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Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic | Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries

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New Age: Relaxation New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Mood: Dreamy
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Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries

by Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic

Beautiful and ethereal, heartfelt acoustic music for relaxation, contemplation, and focus.
Genre: New Age: Relaxation
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Floating
Robert Thies
4:44 $0.99
2. Across the Open Fields
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
4:22 $0.99
3. The Story of Your Heart
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
8:09 $0.99
4. Into the Horizon
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
5:15 $0.99
5. The Warmth of Her Embrace
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
5:14 $0.99
6. Discoveries
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
3:25 $0.99
7. Evolution
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
2:51 $0.99
8. Dawning of New Worlds
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
8:24 $0.99
9. A Love Remembered
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
3:57 $0.99
10. Beacon over the Calm Sea
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
6:31 $0.99
11. Winter's Chill
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
4:12 $0.99
12. Morning Sky
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
2:03 $0.99
13. As the Earth Awakens
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
5:19 $0.99
14. A Gentle Breeze
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
4:03 $0.99
15. Dreaming
Robert Thies & Damjan Krajacic
8:25 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries is a sequel to the widely renowned release, Blue Landscapes. Like its predecessor, this CD features quiet and reflective music with splashes of vivid colors over a transparent musical veil. Melodies rise from the moods that the musical backdrop inspires, allowing more active listeners to fill in the musical spaces with their imagination. Others may be swept up by the undulating grooves or find themselves in a contemplative and peaceful mood. While Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries captures the essence and mood of the first album, it begins to expand its horizons to more mystical, and otherworldly realms. Many listeners have said that this music conjures visual landscapes in the mind, similarly to a film soundtrack, and yet the music sits comfortably on its own so that the listener is free to paint the images they "hear."

The music of Blue Landscapes is the result of improvisatory sessions marked by the influence of such composers as Ravel, Debussy, and Satie, and the nature-evoking, spiritual, and improvisatory music of Mark Isham, Tim Story, Will Ackerman, Pat Metheny, Ralph Towner, Paul Winter, and Vangelis. These artists inevitably made a mark on pianist Robert Thies’ own creative efforts, who aside from pursuing an international career as a concert pianist, has since childhood been interested in improvisation and composition that transcends traditional boundaries.

The music also stems from the deeply meditative world of the Japanese Shakuhachi as well as spiritual Native American flute music, both lurking in the subconscious of flutist Damjan Krajacic, and finally coming to fruition in this collaborative effort. The music created here is rich, introspective, subdued, wistful, peaceful, and inspirational. The mood is further enhanced by the nature of it being almost entirely acoustic-- giving it an earthly and human quality.

"Beautiful, very deep, simple and sophisticated." ---Patrick Kirst, film composer

"Here is something so organic, so naturally flowing, creating the perfect atmosphere of relaxation, melancholy and total harmony, something that it is impossible not to love. It is simple, but not simplistic. It is simple in it's perfection - freed away from fanciness but very sincere, pure, ethereal; there is a human emotion (as opposed to many "spa-like" soundtracks), and highest level of professionalism from both performers. I have never heard music quite like this. Absolutely amazing." ---Egle Januleviciute, concert pianist

"The music on this cd is absolutely exquisite; it is both deeply touching and soothing, and offers a special place for the listener to quiet themselves and simply experience music. Meditative, reflective, contemplative, Blue Landscapes truly is an incredible collaboration from two artists whose approach to the songs on this album always feels completely natural and unmanufactured. It is an honest and genuine expression that seems to come straight from their souls—it is music-making at its best." ---Bridget Hough, collaborative pianist



to write a review

Dyan Garris

Truly Extraordinary
Picture this. You’re in a crowded room. It’s so noisy you can’t distinguish any particular conversation from another, and no one phrase, sentence, or topic stands out. It’s just noise, an incessant din, and people clamoring for attention among themselves.
However, as you make your way through the crowd, you notice there are two people in the corner having an interesting dialogue. A quieter dialogue. Your attention is drawn to them magnetically, because they seem to be having a genuine exchange that is somehow effortlessly rising above the cacophony, without perhaps, that direct intention.
You move closer. You want to hear what they are saying. As you move closer, and can make out what they’re saying, you decide that it’s not so much what they’re saying, it’s how they’re saying it. Wait a minute. Wait. Correction. It’s both. You stop, listen, absorb, and are amazed.
You have just discovered the profoundly compelling improvised musical conversation of piano meets flute that takes place between pianist Robert Thies and flutist Damjan Krajacic in their “New Age” album collaboration, Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries.
Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries – the second album in a series appropriately captioned, “Music From a Quieter Place” – is a refreshingly candid improvisational musical dialogue between concert pianist, Robert Thies and flutist extraordinaire, Damjan Krajacic.
Improvised? How good could that be? Read on.
These are not just two who like to get together and make music. Thies is an internationally recognized concert pianist, who in 1995, won the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is world renowned for his piano mastery and ultra-sensitive, heart-felt delivery and interpretation of technically difficult classical piano pieces that would undoubtedly daunt any virtuoso.
If you want to experience the classical musical genius that is Robert Thies, watch on YouTube his performance of Chopin’s Etude in C minor, Op. 10 no. 12 “Revolutionary.” It’s astounding. I’m sure you will agree that if he doesn’t have his hands insured already, he should do so.
But his extraordinary talents aren’t wasted here by any means. Not surprisingly, perhaps, Thies, raised in a musical family, is also a composer in his own right and a gifted improvisational artist who began composing and improvising at a young age.
And it’s equally important to note that composer and flutist, Damjan Krajacic, also raised in a musical environment, doesn’t play second flute to Thies’ piano skills either. Hailing originally from Croatia, Krajacic holds a Master of Music degree from California State University, Los Angeles, in Afro-Latin Music, where he studied Charanga, Jazz, Brazilian, and Classical flute.
Here, Krajacic’s own extraordinary musical mastery is showcased through the use of several different kinds of flutes, each with its own distinctive voice inside this conversation. But none of it is for its own egocentric purpose. This is one resonant frequency speaking fluently to and with and woven throughout the other. It’s authenticity, musically and otherwise. It’s another reason to be attracted to this conversation.
When you’re having a real conversation with someone, you don’t script out beforehand what you’re going to say. You just engage in the exchange and see where it takes you. You walk away with food for thought and with something that gives you opportunity to propel yourself to higher knowing. Each person brings their own fresh, unique point of view to the mix. This is the true beauty of the musical interchange going on in all of the compositions on Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries. And it is here that we have opportunity to rediscover our own native authenticity that has perhaps been lost in the crowded space.
I love every one of these 15 tracks found on this album. The heartfelt, thoughtful compositions here open one up into to a vast, expansive landscape where you can actually feel like you’re back in touch with yourself and with your individual life after a long period of being away.
Even though I feel like the whole album is a standout, some of what is specifically worth noting is as follows:
The first track, “Floating,” is aptly named. There is a freedom of spirit inherent here that is palatable. This is love of life.
On the track “Into the Horizon,” it’s the flute that has the haunting melody here. It’s as if we’re flying into the horizon in our airplane of life. The piano provides the grounded framework we need to in order “keep our horizon” in our sights. It’s exactly what we need to keep ourselves straight, steady, and aloft. The flute melody then allows us to soar to new heights. Uninhibited by the earthly landscape, we can thoroughly enjoy the ride.
“Discoveries” is a brilliant, colorful combination of Thies’ piano mastery and Krajacic’s subtle, interwoven flute. It’s served up on a bed of rhythmic heartbeat. Have a listen and you’ll discover the depths for yourself.
Particularly alluring is “Across the Open Fields.” The melody is engagingly lovely and one feels as if they are flying high above. The groundedness of the flute combined with the lightness of the piano melody makes for an interesting juxtaposition in a place where the flute could be expected to be the air and the piano then should be the ground. It makes for a nice mix of sky and earth in a whole different way.
Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries is without question the best New Age album I’ve heard this year. Thoughtful, moving, healing. Graceful. Elegant. Beautiful. Provocative without even trying to be. These adjectives and descriptions hardly scratch the surface of conveying what truly can’t be conveyed by words. That’s why we have music.
What’s particularly refreshing about this “music for quieter place” is that it speaks volumes to our planet and to our souls. Discover it for yourself.

Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries" is the sequel to the 2012 release, "Blue Landscapes." Subtitled "Music From a Quieter Place," the album is a collection of fifteen improvisations by American concert pianist Robert Thies and Croatian-born flutist Damjan Krajacic. With an international performing career, Thies is known for his consummate musicianship and poetic soul. He first captured worldwide attention in 1995 by winning the Gold Medal at the Second International Prokofiev Competition in St. Petersburg, Russia. He is the only American pianist to win first prize in a Russian piano competition since Van Cliburn’s famous triumph in Moscow in 1958. Many classically-trained musicians have difficulty “letting go” enough to improvise freely, but since childhood, Thies has been interested in improvisation and composition that “transcends traditional boundaries.” Damjan Krajacic is a musician of eclectic styles with a background that spans jazz and Latin jazz with a touch of his own central European heritage and classical training.

The music on this album is very open, soothing, and beautiful. If it needs a category, it is probably more new age than classical with occasional jazz touches. However, with artists of this calibre, the music rises above any specific genres as a unique work of art. More ambient than melodic, this very artistic collaboration provides a spacious musical respite to “quiet the mind and nurture the soul.”

"Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries begins with “Floating,” a piece that gently flows at the pace of a drifting cloud while drawing the listener in for what promises to be an exceptional musical journey (and is!). “Across the Open Fields” is a favorite and has a lively rhythm created by muting some of the piano strings to make them sound plucked while the flute freely dances in a jazz style. “The Story of Your Heart” begins with a haunting flute solo that incorporates almost as much open space as it does sound. The piano enters with an equally haunting motif as the two instruments come together to tell a heartfelt story - also a favorite. “The Warmth of Her Embrace” is expressed with an almost mournful flute and the lightly-flowing piano - gorgeous! “Discoveries” has a synth melody that Krajacic improvised - the only track that isn’t acoustic-only. The solo piano “A Love Remembered” incorporates the muted strings to again create a light-hearted rhythm. For contrast, some of the piece is played in the deep bass of the piano, expressing different moods and memories. This is my favorite track on the album! “Winter’s Chill” utilizes the rhythmic muted piano strings, deep bass of the piano, and some jazzy and percussive flute blowing to paint images and impressions of being out in the bitter cold - very effective and evocative. I love this one! “Morning Sky” expresses the pastel colors and peaceful stillness of dawn. “Dreaming” brings this excellent album to a quiet close in much the same way as it started - floating gently on a drifting cloud, completely at ease and without a worry in the world.

I did not hear the first album in this series, but I plan to remedy that soon! "Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries" is an album that should be really listened to a number of times for a full appreciation of the beauty of the music. Very highly recommended!

Candice Michelle

Review from Journeyscapes Radio
Blue Landscapes II: Discoveries is the follow-up to Robert Thies and Damjan Krajacic’s 2012 album, Blue Landscapes. A world-renowned classical pianist, Thies began improvising and composing at a young age. Flutist and guitarist Damjan’s background spans jazz, Latin jazz and classical along with musical influences of his own central European heritage. Comprised of fifteen compositions spanning seventy-seven minutes, the duo employ melodic improvisation to create blissfully serene soundscapes, as the pieces subtly fluctuate between atmospheric passages and minimalist contemporary instrumental tunes.

The opening piece, “Floating”, immediately imparts a mood of repose, leisurely drifting along like clouds slowly passing across the sky with flute and piano emitting softy woven textures. Taking things up a notch is “Across the Open Fields”, a more contemporary instrumental piece that pleasantly recalls the signature sound of many classic Windham Hill releases. Guided along by a continuous piano riff throughout its course, the joyfully carefree tune aptly portrays a scene of riding through open fields and winding around the hillsides, as flute and piano exchange brightly buoyant notes. One of my favorite pieces herein is “Discoveries”, which bears some reminiscence to the film score compositions of Mark Isham. Underscored by a pensive piano loop in contrasting lower and higher registers, I’m reminded of a train travelling in the night, as echoing acoustic layers and textures further accentuate the piece’s beautifully intriguing balance of serenity and suspense. Another highlight, “Evolution”, recalls enchanting woodlands with its fluttering flute and warm piano notes effectively evoking the peaceful solitude of nature. Fey-like and magical, it’s easy to envision being surrounded by colorful butterflies dancing on the wind and golden sunrays pouring through treetops. My absolute favorite piece herein is “Winter’s Chill”, in which acoustic-ambient sequencing underlies a somewhat plaintive flute melody and sparse piano chords. Hauntingly emotive, it seems to allude to that of embarking on a long journey, with wind-tapping effects on flute effectively mimicking that of a chill winter breeze. Closing out the album is the aptly-titled “Dreaming”, where softly swirling piano notes are joined by subtle flute, as both instruments are played with a delicate touch that seemingly recalls a watercolor painting in pastel hues.

Gently shifting from the deeply serene to the lightly joyful throughout, Blue Landscapes II frequently evokes the pristine beauty of nature and changing seasons. Never bombastic or overwhelming, the duo inject just enough space between the notes of these gently understated compositions, which are often freeform and flowing yet cohesive and melodic. Often recalling the works of Mark Isham and Paul Winter with even a touch of Michael Jones, Blue Landscapes II is a highly impressive album that will likely appeal, especially, to fans of the aforementioned artists!


Enchanting and meditative, beautifully recorded
Blue Landscapes II is a unique and musically superb new album by renown concert pianist Robert Thies (gold medal winner of the Prokofiev competition) and talented flautist Damjan Krajacic. The music is sonically elegant, on the quiet side, wonderfully recorded, soulful, enchanting and meditative. Well worth the price of admission.