Aleksandra Takala: In My Own Time
(Independent / October 1, 2021)
The genre lines get blurry in the music of Northern California multi-instrumentalist Aleksandra Takala. Her compositions take you on evocative journeys through melody and shifting moods.
“This collection of all instrumental New Age & Neo-Classical styles contain 12 new compositions. Instruments include Acoustic & Electric Guitar, Woodwinds and Brass, Castanets, Italian Grand Piano, Acoustic & Electric Bass, String Orchestration, Percussion Instruments, Choral Voices, Church Bell, & Harp.
“The songs are shorter in length than the pieces on my first album, Visions & Emotions. This doesn't mean incomplete in any way. I want the listener to become involved with the interpretation, so that the music reflect parts of themselves,” she says in a release.
Well worn themes are seen with a fresh sensibility. Spanish Isle uses the sound of maracas in a traditional rhythm, while the melodic elements explore various moods.
Suite Nightmares & Daydreams is an atmospheric track, where the sound of a flute can transform from melancholic to dreamy to agitated. Aleksandra skillfully creates mood and emotions in the music.
Aleksandra blends a background discovering the classic pop of her childhood and teenage years alongside Western classical music, beginning studies at the piano at age 25. She also studied music technology to add to the mix.
“Classical music still leaves a great influence on me, but in the Eighties and Nineties I also began getting into new age music, seeing bands like Shadowfax, and guitarist extraordinaire, Michael Hedges, and listened to Windom Hill Label artist on Nirada Collections.”
“I turned to creating new age music because this genre is especially good about imparting feelings and pictures to the listener, be it is joy, hope, love, sadness or spiritual uplifting. It is what comes out when my fingers touch the keyboard, and it leaves interpretation up to the listener.”
Each track has a story to tell, and the titles suggest a mood that is fleshed out by the music. Helpless to Help spirals downwards in a minor key, with a moody string section.
En Tiempo perhaps most closely resembles a traditional piece of classical music in its outlines, in structure, harmony, and the way it explores various musical themes.
With a range of instrumentation and intelligent composition, the tracks offer a lot of replay value.
Tracklist: 1) Spanish Isle; 2) Suite Nightmares & Daydreams; 3) Helpless to Help; 4) En Tiempo; 5) Big Sky Ride; 6) A Tribute to the People; 7) Song of the Redwoods; 8) A Time to Say Goodbye; 9) A New Day; 10) Dance of Delight; 11) Silva’s Ride; 12) Masada Overture