great song! really tight and upbeat. ever-changing, which i like a lot. absolutely fantastic with all instruments. not always easy to put piano and electric guitar together,and make the piano stand out. in this song, it really works that way. each instrument is essential on it's own, yet layered beautifully. this one needs to be on a soundtrack, that's what i picture in my head. yes, fantastic all the way through. well done!
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Now, here we enter into a realm of aptitude that is not usually taken lightly. What does that mean? Well, you take any person that bases the majority of their music on the piano and sheer talent playing it, and you now must become either instantly educated, or simply go with the flow of the music and let it take you somewhere. We stand precariously somewhere in the middle of that mix.
First of all, JavaMusiK presents within his moniker a very tempting sense of interpretation. Either this is based upon cutting edge technology, or coffee based libations that soothe the soul (regardless of the insane high you may be able to achieve from straight Espresso)! Java, and the J2EE enterprise solutions being created around it is one of the most forward movements within the enterprise software architecture schemata, due intrinsically to its open source strategy and the incredible amount of genius it attracts. This leaves reason to believe that if Java follows the scope and performance it was originally drafted upon, it will continue to rival the .NET architecture, meaning it will maintain its relevance and importance within the higher echelons of technology. Now, let's slip surreptitiously over to the coffee element, which we here in the Land of Phrygia Caffeine Consumption and L-Lysine Absorption Labs actually think this is to portend: JavaMusiK is about the relaxed atmosphere the teeming listener may experience in a coffee house, sipping a large Latte, reading a good book, such as "The Straight Dope" by Cecil Adams.
OK, enough on the generalities and assumptions. Here, we delve into a musical escapade par non, except for a few magnificent composers of our time, such as Suzanne Cianni, David Borden, and the sphinx-like talent of John Williams (most notable - Star Wars, Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings). Now, each of these artists have an idiom in which they exist and perform - Suzanne Cianni, known for her flawless 'Hearts of Space' compendiums, is a new-age pianist that simply transcends boundaries through her ground-breaking work with the lone piano as her tool-de-force. David Borden, on the other hand, works within the experimental realm, such as Cuneiform Records' presentations of abstract interpretations; such as fractal geometries and the effect of pulsar waves on the human psyche and even so far as solar storms and their interference with the radio transmission of satellites and electric power stations. His music is meant to be a play upon the outer regions of brilliance, yet always seem to come "home" and feel like riding a bike through an Italian grotto on a fine summer day. John Williams, enough said - except for the fact that he scribes every track on piano and then transports it over to the full orchestral and majestic might of the London Philharmonic.
What does this all have to do with Jeff Van Devender and his JavaMusiK camp of enlightenment? Everything. This is where the teeming listener will experience all aspects of the three aforementioned artists come to fruition. Take "Distant Thunder" - a simple synth wash and modal chordal work introduces an incredibly clean yet volatile primed canvas upon which Jeff is now allowed to paint.
Listen to this track and pay close attention to the tempo switches, stylistic juxtapositions, and especially the contradictive left hand bass lines that spell out the verve of this track. It creates an atmosphere of tension, yet releases it immediately through resolution; so much so that we here in the Land of Phrygia have yet to comprehend how, because by most modal standards, Jeff is smashing barriers and giving a stiff middle finger to the conventional song structure and follows his OWN pattern, his OWN heart.
This is the kind of music that would be set against the most wrenching protagonist sort of scene on TV - such as the patient recovering from Aortal Flutter Cauterization surgery on the Discovery Health Channel, then emerging from the hospital, skipping out a small jig and celebrating the new lease on life just given.
Two points stand out in this track that simply bewilder - the sensitivity in the keyplay is paramount. The movement is fluid, yet sometimes drastic enough where a severe change of mood is invoked. This tends to extract extreme emotional responses from the teeming listener, especially if he/she has recently experienced something traumatic or discouraging, and JavaMusiK simply plays upon those heartstrings, lulling the heart to a jovial high, then subliminally crushing it, only to bring about the sense of triumph over all odds at the 2:38 mark.
The only thing we didn't quite understand was the intro... Why slide the fader back and forth on the synth? The power of the intro is there - it should actually come from both sides, rather subdued, then envelop the teeming listener in a wash that cannot be compromised. When a severe left/right pan takes over a synth build-up, it seems to lose the intended power. But regardless, if we switch to Dolby 5.1 Digital Surround, the Bose takes care of that anomaly and produces a rather rich and deep intro that deserves applause. All hail the advent of "smart" stereo separation!
The amount of determination that Jeff puts forth toward the outro is indicative of his nature - he wishes to completely resolve the track, where no question is left unanswered. We offer a great backslap to JavaMusiK for this, because it does not tend to hang the listener; plus it also allows us to observe the agility Jeff possesses - this simply means that he could sit in a blue room with an engineer and a director and they would say, "Here - at 24:19.25, we want to resolve the conflict within the movie, because the scene dictates that, and we want you to do that with music".
Say hello to one of the next potential PBS, Discovery, CNN, and major motion picture soundtrack recording artists; JavaMusiK. If we could only make 10% off his back when he hits the big time, we'd offer you ALL a cup of Java.
Phrygia belongs to no man - we put the GRR in Swinger, baby. Prepare yourself for the wrath.
I just finished listening to "Synyrgyze!" and was blown away by this very cool, fun & refreshing groove.
I've always had a "weakness" for hearing great piano playing & right now you've got me "bubbling over" with musical joy! Not a bad "weakness" to have, huh?!
By the way, I understand you won the JPF 2001 Song Awards for best instrumental album and song. Congratulations!
Michael Borges 6/10/03
Storm King Sacrifice
Beautiful, inspiring, pure and sublime. Most songs are lucky to have one or two of these qualities, yours has them all!
Michael Borges 10/4/03
The recording is excellent with a dead quiet background which makes the silence every bit as important as the notes being played!
The piano is clear and vibrant and stands alone just fine.
This piece builds up nicely and has a tragic but mysterious feel to it, for some reason it seems to remind me of Samuel Barbers Adagio for Strings just in the way it flows.
Great work Jeff
Uptempo piano-driven instrumental w/ rock instrumentation including lead guitar, bass, drum/percussion.
This is an excellent recording, crystal clear and well balanced!!
Where have I heard the very distinctive opening chords of this piece before? Very familar, I dont know maybe Manheim Steamroller or Dave Grusin?
None the less this is a piece that reminds me of the very likes of Grusin,
Do I like it? Oh yea I like it alright. This is pure musicianship, head over heels!!
Your music gives all of us (or at least me) something to strive for!
If it ends....nice synth and strings behind, very effective....a few cymbal swells, very effective....
Listening to Synyrgyze now.....also really nice....a little reminiscent of one of my favourite albums by Keith Jarrett, the Koln concert...you have probably heard it....Guitar adds a little variety....
This stuff is great Jeff....I love it all...you are a very talented guy... 10/5/03
Listening to "Strive" now....I love the way the phrases are played and then silence, very effective. Another beautiful piece here Jeff. Very expressive, like your other songs it makes me feel and that's great....love the end chord too.
"After the Rain" again so tender and beautiful, those ivories just tinkling melodically. Love those high clusters of arpegiation, reminds me of raindrops...
These are two more absolutely beautiful pieces, Jeff. I love every song you have played so far man. You are a special talent in my books...
I will play the rest of them on the page now.....Great stuff, my friend. October'03
Jeff, I listened to "Sunken Garden" three times.....this is one of the most beautiful pieces you have ever done.....this is pure passion on the piano...what a beautiful feel.....I will be listening to this a lot.....
Ode to Joy....I love what you have done to Beethoven's, I played that one when I first began to tickle piano keys, and it was a simple beginer's version, but your rendition is absolutely amazing....
For those of you who have not heard Java-Musik, you really are missing an incredible artist here, with works of art that are hard to find anywhere. He is a real and very rare piano talent with music that is so imaginitive and beautiful it's simply hard to beat....
Listen, you won't be sorry...you will be hooked....you will be coming back...I am. 10/31/03
I am adding these three tracks to the Worldwide Artists Radio network for DAILY promotion, because you are a very deserving artist, and I see that you are dedicating some of your time to your local church - very admirable! Keep up the good work...
Nice to meet you, and I'll be listening to you on a daily basis! Thank you for such beautiful music!!!