About the Artist: The diversity of genres present in Raymond Egan's music reflects the wide range of musical genres he has been involved with as a performer. The presence of these various musics is not intended to create more music in these categories, but rather as a jumping off place from which to create some hopefully yet unnamed category - categoryless music! In the classical music context, he has been active as both a conductor and organist, and as a pianist he has accompanied artists including Zubin Mehta, Steve Gadd, and Joseph Flummerfelt. In the jazz area, he has worked, as a pianist, with artists including Lisa Rich, Terry Plumeri, and Joel DiBartolo. In the field of African American Gospel music, he has performed as a keyboard player with the Johnson/Montgomery Singers and with the Choir, Praise Teams, and Rhythm Section of Agape Christian Fellowship Church, Los Angeles, California. He has pursued an interest in World Music as a leader of his own groups, and with field study in northeastern Brasil and Barcelona, Spain, and has a doctorate in music from the University of Southern California Thornton School of Music. He has led many ensembles in performances of his own music, most happily with the stellar group of artists featured on his CD Ancient Partners (listed below). About the CD, 'Ancient Partners,' (notes by the composer): The CD, 'Ancient Partners,' is an exploration of musical possibilities inherent in the small chorus. The CD consists of nine original compositions and one original arrangement. In six of the pieces, the chorus is paired with a funk rhythm section. Of the other four, two are a cappella settings, and two are with piano. The music calls on each of the singers in the chorus to sing in a variety of musical styles. Everyone must sing all of the styles. The texts of the music are about Life, Nature, Spirit, and the Environment. Five of these pieces were commissions: four by Dr. William Belan of California State University, Los Angeles, California, and one by Dr. John French of The Church of the Holy Trinity, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Of the rest, the two Epiphany pieces were part of a Mass for Epiphany first performed with Tony Levin, Steve Gadd, and Michael Holmes in Washington, D. C. Two others, 'St. John's Day Psalm' and 'i thank You God,' were written for choirs of mine. The arrangement of Englishman Andy Barnes' 'The Last Leviathan' I originally wrote for vocal quartet. The CD, 'Ancient Partners,' features the following performers: singers Samela Aird Beasom, Susan Judy, Nell Walker, Kay Nickerson Bowen, Christen Herman, Katy Stephan, Donald Brinegar, Randy Crenshaw, David Larsen, Richard Berent, Eric Bradley, and Michael Geiger. Playing electric and acoustic basses is Dean Taba, playing drums is Bob Leatherbarrow. The percussion is played by Roberto Fernandez, and Paula Hochhalter is the cellist. The keyboards are played by Raymond Egan, with Twyla Meyer playing piano on two pieces. The CD is co-produced by Rich Smith and Raymond Egan, and was recorded by Paul Tavenner, at Big City Recording, Granada Hills, California, in February of 2003.
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