Music Industry News Network [03-21-2007]

Life Span, Joseph Maas Debute CD - When New Age Meets The Next Age


Be it the slow, liquid tones of an antique 12 string guitar played in a unique style against the backdrop of New Zealand's Ohakune rain forest (Life Span) or the haunting strains of the ancient double reed Daduke (After the Storm), this music is an exploration in sonic textures invoke strange lands and new vistas within the mind’s eye.

Through use of both rare traditional instruments such as the Middle Eastern Daduke, as well as electronically invented instruments (that have essentially never been heard before), with all the delicate phrasing and subtle nuances normally heard in the concert hall, a life-long dream has been realized in this work.

Joseph Maas is a life-long musician well versed in jazz-fusion, world beat and new age genres performed on an array of different instruments.

Born in Kansas City, Kansas in the mid 1950s Joseph began playing music professionally at age 15. With influences that range from Steve Howe (Yes) and Josef Zawinul (Weather Report) to German bassist Eberhart Weber, Joseph moved to Northern California in 1976 playing small venues usually as a solo artist and always performing original (if not experiential) compositions.

He studied recording engineering and computer programming in the early 1980s at the then famed Mendocino Technical Community School. In this era of big 1 inch tape reels and 8 track recorders the size of washing machines, Joseph began to use the sound technology reproduction medium as if it were another instrument. This practice continues today as applied to digital technology. Pushing technical boundaries to bring out the spirit, essence and natural timber of the performance has been a focus from the beginning.

Throughout the 1990s, playing and composing regularly, soon it became apparent that studio perfect recordings could be achieved digitally in small studio setting given the right equipment and enough patience, and most importantly without the astronomical costs of such endeavors only a few years earlier. It was clearly time to put to good use his decades of experience in both music composition and recording technology.

Joseph writes, “Music production and recording technology have come of age to the extent that exquisitely orchestrated compositions can be fully realized by the solo artist working in an independent studio.”

This debut CD, LifeSpan is truly a labor of love. Thirty months in the making, Life Span is a grand project created without the pressure of production studio budgets and deadlines. It is clear that compositions on Life Span were carefully crafted to reveal unique chapters of an atmospheric journey. In many ways it's an adventure, a theme-propelled road trip through ever changing landscape on the way to the next great age of music.


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