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Northern Seas

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Customer Reviews

From MainlyPiano

"Northern Seas" is Al Conti’s follow-up to his award-winning 2008 release, Scheherazade. Two years in the making, the eleven original tracks are based on Norse mythology from the time of the Vikings. A multi-instrumentalist who plays piano, acoustic guitar, violin, electronic keyboards and percussion, Conti has created a vibrant, cinematic tour of ancient times and places. Additional musicians add wordless vocals, guitars, fiddles, Uilleann pipes, and Celtic whistles. Also an actor and world-traveler, Conti brings a wealth of life experience to his music, giving it plenty of substance tempered with the wisdom to keep the music accessible. The music ranges from dark and stormy to absolutely buoyant and carefree - all of it paints vivid pictures of mythological characters and their fabled lives. In addition, the colorful liner notes summarize some of these tales and explain how the music was conceived - a beautiful package well worth the few extra dollars more than a download.

We begin our journey on "Northern Seas" with “Veil of Mist,” a dark, exotic, and very mysterious piece that evokes fear of the unknown as well as the thrill of a new adventure. “Northern Seas” has a strong rhythm that moves it forward while keyboard, voices, guitar, and various other background sounds convey a spirited optimism. “Song of Rig” becomes more dancelike with a catchy beat and a simple, lively melody. I love “Dans For Loki (Loki’s Jig),” the most carefree piece on the album. In mythology, Loki was known as a trickster, but this jig focuses on his playful, fun-loving side. Complete with Uilleann pipes, fiddles, and many other instruments, it’s a dance of joyous celebration. Delightful! “Odin The Wanderer” tells of the father of the gods and his quest for wisdom. Darker in mood and conveying the feeling of searching, it’s another beauty. “Valkyrja” was a group of goddesses whose task it was to choose warriors lost in battle and take them to the afterworld. The majestic sweep of the piece suggests strength and honor - gorgeous! “Ragnarok” is the name for the demise of the gods and the ultimate battle between good and evil. Haunting and almost without hope, the feeling of loss is heartbreaking. Our journey ends with “The Rainbow Bridge,” a bridge that unites our world with the realm of the gods, offering hope to all.

"Northern Seas" is another truly great album from Al Conti. Highly recommended!

good stuff

hopefully this is more down-to-earth than the drawn-out review . . . . good stuff

Grammy nominated!

It’s hard to imagine a more prestigious accolade for a recording artist than having your album, not only nominated for a Grammy, but making it into the final round. Al Conti is among the few who can claim that honor. His fourth CD, Northern Seas not only attained that rarified status in the Best New Age Album category it has achieved great success on the charts and adulation in the press since its release. With its cinematic ambience and blend of ancient and contemporary sounds, Northern Seas takes the listener on an enchanted journey to another time and place. However, not resting on his laurels, he has begun work on his next recording which is sure to be eagerly awaited by many fans. I know I am certainly one of them!

Biography

Born: Buenos Aires, Argentina

Genre: New Age

Years Active: '00s

Vermont-based new age composer/multi-instrumentalist Al Conti was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, of Italian and German ancestry. Growing up in Argentina, he developed interests in acting and music. He began teaching himself to play piano and guitar at age six, and started acting lessons at eight. Those lessons led to a career as a stage actor in Argentina. He moved to the U.S. at 17, and by the age of 20 had an agent, resulting in roles on-stage, in film, and on the soap opera As the World Turns....
Full Bio
Northern Seas, Al Conti
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