Vicki Richards is a musician/violinist, composer and improviser who is classically trained in 2 traditions. Ms Richards appears in a number of publications highlighting her place in history as a musical pioneer, particularly in the fusion of East Meets West. She was one of the first violinists to use both acoustic and electric violin processors.
Her studies in Classical European music and Indian Ragas have made her one of the most unique fusion musicians with access to a wide aural palette. She’s has been plugged in and globally connected in music for many decades.
Her 5th studio recording, She Vanishes, was released in 2011and is the latest realization of a soundscape that is based in world fusion motifs and classically-tinged melodies. Public Radio airplay and glowing reviews document her life through music.
In the past few years with local and national dance events Ms Richards was increasingly known as a naturalist musician. She improvises while incorporating the music from the natural world (Everglades) with her field recordings.
Some of her colleagues in concert and on recordings include Robert Thomas Jr & Amitava Chatterjee. (former members of Weather Report), Layne Redmond, Steve Gorn, Steve Roach, Satoshi Takeishi and Jorge Alfano. A number of You Tube videos are in duet with tablist and percussionist Jeff Deen.
Important venues include Sivananda Ashrams, Kripalu, Carnegie Hall, University Concert Halls, Temples, Churches, Health and Healing Support Centers.
Updated Bio 2014
Oct 17, 2012 acoustic music, ambient music, electric violin, global fusion music, healing music, music for relaxation, new music, News, relaxing music, She Vanishes, violin guitar music, violin music, world fusion
Vicki Richards, Mitch Kopp & Jeff Deen- 4th CHAKRA
Tags: acoustic music, electric violin, gentle music, Global Fusion Music, guitar, Halo, healing meditation, healing music, HealingPowerOfMusic, Indian Music, indian Raga, Jeff Deen, Mitch Kopp, New Age Music, Raga, tabla, Vicki Richards, vioin and guitar, violin music, World music
Here’s a little more info about my evolution and roots:
At the age of nine, she began playing in her public school’s instrumental program. Her musical father noticed her passion for music and encouraged her to continue. By the time she turned fourteen, Vicki Richards decided that being a professional musician was her life’s calling. A unique talent, Vicki has developed a distinctive new style of playing the violin, taking bowing and articulation from her “western” classical training, smooth vocal style glissandos from her North Indian classical music immersion and combining these with the driving hand drum rhythms of contemporary and ancient world music.
At the age of nineteen, Vicki was well on her way to establishing her professional status as a classical violinist. She had toured Europe, taken master classes with Joseph Gingold at Indiana University and become the youngest member of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra. Curious and restless, she listened intently to jazz contemporaries including Jan Hammer, John McLaughlin, Airto, Chick Corea and Herbie Hancock.
Her love for the avant guarde scene continued to blossom and in 1976 she commissioned a custom-built, solid body electric violin with quadraphonic pick-ups and plugged it into a wah-wah pedal and a Fender amp. Uncomfortable with jazz’s approach to harmonic improvisation, she became intrigued with the rhythmical and classical improvisational methods of the Banaras tabla tradition.
Vicki was awarded a Professional Development Grant from the America Institute of Indian Studies (Univ of Chicago) in conjunction with the Smithsonian Institution which enabled her to spend many months in Banaras, India where she experienced total immersion in the culture and classical traditions of the Hindustani violin under the guidance of violin master Smt. Dr. N. Rajam and sitar virtuoso Sri Amar Nath Misra.
Upon her return from the East, she re-settled in New York City for a short time, sharing the stage with improvisers such as Paul McCandless of Oregon and Dave Samuels of Spyro Gyra and working as a full time member of the American Jewish Congress’ New Music Ensemble. She also appeared as a soloist playing Indian classical violin at Carnegie Recital Hall, catching the attention of a world-renowned New York Times critic and establishing herself as one of the few Westerners recognized as legitimate exponents of pure Indian classical tradition.
In 1981, her intense interest in rhythm led to a close collaboration with Robert Thomas Jr. of Weather Report the Zawinul Syndicate) fame. She also began melodic and harmonic collaboration with Amitava Chatterjee, an electric guitarist and sitarist with a shared vision of improvisation using both Eastern and Western elements. Bobby’s compelling hand drumming and Amit’s melodic and harmonic concepts form the perfect grid over which Vicki works her technical and melodic wizardry. Vicki’s association with Bobby and Amit continues to this day.
In South Florida collaborations have included Frank Carmelitano, Statoshi Takeishi, Jean Balduc & many more players.
Currently her music colleagues also include Jeff Deen (tabla & percussion), Mitch Kopp (guitars), Layne Redmond, Jorge Alfano (multi instrumentalist)
My Recording, She Vanishes, is # 24 on this list. If you feel so moved, please go to this link and vote for She Vanishes. You’ll find some other great music on that list to consider but try not to get too distracted.: ) By voting you enter a contest to win …more music!
Feeling Grateful for being on this list. Thanks to the Staff at ECHOES!
WELCOME TO THE BEST OF ECHOES 2011 POLL.
WIN a One Year Membership to the Echoes CD of the Month Club
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Tags: acoustic music, Echoes Music, electric violin, Global Fusion Music, healing music, Jeff Deen, John DiiLiberto, meditation music, Mitch Kopp, New Age Music, She Vanishes, Vicki Richards, vioin and guitar, violin music, World music
Getting all this support feels wonderful! You know that the life of a musician is limitless in some ways and very limited in others.
When we receive Recognition, we’ve been heard.
When we receive Respect, we have been Heard!
When we connect to others via these vibrations, called notes and tones, we have shared Love.
And that’s what’s most important. Especially in these tumultuous times.
Exciting News: April 4th. It’s the kick off to launch my latest recording She Vanishes. Jeff Deen &* Mitch Kopp complete the trio . This is great exposure to many followers of this long running show. Hope you’ll tune in!
The time varies from station to station. Here is where to find local stations: http://www.echoes.org/stattime.html
You can also listen to those stations streams when they air the show.
Also, listeners can hear it on-line anytime but you have to be subscribers: http://echoes.org/online-oneweektrial.html
Tags: acoustic music, ambient music, east west music, electric violin, gentle music, global Fusion, Global Fusion Music, great music, guitar, improvised music, Indian Raga influence, inspirational music, Jeff Deen, meditation music, Mitch Kopp, music for meditation, New Age Music, tabla, Vicki Richards, vioin and guitar, Violin and tabla, violin music, World music
Review: “She Vanishes” by Vicki Richards
released Jan 31, 2011 by Temple Street Music, Inc.
Vicki Richards very generously credits her co-musicians, Mitch Kopp and Jeff Dean, as co-composers of the music on “She Vanishes;” but make no mistake, this is almost entirely her effort. She is best known in the music world as an Indian violinist who has fused her Indian skills with her knowledge of Western music to produce a unique fusion. Misters Kopp and Dean are fine composers in their own right; but anyone who Know Ms Richards’ work will recognize this offering as primarily hers.
Her four earlier CDs were unfortunately buried in the pigeonhole of “new age music,” as this one is probably doomed to be as well. It isn’t that there aren’t some other fine composers who are also mistakenly put in this category, since they too don’t easily fit into any other. It’s just that there are so many other CDs which are labeled “new age” that are nothing more than someone who knows virtually nothing at all about music, who noodles about on his electric organ playing with the special effects buttons, and then gives his meandering nonsense quasi-mystical titles that are supposed to aid the listener in their meditation practice, or provide appropriate background music for a massage. I can’t imagine such works of so-called “music” helping me do much of anything except maybe get rid of some unwanted food.
The point is, Ms Richards’ new release is a unique masterpiece. It does not easily fall into any category, but if I were to place it in one, it would be jazz. It is cool, relaxing jazz to be sure; but it is also sensual, sultry and subtly stimulating—even healing. The harmonic structures are often modal, like Indian music, and some of the melodies are also derived from Indian melodies; but most are not readily recognizable as Indian. They are truly original.
From the point of view of Western classical music, it is romantic, in that it is mostly programmatic, and attempts to describe either the beauty of nature (e.g. “Trail Head (Berkshires”)), or to describe an inner state, or even inner journey (e.g. “Driving Till Dawn”), much like a Chopin Ballade. From the point of view of Indian music, on the other hand, these are Ragas, in that they all intend to color the emotions, and succeed magnificently in doing so.
It is a shame that releases like this don’t receive adequate airplay in virtually any market anywhere. The fact that they don’t fit neatly into one of the recording industry’s prescribed pigeonholes, means that the radio stations that specialize in those pigeonholes rarely get to even hear such recordings, much less give them any air time. If there are any program directors out there reading this, perhaps at a university radio station, or jazz station, I would strongly encourage you to give this CD a listen. It fits in that most rare and wonderful of all pigeonholes: beautiful.
Tags: east west music, electric violin, gentle music, healing power of music, Jean Luc Ponti, L. Shankar, meditation music, Mitch Kopp, music therapy, new music, Shakti, She Vanishes, Vicki Richards, vioin and guitar, violin music
The excitement continues…For my upcoming She Vanishes recording. The cardboard CD packaging I asked for is good for the environment but takes longer to process. The packaged discs are promised by Feb 1st. Early availablility in Great Barrington. MA only.
Be sure to contact me after Jan 31st to be one of the first to purchase the new disc. This recording won’t be physically available on iTunes, my cart, Amazon, CD Baby for a few weeks later. You can find the digital downloads first on my website via OM. Later on the major sites.
It’s such a long process to get this whole recording finished. Over the years I seem to forget that the details are almost endless.
Kind of like having children-After a while you forget all the work involved and just enjoy them. This will be my 5th recording made between 1990-2011- 21years. A couple cassettes were made in the late 1980s. My body of work. Hope you enjoy the music!
Tags: acoustic instruments, acoustic music, electric violin, gentle music, Global Fusion Music, guitar, Halo, JEan Luc Ponty, Jeff Deen, meditation music, Michael Hedges, Mitch Kopp, New Age Music, solo violin, tabla, Vicki Richards, violin music
Nov 1, 2010 acoustic music, ambient music, Billboard reviewed music, electric violin, General Comments, guided imagery, healing music, music for relaxation, musicians getting the music out, relaxing music, violin guitar music, world fusion
Miami String Project Website: http://www.miamistringproject.org Facebook Event: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=156407074397042
Violinist Vicki Richards returns to Miami to lead Benefit Concert for the Miami String Project
Violinist/Composer/Improviser Vicki Richards returns to South Florida with her very accomplished musicians to lead a CD Release/Benefit concert entitled “Sound Release” on November 21, 2010 at the Unitarian Universalist Church at 6:00pm. The event celebrates the culmination of 3 years of work in creating her ensemble’s newest album, “She Vanishes”, and proceeds will benefit the Miami String Project, Miami’s premier teen string ensemble.
Vicki’s new album, “She Vanishes”, to be released December 15th, 2010, includes Mitch Kopp (Guitars & Loops), Jorge Alfano (Multi instrumentalist including instruments from Japan and South America), and Jeff Deen (Tabla, Hand Percussion, and Hapi drum). Together they comprise two trios with two and more CDs available at the show. The music is mostly acoustic, with light effects and is truly a global fusion, ragesque, ambient, and inspiring.
Vicki’s music has been reviewed in The San Francisco Chronicle, The Jazz Times, Alternative Press, and Billboard’s Top 100 Progressive recordings. She will also be performing on WLRN Radio on the afternoon of Nov 14th on the Michael Stock show.
Jorge Alfano, leader of the “Mirage” trio, plays many different instruments from around the world, his specialty being flutes and stringed instruments. His passion for world music led him to work with great musicians of all traditions, and to study with great Masters. As a soloist, Jorge has recorded many albums of world music, both as a performer and a producer. His new album release is called Nectar (more information at www.jorgealfano.com). Mr. Alfano also recently performed for His Holiness the 14th DALAI LAMA of Tibet.
Helping the Miami String Project is especially important for Vicki because she first learned to play violin in a public school system, many of which are now cutting their Arts budgets. Music needs patronage these days and opportunities must be made to support our budding young musicians. To that end, a portion of the door receipts will be donated to the Miami String Project. Also, a small collection of Photos by Ken Pomerance, whose art is displayed on the cover of “She Vanishes”, will be on display at the concert.
Suggested donation will be $15 at the door. University student price will be $8 with their ID, and students under 18 will get in free.
Date: Nov 21st, 2010 Time: 6pm – 7:30pm Location: Unitarian Universalist Church Address: 7701 SW 76 Ave, South Miami, off Sunset Dr, just East of the Palmetto Expressway
Ensemble photos for “She Vanishes” by Elizabeth Russell
Cover of “She Vanishes”-Kenny Pomerance of Mr. Clean Photography
Ken will have a small collection of his photographs on display
For more info: www.vickirichards.net blog
Tags: 2010, Benefit for Miami String Project, Concerts in Miami, electric violin, FL, gentle music, glabal fusion music, healing meditation, healing power of music, heavenly, Jeff Deen, Jorge Alfano, meditation music, Miami, Miami Music concerts in November, Miami Music Nov 21st, Miami String Project, Mirage, Mitch Kopp, music, Unitarian Events in November 2010, Vicki Richards, vioin and guitar, World music
This was a Facebook entry by a recording engineer/friend. Here’s a view from the helm…A recent history of what has happened. I think it’s worth reading and pondering. As to fixing…that’s left to us.
I honestly sit paralyzed with no idea of how to proceed through the current music industry. I have no clue of how people find new music they enjoy.
In 1996 I received a lecture as to what a revolution the internet would be for the music business. Instead it systematically destroyed the part that was working along with the corporate parts that weren’t.
Most often I’m frustrated and confounded that not only do people have free access to downloading art that took a great deal of time, effort and money to create, but that there is no longer guilt associated with taking it.
Combine that with the fact that we now have no filter between milliions of postings from Bobby’s first “Twinkle Twinkle” to the latest release from your favorite band, and nobody knows where to find new good music.
In five years we went from the austere interpretations of corporate record labels and focus group driven radio to media overload and internet chaos.
Check your favorite category on CD baby, then realize that you would have to listen to 5 seconds of each song everyday for the rest of your life without a break and you would still not sift through enough material to find that which touches your heart.
This is, in my opinion, NO improvement.
Tags: art is not free, free art is stolen, free music is stolen, music and the internet, music business, music business online, music industry, music is not free, Music protection, Musicians suffer online, musicians theft online, objectionable music business, online music theft, protect the musicians