|......................................THE BAND AND RECORD OF THE MONTH|
Persephone’s Dream are a band that has worlds of potential and in a constant state of musical emotion. Their music is sensitve, heavy, dark, intense, melodic and atmospheric, with elaborate orchestral arrangements and, extensive instrumental parts, mixing of different styles into one extremely captivating piece of music. The compositions are packed with tons of musical ideas, where the musicians blend musical elements from many sources and styles such as, Progressive Rock, Prog Metal, Melodic Progressive Rock and Melodic Gothic Metal. Fans of instrumental music adventure, will listen constantly intense guitar solos, sometimes symphonic, sometimes aggressive, intricate drum patterns, thundering bass and atmospheric keyboards, perfectly complement by melodic and angelical female vocals. If you want some references, think about the power from "Rush", the symphonism from "Mostly Autumn" and the atmospheric instrumental from "Strangers On A Train". "Pyre of Dreams" is the fourth Album and, deserves all your attention to all songs, mailing the following tracks: "Threnody", "Nightfall", "Temple in Time" but in special "IV. Camlann", "Android Dreams", "Aphrodite" and "Alien Embassy". As the band sad: "Misterious Music for the Mind". Brilliant and fantastic, highly recommendable...
musicians on the band are:
Persephone’s Dream began as an idea late in the 1980’s; an idea for a prog-rock band fronted by a dynamic female singer. While not an entirely original concept, it was clearly something that was rare and was definitely something that was not to be found anywhere on the music radar of time. By late 1993 this idea had begun to actually take form as Rowen Poole and Chris Siegle began writing and recording music for what would become the first release from Persephone’s Dream, "Evening Mirage", in 1997. It was not until the 1999 release, "MoonSpell", that people from around the world began hearing of the band and its music. By 2001’s release, "Opposition", the band had become well known in the progressive, metal and goth communities and was appearing at a number of the well known musical festivals around at that time. The band and its intense stage and light show won fans over at every live performance.
Rowen Poole - 6, 7, and 12 String Electric & Acoustic Guitars, Synths, Keyboards, Lyrics - As an astrophysics student and astronomy enthusiast, Rowen looks beyond the familiar to ponder the mysteries of space. As a musician, he goes beyond the expected to explore the complexities of time. Over the years, Rowen’s musical voice has found expression on a variety of instruments: first flute (for three years), then drums (five years) and later bass (15 years). A college class in electronic music sparked an interest in playing synthesizers. But it was Buck Dharma of Blue Oyster Cult, Alex Lifeson of Rush and both Walter Becker and Skunk Baxter of Steely Dan who got him to park the four string and pick up the six (and seven), while the inspirational playing of Dream Theater’s John Petrucci and Ozric Tentacles’ Ed Wynne continue to offer fresh ideas and new perspectives. In December of 1993, Rowen and Chris Siegle formed Persephone’s Dream as a studio project. But studio project became viable live band, which evolved into the current recording and performing colossus with a legion of fans worldwide. The exploration goes on….
John "JT" Tallent - Percussion, Bells, Whistles, Noises, Chimes, Birds, Odd Sounds - John (better known as JT) joined the band in 1998 and made his recording debut on the MoonSpell release. His presence has greatly enhanced the power and intensity of our music, and his vast array of instruments--from African hand drums to castanets to tubular bells, gong, and much, much more--is truly something to behold when PD takes the stage. Whether he’s adding lush textures, augmenting a song’s main rhythm or introducing polyrhythms or counter rhythms, JT keeps things interesting while maintaining a solid pocket and laying down a massive groove. Early influences while still behind the drum kit included Ed Schaunessey, Dino Danelli and Jim Keltner, and it wasn’t long before JT was drawn to the dynamism of such iconic progressive rock drummers as Bill Bruford and Phil Collins. But it was the intoxicating rhythms of distant lands like Morocco, Spain, Tangiers, Tibet, the Ivory Coast and others that encouraged him to start collecting world percussion instruments in the mid-1970s. Today, fans travel far and wide to experience JT’s world, a world that must be seen, heard and felt to be believed.
Heidi Engel - Vocals, Lyrics - Maybe every young woman who sees Disney’s Sleeping Beauty thinks to herself, “Hey, I want to sing opera.” But few have the desire, talent and sheer determination to pursue that goal, much less succeed at it the way Heidi Engel has. The daughter of two professional musicians, Heidi’s musical experiences can be described using two words: intensive and expansive. Some highlights: Participant in an opera apprenticeship program for the Pittsburgh Opera (Rigoletto, 1999); vocal studies under Broadway performer Greggory Brandt and NYC opera singer Louisa Jonason; backup singer to Kenny Rodgers during the northeast leg of his tour (2002); acceptance into ASOP (American Singers Opera Project) in 2003, where she worked with some of NYC’s most renowned opera singers (Nancy Milnes, Mark Rucker); and other credits too numerous to list. She comes to Persephone’s Dream not a sleeping but a singing beauty, and in the band, her opera training and an earthy, soulful pop sensibility blend seamlessly. Keep your eyes—and ears—open for her inimitable and highly expressive voice, soon to be featured both onstage and on upcoming recordings as PD retools for an even more vibrant musical future.
Kelly Fletcher - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Percussion, Lyrics - Kelly’s feelings about music are deeply held and fiercely passionate. Exhibit A: Kelly, age 9, threatens to set fire to the family piano if lessons don’t cease pronto. Exhibit B: Kelly, age 13, persuades her high school band director to slip her a key to the band room so she can cut class and practice drums, her real love, instead of clarinet, which she has been issued despite her protestations. (No threat to set the licorice stick ablaze, though. Evidently, even though they’re both made of wood, clarinets don’t burn nearly as well as pianos do.) She grew up listening to Queensryche, Deep Purple, Metallica and Testament, but her musical tastes at present are somewhat more mercurial (current favorites include The Gathering, Ozric Tentacles and Steely Dan). Kelly is a professional writer, having studied creative fiction writing and literature. She’s also a 1st Dan Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do, Hosin Jitsu. Given Kelly’s past, releasing a CD with the word “Pyre” in the title is something of a dicey proposition. Thankfully, however, the only fire she’s generating these days comes from her incendiary vocal and percussion performances with PD.
Colleen Gray - Vocals, Backing Vocals, Lyrics - Whether as a soloist or the featured vocalist in a band, Colleen has enjoyed a distinguished musical career, both on recordings and on stage. In addition to her work in Persephone’s Dream, she recently co-wrote, recorded and performed two tracks on the second solo CD by ex-Lemur Voice and Sun Caged guitarist Marcel Coenen. Titled “Colour Journey,” the CD’s material debuted live in the Netherlands in January 2006, with Colleen stepping to the mic for several songs. Her unique, expressive vocal style, influenced by the male singers who have historically dominated the heavy rock and progressive rock genres but also by such unforgettable female vocalists as Heart’s Ann Wilson, ranges from hauntingly beautiful to in-your-face intense, often within the same PD composition. Music and art intersect in another dimension of Colleen’s life as well: her position as a professional multimedia designer has afforded her the opportunity to work with some of her favorite bands. In fact, Colleen is the Web Administrator for the official Fate’s Warning website. Colleen’s credo is as profound as it is simple: “create and be creative-musically, visually and technically”.
Jim Waugaman - Keyboards, Pianos, Organs, Backing Vocals - Sinuous, intimate, masterful, haunting, uplifting, unforgettable. All are adjectives that describe Jim’s piano, organ and synthesizer work in Persephone’s Dream. At Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, Jim studied piano with Beverly Nero and Dave Budway and organ with Jean Raevens. Equally at home in classical, jazz, rock and pop genres, he also seeks and finds inspiration in the traditional music of China, Japan and India, was well as the folk music of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. From keyboard players in the vanguard of progressive rock (Keith Emerson of ELP, Kerry Minnear of Gentle Giant, Flavio Premoli of PFM) to jazz giant Chick Corea, Santana’s Greg Rolie, the iconoclastic Thomas Dolby and international notables Akiko Yano, Masaji Watanabe, Ryuichi Sakamoto and Takashi Kako, Jim’s influences are as rich as they are varied. By turns atmospheric and exotic, provocative and evocative, Jim’s keys are the key to the latest PD sound.
Scot Harvey - Drums - Before joining Persephone’s Dream, Scot was the drummer in the Zappa-inspired prog-satire ensemble ESP, which both amazed and amused Pittsburgh audiences from 1994 to 2000. The acronym ESP is particularly apropos, since he still provides ESP in PD: an Extremely Solid Pulse from an Exceptionally Supportive Player. Scot began his drumming career at the tender age of 5, banging odd meter rhythms on any horizontal surface he could reach. He later studied drums, mallet percussion and piano at West Liberty State College. Thanks to his sensitivity and technical prowess, Scot makes even the most complex rhythms sound deceptively simple. A fan of King Crimson, FZ, Genesis and both jazz and folk artists too numerous to mention, Scot is one of the few people on earth who actually owns a Mellotron, but due to its size (think fridge) and weight (think sedan), he refuses to bring it to rehearsal.
Jonathan "Strobe" Fleischman - Lighting, visual effects, costumes, props, performance art design - Strobe discovered his talent for lighting in Middle Earth thanks to another Tallent: JT Tallent. Strobe was asked to do lighting for a live musical/theatrical show titled Rhythms of the Land, a tribute to J.R.R. Tolkien’s imaginary world written and performed by JT and former Persephone’s Dream drummer Ed Wiancko. Strobe and his wife Wendy collaborate on inventive prop ideas to accompany his dramatic lighting effects, and their mutual efforts have made PD’s stage show a memorable experience for audiences since 1999. Even though PD monopolizes as much of his time as he’ll allow, Strobe has also worked with such notables as DC Cooper and Silent Force, The Flower Kings, Land of Chocolate, Fuzzy Comets, The Red Masque, Church of Hed, Cheryl Ann Hawk, Izz, Brave, Harder Edge, The Igniters and others.
John Lally - 4 and 5 String Bass, Chapman Stick - 2006-2007 - While John Lally spent just under two years in PD, his impact on the band was tremendous. John's superb playing and unusual style can be heard (and felt) on six of the twelve songs on Pyre of Dreams. In one of the sadder chapters of PD history, John passed away quite unexpectedly on Saturday July 14, 2007. We will miss John, his skills as a musician and his friendship for a long time! Rest in Peace, John!
Chris Siegle - 5 String Bass, Flutes, Backing Vocals - 1993-2005 - A founding member of Persephone’s Dream, Chris had a significant and lasting impact to the band that extends far beyond the musical contributions that he made on stage, on our three previously released CDs, on four tracks on Pyre of Dreams, and on such instruments as five string bass, keyboards and flute.
Ed Wiancko - Drums and Percussion - 1998-2002 - Ed was the original drummer and percussionist of Persephone's Dream. A force on the drum throne, whether it sat behind the acoustic or electronic kit, Ed appeared on both the Moonspell and Opposition CDs as well as making a cameo appearance on Pyre of Dreams. Ed now keeps the beat strong in his other original Pittsburgh rock project, On Beyond Zebra.
Karin Nicely - Vocals, Lyrics - 1998-2003 - With the power of a young Grace Slick and a graceful presence that kept audiences riveted, Karin fronted PD on two CD releases. She left the stage on countless nights to the din of thunderous applause. She left the band to focus her energy on her family and young child. And that, too, deserves to be applauded.
Steven Hogue - Drums, Bodhràn, Backing Vocals, Lyrics - 2002-2005 - Upon Ed’s departure from PD, the drum chair was more than capably filled by this stick-wielding powerhouse. Steven helped write and arrange virtually all of the compositions on the Pyre of Dreams release, and the intensity of his drumming is well represented on our latest effort.
"Pyre of Dreams"
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