Bradley Joseph

Bradley Joseph


Rquote|right|Working with Easton was "...a shock in musical styles but a welcome change." Wheeler questioned how he got hooked up with Easton; Joseph answered that he was recommended by a former road manager. He was included in a try-out with four others, rehearsed with the band, they then cut it down to two, and rehearsed with Sheena for the final cut. Joseph anticipated they would ask him to do a solo on at least one of the songs he was asked to play during the audition, so he wrote a solo for all three songs, which was ultimately the reason he was hired for the job.Speech: cite web
title= 3rd Annual WPS Arts & Academics Gala

In a 1995 interview, he said that after five years of touring with Yanni and working on his own debut album, he needed a break. Yanni was still building his career and maintained a hectic concert schedule. Working with Easton, on the other hand, was "the best of both worlds". "She just adopted a baby and is pretty settled in", said Joseph. Tour venues with her included Japan, Indonesia, Puerto Rico, and the United States, as well as routine appearances in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. In March 1995, he appeared with her on the "Tonight Show with Jay Leno" when she performed her new single at the time, "My Cheri".cite news|last = Miller|first = Gary|url=,94c52e8e&FORM=CVRE3| title ="Joseph, Tonight Show"
publisher = West Central Tribune ( (Minnesota, U.S.)|date = 1995-03-24|accessdate =2007-04-03

olo career

In 1994, between world tours, Joseph released his debut album, "Hear the Masses", a self-produced, self-published release under the More Core Records label consisting of 10 original compositions. He invited most of the Yanni band to contribute. They include Charlie Adams (drums, percussion); Ric Fierabracci (fretless bass); Jeanette Clinger (vocals); and Grammy-winning violinist Charlie Bisharat. Other guest artists include Larry Preston (guitar); and Terry Brau — featured on numerous Bradley Joseph recordings — playing trumpet, saxophone, and fluegelhorn. Joseph's style attracted the attention of Narada Productions,cite web |author=|url= |title=ShowGo|publisher = (|year = 2001|accessdate=2007-08-13] a Virgin Records subsidiary, via the world-wide web. A representative for Narada came across his website and downloaded some music. This sparked their interest and resulted in signing Joseph to a multi-record deal, according to Peter Spellman of the Berklee College of Music.Mr. Joseph is referenced in book by: cite book|last = Spellman|first=Peter (author)|coauthors=Fiest, Jonathan (editor)
title = The Musician's Internet|url=
publisher=Berklee Press Publications|month=March | year=2002|pages=86|id=ISBN 063403586X|accessdate =2007-06-05
] The outcome was "Rapture", containing intimate piano pieces, quartets, and full orchestral works. It reached NAV's "Airwaves Top 30" at #15 in July 1997.cite news|title = Airwaves Top 30 — July 1997|publisher=New Age Voice, (currently|date=1997-07-25|accessdate=2007-06-04] This album was recorded at a number of different studios including Captain and Tennille's studio in Los Angeles, and Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota.cite web|url=|title= "Rapture" at Pachyderm.|publisher=Billboard Magazine (scanned version and retrieved from an archived page of|year=1997|accessdate=2006-12-21] In addition to a core band including Charlie Adams on percussion, Charlie Bisharat on violin, and Steven Trochlil on clarinet, Joseph brought in a 50-piece orchestra, and conducted and wrote all the scores. Ken Moore of the "Naples Daily News" cites, "Joseph's music is backed by 15 talented musicians, some playing three or more different instruments, that make up a symphony of sounds ranging from quietly pensive mood music to a rich orchestration of classical depth and breadth." "Wind and Wire Magazine" contributor, Michael Debbage, recalls, "It was the year 1997 and New Age music had already peaked commercially as the interest and exposure seemed to lag. The genres main labels – Narada, Windham Music, and Higher Octave – were beginning to explore worldly themes versus the warm, earthly, acoustic themes that prior artists had established. It appeared that the abundance of new artists was becoming a dying breed. An exception to the rule was Bradley Joseph, who released his first mainstream album "Rapture" to glorious reviews, and to this day it remains his ."cite web|author=Debbage, Michael |url= |title= Review of "The Journey Continues"
publisher = Wind and Wire Magazine (
] One of Joseph's compositions, "The Glen", was written solely for the album "Stories, a Narada Artist Collection", and is now also featured on "20 Years of Narada Piano". His works are included in other Narada compilation projects as well.

Although he said that working with Narada was a great experience music-wise, Joseph did not like the lack of control over the end product, and asked to be released from his contract. He started Robbins Island Music in 1998, composing, producing, and distributing his own recordings. "Solo Journey" was released and consists of eleven soft piano compositions that are based on mood and not on melody. It is characterized by Debbage as being a "scaled down introspective, ... and while simplistic was still breath-taking".cite web|author=Debbage, Michael| url=|title= Review of "Christmas Around the World"|publisher= Wind and Wire Magazine (|accessdate=2006-12-21]

Later releases include "Christmas Around the World" reaching NAV's top 100 radio playlist;New Age Voice, currently cite web|url=|title= New Age Reporter|accessdate=2006-12-21] and "One Deep Breath" also holding a position on NAV's top 100 radio chart for over six months.cite web |url=|title= 2002 New Age Voice Top 100 Radio Chart|publisher = New Age Reporter (archived page of|accessdate=2006-12-21] Bill Binkelman writes, "One Deep Breath" is an album with two distinct 'feels' to it: the more serene new age/ambient soundscapes that bookend the inner tracks and the more radio-friendly and mainstream music in-between. While I doubt fans of Liquid Mind or other mainly electronic new age music artists would wholly embrace the overt romanticism of piano-led tracks like 'Dancers Waltz' or 'Dreamer's Lullaby', there is definite appeal on the album for fans of adult contemporary piano pieces as well as for lovers of the more minimal approach to new age music."cite web |author=Binkelman, Bill |url=|title= Review of "One Deep Breath"|publisher = Wind and Wire Magazine (|accessdate=2006-12-21] Reviewing for "Allmusic", Jim Brenholts describes "One Deep Breath" as a set of smooth adult contemporary pieces in which Joseph adds "world music flair and inspirational touches". "The vocal expressions by Clystie Whang and Joseph have devotional qualities that weave through the atmospheres and soundscapes smoothly."cite web |author=Brenholts, Jim
url= |title= Review of "One Deep Breath"|publisher = Allmusic|accessdate=2006-12-21
] Rquote|right|The special audiences and beautiful cities inspired me to compose after sound checks... What an inspiration it was for me to sit alone on stage in these grand arenas and compose music.

Joseph returned as a featured instrumentalist during Yanni's 2003 "Ethnicity" world tour,cite book| title = Ethnicity World Tour 2003–2004 - Official concert program|publisher = Yanni|year = 2003
accessdate =2007-04-03
] and wrote his sixth album on stage after sound checks.Quote from: cite web |url=|title=Fall 2003 Newsletter|publisher =(archived page of|accessdate=2006-12-21] "The Journey Continues", a sequel to "Solo Journey", features Joseph on solo piano. Debbage writes, "The magical world of movies has a knack for exploring sequels. There is the beauty and beast effect when taking this pathway. The creative beauty allows the viewers to see the continued growth of its characters. The beastly aspect of this exploration is the Hollywood exploitation of an almost guaranteed return on its investment with no regard for its creative progression that usually sees diminishing returns. Bradley Joseph has decided to walk this tightrope by following up with "Solo Journey" that was released back in 2000. I am glad to report that "The Journey Continues" is entrenched in beauty, holding up well to its predecessor."

Joseph was named one of the "Ten Outstanding Young Minnesotans" (TOYM) of 2004 by the Minnesota Jaycees.cite news
url=|title= TOYM Award|publisher=Minnesota Jaycees (|date=2004-09-11|accessdate=2006-12-21
] cite news|last = Drey|first =Patricia|title = WBL Composer Named Outstanding Young Minnesotan|publisher =White Bear Press ( (White Bear Lake, Minnesota, U.S.)|date = 2004-09-15|url=|accessdate =2007-04-03] During the same year, Orange Music released two compilation CDs; "The Road Ahead" and "In the Heart of Everyone", in addition to re-releasing his "Christmas Around the World" album.cite web |url=
title= Orange Music catalog|publisher=(
] These are distributed throughout Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, Thailand, and Indonesia.cite web |url=|title=Fall 2004 Newsletter|publisher = (archived page from|accessdate=2006-12-21] In a review of "In the Heart of Everyone", Yeoh Wee Teck remarked, "Instead of attempting to fuse elements of different cultures like everyone else, he chose to rely on what he knows best - simple arrangements with assured piano playing."cite news|author=Yeoh Wee Teck|date =2006-03-26|url=|title=Review of "In the Heart of Everyone"|publisher="The News Paper" (Singapore); (scanned version at|accessdate=2006-12-21]

Subsequent releases include "For the Love of It", "Piano Love Songs", and "Hymns and Spiritual Songs". On these albums, Joseph arranges piano, orchestra, and soft rhythms to cover melodies such as "I'll Never Fall in Love Again" (Burt Bacharach), "Fields of Gold" (Sting), and "Ave Maria" (Schubert). Noticing the reactions to certain types of music by his own pets,cite video |people= |date2=2008-09-04 |title=Bradley Joseph interview |url= |format= |medium= Television production|publisher=Government Television Network |location= |accessdate=2008-09-08] he has produced numerous CD and DVD projects designed for pets in a "While You Are Gone" series.cite news|last = Morgan|first =Mike|title = WBL musician captivates four-legged audience, Special pet CDs a hit with animal lovers |publisher =White Bear Press ( (White Bear Lake, Minnesota, U.S.)|date = 2008-03-12|url=
accessdate =2008-03-19
] Additionally, a DVD was released using Joseph's music throughout, "Isle Royale Impressions Volume II", containing video footage by Carl TerHaar of scenery and wildlife from the Isle Royale National Park in Michigan.cite web|url=
title= IRNHA catalog|publisher=Isle Royale Natural History Association (|accessdate=2006-12-21
] Joseph has published many of his compositions in sheet music form. His music has been heard in regular rotation in the United States and Canada by more than 160 major radio networks including XM and Sirius satellite radio, as well as airwaves in Japan, United Kingdom, Spain, China, South-East Asia, Thailand, Germany, Switzerland, and Russia. [cite web
url= |title= XM Satellite Radio playlist
] [ cite web
title= Sirius Satellite Radio playlist
] The Weather Channel also utilizes his compositions during the "Local on the 8s" segments, and his song "Friday's Child" is included in their 2008 compilation release, "". [cite web
url=|title= The Weather Channel Strikes the Right Chord by Offering Musical Encore|publisher=(
] In April 2008 Joseph was presented the "WPS Foundation Arts and Academics Hallmarks of Pride" award for outstanding achievements by an alumnus.

Thoughts on success as an independent artist

Having experienced both avenues of recording on a major label and later choosing to be an independent artist, a combination of musicianship with business know-how has helped give Joseph staying power in the notoriously competitive world of music. He spends most of his time writing songs, composing arrangements, making recordings, and publishing and distributing his works. "I’m my own boss. I can do what I want. I can change directions", he told "West Central Tribune"'s Anne Polta. As an independent, business is a prime concern and can take over if not controlled, Joseph said. "A lot of musicians don’t learn the business. You just have to be well-rounded in both areas. You have to understand publishing. You have to understand how you make money, what’s in demand, what helps you make the most out of your talent." "I couldn’t license my music if it wasn’t mine", he said. "It has allowed me to create CDs. It separates you from the million other great players."

But some artists just want to be involved in the music and do not like the added problems or have the personality to work with both. Joseph suggests newer artists read and study both courses and pick one that best suits their needs and wants. He advises, " keep your eyes and ears open all the time. All the information you need is available to you to have a successful career in music, if you're paying attention, and not closed off to anything." "Perseverance is King." When asked by Wheeler what brought him back to Minnesota after living in Los Angeles and traveling around the world, Joseph replied, "The first thing business people say is 'First and foremost, if you want to be successful, live where you want to live'." He grew up there and family were important to him. When he decided to become a solo artist he wanted to be comfortable in his environment and moved back.

Musical style and composition

In an interview with "Indie Journal," Joseph has said that when writing music he prefers to concentrate on the melody first, stating, "Basically, I write from a two-person standpoint. First, I let the song take hold and I put down the idea as a raw emotional statement. Then I let it breathe and come back, approaching from more of an objective point of view. This allows me to rediscover the true meaning I intended in the beginning, shedding new light on how I can best represent that to the listener." Debbage comments, "One strength of Bradley Joseph as an artist has been his keen ability to write inspiring music with appropriately titled songs that express that thought non-verbally". The range of ways in which he utilizes synthesizers is equally as characteristic, inspired early in life by keyboard-oriented pop/rock bands like Styx and Journey.

Joseph's musical style and direction have varied over time, having released more than a hundred original compositions and arrangements since 1994. "When I write it, it just kind of moves, because where I am in life is different", Joseph said. "So as I get older, it kind of changes." His recordings can offer full orchestrations such as in "Hear the Masses", or "Rapture" that combines smooth jazz with contemporary instrumental themes. A review of "Rapture" from "New Age Voice" states Joseph "paints romantic pictures in sound with voices and instruments that escalate from quiet, intimate passages to big, energetic movements". "The arrangements are structured so that the trumpet can lead a line out on 'Be Still' signaling an introspective sort of mood; yet the strings swell on 'The Passage' engulfing the listener in an ocean of sound." "Even cuts that start quiet, such as 'Healing the Hollow Man' or 'Blue Rock Road' ebb and flow between quiet moments and crescendos."cite news|title = New Age Voice review of "Rapture"|publisher=New Age Voice, (currently|date=1997-07-25|accessdate=2007-06-04]

In contrast, later albums such as "Solo Journey" and "The Journey Continues" are considered to be "stripped back and basic" by Debbage, with the latter featuring "Joseph and his piano with no additional clutter". "There is color in the songs via their understated melodies." sample box end As examples, Debbage describes Joseph as using a chord progression that translates into a strolling rhythm in the song "The Road Ahead". "Solo Piano Publications" contributor, Kathy Parsons, writes, "...'The Long, Last Mile' starts out with a bittersweet melody, and then builds in intensity and complexity with cello, winds, and ethereal sounds intertwining around the piano. Then it breaks off, and the opening melody returns."cite web |author=Parsons, Kathy|url=|title=Review of "Solo Journey"|publisher = Solo Piano Publications (archived page of|date|accessdate=2006-12-21] Debbage depicts "A Minnesota Snowfall" from the album "Christmas Around the World" as taking "a more naked, bare-boned ballad approach".

For the 2002 album "One Deep Breath", Joseph combines "structured melodic pieces and free-form ambient compositions",cite web |author=Parsons, Kathy|url=|title=Review of "One Deep Breath"|publisher = Solo Piano Publications (archived page of|date|accessdate=2006-12-21] which "departs dramatically from the previous more explosive and dynamic music on his first two recordings, "Hear the Masses" and "Rapture". Binkelman writes, "It is an album with two distinct 'feels' to it: the more serene new age/ambient soundscapes that bookend the inner tracks and the more radio-friendly and mainstream music in-between." For instance, the song "Dance of Life" was inspired by Antonin Dvorak's opera, "Rusalka".cite album-notes |title= One Deep Breath|albumlink=One Deep Breath|bandname=Bradley Joseph |year= 2002|format= CD liner|publisher= Robbins Island Music|publisherid=ODB-4D] It is a bit more straightforward in its piano presentation, and will probably appeal the most to hardcore fans of solo instrumental music, says "Instrumental Weekly". Then the album closes with its title track, "One Deep Breath", that "floats and meanders for more than ten minutes, bringing in ocean sounds". It is "far and away the most ambient of everything else to be found here",cite web |author= |url=|title= Review of "One Deep Breath"|publisher = Instrumental Weekly (archived page from|accessdate=2006-12-21] and is "stunning, both in its execution and how radical a change it is from what has come before".

Parsons goes on to say, "The influence of years of touring with Yanni is apparent in the richness of Joseph’s sound, but his musical voice is his own." Yanni once said, "Bradley, your extreme sensitivity is your greatest gift". Joseph later realized what Yanni meant was that he needed that as a composer, that it was a crucial component "to be sensitive to what you see and to be able to apply that to music". Musically, he tries to connect a common bridge between such exhilarating feelings as performing at the Acropolis, to the emotions each and everyone feels everyday. "In the end, a good melody will always stand the test of time", says Joseph.

Generally, Joseph's music gets airplay in the adult contemporary, smooth jazz, easy listening, and beautiful music radio formats, and while some is classified in the new age genre, he considers contemporary instrumental to fit his style of playing the best. In discussing "Rapture", John Blake of "The Atlanta Journal" notes that often new age music sounds as if it should be played in a supermarket. The songs can sound like musical cotton candy — soft, airy and ultimately uninteresting. "For the most part, Bradley's music doesn't make that mistake."cite news|last=Blake|first=John|title =Joseph's solo debut has range |publisher = The Atlanta Journal (Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.)|url=|format=fee required|date = 1997-07-19|accessdate =2008-01-18] "The music is cinematic, filled with introspective piano solos, swelling violins, and a hypnotic song pacing that allows the listener to daydream."

Rquote|left|The piano is always true to me. In times of despair, happiness, and joy, its mood is always my own.|Bradley Joseph|Quote from: cite album-notes |title=Grand Piano (Narada Anniversary Collection) |albumlink=Grand Piano (Narada Anniversary Collection)|bandname=Various Artists |year= 1997|format= CD liner|publisher= Narada|publisherid=ND2-61062] Polta reports that he often references the past when he names his songs and his music is frequently reminiscent of his rural Minnesota roots. "Wind Farmer" was inspired by childhood visits to a relative's farm near Olivia, and his company, Robbins Island Music, is named after a city park in Willmar.

Joseph employs a variety of instruments to compose including the Korg Triton music workstation, Korg SG-1 piano, and occasionally Korg M1.cite web|last =Epand| first =Victor|title =The Rise And Popularity Of Digital Synthesizers| publisher = (| date =2007-11-20 | url =
accessdate =2007-11-23
] Rack units have included Roland JD-800, and Roland JV-1080 which he says is "great for string layers". The Alesis D4, Yamaha SY22, and Yamaha TG77 which has "some nice ethereal textures" have been utilized; working also with E-mu Systems Proteus 1, Proteus 2, and the E-5000 sampler because it is "easy to use and has a great library". Acoustic pianos vary, Yamaha and Bösendorfer were used for the 1997 album, "Rapture".



External links

* [ Bradley Joseph's Official Website]

NAME=Joseph, Bradley
SHORT DESCRIPTION=Composer, pianist, keyboardist, arranger, producer, recording artist
PLACE OF BIRTH=Willmar, Minnesota, U.S.

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