The Monthly Aspectarian
Created from the resonant frequencies of a waking dream, this orchestral space fantasy is a beautiful example of the crystaline textures and deeply moving melodies of which journey music is capable of attaining in the hands of a talented composer. Simko believes that all instruments are created to mirror the consciousness of those who play upon them. The synthesizer has brought her the freedom to compose from a more ethereal, multi-dimensional sound palette; to capture in heart and in soul, in mind and in spirit "our inter-dimensional connection to the rhythmic motion of time and space, and to our own divine essence." Comparable to some of the 1980ís most intuitive works Yearning and Harmony by Triatma, Ray Lynchís Deep Breakfast and Light of the Spirit by Kitaro - Simkoís compositions were crafted as aural explorations into altered and elevated states of conciousness; her goal "is to reconnect listeners to the mystical circuitry within from which magic flows."
CUIT FM Radio
Excursionsis wonderful! I received her first album on casette many years ago and was blown away by its extremely original arrangements. Excursions touches on those same musical lines.
Simko was exposed to her fatherís classical violin music even at pre-birth. At age two, she began music lessons, and by age four she was studying classical piano at the Toronto Conservatory of Music. Her fatherís death when she was seven triggered a prolonged separation from music, but ten years later, Simko developed a sudden urge to play again, and piano reemerged as part of her daily life. A state-of-the-art synthesizer changed her musical direction toward the more ethereal, multi-dimensional timbres you hear on Excursions, which is an amazing journey to reflective places deep within. Truly inspiring and emotional, it tells a story with no words. Elegant and simple, complex yet non-demanding, this is a fine tribute to all who use their inborn gifts.
New Age Retailer
During these cold winter months, nothing so captures the crystalline beauty of snow and ice as Simkoís shimmering keyboards in "Wintering With You" from Excursions, her latest release. A Canadian-born keyboard composer of orchestral, multilayered sound, Simko gets her inspiration "from the journeys Iíve taken into the vastness of my own inner landscape, to a time and space that lies beyond."
Following the trail of her early fascination with Kitaro and Ray Lynch, Simko creates suites of majestic music akin to the ambient compositions of Constance Demby. Electronics whirl and glitter like fireflies on a J uly night during the celestial "Dance of the Fire Stars" and "Star Traveler Lullaby." The neoclassical "Concerto in the Key of Longing" is a synthesized orchestral fantasy. Excursions is perfect for relaxation and inner journeying.
Emily Simko performs some beautiful and moving orchestral music that will have you dreaming the dreams again. Heavily synth-oriented, some listeners will (probably) reject it out-of-hand, Ďcoz itís not played on a real instrument.í Nothing could be further from the truth! You will be pleasantly WRAPPED in the music she creates, taken on a magical journey to the farthest reaches of her mind & talent. It doesnít stay purely in the purely orchestral zone, either...she uses rhythms as an undercurrent & counterpoint to her classical leanings VERY effectively. If you enjoy music that lifts the spirit & can help to put you back in touch with (many of) the reasons we are here - to express the joy & love of having been created! This is unique and very much her style! If itís ever possible, I believe a collaboration between her & Steve Cochrane would be SHEER joy! I enjoyed it greatly & those who purchase this one will readily agree with my declaration of it being HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Midwest Record Recap
Classically trained but in love with the synth, Simko brings her chops to the space place. Nice mind opening set that takes you to the center of the realm and feels like a dandy guide to have. Well textured set that space music fans will have a great time with.
Arizona Networking News
This orchestral space fantasy is a beautiful example of the crystalline textures and deeply moving melodies of which journey music is capable of attaining. The synthesizer compositions were crafted as aural explorations into altered and elevated states of consciousness and are excellent for drifting off into timeless reflections, star gazing, cosmic dancing and interdimensional odysseys to the fringes of the next reality.
Omega New Age Directory
Electronically exploring hidden nature of our true reality, Simko offers Excursions...for a people of dreams. Celestial keyboards propel the listener beyond space and time to dance to the music of the spheres within the cosmic song of creation. Here we can explore the elusive concepts of Probable Realities or take a second look at our Mirror Image, while absorbing the metaphysical observations (contained in the liner notes) that inspired each composition. Immense and majestic, these new age compositions often reach to the very edge of the universe and our understanding of it, taking the breath away. So, if you are a lover of celestial new age music, join Simko Inside the Mystic Column for An Extended Stay and Iím sure you wonít be disappointed.
Excursions is composed, arranged, and performed by Simko. The ambient keyboard sounds are taken from the following electronic instruments: Kurzweil 2500XS, Kurzweil 1200 Professional, Emu Proteus/3 World, Korg 05/RW, Roland JX-1, Yamaha PSR-38, Alesis SR-16.
Excursions was originally recorded and mixed in Ď97 on the same analog recording system that was used on Earth Project: Music. A great opportunity to expand the Simko studio presented itself so it was decided to redo the entire production on their new 24 Bit digital recording system. Besides the state-of-the-art computers, software and other gear, an exciting addition to Simkoís instrument repertoire has been the Kurzweil 2500XS; she adores its sophistication and the ultimate quality of its sounds.
"In composing this new album," Simko says, "my goal was to create a multi-dimensional sonic experience for a people of dreams; which is everyone, actually. Each excursion was to be complete and whole on its own; the sum total was to reflect the larger cycles of time and space in the universe. An extremely important objective in this project was that the sound should not only be heard with the ear but with the entire listening mechanism; the different frequencies should be felt on a vibratory level through the bones as well as the mind and heart."
Simko and Jon also wanted the listener to be transported by the natural ebb and flow of the performance and with the breath of the space sounds; to ultimately create a live feel even though the sounds were generated from an electronic source and being processed digitally. Consequently, very little compressing and limiting was used, and there was no resorting to quantization or normalizing.
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