Peter Calandra | Ashokan Memories

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Ashokan Memories

by Peter Calandra

NYC based composer/pianist Peter Calandra performs a collection of emotive original compositions.
Genre: New Age: Solo Instrumental
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Awosting Morning
2:24 $0.99
2. Ramblin' Nightime
5:23 $0.99
3. Frost Valley
5:11 $0.99
4. Overlook
2:46 $0.99
5. Bonticou Crag
1:23 $0.99
6. Peekamoose
3:52 $0.99
7. Ashokan Memories
2:35 $0.99
8. Mettcohonts Flowing
3:57 $0.99
9. Tubin' the Esopus
2:50 $0.99
10. Gertrude's Nose
3:43 $0.99
11. Woodland Valley
4:22 $0.99
12. Minnewaska
2:07 $0.99
13. Ver Noy Falls
3:12 $0.99
14. The Ice Caves
3:35 $0.99
15. Shaft 2a
3:05 $0.99
16. Stone Ridge
2:21 $0.99
17. Karma Road
2:31 $0.99
18. Buttermilk Falls
2:10 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The music on this CD was inspired by places in Ulster County, NY where I have a summer house near the Ashokan Reservoir. In 2012 i had a small project studio built on the property. Everyday that August I went into the studio and wrote a piece based on a place in the Catskills, the Shawangunks or another spot in the area that is inspiring. There is something spiritual about this part of New York that goes beyond what is visible to the eye. If you spend time there and pay attention, you feel it. Hopefully some of that feeling comes through in the music on this disc.

Peter Calandra is a New York City-based composer and keyboard player. He has scored 40 films including: Pat XO (2013 ESPN), BearCity2 (2012 Sharp Left), OWLAG Documentary (2012 Harpo, Lookalike), Unlikely Animal Friends 3-7 (2011-2012 NAtional Geographic) Rise (2010, Lookalike Productions, USFSA), Unmatched (2010 Lookalike Productions, ESPN), Dreams At The End Of A Rope (2010 Remy Award, Houston Film Festival), Red Right Wrong (2009 Stock’s-Eye Films) Let It Out The Movie (2008 Lookalike Productions, Kleenex, USOC) Night Into Day (2008 Lookalike Productions, Selection 2008 Los Angeles Short Film Festival), Trip To The Planetarium (2008 Licorne Films, Selection Cannes Film Festival) The Sickness (2007 Antidote Films) Jellysmoke (Winner 2005 Los Angeles Film Festival, Nominee 2006 Independent Spirit Award), Unknown Soldier (2004 CL Productions feature film, Winner 2004 Los Angeles and Philadelphia Film Festivals, Nominee 2005 Independent Spirit Award).
He has scored television projects for National Geographic, Sesame Workshop, ABC-Touchstone, NBC, FOX Sports, A&E, and the Discovery Networks. He has also written over 1800 compositions for television broadcast including 37 theme packages for shows on Fox Sports Net, ESPN, Bravo, Discovery, ABC, Comcast Sports Net, Madison Square Garden Network, SNY and The Big Ten Network. His music is heard hundreds of times daily on both network and cable television all over the world. Peter spent 10 years as the Keyboard 1 player for the Broadway production of Miss Saigon. He also toured the U.S.A playing Keyboard 1 with Les Miserables and performed in the Broadway Production of Phantom Of The Opera.
He also served as Pianist/Conductor and Musical Director for the award winning original NYC production of Little Shop of Horrors and spent the summer of 1984 in the Radio City Music Hall Orchestra. He is currently playing part time on Broadway at The Lion King. Peter has performed or recorded with the NY Pops Orchestra, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Susan Anton, Don Cherry, Aretha Franklin, Allen Ginsberg, Annie Golden, Lillianne Montevecchi and spent 16 years as keyboard player in the NYC Based artist/musician Larry Rivers’ “Climax Band”



to write a review

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Ashokan Memories" is a collection of solo piano improvisations by pianist/composer Peter Calandra. Inspired by experiences and visions at his summer home in The Catskills/ Hudson Valley region of New York, each of the eighteen pieces was based on a “small idea” Calandra felt depicted the spirit of the place. (That’s important information to have before determining the meaning of pieces like “Gertrude’s Nose,” “Buttermilk Falls,” or “Peekamoose”!) It also explains the diversity of the music which ranges from lyrical and flowing to minimalist to edgy jazz. Calandra is best-known for his film and television music and has performed keyboards in a very impressive list of major Broadway productions. He is also on the faculty at Queens College, CUNY where he teaches Masters Level classes on Pro Tools Sequencing and Music Technology. This is definitely not the kid down the street who bought a keyboard and decided to record a CD! Masterful yet free and spontaneous, this music takes listeners on an auditory tour that is descriptive, evocative and throughly enjoyable.

"Ashokan Memories" begins with “Awosting Morning,” a beautiful piece that expresses optimism and a fresh beginning. “Ramblin’ Nightime” is dedicated to Levon Helm (of The Band), who did weekly performances in his barn studio in Woodstock that Calandra and his wife often attended. Gentle yet energetic, it’s a wonderful tribute. “Frost Valley” is very peaceful and relaxing - a lovely favorite! The melodic “Overlook” is grace and serenity set to music. “Peekamoose” is the name of a mountain in The Catskills and this piece conveys an elegant majesty that is inviting and welcoming. The rapidly-flowing title track has an infectious, swirling energy with only brief pauses here and there. “Tubin’ the Esopus” has an edgy sense of fun and adventure, moving all over the piano keyboard, offering surprises and suspense. “Gertrude’s Nose” returns to a more peaceful expression - spare and open - and is named for a beautiful escarpment with incredible Hudson Valley views up in the Shawangunk mountain range. “Ver Noy Falls” is another favorite. Darker and more mysterious than the other tracks, it has a very haunting quality that I love. “The Ice Caves” was inspired by “really cool” caves that are kept cold year-round by underground streams. Calandra uses a bright and more percussive touch on this piece to convey the chilly feeling and perhaps the sparkle of ice formations inside the caves. I really like this one, too! “Shaft 2a” is named for a swimming hole in the Shawangunk mountains - cool and lazy, it’s the perfect refreshment on a summer afternoon. “Buttermilk Falls” brings this excellent album to a close with a shimmering grace and beauty. Great stuff!

"Ashokan Memories" is an outstanding album of solo piano improvisations and Peter Calandra is quickly becoming one of my favorite artists! Very highly recommended!

Michael Diamond (

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
Having had the pleasure of writing about Peter Calandra’s excellent album, Inner Circle, I thought I had a fairly good idea of his style and musical direction. However, his Ashokan Memories release reflects a different facet of his creative spectrum. Oftentimes an artist draws inspiration from their surroundings, and this is certainly the case with Peter. His Inner Circle album drew from the diversity of life and work in New York City. That recording was richly orchestrated and included influences of classical, jazz, new age, and Latin, as well as featuring a number of world-class accompanists. However his solo piano release, Ashokan Memories, provides a completely different experience, with the two albums contrasting each other like yin and yang. The surroundings that inspired Ashokan Memories are Peter’s summer home in the Catskill Mountains, about 75 miles north of New York City, and light years away in terms of environment.

The recording consists entirely of solo piano pieces with each track being named for a point of interest in the area. As can be expected, the music is peaceful and reflective, yet one thing that distinguishes it is the influence of Peter’s favorite jazz pianists such as Keith Jarrett, Bill Evans, Chick Corea, and Herbie Hancock, compared to many other solo piano albums that come more from the George Winston side of the spectrum. The title track is spectacular and its lively rolling arpeggios create the feel of a rushing river tumbling over a falls. This piece is a real tour de force exhibition of Peter’s exquisite piano technique. On a different note, is the gorgeous pastoral ambience of “Woodland Valley.” This track is quite spacious and I particularly appreciated the use of well-placed pauses to create a sense of anticipation for the next melody. The album draws to a lovely conclusion with the wistful “Buttermilk Falls,” that features the interesting contrast of sparse phrasing with a far-away feel and more densely clustered rapid note sequences that are dazzling.

In the well-populated field of solo piano albums, Peter Calandra has created a recording that stands out not only for his virtuoso playing, but for the not-as-often -heard jazz influences he brings to the music. While the sound of this album is inspired by the natural beauty of the Hudson River Valley and is generally quite peaceful, decades of living and working in New York City have shaped Peter’s musical DNA, and the merging of these two diverse environments creates a sound that is serene yet sophisticated. Ashokan Memories reveals a more personal and contemplative side of multi-talented composer and pianist, Peter Calandra, providing a captivating listening experience that reflects the natural beauty in which it was created.

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