KAREN JACOBSEN

* How has music inspired you? Your musical inspirations?

Music is such a deep part of my being. It is actually difficult for me to put into words how far reaching. Since I was very small, I have been amazed and inspired that music can make one feel such extremes of emotion. I've been inspired to dedicate my life to creating, writing, sharing my experiences, and connecting with people through music.

* Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

I experienced a major transition when I moved from Australia to New York City, leaving all of my family and friends on the other side of the world. I literally threw myself into the creative process. It was an enormous blessing to be able to process my experiences through my writing. At that time I was also performing with many different singer/songwriters in New York City, and listening to a huge range of styles and it was very powerful fand nurturing for me to spend so much of my time envelloped in music.

* Any CDs/songs which are meaningful to you?

Joni Mitchell - Hejira

Jonatha Brooke - Plumb

Jenny Bruce - Soul On Fire

Abba - Arrival

Stevie Wonder - Musiquarium

Songs:

Over The Rainbow

* Discuss the creative or songwriting process --

Since I was seven years old, melodies and lyrics have appeared in my head. Almost always together. I spent many years writing only at the piano. As soon as I would hear a phrase, I would make a beeline for the piano to finish the song. I learned over time to write away from the piano, and now write mostly when I am on a plane, a train, a bus, or walking down the street. Something about motion is very creative for me. I'll generally finish a song in one sitting, but of course there are songs I've completed literally over the course of years.

* Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music can have on a person

It is both awe-inspiring and scary how powerful music can be on someone's life. I'm a positive person, and I'm consistently told how full of hope my songs are. That makes me really happy, because it is very important to me that my music has a constructive and positive effect. I'm all about putting love out into the world, and helping people to understand themselves, their path, and to heal.Karen Jacobsen is all about connecting with people.

By weaving pop piano with her passionate vocal style, she creates a powerful dynamic between
herself and her audience. You can’t escape the confronting honesty in her songwriting. From one
breath to the next she can blow you away with the strength of her voice, and then kill with a whisper.

Karen was born to touch people’s lives with her music. As legend has it, her Mother took piano lessons while
carrying her. Originally from Mackay, a country town in the tropics near Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, she
performed in a concert at the age of five and her destiny was set. When she was seven she started to write songs and learn classical piano, but was drawn to musical theatre, the pure pop of Abba and her childhood idol Olivia Newton-John. Winning a local song contest at the age of thirteen, Karen’s dream of a career in music felt within reach, and she was perfectly happy to fill every waking hour with music.

After high school, Karen moved a thousand kilometres south to Brisbane where she studied Jazz Voice and
Piano at the Queensland Conservatorium of Music, winning the Jazz Prize and being awarded the Warana
Young Performer Of The Year.

Relocating to Australia’s largest city, Sydney, Karen’s career flourished. An original cast member of the
Australian production of the Broadway show Buddy – The Buddy Holly Story, Karen also toured the country
with Australian Rock Legend Jon English’s show Turn The Page. In Sydney she showcased her songs with her
own band at The Basement, Harbourside Brasserie, Starfish Club, The Cat and Fiddle, The Sydney Acoustica
Movement’s Tuesday Night Club, the Iguana Bar, Side On Cafe, Club Acoustica, the Commercial Hotel’s
Acoustic Lounge and the 3 Weeds, and appeared as one of ten selected Singer/Songwriters at the critically
acclaimed and sell-out Joni Mitchell nights held in Sydney at The Basement in 1999.

Gaining national television exposure as a regular performer on Good Morning Australia, Karen also
appeared on The Midday Show, I Do I Do, Ernie & Denise, Sunday, At Home, Newsworld and has performed
her songs in Malaysia, Thailand and at the Los Angeles Circle Of Songs Showcase.

With a burning desire to be in a creative community, Karen recently left the shores of her homeland and
moved to New York City. Her first Manhattan appearance was at The Bitter End only two weeks after
her arrival. She also performs at The Living Room, Ruby Fruit, The Cutting Room, Makor, The Duplex and at the New York Songwriter’s Circle. Karen tours regularly to perform with members of artist collective UrbanMuse NYC at clubs and colleges along the East Coast, and showcased at the 2002 NACA Conference in New England.

Making her US Network Television Debut, Karen performed recently at the Mohegan Sun Arena for the
NBC TV Special Dare to Dream 2002: A Concert for Hope, as part of a lineup that featured Uncle Kracker
and Jars of Clay among many others. Karen co-wrote the theme song, “Take Me With You In My Dreams” with Cheryl Beecher-Zeldin for the beneficiary of the concert, the Bert Zeldin Foundation, founded by Cheryl in her late husband Bert’s honor. NBC-TV aired the concert nationally on August 31st, with Karen closing the starstudded extravaganza. and Access Hollywood described the song as “Wonderful writing...simple and clear and from the heart. Powerful, sweeping emotion.”

Karen’s two intimate piano and vocal CDs As I Am (2000) and Being Brave (2002) have garnered critical
praise and a deeply emotional response from listeners. Her songs have also led to recognition, and in the past
year she won 1st Place in the Singer Songwriter Category of the Dallas Songwriting Contest, has
received two Honorable Mentions in the Pop Category of the Billboard Song Contest, 2nd Place in the Pop
Category of the Austin Songwriter Contest, an Honorable Mention in the John Lennon Song Contest,
and named as a Finalist in the Unisong International Song Contest.

Karen is a recipient of the ABE OLMAN AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN SONGWRITING, from the Songwriter's Hall of Fame. The award is a $1200.00 grant given to one artist from each U.S. performing rights organization, BMI, ASCAP and SESAC. Karen is a member of SESAC. The award will be presented at the Songwriters Hall of Fame Induction Ceremonies on June 12th, when Phil Collins, Queen, Van Morrison and Little Richard are inducted into the Hall of Fame at the Marriott Marquis Hotel in New York City. The National Academy of Popular Music/Songwriters Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 by songwriter Johnny Mercer and publishers Abe Olman and Howie Richmond. The NAPM/SHOF is also devoted to the development of new songwriting talent through workshops, showcases and scholarships. Karen
has also been selected to perform at the SHOF Showcase in New York City in March, 2003.
www.karenjacobsen.com/   www.cdbaby.com/cd/jacobsen2

ATARAXIA

* How has music inspired you?  Your musical inspirations?

I began listening and creating music when I was six or seven years, from that moment I rarely stopped listening to it or singing for a while. Music came and I began transforming, colouring and personalising it when I was a child, it was such a natural thing.

I'm passionate of history so I had and have a great interest in ancient music like Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque at the same time, I actually appreciate avant-garde contemporary music projects and research.

* Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

I think so, music was a way to escape a very hard time in childhood. Through music and writing I built my world and my defences. This is the way I utilised to suffocate pain transorming it in pure creativity. I think that if I had had better times creativity would have always come to inspire me but in a different form, less strong, less passionate.
 
* Any songs or CD's which are meaningful to you?
 
One of the most beautiful albums we I have ever heard is: " O espiritu da paz" of the Portuguese ensemble Madredeus.

* Discuss the creative or songwriting process --
 
Music flows as water, we don't look for it, we don't spend efforts to create the good thing, it just comes unexpected and copious.  It's like a river that in Springtime is richly charged of rain water and spread it around, on the earth. Words ( and the choice of a special language expressing it) come spontaneously too, a sort of medianic act that can't be explained. Probably our experiences, remembrances, some images are unconsciously associated to a special sequence of notes.

* Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music can have on a person --
 
When we started playing we felt bad, something unresolved and stifling was inside us, at the beginning music through harsher forms helped us immensely to
get rid of this, month after month, year after year, music was a unique way to sublimate our pain before and our dreams, feelings after.  I actually lived that process of passing from oppression to fulfillment, in some moments we actually feel free and enlightened.  Music makes us discover the purer and better part of us as human beings and permits us to share it with the others.

Francesca Nicoli

Ataraxia are a few Italian artists who explore and create music, painting/images, poetry and theatre and who dedicate their entire life to art.

We feel like being travelling pilgrims mainly inspired by our actual and inner voyages in places that still own the nobleness and charge of centuries, we express through music what we obtained in silence.

Ataraxia is a spiritual balance, the research of physical and psychical harmony so difficulty achieved by human beings.  ATARAXIA becomes a state of tension able to open our minds and be receptive towards life experiences.  The act of creation that leads to enlightenment is the beginning and the aim of our research
New release Saphir-April 2, 2004
.www.ataraxia.net/

CHARLIE MATO-TOYELA

* How has music inspired you? Your musical inspirations?

MY MUSIC GIVES ME THE MOTIVATION AND FOCUS ON GOALS AND OBJECTIVES THAT LAY IN MY PATH. MY PARTICULAR TYPE OF MUSIC, CONSIDERED AS NATIVE AMERICAN (I CALL IT TRADITIONAL) PAINFULLY REMINDS ME OF THE DEATHS AND TRIALS OF MY PEOPLE IN THE NOT TOO DISTANT PAST. WITH EVERY ANDEAN SONG OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS, I AM REMINDED OF THE MANY LIES WITH WHICH MY CAPTORS SHACKLE ME. AND WITH ALL OF THE PEOPLE WHO SELL MY SPIRITUAL BELIEFS, ANOTHER DAGGER TO MY HEART. 

* Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

FINDING OUT WHO AND WHAT I AM AND HOW WE ARE STILL BEING TREATED TODAY IS ONE OF THE MOST TRAUMATIC ONGOING EVENTS OF MY LIFE. ONCE AGAIN, MY MUSIC IS THERE REMINDING ME THAT OTHERS HAVE SURVIVED AND MANY HAVE PAST-WON BATTLES, THERE IS HOPE FOR MINE.

* Any CD's or songs which are meaningful to you?

THE CD "SAVIA ANDINA" IS PROBABLY MY FAVORITE-WITH ITS MILLENIUMS OLD STYLE ENGRAINED INTO MY SOUL, BUT A CLOSE SECOND IS "JOURNEY TO THE SPIRIT WORLD BY BUDDY REDBOW"-SIMPLY STATED, A FULLBLOODED LAKOTA TRADITIONALIST WHO FOUND THE WAY BACK HOME.

* Discuss the creative or songwriting process--

BEING CREATIVE IS INSIDE ALL OF US, BUT IT IS THE ACCOMPLISHED PRACTITIONER THAT HAS MASTERED HOW TO FOCUS CREATIVITY.
TOO MANY PEOPLE IN THE WORLD HAVE GIVEN IN TO OBSESSIONS OF LUST AND CHEMICAL ABUSE WHICH LEAD THE MIND AWAY FROM BEAUTY AND CREATIVITY RATHER TO FULFILL "INSTANT GRATIFICATION" WHICH IS THE FOCUS OF MOST AMERICAN CITIZENS AND BUSINESS.
THE SONG WRITING PROCESS IS JUST A SIMPLE EXTENSION OF THIS CREATIVITY.

* Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music can have on a person.

 ON THE SIMPLE SIDE, MANY PEOPLE ARE ONLY LIVING LIFE AS A DANGLING THREAD AT THE END OF A LONG - OVER WEIGHT PENDULUM, IN MANY CASES, A WAVE IN THE AIR (MUSIC) IS THE ONLY THING WITH WHICH THEY CAN FEEL TO SWAY. BUT I BELIEVE THAT BRUCE LEE SAID IT BEST, QUOTING AN OLD DAOIST/BUDDHIST PHILOSOPHY, WHEN YOU DROP A PEBBLE INTO THE POND, YOU CREATE RIPPLES...

At age 18, Charlie decided to travel around the Pow-Wow circuit with relatives and learn more about his people’s music and customs. One of his cousins was very skilled at flute making and took Charlie on as his apprentice for the next 2 years teaching him other things such as traditional crafts and knife making. After only a few years of making Native American flutes, Charlie had already become a very in-demand flute player. He has performed at numerous pow-wows, gatherings, public events, colleges, military facilities, festivals, and fund-raisers and has even been a featured artist on P.R.I. He stands alone in the celebrated names of Native American flute players as a youthful and aggressive, calm and mature flutist. Many people have shared in the peace of his tranquil music and personality, which makes him easy to work with.

Today, Charlie and his family spend much of their time teaching others the beauty of
Native American culture and helping their people overcome the poverty and indignities set upon them from the beginning of the “Columbian-era”. There are many youth classes that they attend at schools, sharing with the children ideas of old ways of life, traditions and even the process of flute making.

Charlie has now been playing the traditional Native American Flute(s) for well over 13
years. For the past 5 years he and his wife Jessie have been digitally recording his flute music in natural-environments as well as in their home studio. Charlie’s feel for mechanics as well as sound has helped in their studio’s creation and also in the seamless-complexity and beauty of the music that comes from it. Recording and performing are ambitions from early on in his life that actually existed before his flute playing. Writing plays as early as the second grade and starring in them clued his teachers and family to his many talents. These abilities and many others show off so well as melodies breath-takingly integrate with both other sounds along with environments both created and natural. The full experience of Charlie’s music is greatly enjoyable throughout all of his recordings.

In September of 2000 he had his first non-exclusive contract with the company
NorthSound Music Group, a relaxing/natural-music record company that produced cd’s with such sounds as wolves howling and thunderstorm movement across the plains. Their displays once were known to be the only few of their kind, and could be heard as you walked through the Target department stores. Of the 4 recordings that he contracted with NMG, 2, Peace Seeker and Lakota Legends, were of the first of their kind in Wal-Mart stores across the U.S. Another album was sold at Shoppe Co., as well through catalogue sales. The Wal-Mart contract moved many of his albums to Native American music-consumers all over the country and was one of the top selling albums of its type.

When asked about any future of his music business, Charlie replies: “of my endeavors in this world, there are no beginnings or endings, just a lot of very timely and sometimes difficult work.” This is very true of his dedication and endurance within the industry. And he patiently seeks other artists and record labels with which to work.
www.blue-bear.net

INDISGUISE

How has music inspired you?

I think for InDisguise and Digitalpr music is what has set us free. You have the ability to recall many emotions and thoughts current and past and even future if you let yourself get lost in a song that you love. Music is our lives we live to write it, sing it, compose it, and listen to it. We both are always looking for new kinds of music and new styles that have not yet been explored. Music (true music) should come from the heart, not from the pocket. You can call your self a musician and know nothing about the truths of music. Many "Major Artist" these days are just corperate roll outs to turn a profit for the company. With out these corporations most so called artist probably could not write a song on there own. from composing to mixing to knowing how to run a studio. I feel that we are both inspired by musicians that write and produce their own works.

Music has always been a healing tool for us. Without it our lives are not the same. I know that because of the loss of one of my close friends I finally had enough courage to start writing music.

Your musical inspirations? Any CD’s or songs which are meaningful to you?

For indisguise we both love Oletta Adams, Annie Lennox, and a lot of the eighties bands. for myself I would have to say BT is my most admired artist. I love Dido and her passion, Nicole Gordon has a song on her album called all the kings horses. Its amazing.

Discuss the creative or songwriting process--

The song writing process is personal, Very. I can't say how it always happens but when it's right when we are open its due to GOD using us as channels.

Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music can have on a person--

Music can influence a person greatly, in a positive or negative way. Its up to each person how they choose to interprit and use it. Music has great power, but one must believe in it for music to influence them. Metallica does not make me want to kill, nor does Ozzy, and Diana Krall does not make me want to love or go help the entire world. If you choose to let a song effect you then your open to a great gift, but that gift is a feeling. Feelings are powerfull and that's why music effects so many people. To be in control of your feelings. This is the Key.

Music is one of the greatest gifts given to us by God. It does hold many abilities to open and unlock emotions. All that we hope our listeners feel is the passion and the ability to feel something from what we have written. To help them find who they are.

Paul Rhodes & Suzanne Jian

"Everything in life is a blessing in disguise."
 
It is the motto of the band, "InDisguise," comprised of PAUL RHODES, of Kansas City, Missouri and SUZANNE JIAN, from the Pacific Island of Guam.

The adage has certainly been on point since the beginning of their partnership three years ago - they met while co-workers at a major non-profit organization in L.A.

It has not been an easy road, but the lessons have been well-learned and well-earned.

RHODES' musical quest brought him to L.A. in 1990, and has since taken him throughout the industry, on promotions and performances of artists including RAY CHARLES, AMY GRANT, CORY HART and WANG CHUNG, to national marketing and distribution for an independent record label, to a six-year contract with BMI, writing and publishing music.

RHODES, whose earlier works with BMI continues to be used in television programs throughout Europe, has opened for MANIC STREET PREACHERS and worked with MERCY BEAT, tapping his gift for creating musical intrigue, mood, depth and ambience.

For JIAN, a prolific poet and songwriter who started composing poetry at 11 and music at 13, creativity and spirituality have helped chart a meaningful journey.

Joining her first band at 19 after winning several talent showcases, she later formed her own - which captured top honors at premier Battle of the Bands competitions on Guam.
JIAN, a lead vocalist in several Top 40/Dance bands, and a former top government aide, was often approached by visiting club owners and musical directors from L.A. and New York. She accepted select invitations to perform while working with ALEX VARDEN of VPS, before opting to focus on songwriting and recording.
 
InDisguise’ uniqueness lies in its members’ ability to collectively blend their musical tastes and talents. JIAN contributes melody compositions and is the group’s primary lyricist. RHODES’ expertise lies in the utilization of sound effects, arranging and composing. Behind-the-scenes partner DAVID HADDAD is a gifted drummer, percussionist and programmer. HADDAD tours regularly in Asia, Europe, Australia and the United States, having opened for such groups as HERBIE HANCOCK, OTIS DAY & THE KNIGHTS and THE COASTERS. He has also recorded with JAMES INGRAM, ROBBIE VINTON (Roxy-Live) and STONE RAIN (John Anonymous).

Results of their collaboration - a fusion of different music genres including Euro-dance, electronic, classical, Retro 80s, Goth and other underground nuances – are strong, rhythmic, thought-provoking pieces. They have been likened to groups like the EURYTHMICS, DEPECHE MODE, BT, CHICANE and BERLIN, with an edgier, more modern flair.

Since its inception three and a half years ago, the group has produced and released two full-length albums, EXPOSED and TRANSITIONS (a double-CD), and THE REMIXES, a super single.

EXPOSED, the band’s debut album, premiered by DJ DAVE RICHARDS of GROOVE RADIO & VIRGIN MEGASTORES, helped earn InDisguise featured spots on several radio stations, publications and special performances.

One of 12 acts chosen to be on “WITCHMIX,” the Blair Witch 2 online soundtrack less than , InDisguise was also one of only four bands invited to perform during its webcast. The group, which has performed at such renown venues as the HARD ROCK CAFE, the KIBITZ ROOM at CANTER’S, and the EL REY THEATRE, ranked number one in Farmclub.com’s Electronic genre section for unsigned artists for nearly seven weeks, with its single, “Soulmate … come to me.”

To add further dimension to their music writing repertoire, RHODES and JIAN have begun accepting invitations to do music scoring for independent films and TV, including the soon-to-be released short film, “VAMPIRE SURVIVOR,” a hysterical spoof on the popular television series, “SURVIVOR.”

InDisguise also performed at GAPSN’s Pacific Bridge Awards Ceremony, its annual by-invitation-only event, honoring MARGARET CHO last year, and at the SAN DIEGO PRIDE FESTIVAL, which also featured CECE PENISTON and BERLIN.


EXPOSED & TRANSITIONS includes extensive background vocals by renown Filipino songstress and performer, CAMILLE RODRIGUEZ ARAULLO, daughter of Filipino film superstar CELIA RODRIGUEZ.

TRANSITIONS, offering more versatility and depth of groove, also includes electrifying remixes by world-renown DJs, like SCOT LANG, aka PROTOCULTURE, DJ KIOKIO & DJ TONE.

PROTOCULTURE, of Braincloud, Primal Records and Hooj Choons fame, who also did the remixes for InDisguise’s super single, has done remixes for several artists including TOM JONES, MOLOKO, DALATA, and many underground music projects, and has an impressive line of credits in the music realm of film and television including theme songs to MTV’s “Becoming” & “Net Aid.”

Final mastering on EXPOSED & TRANSITIONS was done by BERNIE BECKER, lead sound engineer for multi-platinum award winner NEIL DIAMOND. A tour-de-force in the studio, BECKER includes, along with NEIL DIAMOND, among his extensive engineering credits, work for FRANK SINATRA, DONNA SUMMERS, DOLLY PARTON, MICHAEL CRAWFORD and JENNIFER PAIGE.

BECKER’s company, Bernie Becker Recording & Mastering, has also mastered soundtracks for Academy Award winning movies “AMERICAN BEAUTY,” “A BEAUTIFUL MIND,” & “IRIS.”
www.indisguisemusic.com www.digitalpr.us   www.cdbaby.com/cd/indisguise

BJORN  LYNNE

* How has music inspired you?  Your musical inspirations ?

Music has always been very important to me, ever since I was a kid. I remember my dad and I sat and played vinyls of ELO, Joni MIchell, Randy Newman, David Bowie, Bob Dylan and many others, and my appreciation for music as an artform as well as entertainment was clear already back then.

In later years I have been inspired by just about everything I've heard, from classic rock like David Bowie etc. to progressive and symphonic rock like Genesis, Yes, Pink Floyd and others, via psychedelic music (Ozric Tentacles etc), dance, trance and electronica music, classical and new age music, right up to more modern progressive rock like Porcupine Tree, Dream Theater, etc. I keep an open mind and try to listen to everything that has been created for art, and avoid what I feel has been created only for a "quick buck" -- manufactured boy bands etc.

* Has music helped you through a difficult or traumatic time in your life?

No, but music helped me through a very lonely period in my life, just after I moved from my native Norway to England back in 1995, the first year was difficult without any social network, no family and no friends around -- my music was extremely important to me in this period, and I wrote the album "Witchwood", which was clearly influenced by my homesickness and my solitude, during that time.

* Any CD’s or songs which are meaningful to you?

There are some albums which have special meanings to me, mostly because they remind me of the time in my life when I used to listen to them a lot. For example, my first holiday together with my first real girlfriend, we listened to Roger Waters' album, "Amused to Death" all the time. Now whenever I hear that album, my mind is brought back to that time and how I was feeling. I have similar experiences and feelings about many other music albums, ever since I was a little kind and up through my young adult life. Music is a great keeper of memories and emotional states.

* Discuss your feelings about the powerful or life-changing effects that music can have on a person --

My own life has probably never been in enough of a turmoil to say that anything has been life-changing in the traditional sense, although a couple of times through my carreer I have got letters from people who claimed that my music had helped them through serious illnesses or trauma, which really made me feel quite humble.

On the other hand, music has had an all-encompassing effect on my life in the sense that I have made a living from my music over the past 9 years. Music is what I do, it's the only thing I do, it puts food on my table and it pays my bills. So both professionally and emotionally I'm totally dependent on my music to carry me through my life.

Official web site: http://www.lynnemusic.com

Free mp3 downloads: http://www.lynnemusic.com/mp3.html

Retail standard Audio-CDs: http://www.lynnemusic.com/cdshop.html

License my music for use in professional projects: http://www.shockwave-sound.com

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