El Dorado has traditionally been the name of the fabled Lost City of Gold in South America and a phrase that has come to mean any ultimate prize. Now El Dorado is also the title and inspiration for the fifth album by the German act Luna Blanca, which has risen to become one of the most popular nouveau-flamenco groups in the world.
Luna Blanca, based in Bocholt, Germany, was founded at the beginning of the millennium by acoustic lead guitarist Richard Hecks. The other mainstay of the group is pianist Helmut Graebe, who joined the group just before they recorded the first album, and now co-writes the music with Hecks. Both on record and in concert they add other musicians as needed to create their sound with drums, percussion, bass, one or more acoustic rhythm guitars, organ, occasional vocalizing, etc. On the last three albums, Hecks and Graebe have been joined by rhythm guitarist Bino Dola (a flamenco player much respected throughout Europe) and Clemens Paskert (who adds bass, percussion and additional keyboards). Paskert, who runs Capitol Sound Studios where the CD was recorded, also serves as arranger and co-producer with Hecks. On El Dorado more keyboards were added by Christian Landgraf.
On each album Luna Blanca has continued to get better and better, has become more popular, and has stretched themselves further musically. For example, on El Dorado there are some noteworthy new additions to their sound -- electric guitar and sound effects on “Desperado,” blues harp on “Medianoche” and “Rio Mamoré,” and honky-tonk piano on “ElDorado,” as well as some instrumentation they occasionally use such as trumpets (on “Los Ojos” and “Kolibri”) and string orchestration (on “Puesta del Sol”). Hecks explains, “The CD starts with ‘Los Ojos,’ the eyes, looking off into the distance where the explorers are headed, and the tune includes Clemens laughing with joy at the exciting and dangerous trip to follow. Some of that danger appears in the tune about a ‘Desperado’ who is eventually shot down with horse whinnying and bells tolling.”
The legend of El Dorado first came to the attention of the early Spanish conquistadors who began searching for the site in the mid-1500s with their quest continuing for hundreds of years. El Dorado was supposed to be a religious place for the indigenous tribes where gold and jewels were used in ceremonies to crown their new rulers. The fable lives on and has been used in many artistic endeavors in the past hundred years including books and films.
Hecks was a classical guitarist until he heard Ottmar Liebert (a fellow German who moved to the United States) on the radio. “It was like a stroke of lightning. That was the sound I had been searching for,” Hecks says. “It was the alchemy of uniting beautiful melodies with the intensity of flamenco. The romantic and melodious aspect that Ottmar introduced aroused my enthusiasm.”
|POSTED BY: hecks||POSTED ON: 03 Oct 2010 05:47 AM|
Provence lies in the south eastern corner of France right on the Mediterranean and is beloved by painters who rave about the “soft light” it offers. Renoir, Matisse and Pablo Picasso have all spent time and painted here. Apart from the title, another interesting thing about Luna Blanca is that they actually screen original artwork during their stage performances. The quintessential kings of Nuevo Flamenco, Luna Blanca (founded in 2000) is the brainchild of Germany’s Richard Hecks and Helmut Graebe and features driving guitars, lush arrangements and highly memorable tunes. Their latest work PROVENCE is a delightful 12-track ‘amuse-bouche’ with tunes titled in French and Spanish. Favorites include “Driving,“ a fast paced road tune featuring guitars and flute, “Côte d’Azur” with brilliant vocals and Mediterranean warmth and the sweet sound of “Crème Brûlée .” PROVENCE is a really evocative glimpse into the world of European New Age.
Review by SmoothJazz.com
|POSTED BY: hecks||POSTED ON: 29 Sep 2009 06:04 AM|
Our new podcast brings you some fine selections from our music repertoire. You can download for free, stream it online, send it to your friends or even use it in your own podcast, just as you like. Here is the link to our podcast on
And that's the rss-feed:
Hope you’ll enjoy it.
Blessings to all of you
Richard Hecks and Luna Blanca
|POSTED BY: xavierpersad||POSTED ON: 11 Feb 2007 11:23 PM|
Luna Blanca's "Guitar Island" is a musical endeavor that really takes you there. The guitar work on this CD is very impressive musically and has a very beautiful sound. The song "Midnight" is steady and mesmerizing like a night sky. You can picture yourself walking along a moonlit beach when, in the distance, you see a campfire. Coming from its direction you begin to make out the transcendental vibrations of Luna Blanca. Spirited acoustic guitars invite you to relax while the language of latin rhythm urges you to sway and dance. Then as you continue your walk pleasant memories fade in as Luna Blanca's soothing sounds surrounds you. If you enjoy latin guitar music, you will love this CD. Pick up a copy today!-RadioIndy Staff
Check out Luna Blanca's music on RadioIndy.com with link to purchase and links to popular sites