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The release, which Vai himself produced and engineered, won him his second Grammy award for Best Pop Instrumental Album in February While most widely recognized for his stature as a rock guitar player, Vai is also a musical composer fluent in the composition and arranging of orchestral music. In speaking of Westcott, Vai says "He taught me how to write, compose and appreciate music. There was no greater musical influence in my life. In , Vai released Real Illusions: Reflections , the first installment in an ongoing three-part trilogy concept album.
Each of the three installments to the series contain material songs, lyrics, and both spoken and written narration with particular relationships to the storyline, purposefully left out of order. Upon the release of the third installment, Vai intends to complete a fourth album of material, which will then be released with the previous three installments and completed storyline in order.
It's a story about this man who has a traumatic experience in his life, and it drives him insane. We see the story through his eyes. It also involves the town he lives in and this stranger that enters the town who's like a shaman; he builds this giant edifice, like a reflecting pond, and when people come to it they see aspects of their personalities and identities and discover things about themselves.
There's some comedy involved, too, but it's pretty esoteric. It's about a lot of lofty principles, so it's not a bad idea to dish this all out slowly. In support of Sound Theories Vol. During a month of twelve- to fifteen-hour a day rehearsals, Vai and the band perfected the performance which consisted of pieces from Vai's catalog, arranged by Vai to include the two violins.
Made of an acrylic body with three-dimensional "swirl painted" interior, this guitar can be seen in the beginning of the Where the Wild Things Are DVD. In , Vai announced the release of his signature Ibanez Jemini distortion pedal , a twin distortion pedal with both a custom overdrive and lead distortion section. In February , Vai announced the introduction of "VaiTunes", a platform used to release digital-only singles via iTunes and other digital media outlets.
October saw more movement from Vai as a composer, with the premiere of two original symphonies at the Steve Vai Festival in Groningen , the Netherlands, and performed by the North Netherlands Orchestra.
In March , Vai in conjunction with the online education division of Berklee College of Music set a Guinness World Record for the world's largest online guitar lesson. Vai's eighth studio album, The Story of Light , was released in August as the second installment in the Real Illusions concept album trilogy. Released on April 7, the double-disc set contained a copy of the Stillness in Motion concert footage and a special bonus feature disc called The Space Between the Notes.
The latter is a complete chronological timeline of the Story of Light tour, with a video or picture representation of each show of all of the engagements attended. Each year the camp is held, Vai creates a syllabus with a particular theme and invites special guests to help him teach it. During the day, Vai and the special guests of whom have included Guthrie Govan , Jeff Baxter , Vernon Reid, Eric Johnson, Sonny Landreth , and others hold classes in which they add their insight and perspective to the theme.
Each evening, Vai and the special guests jam with the campers. Vai has announced an upcoming release commemorating the 25th anniversary of Passion and Warfare. This release will contain remastered songs from the album, as well as the inclusion of a new album of material written from the time between the recording of Passion and Warfare and his first solo album Flex-Able. After the release, Vai will hold a world tour in which he will play the entire Passion and Warfare album, along with material from the new release.
The tour would continue during the first half of In , Vai played an uncredited guitar solo on the track " Go! Starting in June, Vai embarked on the Passion and Warfare 25th Anniversary World Tour, where he played the album in its entirety for the first time. He also performed on the track "Never Surrender". He later featured in the second volume of the soundtrack, where he performed on the track "Reclaimer". Vai returned to re-record his Halo work for the Halo 2 Anniversary Original Soundtrack , which was released in and included as part of the anniversary edition of Halo 2.
In , Vai performed "Amazing Grace" in the film Dudes. In , Vai's record label Favored Nations produced and released the award-winning original motion picture Crazy. An independent film, Crazy was inspired by the life and music of the guitarist Hank Garland. At the age of thirteen, after having purchased his first guitar and begun taking his first lessons from fellow New York native Joe Satriani , Vai became obsessed with the discipline of practice. Vai's practice routine, consisting of a rigid and structured regimen of ten-to-fifteen hour-a-day practice schedules, became the basis of his work ethic for the rest of his career.
Vai's first solo album, Flex-able , began his career as a solo artist in During the period of time that the album was recorded, Vai was heavily influenced by his previous tenure in Frank Zappa's band. Vai's playing style utilizes specialized guitar techniques such as two-handed tapping , alternate picking , legato , hybrid picking , sweep picking , whammy bar acrobatics, and circular vibrato in his music, as well as a wide range of recording techniques.
As a transcriptionist for Frank Zappa, Vai transcribed some of Zappa's most rhythmically complex music, using a range of conceptualizations for the notation of rhythmic music. Vai says "While transcribing the material, I was often confronted with situations that led me to reach into the intuitional areas of my imagination to come up with various notational devices and constructions that I had never seen before. I soon discovered that many contemporary composers were then and are still using these notations".
These concepts can be seen throughout the "Frank Zappa Guitar Book", which were composed of Vai's guitar and drum transcriptions from various Zappa albums. Vai toured with Zappa from to , performing selections of this technically demanding music with Zappa's band at the time. Vai designed the Ibanez JEM guitar, a unique instrument that incorporated a series of groundbreaking designs that have since become staples in feature throughout the guitar industry, in I guess teachers thought I wasn't trying So Stone spent a fair amount of her time in detention, figuring if that was the worst thing that could happen to her, she'd survive.
And still she found time to shape her musical tastes. Stone's father listened to blues and reggae for the most part. Her mother's tastes lay in soul music. Soul is a sound that emerged in the late s and early s. It is an offshoot of the sounds of rock and roll and gospel. Soul is divided into several categories, including Motown sung by African Americans on the Motown record label and blue-eyed soul performed by white musicians. Musicians such as James Brown — added their own style to soul and took it in another direction.
Brown is credited with helping to make the funk sound popular in the s. Stone grew up listening to the great soul musicians from the past, and by the time she was seven years old, Aretha Franklin was her hero. Franklin, whose roots were in gospel, earned herself the title "Queen of Soul" with timeless hits such as "Respect" and "Chain of Fools.
She was still generating hits in the pop music genre in the s and s. Franklin is considered one of the greatest crossover spanning more than one genre music recording stars in history. Aretha Franklin's Greatest Hits. Stone found her voice well-suited to the throaty sounds of the blues.
One day she would amaze listeners with a powerful sound that didn't seem like it could come from a girl who was not yet out of her teens.
At age twelve, Stone chose to become a singer by default. In her interview with The Herald, she explained that she thought she might like to become a veterinarian or midwife a nurse who is licensed to deliver babies. I couldn't do that so I decided to be a singer. For Stone, that dream came true without so much as one day of struggle. Stone was thirteen when she submitted an audition tape to the British talent show Star for a Night.
Onstage and live on television, Stone's rendition of Donna Summer's "On the Radio" left the audience speechless. This blonde, giggly teenager had the voice of a grown woman. Greenberg is credited with bringing the pop group Hanson to the masses. Wright began singing when her own mother suffered a back injury and could no longer support her fatherless family.
Mine eventually became that I think it's very stressful, in my case because I had not just, you know, singing for soup, but it was like I have a big family, so it was like no matter how much money you bring home, sometimes it's not enough. Stone considers Wright to be her second "mum," mom and the two joke about how Wright threatens Stone with guitar sticks if she doesn't stay on track. USA Today.
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