaction of, yes, I know I am going to love this album full of ambient delights. It never hurts to be familiar with an artist, which I am with Peter. I go back to 2014 and here we are in 2021 already and the music just keeps coming, and I am very grateful for that.

Ambient Tuesdays
will take you on quite a journey, with each track offering the listener all the variety one artist can assemble in a recording session. There is gracefulness in this ambient aural exchange. With each track, there are so many elements intersecting you quickly realize the immense effort that went into recording all eleven tracks.

The very interesting and progressive title track starts the proceedings then the exciting and cinematic “Walking The High Line” changes direction entirely. If you can picture a situation or actual physical presence of someone attempting such a daring feat, the music certainly gets you there quickly with emotion and suspense sprinkling the image in your head with various sounds and keyboards. On the other side of that “Spring Morning” is a shorter piece that brings instant relaxation and peace. It is contemplative and meditative all at the same time and I could see if it went on for a few more minutes it would serve as a doorway to another state of mind, that higher plane of existence that meditation can take you. Peter is no stranger to bringing that kind of composition to a recording as the next piece, “Quiet Romance,” is everything it says it is in the title and it runs for 6:28. It gives any kind of listener ample time to stretch out, relax, and let the stress or worries of the day just disappear. It is a wonderful thing this spiritual-based music we have at our fingertips any time or anywhere.

Now if all of that was not enough Peter invites you to create “Your Story” set to the most elegant and inviting sounds. This allows you to paint your picture on a blank canvas with the music as your spark to some creative essence otherwise not found. Maybe you have something inside that needs to come forward or you need to rewrite your story and make it real. The music is the golden key to bring you there.

I particularly enjoyed the way Peter wrapped up the album with the two “Matriarch Suites” prelude and postlude, coming in at 7:10 and 5:54 respectively. The first suite reminded me of the wizardry of keyboard legends like Rick Wakeman and Jordan Rudess. Peter stretched out and gave his audience an aural bag of goodies with over 13 minutes of his keyboard prowess on display. I thought it was an amazing two tracks and I thoroughly enjoyed how many changes and developments all this music went through. As a matter of fact, on the entire recording there was so much diversity, but more so in these two suites than I ever expected.

Ambient Tuesdays takes the core beliefs of the new age genre and community tenets and uses them as a springboard to create and deliver gorgeous ambient instrumental soundscapes. The production values of this recording are superb and the use of the keyboards and different sounds it can generate is masterful.

The truth is you can have all of this and it does not have to be Tuesday to fully enjoy it!

January 12, 2021
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder

Track List:
01. Ambient Tuesdays (3:00)
02. New Renaissance (5:51)
03. Overlook Morning (4:24)
04. Rainy Mood (5:11)
05. Desert Skies (2:42)
06. Walking The High Line (4:04)
07. Spring Morning (2:47)
08. Quiet Romance (6:28)
09. Your Story (4:10)
10. Matriarch Suite, Prelude (5:54)
11. Matriarch Suite, Postlude (7:10)

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Calandra-Carpe Noctem

Release Date: August 3, 2018
Label: Pecamusic

Peter Calandra has been one of the more productive artists for several years. It seems like I finish one review than in a short span of time I am writing another one for him. That works for me as I believe he has been one of the most creative and eclectic artisans I have had the pleasure to work with.

I went into this listen of Carpe Noctem (translation Seize the Night) with a lot of anticipation based on the input Peter provided prior to my first experience listening to the recording.

Peter informed me of the following: Carpe Noctem is an album of ambient-sacred-orchestral music. When I was in undergrad school singing in the choir, we performed quite a bit of sacred music with the text in Latin. Music by Mozart, Bach, Beethoven etc. It was always inspirational to learn and perform this music and it's always been in my mind to write and record orchestral music with the choir. 

This is some of the most moving music I have heard this year in the new age genre and or sub-genres. Peter is the composer and author of all the orchestrations, digital sequencing, synthesizer and the cover artwork. I think it is safe to say that he is a multi-talented artist that brings a lot to the table regarding entertainment value.

What made this Carpe Noctem so special was not only the privilege of hearing it before so many listeners, it was the added bonus of all the Latin interpretations of each track. The cover art is another addition that makes this a complete experience of art, culture, and music. For my tastes that is the ultimate trifecta that makes any listen like a freshly brewed cup of aromatic coffee topped off with creamer and a spot of sugar. If you are a coffee drinker you will be able to relate better to that statement.

Carpe Noctem you could say is religious or spiritual experience, whatever fits your comfort zone or terminologies. Personally, I felt it was both, it negated any voids of my day with exceptional grace and beauty. Peter’s exceptional talents allow him to touch your soul significantly, with a brilliant use of the tools he brings to bear in each track. The use of synthesizers, orchestrations, and a choir creates a gorgeous and powerful combination that will embrace you in so many ways. 

From the opening of “Agnus Dei (Lamb Of God)” to the closing “Spiritus Mundi (World Spirit),” Peter takes you the listener, to a heavenly level of existence that transcends daily life. For this listener, that is all I could ask for is a transitory experience that is pleasant and memorable.

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
July 23, 2018

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

01. Agnus Dei  (Lamb Of God)
02. Carpe Noctem  (Seize The Night)
03. Aurora Scanderé (Dawn Rising)
04. Crucifixus  (Crucfixion)
05. Ars Vitae (Art Is Life)
06. Illuminare  (Illumination)
07. Invictus Bellator  (Unconquered Warrior)
08. Mane Pacificae  (Peaceful Morning)
09. Luna Benedictus  (Moon Prayer)
10. Sacrum Spera  (Sacred Trust)
11. Spiritus Mundi  (World Spirit)


New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Calandra-The Road Home

Release Date: July 1. 2017
Label: PCM

If you have a proclivity for instrumental music of the new age flavor, I have just heard a recording you will love. 

Peter Calandra is ready to unveil The Road Home. It will be released just before the July 4th Holiday. There aren’t a lot of fireworks going off on this album, it is more like a compilation of tracks meant for those of us that require an outlet to release tensions. An interval from all the thoughts, responsibilities and pressures of daily life.

The peace that Peter brings you is mainly through the keyboards however there are other instruments that successfully populate the compositions. Peter is a multi-hued professional adding percussion, acoustic guitars, synthesizers and melodica.  The melodica gives the music a distinct European color and atmosphere. On “The Cat’s Eye” it creates a picturesque scene like you are floating down a river in Vienna. You can see the scene developing in your mind’s eye as the music plays.

Great music has the power to deliver thoughts, colors, emotions or a scene from an ongoing movie that comes to life inside your head. The style and pace are different in each track; the artist controls the flow beautifully and he uses the synthesizers to his advantage. He creates layers of textures that are soft yet impactful and at times sound like a mini orchestra pushing the music to higher levels.

The moods are ever changing on The Road Home and Peter is driving it all home with his musical expressions. I appreciated the variety offered in this listening experience. It is the mixture of instruments and varying degrees of intensity that made it so interesting for my ears.

Peter Calandra has my respect and he continues to impress me with each successive release. Let his music be The Road Home to a place that only you know and find peace in.  It worked well for me so give it a listen and let it sweep you away for a while, day or night.

4/5 Stars

Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck
June 16, 2017

Founder of:

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

01. The New Dawn (feat. Joy Askew)
02. Mi Amore
03. Morning Dove
04. The Road Home
05. Night into Day
06. The Cat's Eye
07. Points in the Sky
08. Nocturnal Moods
09. At First Sight
10. Distant Dreams

New Age Music Review: Peter Calandra-First Light

Release Date: 09/21/2015
Label: Indie

Pete Calandra’s fifth studio release First Light takes the human condition, the beauty of nature and our inner spirit as sentient beings and turns it into instrumental perfection. The official release date is two days prior to the beginning of the Fall Equinox on September 23rd. I believe there is a connection there based on the type of music this is and the subject matter that evolves around it. Calandara uses various layers of keyboards then adds cello, oboe, violin and more to make it an orchestrated pathway to the heavens.

The instrumentation and soft voices that gather together for each composition are smooth and relaxing journeys. I felt as if this music could have a twofold purpose. My first impression was for the pure enjoyment of the listening experience and then secondly and perhaps more profoundly, as a meditative guide to awaken your inner most self. This would bring with it good thoughts and positive energy, the kind of energy that heals and makes the heart smile.

I believe the new age genre holds many gifts for the listener to discover, if of course your mind, body and spirit are an open book. 

The title track “First Light” is very fitting to the atmosphere and meaning of the recording and most obviously to the CD cover. The track is one of the outstanding compositions on the album and was featured on our RateThe Tracks site as well. This is a gorgeously picturesque track that grabbed my attention immediately and made the light of a new day a reality. That is what good music is supposed to do, particularly instrumental music of this ilk. It really should paint a picture in your mind’s eye and it most certainly does in this case.

“Valley of Two Lakes” connects you to nature…Mother Earth, which equals synchronicity of the soul with the planet in my mindset. It starts off very inviting and gentle with a blend of keyboards then changes and gives a path to a walk in a Japanese garden with plants, sounds and smells of nature putting you into a trance. I thought of my visits to Golden Gate Park in San Francisco many years ago while absorbing all the sounds into my consciousness.

I can see how this artist has been in demand to create soundtracks for other media outlets besides the general listening public. His multitude of talents and innate perception of what needs to be heard and the entire creative process is a truly a gift.

More beauty and the meaning of life will abound once again with “Circle The Time.” What is the relevance of time after all? Did not humans create that measure of life? We are specks of dust in a vast universe and the importance of it belongs to each individual but is there not a circle, a continuity of life itself that spins around on this earth? The track made me think of all this and ushered in the rest of the album with a stunning grace and beauty that was most appreciated by these ears.

First Light is a musical flight of color and sound that is passionate and wondrous. It will delight the auditory senses and give your surroundings a different meaning while listening. Once again as always, this is up to each individual listener. I can only relate to what the music does for me and how it communicates to me personally and hopefully other listeners will have the same rewarding experience. It was a nice feeling to have throughout the run of this album and I would recommend putting it on after a tough day at the office.

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: First Light, Valley of Two Lakes, Circle The Time

 01. Open Your Heart
02. Night City
03. First Light
04. Sunset Sky
05. Valley of Two Lakes
06. Keep The Faith
07. The Dream
08. Inner Secrets
09. Circle The Time
10. Flames of Love
11. Morning Star
12. Sunrise Over New York City (2015)
13. The Poet
Keith “MuzikMan” Hannaleck-New Age Music Reviews Founder
August 24, 2015
Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews

New Age Instrumental Review: Peter Calandra-Inner Circle

Release Date: May 1, 2014
Label: pcm

Peter Calandra is a New York based keyboardist, composer and producer. His talents range from soundtracks in film, television and several Broadway productions, teaching Masters level music classes in music technology and he has several albums to his credit. Inner Circle is a tribute to the fans and family that have been with Calandra through his long and highly successful musical career. Contributing artists on the album include: Joy Askew (vocals and vocal sampling), Tom Barney (acoustic bass), Ralph Farris (violin, viola), Kathy Halvorson (oboe), Kathleen Nester (flute and piccolo), Peter Prosser (cello), Stomu Takeishi (fretless electric bass) and Peter Calandra (piano, electric keyboards, percussion, as well as all digital sequencing, composition and programming).

 “Inner Circle” is the title track to the album. Working with the son montuno and tumbao rhythms of Cuban music, Calandra combines them with String Quartet writing, using the harmonic language of Debussy to paint a timeless tapestry of sound. I could not have picked a clearer example of this artist’s stellar musical vision and application. The light and airy quality of the textured layers is a phenomenal mix of whimsy and resolute beauty.

“Nightwatch” is a piece drafted from memories of Calandra’s job as a night watchman at the small village public marina near his home in Long Island when he was a teenager. Playing his Fender Rhodes in the booth in between his duties, he was able to get hours of practice, managing his time and pushing toward his goals. As he made his rounds, he left the classical or jazz music playing and loved to hear the sounds of the docks intermingling with the music. It is a sound he has captured in this piece. Piano, percussion elements, a feeling of walking a beat with purpose all come to life in this glimpse into the window of Calandra’s past.

“Chorale” has inflections of baroque and sacred music. Vocals wrap themselves around you in a rapture of angelic proportions. This is the picture you see in the fine art galleries of angels reaching into cloudless climbs. The first time I heard this piece I had to close my eyes and just experience the grand visualizations it brought out. Voices of loved ones greeting you after your earthly toiling is done combined with light multi-instrumentation to craft a masterpiece fitting to be the last song on this monumental album.

Peter Calandra is a composer, teacher, keyboardist and producer. His music was in large part inspired by jazz greats from the 1960’s like Herbie Hancock and Keith Jarrett. Inner Circle was started in 2013 in the Catskills studio and completed in 2014 in the NYC studio with live players, mixes and sound engineering. The album ranges from classic, jazz, Cuban and more. Calandra improvises, he composes and he finds the best medium for his musical voice whether that is a fellow artist or his own tremendous talent at the keyboard. For any fans out there, this album is worth the wait. (And on a personal note, the best birthday present a girl could have. So, I am going back to listen and find myself a cupcake.) Peter Calandra is an artist seen and unseen. You have probably heard his work in film, on television or if you take in a Broadway show. Just make sure you check out this album. It is worth every star in the sky and more…

5/5 Stars

Key Tracks: Inner Circle, Nightwatch, Chorale

Dana Wright

April 28, 2014

Review Provided By New Age Music Reviews


01. Clyde and the Pearl
02. Dine's Waltz          
03.The Wayfarer          
04. Better Angels         
05. Inner Circle
06. Faith
07. So Much to Say     
08. A Quiet Spark        
09. Nightwatch
10. The Dreamer
11. Whispers in the Dark          
12. Reflections
13. Chorale