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Steve Hackett announces new album ‘Surrender of Silence’

Legendary guitarist Steve Hackett will release his new studio rock album Surrender of Silence on 10th September 2021, via Inside Out Music. The album features 11 new songs as Steve has been working hard through Lockdown and, for the first time, has completed two studio albums for release within the same year!

Hot on the heels of his classical-acoustic travelogue Under A Mediterranean Sky, which was released in January and hit Number 2 in the UK Classical Album Chart, Surrender of Silence is a further exploration of Hackett’s love of world music, discovering different sounds, moods and textures to deliver a rock album of extraordinary variety, power and beauty.

As with Under A Mediterranean Sky, Surrender of Silence was also recorded during Lockdown and, again, Hackett has called upon some of his musical friends from across the world to contribute. Hackett’s regular touring band of Roger King (keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements), Rob Townsend (sax, clarinet), Jonas Reingold (bass), Nad Sylvan (vocals) and Craig Blundell (drums) are supplemented by Phil Ehart and Nick D’Virgilio (drums), the vocal talents of Amanda Lehmann, Durga and Lorelei McBroom, Christine Townsend (violin, viola), Malik Mansurov (tar) and Sodirkhon Ubaidulloev (dutar).

This new album is full-on electric…

“Lockdown cobwebs are blown away in one fell-swoop here!” says Steve Hackett. “With the monster rhythm section of Jonas, Craig, Nick and Phil along with Rob’s soaring sax and bass clarinet, Nad, Amanda and myself on vocals, Roger’s darkly powerful organ and my guitar, we plunge full-pelt into that wild release of energy.”

Our journey takes us from the classical orchestrations of Russia (Natalia) to the plains of Africa (Wingbeats) to mysterious Eastern shores (Shanghai To Samarkand), all via the ocean’s depths (Relaxation Music for Sharks (featuring feeding frenzy)). The Devil’s Cathedral pools the talents of Hackett’s entire touring band and features King’s atmospheric Gothic organ and a powerhouse rhythm display from Blundell and Reingold.

Hackett’s vocals have never been bettered and his duet with Amanda Lehmann adds emotion to Scorched Earth a lament for the environmental horrors facing our planet. Throughout Hackett’s guitars add a rich tapestry of colour with soaring solos and intricate weaving melodies.

“It’s a ‘no holds barred’ album,” adds Hackett, “riding that wave, unleashing those demons, dreams and nightmares, all crashing together over the shore.

“I enjoyed the power of this album allowing my guitar to scream in joy and rage… and once again flying across those oceans to distant lands. It’s terrific to connect creatively with musicians from far flung places, particularly when we’ve all been unable to meet. We all have a voice in our cacophony of sound and we cry out together in the Surrender of Silence!”

Steve Hackett “Surrender of Silence” track listing:
1. The Obliterati (02:17)
2. Natalia (06:17)
3. Relaxation Music For Sharks (Featuring Feeding Frenzy) (04:36)
4. Wingbeats (05:20)
5. The Devil’s Cathedral (06:31)
6. Held In The Shadows (06:20)
7. Shanghai To Samarkand (08:27)
8. Fox’s Tango (04:21)
9. Day Of The Dead (06:25)
10. Scorched Earth (06:03)
11. Esperanza (01:04)

Steve Hackett shares writing credits with both Jo Hackett and Roger King on several tracks. All tracks were recorded by Roger King and produced by Steve Hackett with Roger King at Siren.

Surrender of Silence is released on 10th September 2021 as a Limited Edition CD+Blu-ray Mediabook in hardcover slipcase, Standard CD Jewel case, Gatefold 2LP+CD & LP-Booklet and Digital Album via Inside Out Music.

Prog Report Playlist – Steve Hackett

 

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Steve Hackett – Under A Mediterranean Sky (Album Review)

by Nick Tate

Steve Hackett’s breathtaking new album definitively answers the question: Is there no end to the former Genesis guitarist’s talent and creativity?

Under A Mediterranean Sky is Hackett’s first classical guitar album in 12 years and the hands-down best of the four he has released since leaving Genesis in 1977 (Tribute, Metamorpheus, Momentum and A Midsummer Night’s Dream). It also features some of the finest music he has produced over the last five decades – with or without Genesis.

Under A Mediterranean Sky marks a significant shift from the eclectic progressive rock that has defined most of Hackett’s solo career, as well the Genesis Revisited tours (and accompanying live releases) that have consumed him for nearly a decade. But it would be wrong to describe this sumptuous musical feast for the ears as a major departure. In fact, Under A Mediterranean Sky is the next logical extension of the steps Hackett has made into world-beat music, post-rock experimentation and neo-classical composition in recent years.

It follows closely on the heels of two strong albums he produced in 2019 – the sweeping studio release At the Edge of Light and Genesis Revisited Band & Orchestra: Live at the Royal Festival Hall — that neatly bookend the guitarist-composer’s growing interest in these new musical genres. Both albums embodied the progressive spirit that has always defined Hackett’s convention-shattering career. But they also reflected his growing interest in what he described as “films for the ear” in a recent interview – music that is symphonic, cinematic and deeply introspective.

Inspired by Hackett’s extensive travels around the Mediterranean with his wife, Jo – a talented author and composer in her own right – the all-instrumental album plays like a musical travelogue. On each of the 11 tracks here, Hackett’s nylon-string fretwork is front and center – showcasing why he’s in league with the classical-guitar masters who have clearly inspired him: Andres Segovia, Julian Bream and John Williams. But along the way, Hackett explores everything from pastoral European classical music to frenetic Middle Eastern folk, and everything in between. He even brings in the odd folk instrument to bring new textures to these compositions (duduk, charango or Iraqi oud, anyone?)

The album opens with “Mdina (The Walled City),” a mini guitar-and-orchestra concerto, inspired by the historic Maltese capital. The piece is a showstopper, featuring a dramatic symphonic introduction that echoes Stravinsky’s “Rites of Spring.” From here, the piece gives way to romantic Spanish guitar breaks and pastoral string sections that come together in an uplifting final coda. Clocking in at just under nine minutes, “Mdina” is as daring, theatrical and gorgeous as anything in the Hackett catalog.

The rest of the album divides along two distinct lines – with solo classical guitar pieces alternating with more expansive orchestral works – both of which showcase Hackett’s considerable chops and compositional skills.

On the solo-acoustic side:
• “Adriatic Blue” and “The Lorato” are contemplative etudes that neatly fit beside Hackett’s Bach-inspired prelude “Horizons” from the 1972 Genesis classic Foxtrot and his spare guitar intro to “Blood on the Rooftops,” from 1977’s Wind and Wuthering.
• “Joi de Vivre” is a sprightly piece that calls to mind Mason Williams’s “Classical Gas.” It demonstrates Hackett’s arithmetically precise fretwork as well as his knack for melodic invention, resulting in a sweet-but-not-saccharine musical valentine to French culture.
• “Scarlatti Sonata,” the only non-original track here, pays tribute to the Italian Baroque composer. From start to finish, Hackett fingers his way through a gorgeous – and jaw-droppingly complex – variation on the original melody that sounds both timeless and fresh.

Hackett balances these quieter solo pieces with more expansive tracks, scored for orchestra. These larger works feature a handful of long-time Hackett collaborators, including Roger King (keyboards, orchestrating), Rob Townsend (sax), Christine Townsend (violin and viola) and John Hackett (flute).

Among the highlights:
• “Casa del Fauno” plays like a film score in search of a movie – one that would give Oscar-winning composer Hans Zimmer a run for his money. Inspired by a visit to Pompeii, “Casa” is a beguiling waltz that weaves together lush violin and flute lines to create a delicate tapestry of sound that perfectly frames Hackett’s enchanting fretwork.
• “The Dervish And The Djin” is a wild gypsy dance that echoes some of Hackett’s darkest solo works, such as “The Steppes” and “Please Don’t Touch.” The piece features whirling Moroccan rhythms and a snake-charmed solo from Townsend that suggests the exotic vibe of Marrakesh or Kashmir.
• “The Memory of Myth” introduces a new flavor to the Hackett cookbook: Flamenco guitar. It’s a musical tear-jerker that opens with a weepy violin solo that sets Hackett up for a stirring guitar tour-de-force. It’s as achingly beautiful and melancholic as a Greek tragedy.
• “Andalusian Heart” is the most Genesis-like track on the album. With its intricate instrumentation, spare guitar lines and symphonic swells, the piece echoes the quieter passages on Wind and Wuthering and hints at the direction Genesis might have taken had Hackett stayed on.
• “Sirocco” is a lush miniature symphony, inspired by the savage winds of the Saharan and Arabian deserts, that would provide the perfect musical backdrop for a new staging of “Scheherazade.” The melodies Hackett pulls out of his guitar strings are, by turns, seductive and furious – buffeted by wild Moroccan rhythms and swirling strings.
• “The Call of the Sea” closes out the album in grand fashion. It’s another majestic guitar concerto that demonstrates Hackett’s ability to combine both feel and technique on the fretboard – and make it sound easy-peasy. It ranks among his finest works, with or without Genesis. This piece could become a fan favorite if he chooses to perform it live as a solo piece, beside “Horizons,” during the acoustic-guitar breaks that are a hallmark and highlight of Hackett’s concerts.

Hackett might have replaced at least one of the solo acoustic pieces here (“The Lorato” or “Scarlatti Sonata” perhaps) with a more conventional symphonic-rocker – perhaps as a bonus track – to satisfy long-time fans and vary the mix a bit. But with a package as rich as this one, this is a minor concern easily forgiven.

Taken together, the 11 tracks on Under A Mediterranean Sky deliver the kind of sophisticated music hinted at by Hackett’s early work with Genesis and on his genre-shattering solo outings since leaving the band. In short, the album finds one of progressive rock’s most innovative artists still challenging himself – and his audiences – with music that manages to break new ground while also keeping alive the flame of first-wave prog.

Worth noting: The album arrives just as Hackett’s former bandmates – Phil Collis, Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford – are gearing up for another Genesis nostalgia tour (without him). That tour is sure to feature the post-prog pop songs the trio made after Hackett and Peter Gabriel left for solo careers in the 1970s.

But regardless of where you fall along the Genesis divide – whether you favor the band’s proggier 1970s roots or the entertainment factory it later became in the 1980s and 1990s – Under A Mediterranean Sky is essential listening for any prog fan on either side of the aisle.

Highly recommended.

Released on Jan 22, 2021 on InsideOutMusic

1. Mdina (The Walled City) (8:45)
2. Adriatic Blue (4:51)
3. Sirocco (5:13)
4. Joie de Vivre (3:42)
5. The Memory of Myth (3:29)
6. Scarlatti Sonata (3:40)
7. Casa del Fauno (3:51)
8. The Dervish and the Djin (4:57)
9. Lorato (2:29)
10. Andalusian Heart (5:34)
11. The Call of the Sea (4:44)

Steve Hackett / nylon, steel string & 12-string guitars, oud, charango, sitar, harmonica, vocals, co-producer
Roger King / keyboards & programming, orchestral arrangements, co-producer, mixing & mastering
Jo Hackett / vocals
Christine Townsend / violin (5)
John Hackett / flute
Rob Townsend / flute (7), saxophone (8)
Malik Mansurov / tar
Arsen Petrosyan / duduk

Pre-order here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/UnderAMediterraneanSky

The post Steve Hackett – Under A Mediterranean Sky (Album Review) appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Steve Hackett launches video for ‘Sirocco’ from new acoustic album

Iconic guitarist Steve Hackett, releases his new acoustic album Under A Mediterranean Sky on January 22nd, 2021 Under A Mediterranean Sky is Steve Hackett’s first acoustic solo album since Tribute in 2008 and takes inspiration from Steve’s extensive travels around the Mediterranean with his wife Jo. The album will be releases as a Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP-booklet and Digital Album via InsideOut Music.

Today sees the release of the third track from the album, and last before the album release. Watch the video for the enchanting ‘Sirocco’ here:

Steve comments: “Visits to the vast and atmospheric Arabian and Sahara deserts of Egypt, Jordan and Morocco inspired this music.”

Working closely with long-time musical partner Roger King, Hackett has used his time during 2020’s lockdown to take us on an extraordinary musical journey around the Mediterranean, painting vivid images of stunning landscapes and celebrating the diverse cultures of the region. Famed for his rock roots with Genesis, and through his extensive solo catalogue, Hackett demonstrates the exquisite beauty of the nylon guitar at times venturing into the exotic ethnic and often supported by dazzling orchestral arrangements.

“A lot of acoustic ideas had been forming over the years, and it felt like the perfect time to create this album,” notes Hackett, “a time to contemplate the places we’ve visited around the Mediterranean with the kind of music which evolved from the world of imagination.

“Because we can’t really travel, substantially at the moment, I hope that the album will take people on that journey. Whether you sit down and listen to it or drift off to it with a glass of wine…”

Under A Mediterranean Sky features Steve Hackett playing nylon, steel string and twelve string guitars, charango and Iraqi oud. Keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements are by Roger King. Featured musicians are John Hackett and Rob Townsend, flute (Casa del Fauno); Malik Mansurov, tar and Arsen Petrosyan, duduk & Rob Townsend, Sax (The Dervish And The Djin); Christine Townsend, violin (The Memory of Myth and The Call Of The Sea). All tracks were produced by Steve Hackett and Roger King with all tracks recorded and mixed by Roger King at Siren.

“I had a great time doing this album, seeing it take shape, and I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’m very proud of it,” says Hackett. “The nylon guitar has a very individual sound but, within the compass of what the nylon-strung guitar can do, there are a lot of different tones. You can do the full-on attack, the kind of salvo that you expect from the flamenco players but, at the same time, it can also be very gentle, gentle as a harp. It’s shades of black and white. It’s also exciting to play alongside instruments from around the world, as well as a wide range of orchestral sounds.”

Track Listing:

Mdina (The Walled City) (Steve Hackett / Roger King)
Adriatic Blue (Steve Hackett)
Sirocco (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King)
Joie de Vivre (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett)
The Memory of Myth (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King
Scarlatti Sonata (Domenico Scarlatti)
Casa del Fauno (Steve Hackett / Roger King)
The Dervish and the Djin (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King)
Lorato (Steve Hackett)
Andalusian Heart (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King)
The Call of the Sea (Steve Hackett)

The album is now available to pre-order as Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP-booklet and Digital Album here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/UnderAMediterraneanSky

The post Steve Hackett launches video for ‘Sirocco’ from new acoustic album appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Steve Hackett launches video for ‘Andalusian Heart’ from new acoustic album

Iconic guitarist Steve Hackett, releases his new acoustic album Under A Mediterranean Sky on January 22nd, 2021 Under A Mediterranean Sky is Steve Hackett’s first acoustic solo album since Tribute in 2008 and takes inspiration from Steve’s extensive travels around the Mediterranean with his wife Jo. The album will be releases as a Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP-booklet and Digital Album via InsideOut Music.

Today he has launched the first single from the album, titled ‘Andalusian Heart’, and you can watch the video here:

Steve comments: “The beauty of Andalusia with its Moorish and Gypsy magic and the strains of distant guitars echoing through its ornate archways has to be experienced at least once in a lifetime. So many of the things that have inspired me about Spain are embodied in this romantic track, featuring Roger King’s orchestral arrangement, Franck Avril on oboe, Christine Townsend on violin and viola, and myself on classical guitar.”

Working closely with long-time musical partner Roger King, Hackett has used his time during 2020’s lockdown to take us on an extraordinary musical journey around the Mediterranean, painting vivid images of stunning landscapes and celebrating the diverse cultures of the region. Famed for his rock roots with Genesis, and through his extensive solo catalogue, Hackett demonstrates the exquisite beauty of the nylon guitar at times venturing into the exotic ethnic and often supported by dazzling orchestral arrangements.

“A lot of acoustic ideas had been forming over the years, and it felt like the perfect time to create this album,” notes Hackett, “a time to contemplate the places we’ve visited around the Mediterranean with the kind of music which evolved from the world of imagination.

“Because we can’t really travel, substantially at the moment, I hope that the album will take people on that journey. Whether you sit down and listen to it or drift off to it with a glass of wine…”

Under A Mediterranean Sky features Steve Hackett playing nylon, steel string and twelve string guitars, charango and Iraqi oud. Keyboards, programming and orchestral arrangements are by Roger King. Featured musicians are John Hackett and Rob Townsend, flute (Casa del Fauno); Malik Mansurov, tar and Arsen Petrosyan, duduk & Rob Townsend, Sax (The Dervish And The Djin); Christine Townsend, violin (The Memory of Myth and The Call Of The Sea). All tracks were produced by Steve Hackett and Roger King with all tracks recorded and mixed by Roger King at Siren.

“I had a great time doing this album, seeing it take shape, and I’m very pleased with the outcome. I’m very proud of it,” says Hackett. “The nylon guitar has a very individual sound but, within the compass of what the nylon-strung guitar can do, there are a lot of different tones. You can do the full-on attack, the kind of salvo that you expect from the flamenco players but, at the same time, it can also be very gentle, gentle as a harp. It’s shades of black and white. It’s also exciting to play alongside instruments from around the world, as well as a wide range of orchestral sounds.”

Track Listing:

Mdina (The Walled City) (Steve Hackett / Roger King)
Adriatic Blue (Steve Hackett)
Sirocco (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King)
Joie de Vivre (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett)
The Memory of Myth (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King
Scarlatti Sonata (Domenico Scarlatti)
Casa del Fauno (Steve Hackett / Roger King)
The Dervish and the Djin (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King)
Lorato (Steve Hackett)
Andalusian Heart (Steve Hackett / Jo Hackett / Roger King)
The Call of the Sea (Steve Hackett)

The album is now available to pre-order as Limited CD Digipak, Gatefold 2LP + CD + LP-booklet and Digital Album here: https://stevehackett.lnk.to/UnderAMediterraneanSky

The post Steve Hackett launches video for ‘Andalusian Heart’ from new acoustic album appeared first on The Prog Report.

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Nik Kershaw Interview – Oxymoron

Singer/Songwriter and 80s pop icon Nik Kershaw returns after a 7 year absence to the podcast to talk about his new album Oxymoron, his unique songwriting style, and more. Nik Kershaw’s connection in the prog world comes having worked with Steve Hackett, John Mitchell, and others.

For the full audio click the podcast link or download the podcast on
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Here for more info on Nik Kershaw.

The post Nik Kershaw Interview – Oxymoron appeared first on The Prog Report.

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