Reviews from the media and some of Your Comments on "Virtuality". Submit your comment
After years as a successful film composer, Bhatia is back with “Virtuality,” another musical tour de force that takes advantage of what today’s (and yesterday’s) technology has to offer....while the album is technically impressive (it uses vintage synthesizers from the Cantos Foundation Synthesizer Museum as well as several from personal collections), that would be meaningless if it wasn’t for the fact that the music is adventurous, exciting, and beautifully recorded and produced....It’s taken a long time, but “Virtuality” is a worthy successor to the legacy of “The Interstellar Suite.”
– Craig Anderton, Read more from EQ Magazine
With his sci-fi opus The Interstellar Suite, Amin Bhatia proved himself a powerful composer and craftsman; using nothing but old-school synths, he created organic textures that purred and thundered through his skillfully-orchestrated, cinematic album. Featuring guest performances from Steve Porcaro and Patrick Moraz, Virtuality journeys further into the creative stratosphere, incorporating live classical musicians into Amin's grand new composition, a multi-part exploration of virtual reality, for which the album is named. Equally impressive, the second half of the album is a vibrant synth realization of Ravel's Bolero. For anyone who wants to hear the limits of electronic music - and the territory it shares with sounds of eras past - pushed years into the future by a visionary in the field, this is a must listen.
- Michael Gallant, Read More from Keyboard Magazine
Anyone that has ever heard Bolero understands how the piece evolves over time. To have captured that with the historical evolution of synthesizers, from just a few individual manufactures to the opulence we have today, is just absolutely too brilliant for words.
Not only is this a tribute to the late Bob Moog, but it is a tribute to the history of synthesizers in general. I do not recall anyone doing anything like this on this scale. I have no doubt "Bolero Electronica" will go down as a pivotal historical piece. Absolutely fantastic. A masterpiece! Thank you so much for creating this.
- Read more from MATRIXSYNTH
It's both surprising and refreshing to hear the sounds and music Bhatia has coaxed out of over 75 years worth of electronic instruments. And "Bolero Electronica" is truly an achievement, taking the listener on a journey through synthesizer history in the best way possible!"
– Matt Friedman, Read more from The Vintage Synth Explorer
What are passages of a cappella choir and acoustic instruments doing on a synth album? In his latest release Virtuality, renowned synthesist Amin Bhatia — who also created the astounding ’87 synth extravaganza The Interstellar Suite — makes a strong case for their inclusion. “Whereas Interstellar Suite was both orchestral science fiction and analog synthesizers,” Bhatia explains, “Virtuality is split into two halves. The ‘Virtuality’ half is about our experiences — good and bad — inside the virtual world of computers. Since we’ve had so many albums that attempt to portray orchestral music with synths, it felt fitting that we use some real people in the making of music about computers.” (Mark Vail) Read more from Keyboard Magazine...
Again, this has become an important album in the history of electronic music. And I am sure we don’t have to wait another twenty years for the next album by Amin. Read More...
Paul Rijkens, Iopages Magazine, Netherlands, Sept 2008
It's not often I take time away from demoing gear to talk about music releases, as Gearwire is not really that type of publication. However, once in a while something comes along that fuses our love of all things gear with the world of musical composition...
Read more from Bill Holland at Gearwire
When a musician such as Amin Bhatia reaches such a high level of professionalism, as he has done with his brilliant version of Bolero from his CD ' Virtuality ', it can't just be called ' talent '...It must be called GENIUS!
- Legendary composer and performer, Jean-Jacques Perrey
Those looking for adventurous electronic music with a classic angle should consider having a listen to "Virtuality".
Read more from Bert Strolenberg at Sonic Immersion
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Beautiful & luminous
- Andrew Burashko, Art of Time Ensemble
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Amin, your compositions are rich and intelligent. Your use of electronics is bold and supports your compositional ideas (which would be equally strong on ANY instrument). I am sure that your album will be
continual source of inspiration.
To be included on your album is a real honor. I enjoyed working with you and hope that we will have the opportunity to work again in the future.
All the best!
-- Kevin Kissinger
(Featured Theremin player for Bolero Electronica)
What a treat and a thrill - I'm thoroughly dazzled and engrossed. And such a leap you've made musically, sonically, artistically; there's such an amazing vocabulary of styles, sounds, phrases, rhythms, transpositions and arrangements and more than that, it's so tasteful - it's played with such lovely expression, and the production is simply stellar.
I can't imagine the hours to distill this into something so comprehensive; what to leave out, what to keep experimenting with. And it's one thing to do the architecture, and another to actually perform the music. I love the nice touches like the "orchestra" tuning up in track 11....
The other thing that stands out for me is that you've tapped into a deep tenderness in the music; letting gentle parts breath without clutter.
So many evocative moods and colours; a rich, rich tapestry.
Bolero is magnificent as well - I was completely intrigued with the idea when you mentioned it, but it's so much more than a gimmick. I think, in a satisfying way, you've not only managed to echo what Ravel aimed for - exploring textures, but you convey such a deep love of "future" sounds and the world they inhabit that it's like walking into culture comprised of animated machines.
Kurzweill wrote about the Age of Spiritual Machines, and that once computers can emulate every aspect of our thinking we will need to refer to them as having a consciousness. The sound I'm hearing is like some kind of divinely awakened circuitboard that sings the praises of the body electric.
With a glass of Remy in hand and the lights turned low I listened to it last night and was blown away. It touches on so many of the emotions one goes through in working with systems and I love the sense of awe evoked in "Into the Virtual World" and the whimsy of sound affects for "Need for Speed". I was glad to see that the hidden bonus track on Interstellar Suite was given identity on Virtuality. I always loved that track. This will be played often and I'm glad CD's don't wear out like LP's did.(I had to replace my original copy of Interstellar Suite as it developed too many pops from too much play).
You breathe new life into Ravel's Bolero, among my favourites of contemporary classical music, and it's great fun trying to identify the various instruments as the piece progresses. I had no idea there were so may different types of synthesizers! Kudos, Mr. Bhatia; you delivered on your promise of a sequel to The Interstellar Suite. It is a fabulous work you should be proud of and it was, for me, worth the wait.
So I got home and immediately put on the Bolero. Amin, from the first note to the last, EVERY hair on my body stood on end. It's spectacular. And exciting. And by far the most intelligent and still listenable piece of music I've EVER heard. I relished every choice you made at every turn, and marvelled in the mix.
Having been a LOVER of "Interstellar Suite" for many years, I was highly anticipating the release of Amin's follow-up CD. I LOVE the original compositions, but as a "purist" of electronica, I'm a bit disappointed at the use of actual instruments on the recording. Bolero was nice, but it had been done electronically before on the album "Everything You Always Wanted To Hear On The Moog (but were afraid to ask for)". I love your inclusiveness of the synthesizers through the ages, including the Theramin!
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