Peter Calandra | First Light

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New Age: Ambient Classical: Film Music Moods: Featuring Piano
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First Light

by Peter Calandra

Beautiful instrumental stories in sound.
Genre: New Age: Ambient
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Open Your Heart
3:01 $0.99
2. Night City
4:09 $0.99
3. First Light
4:10 $0.99
4. Sunset Sky
3:10 $0.99
5. Valley of Two Lakes
5:13 $0.99
6. Keep the Faith
3:12 $0.99
7. The Dream
2:52 $0.99
8. Inner Secrets
3:50 $0.99
9. Circle the Time
3:02 $0.99
10. Flames of Love
2:09 $0.99
11. Morning Star
2:44 $0.99
12. Sunrise Over New York (2015)
3:52 $0.99
13. The Poet
3:22 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
First Light is a collection of piano based, instrumental stories in sound composed by NYC veteran film and television composer Peter Calandra. Elegantly recorded and performed by group of top notch musicians led by Peter's piano playing and artistic vision. The music ranges from upbeat solo piano music to alt classical orchestral music to ambient and even trip hop styles.

"I always expect the unexpected when it comes to music. I was not prepared for the dramatic, intricate, and sophisticated style of pianist and composer Peter Calandra" RJ Lannan, ZMR

"It is not everyday I find instrumental music that has such an emotional impact. " Mark Webber Music Blog

"“The most remarkable thing about this album is that Calandra is so comfortable with and adept at such a broad spectrum of musical styles that range from classical to jazz to pop and fusion.” Kathy Parsons

“Calandra has set up his compositions in ways that make them sound like deep, lofty conversations between his piano and stringed instruments. He is able to take the listener on extravagant highs and plummeting lows through the beautiful work he creates with his instruments.” Good Vibes Music reviews

Featuring Joy Askew: Vocal Choir (Tracks 3,4,5 and 11)
Ralph Farris, Ragga Petursdottir, Junah Chung: Violins and Violas (Tracks 1,2,3 and 7)
Peter Prosser: Cello (Tracks 1,3,4)
Kermit Driscoll: Acoustic Bass (Track12)
Kathleen Nester: Flute (Tracks 3 and 9)
Julia DeRosa: Oboe (Tracks 3 and 9)
David Weiss: Blackwood Flute, Kingma Bass Flute (Track 5)
Peter Calandra: Composer, Piano, Electric Keyboards, Electric and Acoustic Guitars, Synth Bass, Acoustic Percussion, Percussion Programming, Pro Tools Digital Sequencing (All Tracks)
Engineered by Peter Calandra
Mixed By Ken Freeman and Peter Calandra Mastered By Ken Freeman
Recorded at Flying Genesha Studios NYC

Peter Calandra is a New York City-based composer and keyboard player. He has scored 50 films including:Coach Bernie (2015 ESPN), 41 on 41 (2014 CNN), 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 ESPN, National Geographic, Sesame Workshop, ABC-Touchstone, NBC, FOX Sports, A&E, and the Discovery Networks. He has also written over 2000 compositions for television broadcast including 41 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
"First Light" is the very impressive follow-up to composer/multi-instrumentalist Peter Calandra’s 2014 "Inner Circle." With a lifetime of experience working in many different areas of the music and entertainment industries - including playing keyboards for major Broadway productions and composing a wide variety of music for movies and television - Calandra’s composing versatility is nothing short of amazing, as his musicianship and depth of emotional expression. Even though the music on "First Light" covers a lot of musical territory, the album as a whole carries a consistent mood of warmth and optimism. Peter Calandra is an artist who defies classification, effortlessly merging genres and styles to create a unique musical voice that is easily accessible but also substantial enough to stand up to many listens, revealing new facets each time. Calandra is featured on this album as composer of all of the music and performs on piano, keyboards, electric and acoustic guitars, synth bass, acoustic percussion, percussion programming, and sequencing; he also engineered and co-mixed the recording, AND did the album artwork! He is joined by a large group of guest artists playing strings, flutes, oboe, percussion, and choir on some of the thirteen tracks.

"First Light" begins with the buoyant and joyful “Open Your Heart,” perhaps the most radio-friendly track on the album. Don’t get me wrong - this is not ear candy. It’s just such happy music that I can’t imagine anyone not loving this piece! “Night City” is my favorite track. Although the rhythm is lively and often driving, there is a sense of mystery paired with a sense of magic - this one catches my breath every time! The title track begins very lightly, gradually building as it evolves. Flute, oboe, and voices evoke feelings of optimism at the start of a new day. “Sunset Sky” has the piano front and center with strong percussion and choral voices - more musical magic! “Valley of Two Lakes” is another favorite, this time in more of a new age/ambient style. Very smooth and gentle, flute, strings, voices, and keyboards paint a picture of serenity and beauty. “Keep the Faith” is a lively piano solo that reminds me a bit of Michael Dulin. I love “Inner Secrets,” a haunting piano piece with lots of reverb that gives it a mysterious feeling and keyboard washes and enhancements that add color and atmosphere. “Sunrise Over New York (2015)” is a trio for piano, bass, and percussion. Smooth and uncluttered, it expresses the peaceful magic and quiet hush of early morning. “The Poet” closes this outstanding album with a smooth jazz piano solo.

"First Light" will most certainly be on my list of Favorites for 2015 and should reward Peter Calandra with many new fans. He’s the real deal! I give it my highest recommendation!

Michael Diamond

Review excerpt from Music and Media Focus
With over 25 years of playing keyboards in major Broadway productions and 15 years of composing music for Hollywood films and network TV, Peter Calandra brings a level of experience that many musicians only dream of to his latest album, First Light. Above all, Peter is a storyteller in song and his music lifts the listener out of their everyday world on an imaginative flight of fantasy. Blending new age, neo-classical, and smooth jazz influences, Peter’s creative compositions are as emotionally evocative as they are technically brilliant, striking the perfect balance between form and feeling.

Listening to the first track, “Open Your Heart,” Peter’s experience as a film composer is evident in the way he builds his composition. Beginning with a simple piano melody set against a metronomic marimba sequence, the piece evolves to a point then comes to a pause before jumping into a whole other space accompanied by a powerful string section composed of violin, viola, and cello, before elevating to the next level, and then back down once more.

As the title of “Night City” implies, there is an upbeat urban feel to the music that pulses powerfully along. Its’ definitely not your dreamy new age vibe, even though the music falls into the new age category. However, the “dreamy new age vibe” is alive and well on a serene soundscape entitled “Valley Of Two Lakes.” There is a real fantasy atmosphere created in this piece and a hint of Celtic influence with flutes, harp, celestial female voices, and more. The yin yang relationship represented by this track and some of the earlier upbeat pieces highlight Peter’s range as a composer.

A lot of musical territory is illuminated in First Light. Each composition is exquisite, yet just as impressive as the overall piece, is the attention to the smallest details heard on closer listening. I don’t know how many “wow” moments I had throughout the album, but they were numerous. Peter’s skills in arranging are among the best I’ve heard. And I would be remiss if I did not direct the spotlight to Peter’s accomplishments, not only as a pianist, but also as a multi-instrumentalist. There is a degree of professionalism in Peter’s music and production that places him in the highest echelon of artists that I have heard in the new age genre. Before I run out of superlatives, I will just say that I am beyond impressed with Peter Calandra’s efforts on First Light.

To read a full length feature article on this album, as well as others, please visit:

Serge Kozlovsky

Writings by Serge Kozlovsky /
Peter Calandra is a respected artist with a rich experience of 25 years of playing keyboards in major Broadway productions and 15 years of composing music for Hollywood films and network TV. Now he returns with the new album of instrumental music “First Light”.

This album is an exciting journey through the time and space. You listen to the inspired music of the “First Light” and you can easily imagine faraway lands under the endless sky which strongly attract you. You need just relax and start your amazing trip.

The music of Peter Calandra is filled with dynamism and inner artistry. The album “First Light” is a collection of bright melodies. Instrumental keyboards and piano compositions of the artist are refined and very expressive. They bring you a joy and help to open your heart. And all Peter Calandra’s tunes are perfectly arranged and performed. His music is full of aerial harmonies and a flight of fancy. Composer gently leads the listener through his journey.

“First Light” also can be compared with an interesting movie which unfolding step-by-step before the listener’s eyes. The music of the album contains a lot of emotional experiences and various moods. But it is always penetrated with hopes for the better. “First Light” will be memorable event and a blazing star in the modern instrumental and new age music scene.

While listen to this album, you just allow the rays of its light to reach your heart and heal it...