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 News Classical 01/02/2018

Russell Suereth - Spiritual Odyssey

Russell Suereth - Spiritual Odyssey

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New York, NY (Top40 Charts) Electronic-keyboardist, new age vocalist and composer Russell Suereth is on a life-long quest of promoting universal spirituality in hopes that transformed and inspired individuals will work to create a better world. Using music as one of his primary tools, Suereth has released his fourth recording of new age music, Spiritual Odyssey (subtitled A Chronicle of a Spiritual Journey), and this is the first album to feature his lyrics and singing.

"After spending the last few years using instrumental music to paint pictures in the listeners' minds of people, places and spiritual ideas from around the world," explains Suereth, "I felt it was time to be more direct, personal and specific by adding words in the English language to get an even more detailed message across."

But Suereth's spiritual endeavors do not stop there. He also is the creator and producer of Spiritual Fizz, both an e-magazine (spiritualfizz dot com) and a podcast (spiritualfizz dot com/ podcast) that covers and promotes many different aspects of spirituality. "We connect the spiritual and physical worlds by visiting ancient places of haven and worship, talking with engaging guests about their own spiritual experiences and insights, and delving into relevant news about the spiritual world around us," he explains.

More information on Russell Suereth (pronounced sue-reth) is available at his website (www.RussellSuereth dot com). Spiritual Odyssey -- and his earlier recordings on Haven Tone Records, Small Steps, Going Down the Highway and Spiritual Haven -- are available as digital-download albums (and individual download tracks) at online sales sites such as CD Baby, Amazon, iTunes, eMusic, Rhapsody and many others. His last album, Spiritual Haven, went Top 5 on the prestigious international Zone Music Reporter Top 100 Chart.

"There are many difficult, painful or stressful events and circumstances in our world today," Suereth says. "I feel that my spiritual creations are a reply to those events, and hopefully can serve as a beacon or pathway toward a solution. I hope that someone who hears my music or podcast show might pause and reflect on their life in a mindful manner. That moment of reflection might possibly change a thought or action in a positive way. No matter how small, if enough of those changes occur, they could serve as the catalyst for a movement toward a better world that we all seek."

The Spiritual Odyssey album is meant to lead the listener on a spiritual journey as described by Suereth with notes in the CD packaging. The recording appropriately begins with "Break the Chains" ("Free yourself and begin your spiritual journey") followed by "My Beating Heart" ("Your world has changed, so focus on your breathing and your heartbeat as you begin anew"). Regarding "Where Will I Go," Suereth says, "Expand your horizons and begin seeing a broader view of your own existence." He suggests experiencing new places and open spaces as important steps on a spiritual path (as recounted on "A Ride to Virgo"). After that trip, you are "So Far Away" ("You've journeyed to a distant place and there is so much to see").

About "The Hidden Dance," the singer explains that "new perspectives let you see the universe working in ways you didn't see before." The recording continues with "It's All Around" which is meant to amplify the concept that "Everywhere you turn you see more clearly." But all is not smooth sailing on this voyage because "The Walls are Tumbling" representing the fact that "you will encounter many hurdles, so accept them because they help you grow." On this path the traveler needs to come to a realization about the "Seed of Imagery" ("The universe flows through you and enhances your awareness and creativity"). By the time you get to "A Burning Rainbow," change has occurred ("Your spiritual essence radiates depth and color").

Suereth composed, performed and produced the music on the album, and did the singing. He was assisted with additional programming and production by Miklos Malek, who also mixed and mastered. Malek has worked on records that have sold more than 15-million units and featured Jennifer Lopez, Anastacia, Faith Evans, Yanni, Jessica Andrews, David Phelps, Plus One and hundreds of other artists. Songs Malek has written and performed have been used in films ("Bedazzled"), TV series ("Friends," "Prison Break") and commercials (Emporio Armani). According to Suereth, "I decided to work with Miklos because I felt he would provide a fresh perspective on the album."

Suereth has always enjoyed music. When he was nine he started four years of guitar lessons, formed a garage band and began writing music for the first time. He has played guitar ever since, but about a decade ago he became more serious about it and for several years practiced several hours daily.

Suereth began listening intently to new age music in the Eighties and Nineties. "I was particularly impressed by David Arkenstone's Valley in the Clouds, David Lanz's Cristofori's Dream, The Narada Collections, Patrick O'Hearn and Alex deGrassi. Eventually this led to my decision to start incorporating a much wider range of sounds and instruments into my style. In the late 2000s I met a professor of music at a college who was very helpful in introducing me to the possibilities of keyboards, so I ended up taking lessons from him to expand my musical proficiencies. I still love the guitar, which is a very physical way of making music. But working on the piano and keyboards helped me understand a lot of things I was missing, including accompaniment. This led to my exploration of synthesizers, samplers and computers in creating my music."

According to Suereth, "I like my music to be made up of a variety of sounds, new and old. I like utilizing the sounds of classical instruments such as the oboe and cello and piano, and having them sound warm and natural, like old friends to our ears. But then I also enjoy adding more modern instruments or the sounds of more unusual world music instrumentation. Sometimes I heavily process the sound which gives it a more modern feeling.

"Another influence would be the great modern classical composer Aaron Copland. I put a portrait of him up in my studio to remind me of how careful he was in composing and arranging his music. I spend a lot of time on each note and its placement to help make my music interesting to my audience and to impart meaning into each piece."

Suereth released his debut recording, Small Steps, in 2013 followed by Going Down the Highway (2014) and Spiritual Haven (2015). As part of his artistic spiritual explorations,

Suereth also is the creator of Music of Spiritual Places, a video series focusing on spiritual places around the globe with his music serving as the soundtrack to the images, and designed to serve as a respite and haven for viewers during their busy or stress-filled days. Some of the series images included the Mainri Snow Mountain Range in China where the highest peak is a sacred site for Tibetan Buddhists, the Siam Cultural Park in Thailand, the Santa Maria Church in the Spanish town of Wamba, and a terraced mountainside in the Incan Sacred Valley in Peru. "I enjoyed showing some of the many places in the world that have special meaning to human beings."

Suereth says, "Everyone in the world has a spiritual side no matter what nationality, culture or country they come from. Religion and belief in a Higher Power is a matter of personal choice, but spiritual meditation is universal and can also encompass a person's own spirit as well as nature and the world around us. I believe music can help people connect to their own spirituality, which, in turn, can contribute to a healthier lifestyle and a fuller sense of personal well-being, but also help them have a better connection to and empathy for other human beings on the planet."

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