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Arkenstone, David

David Arkenstone

New Age musician

Creative Influences

What is New Age Music?

Exploration and Enlightenment

Selected discography

Sources

David Arkenstone has been one of contemporary instrumental musics top-selling artists since the late 1980s. The storyteller perspective is a strong feature in Arkenstones instrumental compositions. Acoustic and electronic instruments are often combined with guitars and keyboards. His music also frequently combines literature and art. His style is distinctly his own, reflecting his personal and modern versions of orchestral rock music. He stated in a Windham Hill publicity release, Im usually identified as a musician, and thats a very logical, practical definition of my role in the arts. On a more intuitive level, though, I believe a lot of people think of me as a storyteller. And thats the picture I have of myselfa person who invites people to explore the back roads of their imaginations, only I use notes and textured sounds in place of printed words or dialogue. Sometimes when I walk into the studio, I think of the phrase, Its not just a songits an adventure.

His debut album, Valley of the Clouds, was released in 1987. Since then, Arkenstone has had eight albums reach the top ten of Billboards New Age chart. He earned two number-one albumsCitizen of Time in 1990, and In the Wake of the Wind in 1991. For the latter he earned a 1991 Grammy Award nomination.

His 1994 release of Another Star in the Sky was a brilliant example of Arkenstones technological abilities by being the first album by an adult alternative/New Age artist that was recorded in Dolby Surround Sound. Arkenstones 1995 release, Quest of the Dream Warrior was a story written by Arkenstone with assistance from science fiction and fantasy writer Mercedes Lackey and production help from Michael Whalen. The story is about a young girl, Kyla, who tries to find her father through a land of darkness. Arkenstone used synthesizers, guitars, flutes, and a 24-piece orchestra to illustrate the story with music.

Spirit Wind, released in 1997, was produced entirely by Arkenstone, and was scored for a Discovery Channel production. Most of the music on the recording was for a movie called Legend of the Spirit Dog. In this story, a Native American tone communicated a simple message that all life is connected. Flutes and drums were used throughout the track to communicate the story of a boy making his journey into manhood. The boy seeks the wise guidance of an old teacher. Republic Pictures home video released the project in 1997.

Arkenstone also has extensive experience in creating pieces for film and multimedia projects. Some of these projects include the following: composing music and filming a video for the wedding of Princess Lamia of Saudi Arabia; performing live in Colorado, Utah, Louisiana, and throughout the Midwest; completing a score for an NHK Japan documentary about the cranes migration over the Himalayas and a score for an audiobook version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame; producing an album of his material performed by a group called Troika from Santa Barbara, California; and working on the soundtrack for a fantasy role-playing computer game called Lands of Lore II for Westwood Studios.

Creative Influences

Arkenstone was born in rural Chicago, and at the age of ten moved with his family to Southern California. Throughout high school and college, he played for various bands and performance groups, while also playing baseball. For a couple of years, he started a progressive rock band that was named after him. When technology permitted the blending of computers with musical instruments, Arkenstone settled down to find his own sound to go solo. He stated on his website, Technology has produced some wonderful tools for making music. The computer allows me to fully orchestrate my pieces and really fine tune them.

Authors that heavily influenced Arkenstone include J. R. R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Ian Fleming (James Bond). Arkenstone also grew up listening to bands like Deep Purple, Yes, and Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, along with classical music. These varied influences are reflected in his many talented works: I have many other influences, he stated in New Age Voice (NAV). You go through life and get a little bit here and a little bit there, and it all filters through you in the way that you look at the world. And you take things you believe in and apply them to your life. Arkenstone has learned to play a wide variety of musical instruments,

For the Record

Born on July 1, 1952, in rural Chicago, IL; moved with family to Southern California at the age of ten; married Diane Arkenstone (musician); children: Quillon, Dashiell, Valinor.

Played for various bands during high school and college; started a progressive rock band named after himself; later settled down and went solo in New Age music; known for unique combinations of electronic and orchestration sounds; works often contain storytelling element; influenced by works from J.R.R. Tolkien and Ian Fleming; released debut album, Valley of the Clouds, 1987; Citizen of Time, 1990; In the Wake of the Wind, 1991; Quest of the Dream Warrior, 1995; created record label, Neo Pacifica, with wife Diane; released Middle East-inspired album Caravan of Light, 2000; released Sketches from an American Journey, 2002.

Awards: New Age Voice Awards, Best New Age Recording for Caravan of Light, 2000.

Addresses: Record company Windham Hill Records, 8750 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-2713. Office David Arkenstone, P.O. Box 1211, Cortez, CO 81321. Website David Arkenstone Official Website: http://www.arkensounds.com. E-mail davidark@ark ensounds.com.

including the bouzouki, a Celtic cittern, mandolin, guitar, harp, cello, flute, electronic keyboards, Turkish saz, and the pennywhistle.

What is New Age Music?

New Age music has sometimes been difficult to categorize, for it is often considered a blending of classical and contemporary rock. Many in the New Age music industry have called Arkenstones works as being in a class by themselves, often referred to as Cinematic New Age rock. Arkenstone likes to refer to it as world age rock.

When interviewed by NAV, Arkenstone said that once the advances in computer technology permitted him, he could then experience the different instruments all of a sudden, I had all these incredible sounds that are like textures and layers on my synths and my computer. I cant say that I just put it into a blender, because I really try to look for the right sounds for the right song. But all those influences have turned me into what I am.

Arkenstone feels that New Age music may be full of unqualified people who have given it a bad name, that when some people hear something new they often confuse it with elevator music or just label what they hear thats unique and different as New Age music. He wants to clearly stay away from any such labels, proclaiming in NAV, Thats the last thing I want to make. I want to make exciting music that has a melody, that has emotion, that goes up and down. Thats important to me as a listener, and I find that since I have to listen to my music more than I get to listen to any other music, I have to do music that I really enjoy day after day.

Arkenstone and his wife Diane created a record label, Neo Pacifica, with the goal of providing an experience rich with imagery and a sense of adventure and discovery, that ultimately returns the listener safely to their surrounding. The label has thrived, with releases not only from Arkenstone, but from other like-minded artists such as Earth Trybe, Enaid, and the Marquis Ensemble.

Exploration and Enlightenment

Arkenstones own solo albums have a similar sense of exploration and enlightenment. He takes his inspiration from travel, nature, and other recordings. He spoke to Barnes and Noble about the process he used while recording Celtic Book of Days: To prepare I listened to a lot of Celtic music: traditional, the Chieftains, fiddle, pipes, whistles. I dissect and study it. A later album, Caravan of Light, was inspired by the Middle East. Ive always liked the Middle Eastern sensibilities, and their cultures nomadic aspect intrigued me, he told Barnes and Noble. Culture and music spread along [their] trade routes, so this theme seemed like a good vehicle for me to do different styles of music. Caravan of Light was named the Best New Age Album of 2000 by New Age Voice.

Diane Arkenstone is also a musician. She and her husband produce her albums together, and he has played various instruments on her three releases. Together, Arkenstone and his wife recorded Music Inspired by Middle Earth in 2001, a tribute of sorts to Tolkiens created kingdom. The album was a way for Arkenstone to fulfill a long-held wish, which he revealed to RPGDot online. I would do just about anything to score the upcoming Lord of the Rings trilogy!

In 2002, Arkenstone released his most pop-oriented album to date, Sketches from an American Journey. He was assisted on the recording by the Recording Arts Orchestra of Salt Lake City, Utah. Most people dont realize that pop is a big part of my musical palette. I was raised on pop and rock music and performed it for many years, he revealed to Barnes and Noble. The album was a sweeping sonic masterpiece, critically hailed for both its technical mastery and musical evolution from Arkenstones previous recordings.

In his spare time, Arkenstone enjoys baseball, creating 3-D projects, listening to world music, and writing screenplays. He has three sons named Quillon, Dashiell, and Valinor. He picked the name Quillon, which means sword, from a book of Latin translations. Dashiell is the first name of writer Dashiell Hammett, and Valinor is from a Tolkien book, The Silmarilliion. His five favorite composers are Jean Sibelius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Peter llyich Tchaikovsky, Aaron Copland, and Igor Stravinsky.

Arkenstone found an agent to help him get further into recording for film and television. He has already composed music for the History Channel, the Discovery Channel, and NBC, as well as the music heard in the video games Lands of Lore 2 and 3 and Blade Runner. Its a lot of fun, even though its a lot of pressure, he told NAV. Its not like your own baby, so youre just helping it. Its quite a different animal from being the boss, which is OK.

Selected discography

Valley in the Clouds, Narada, 1987.

Island, Narada, 1989.

Citizen of Time, Narada, 1990.

In the Wake of the Wind, Narada, 1991.

The Spirit of Olympia, Narada, 1992.

Best of Chronicles, Narada, 1993.

Another Star in the Sky, Narada, 1994.

Quest of the Dream Warrior, Narada, 1995.

Return of the Guardians, Narada, 1996.

Convergence, Narada, 1996

Spirit Wind, Windham Hill, 1997.

Troika II: Dream Palace, Narada, 1997.

Enchantment: A Magical Christmas, Narada, 1997.

Celtic Book of Days, Windham Hill, 1998.

Eternal Champion, Narada, 1998.

Citizen of the World, Windham Hill, 1999.

Caravan of Light, Narada, 2000.

Frontier, Paras, 2001.

Music Inspired by Middle Earth, Paras, 2001.

Visionary: The Ultimate Narada Collection, Narada, 2001.

Sketches from an American Journey, Paras, 2002.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, February 22, 1997.

Chicago Tribune, June 22, 1995.

New Age Voice, May 1997.

Santa Fe New Mexican, March 10, 1995.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 28, 1994.

Online

David Arkenstone, Wind and Wire, http://www.windandwire.com/david_arkenstone.htm/ (October 17, 2002).

David Arkenstone Official Website, http://www.arkensounds.com/david_arkenstone.htm/ (October 17, 2002).

Interview with David Arkenstone, Composer, RPGDot, http://www.arkensounds.com/interviews/rpgdot.html/ (October 17, 2002).

Mission to Delight, Barnes and Noble, http://www.arkensounds.com/interviews/bames_and_noble.html (October 17, 2002).

Neo Pacifica Official Website, http://www.neopacifica.com (November 12, 2002).

Additional information was obtained from the David Arkenstone Spirit Wind Press Release, Windam Hill Records, and through e-mail correspondence with David Arkenstone in October of 2002.

Bill Bennett

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"Arkenstone, David." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

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Arkenstone, David

David Arkenstone

New age artist

For the Record

Creative Influences

What is New Age Music?

The Personal Side

Selected discography

Sources

David Arkenstone has been one of contemporary instrumental musics top-selling artists for the past ten years. The storyteller perspective is a strong feature in Arkenstones instrumental compositions. Acoustic and electronic instruments are often combined with guitars and keyboards. His music also frequently combines literature and art. His style is distinctly his own, reflecting his personal and modern versions of orchestral rock music. He stated in a Windham Hill publicity release, Im usually identified as a musician, and thats a very logical, practical definition of my role in the arts. On a more intuitive level, though, I believe a lot of people think of me as a storyteller. And thats the picture I have of myselfa person who invites people to explore the back roads of their imaginations, only I use notes and textured sounds in place of printed words or dialogue. Sometimes when I walk into the studio, I think of the phrase, Its not just a songits an adventure.

His debut album, Valley in the Clouds, was released in 1987. Since then, Arkenstone has had eight albums reach the Top 10 Billboards New Age chart. He earned

For the Record

Born in rural Chicago; moved with family to South em California at the age of ten; children: Quillon, Dashiell, Valinor.

Played for various bands during high school and college; started a progressive rock bank named after himself; later settled down and went solo in New Age Rock music; known for unique combinations of electronic and orchestration sounds; works often contain storytelling element; influenced by works from J.R.R. Tolkien and Ian Fleming.

Released debut album, Valley in the Clouds, 1987; has had eight albums reach Top 10 Billboards New Age chart; Citizen of Time in 1990 and Quest of the Dream Warrior in 1995 earned No. 1 album status; Another Star in the Sky was the first album by an adult alternative/new age artist to be recorded in Dolby Surround Sound.

Addresses: Record company Windham Hill Records, 8750 Wilshire Blvd, Beverly Hills, CA 90211-2713.

two No. 1 albumsCitizen of Time in 1990, and Quest of the Dream Warrior in 1995. Quest of the Dream Warrior was a story written by Arkenstone with assistance from Mercedes Lackey and production help from Michael Whalen. The story is about a young girl, Kyla, who tries to find her father through a land of darkness. Arkenstone used synthesizers, guitars, flutes, and a 24-piece orchestra to illustrate the story with music.

His 1994 release of Another Star in the Skywas a brilliant example of Arkenstones technological abilities by being the first album by an adult alternative/new age artist that was recorded in Dolby Surround Sound. He also received other awards, especially for being twice charted No. 1 on the Billboard adult alternative/new age sales chart for his albums Citizen of Time and In the Wake of the Wind.

Spirit Wind was produced entirely by Arkenstone, and was scored for a Discovery Channel production. Most of the music on the recording was for a movie called, Legend of the Spirit Dog. In this story, a Native American tone communicated a simple message that all life is connected. Flutes and drums were used throughout the track to communicate the story of a boy making his journey into manhood by seeking the wise guidance of an old teacher.

Arkenstone also has extensive experience in creating pieces for film and multimedia projects. Some of these projects include the following: composing music and filming a video for the wedding of Princess Lamia of Saudi Arabia; performing live in Colorado, Utah, Louisiana, and throughout the Midwest; completing a score for an NHK Japan documentary about the cranes migration over the Himalayas and a score for an audio-book version of The Hunchback of Notre Dame producing an album of his material performed by a group called Troika from Santa Barbara, CA; and working on the soundtrack for a fantasy role-playing computer game called Lands of Lore II for Westwood Studios.

Creative Influences

Arkenstone was born in rural Chicago, and at the age of ten moved with his family to Southern California. Throughout high school and college, he played for various bands and performance groups, while also playing baseball. For a couple of years, he started a progressive rock band that was named after him. When technology permitted the blending of computers with musical instruments, Arkenstone settled down to find his own sound to go solo. He stated on his web page, Technology has produced some wonderful tools for making music. The computer allows me to fully orchestrate my pieces and really fine tune them. Arkenstone has learned to play a wide variety of musical instruments, including the bouzouki, a Celtic cittern, mandolin, guitar, harp, cello, flute, electronic keyboards, Turkish saz, and the pennywhistle.

Authors that heavily influenced Arkenstone include J.R.R. Tolkien (Lord of the Rings trilogy) and Ian Fleming (James Bond series). Arkenstone also grew up listening to bands like Deep Purple, Yes, and Emerson, Lake, & Palmer, along with classical music. These varied influences are reflected in his many talented works: I have many other influences, he stated in New Age Voice (NAV). You go through life and get a little bit here and a little bit there, and it all filters through you in the way that you look at the world. And you take things you believe in and apply them to your life.

What is New Age Music?

New Age music has sometimes been difficult to categorize, for it is often considered a blending of classical and contemporary rock. Many in the new age music industry have called Arkenstones works as being in a class by themselves, often referred to as Cinematic new age rock. Arkenstone likes to refer to it as world age rock.

When interviewed by NAV, Arkenstone said that once the advances in computer technology permitted him, he could then experience the different instruments all of a sudden, I had all these incredible sounds that are like textures and layers on my synths and my computer. I cant say that I just put it into a blender, because I really try to look for the right sounds for the right song. But all those influences have turned me into what I am.

Arkenstone feels that new age music may be full of unqualified people who have given it a bad name, that when some people hear something new they often confuse it with elevator music or just label what they hear thats unique and different as new age music. He wants to clearly stay away from any such labels, proclaiming in NAV, Thats the last thing I want to make. I want to make exciting music that has a melody, that has emotion, that goes up and down. Thats important to me as a listener, and I find that since I have to listen to my music more than I get to listen to any other music, I have to do music that I really enjoy day after day.

The Personal Side

In his spare time, Arkenstone enjoys baseball, creating 3-D projects, and writing screenplays. He has three sons named Quillon, Dashiell, and Valinor. He picked the name Quillon, which means sword, from a book of Latin translations. Dashiell is the first name of writer Dashiell Hammett, and Valinor is from a Tolkien book, The Silmarilliion .His five favorite composers are Jean Sibelius, Ralph Vaughan Williams, Peter Hyich Tchaikovsky, Aaron Copland, and Igor Stravinsky.

Arkenstone told NAV that he was looking for an agent so he can get more involved in film soundtracks. Its a lot of fun, even though its a lot of pressure. Its not like your own baby, so youre just helping it. Its quite a different animal from being the boss, which is OK.

Selected discography

Valley in the Clouds, Narada, 1987.

Island, 1989.

Citizen of Time, Narada, 1990.

In the Wake of the Wind, Narada, 1991.

The Spirit of Olympia, Narada, 1992.

Best of Chronicles, 1993.

Another Star in the Sky, 1994.

Quest of the Dream Warrior, 1995.

Return of the Guardians, 1996.

Spirit Wind, Windham Hill, 1997.

Sources

Periodicals

Billboard, February 22, 1997.

Chicago Tribune, June 22, 1995.

New Age Voice, May 1997.

Santa Fe New Mexican, March 10, 1995.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 28, 1994.

Online

http://www.arkensounds.com/

http://www.aescon.com/bounlder/pc-club/arkens.htm.

Additional information was obtained from the David Arkenstone Spirit Wind Press Release, Windham Hill Records.

Bill Bennett

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Arkenstone, David." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. 24 Sep. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Arkenstone, David." Contemporary Musicians. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/arkenstone-david

"Arkenstone, David." Contemporary Musicians. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/education/news-wires-white-papers-and-books/arkenstone-david