Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara String Quartet | Forever Laughter

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Classical: String Quartet Classical: Romantic Era Moods: Mood: Virtuoso
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Forever Laughter

by Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara String Quartet

Filled with original neo-classical music that can be enjoyed by everyone, "Forever Laughter" brings hummable warm melodies and toe tapping rhythms directly to the pleasure centers of all music lovers!
Genre: Classical: String Quartet
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Valse Lente in C Major Op. 1: 1. Presto grazioso: "The Hummingbird Waltz"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara Strings
4:24 $0.99
2. Suite in A Minor, Op. 2 "The Tangier Suite": 1. Presto impetuoso: "Le P'tit Souk"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara Strings
2:17 $0.99
3. Suite in A Minor, Op. 2 "The Tangier Suite": 2. Allegro maestoso: "The Kasbah"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara Strings
2:43 $0.99
4. Suite in A Minor, Op. 2 "The Tangier Suite": 3. Prestissimo grazioso: "The Medina"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara Strings
2:35 $0.99
5. Suite in A Minor, Op. 2 "The Tangier Suite": 4. Allegretto imperioso: "Interzone"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara Strings
2:55 $0.99
6. Suite in A Minor, Op. 2 "The Tangier Suite": 5. Presto improvisato: "Return to the P'tit Souk"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara Strings
6:12 $0.99
7. Suite in D Minor, Op. 3 "The Water Sprites": 1. Prestissimo brilliante: "The Source"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara Strings
3:26 $0.99
8. Waltz in A-Flat, Op. 69: 1. Allegretto grazioso: "L'adieu"
Edwin Orion Brownell
3:08 $0.99
9. Processional in C Major, Op. 21: 3. Allegretto leggiadro: "Forever Laughter (First Dance)"
Edwin Orion Brownell & Flaviu Zanca
4:13 $0.99
10. Recessional in G Major, Op. 21: 2. Allegro con brio: "Bridegroom's Walk (Ian's Song)"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara String Quartet
2:33 $0.99
11. Processional in C Major, Op. 20: 3. Allegretto espressivo: "Jerusalem Processional (Song for Amit)"
The Zara String Quartet
3:49 $0.99
12. Recessional in G Major, Op. 22: 4. Allegro grazioso: "Battery Park Wedding Song"
Edwin Orion Brownell
2:40 $0.99
13. Csárdás in A Minor, Op. 12: 1. Presto con fuoco: "Gypsy Dance"
Edwin Orion Brownell & The Zara Strings
6:19 $0.99
14. Serenade in G Major, Op. 26, Adagio intimo: "Together (For Bruce and Wendy)"
Edwin Orion Brownell
4:52 $0.99
15. Hava Nagila
Edwin Orion Brownell
3:20 $0.99
16. Serenade in G Major, Op. 36: 1. Andante grazioso "Smile Baby Smile"
Edwin Orion Brownell
5:34 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Piano, vocals, string arrangements: Edwin Orion Brownell
Zara Strings:
Violin: Flaviu Zanca, Cello: Loredana Zanca (Tracks 1-7, 13)
Violin: Flaviu Zanca (Track 9)
Zara String Quartet:
First violin: Flaviu Zanca, Second Violin: Stéphanie Caplette, Viola: Xavier Lepage-Brault, Cello: Loredana Zanca (Tracks 10-12, 14-16)
Backup vocals: Susan-Blanche Chato, Sharon Blauer, Carole Faucher, Angela Zavradinos
Percussion: Rob Couture (Tracks 14-16)
Mixing and mastering: Ryan Moray, Photos and Graphics: Bob Malvasio
Produced by Edwin Orion Brownell
The Songs
Hello my friends! You have in your hands my 6th classical album and my 9th CD and it is good to be on the road again with you. On the road indeed, because this is a “greatest hits live” album culled from two shows I performed with “The Zara Strings” in 2012 and 2013.

Our concert begins with seven tracks recorded at the 2013 concert which first appeared on my album “Music of the Dance” (2005). These were rearranged for this performance as a piano trio, and feature my great friends Flaviu Zanca and Loredana Zanca on violin and cello respectively. “The Hummingbird Waltz”, my very first classical composition, opens the proceedings. It is a gracious Viennese Waltz which is a sound-painting of the dances of the little birds and animals that live in (and devour) my mother’s garden.

The next five pieces come from my African travelogue “The Tangier Suite.” Tangier is the city in Africa closest to Europe, and the first movement; “Le P’tit Souk,” is about the little square where William Burroughs hung out in the 1950s. At that time a fellow author actually wrote that “compared to Tangier, Sodom was a church picnic and Gomorrah a convention of Girl Scouts.” Even though I would not go quite so far in describing my experiences, I have vivid memories of an ancient old man poking me in the back with a “keef” filled pipe as I sat in a coffee shop above that very square!

The second part, “The Kasbah” depicts the majestic, slow paced market where everyone goes to shop, and “The Medina” looks at the graceful living quarters of the Tangier population. “Interzone” is our last stop before turning back to the little square where our adventure began, and this piece looks at how many western tourists have warped the innately decent fabric of Moroccan society through their search for hedonistic pleasures.

“The Source” is the first movement of “The Water Sprites,” one of my earliest classical compositions. This also first appeared as part of my “Music of the Dance” album and, at its launch, provided the soundtrack for a choreography by Dalal Saikali. This particular work speaks of the start of a love affair as told through the metaphor of a magical river that begins as a small mountain stream.

The next five songs come from the Montreal launch of my 2012 album “Songs of Love and Marriage.” Flaviu and Loredana are again the heart of the group, but with the addition of Stéphanie Caplette on second violin and Zavier Lepage-Brault on viola, most of these songs feature the “Zara Strings” in a quartet formation. The first of the series, “Waltz in Ab,” is the only solo piano piece on the album and one of the few covers I play at my big concerts. I chose this selection because Chopin is my favourite piano composer and because the waltz’s elastic nature allows for for so much freedom of interpretation.

The remaining four pieces are my original works which highlight the string players. The title tune “Forever Laughter” was inspired by the wedding of my step-daughter Shiri to the love of her life Ian, and the following track; “Bridegroom’s Walk” is dedicated to the lucky groom himself! “Jerusalem Processional” was written for the happy and adorable son of my step-daughter Michal and her husband Noam, and this song takes its name from his birthplace.

The final instrumental from this concert “The Battery Park Wedding Song” is a recessional dedicated to Charlie and Jayne, a lovely couple from New York who were married in Battery Park, a gorgeous Manhattan suburb.

Before the encores, we return to the piano trio for one last barn-burner from the 2013 show. “Gypsy Dance” originally appeared on my “SMILE” CD/DVD in 2009. I wrote this in the Hungarian Csárdás style, and re-arranged it here for myself, Flaviu and Loredana. Everyone is invited to clap along!!!

All three encore pieces come from the first concert. They feature the quartet, with the very special addition of Rob Couture on percussion and members of the “So Happy Choir” doing backup vocals. “Together” originally appears on my 2012 CD, but “Hava Nagila” and “Smile Baby Smile” have been performed at every show I have done after being first introduced on my “Maimonides Pops” album of 2005. With the strings these songs take wing, and I am proud to have them close this live album of “greatest hits”!!!

Notes on Editing
Mistakes are part of life. They are an integral part of the human condition and have certainly occurred in every single performance of music EVER! And for as long as mistakes have been a part of recorded performance, there has been a debate on whether to edit mistakes out. My feelings are that they should generally be left in. If the mistake is too big, well ... just don’t use that recording! If there is only one obnoxious flaw in an otherwise perfect take, I will consider an edit, although I would usually just play the piece over. In this recording there are two edits: the first is in the music of the first track where the introduction is shortened, and the second is in track 15 where a few choruses of “Smile Baby Smile” have been cut. That’s it, that’s all; Just wanted you to know!

The Artists
Ryan Morey has done a superb job mixing and mastering, and I thank this fantastic professional for his hard work and dedication to this project, and to music in general! Next, my gratitude goes to my partner-in-crime and my great friend Bob Malvasio. He has always done an amazing job on the graphics, and I so appreciate all his wonderful qualities (including his bridge playing and his singing)! My buddy Jillian Deevy takes care of my merchandising and my Ontario management ... I am so grateful to her for that, and even more for her true and steadfast friendship!

My musicians are fantastic, and what is more, they are also really good friends! “The Zara Strings” are based around the husband and wife team of Flaviu and Loredana Zanca. This group was originally created to perform my arrangements for “Songs of Love and Marriage” in 2012, and now plays at concerts and high-end events throughout Eastern Canada. Their website is at www.zarastrings.com if you feel like booking them, and I must say that I am indeed fortunate to have some of the best chamber musicians anywhere performing my compositions!
Flaviu started violin when he was seven, and today he holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees in violin performance from the “Gheorghe Dima” Music Academy, Romania. With professional experience in many orchestras, (including Sinfonia de Lanaudiere, the Sherbrooke Symphony Orchestra, and the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra) he is outstanding as a soloist, orchestral player, chamber musician and section leader. He is also a VERY funny man, especially when you are driving to concerts together!

Loredana began her cello studies at age eight. Since then, she has performed extensively as a soloist, and as an orchestral and chamber player. Loredana also holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in cello and appeared as soloist with the “Transilania” State Philharmonic, “Dinu Lipatti” State Philharmonic, and Sibiu State Philharmonic. She won the audition for Principal Cello with the “Dinu Lipatti” Philharmonic just before coming to Canada. We are a very lucky country to have her!

Stephanie Caplette is the second violin in this version of the Zara Strings and has a lovely warm sound and presence. At this date she is the leader of the 2nd violin section of the Thunder Bay Symphony Orchestra. Our violist, Xavier Lepage-Brault is also a consummate professional of the first-rank and currently works in Les Petits Violons and under Yannick Nézet-Séguin in the Orchestre Métropolitain of Montreal.

My pal Rob Couture has performed on my 2011 rock CD “One for All.” Presently he works with the Montreal folk-rock group “The Echo Hunters,” but I try and get him on gigs and recording sessions whenever possible.

The “So Happy Choir” began as an outreach from one of the churches I used to work at in the West Island of Montreal. Angela Zavradinos is a wonderful singer who used to come see my rock band when we first started playing in Montreal. We stayed friends ever since, and she and Carole Faucher (who had also seen the band in its early years) both joined the church choir as soloists. The wife of another choir member, Susan-Blanche Chato is another talented vocalist who sang with us when her own recording career allowed. Sharon Blauer is the only outsider, but we actually have the longest musical history together. She was the lead singer for my rock band “Edwin & the Bedouins” in the mid 1990s (she also appears with the band on my 2011 live album “One for All”) and is an international recording artist whose career has taken her from Montreal nightclubs and concert halls to the Pyramids of Egypt!

Personal Thanks
First, I want to tell YOU my fans, ... in concert, on youtube, in life and on Facebook ... THANK YOU for the connections we have made together. When you take the time to come to a concert, or you buy my music online, or even when you just watch one of my videos and comment, it means the world to me. Your actions give me the reasons I need to make my music.

Second, I would like to express my gratitude to all my musicians of the Zara Strings, and especially to my friends Flaviu and Loredana Zanca. Your hard-earned skills and your dedication to music have brought these songs alive and it is such a pleasure to make music with you!!!

Third, I must thank the technical personnel of the concert halls I have played at for these shows and throughout my career. Your hard work allows us the freedom to make beautiful music without worrying about the sound or the lighting ... and on behalf of all musicians, that effort is SO appreciated!

My deep gratitude also goes to my close friends Chris, Jeremy, Mark, Rosemarie, Angela, Ida, Frank, Tali, Itsik, Orit, Eitan and their families. Your friendship and support is amazing and I cannot put in words what that means to me. Thank you from my heart.

Finally, I would like to dedicate this album to my amazing wife Nechama, my wonderful mom “MeeMee”, my wife’s beautiful daughters Shiri (who came up with the title for this album) and Michal, and my family here and in Israel who give me all the love and inspiration in the world ... You are the BEST!!!
With all my love ...
Edwin Orion Brownell



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