November update!

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So, what has happened with Red Page and the Beyond the black recording? Well, it has been a lot of work, from finishing the first ideas of the songs to send them to the guest singers, to listen to their ideas, to re-arrange the music, to learn to use the software tools for recording, to record a solo EP along with a good producer in order to learn more, to make some budget for the production, to design the recording rooms, to design the album covers!

Yes, lot of work, but very constructive and pleasant; aiming to build this from its very roots and let it grow naturally, giving it all that it needs to see the light! I don´t know yet if the album will be finished by february, but we are going to try hard.

Now, let me share with you all where we are musically speaking: We have a total of 9 tracks, one is instrumental and the other 8 with vocals, we have 7 guest singers as you know and each one of them will sing a number except one who is singing two pieces; from those tracks 7 are already structured or at least composed fairly well, and two are still merely good ideas but we are getting into them finally. Regarding lyrics it will be almost the same thing, with some singers writing their own tracks or me giving them the already written one. About production we have a clear soundscape panorama, but it can vary from song to song following our “flowing” idea, I expect to record, mix and master the whole thing using a very limited gear which make it a true challenge that I really love!

So well, in order to practise that part I´m finishing a 25th anniversary -as a musician- EP along with producer Dhan Ericksson who has guided me specially with the drums and rythms, one of the most difficult parts to record and mix; this EP is comming out by December and will include four tracks that have been historic tracks through all my years as a musician, having a small reunion with my first band ever to record one of our “classic” tunes. Once it is finished, I will go back to the BTB work to apply those techniques.

In the meantime our guest singers are developing chemistry and ideas with their tracks -except the two who are still waiting for the musical idea to develop-, a medular part in the creative process that has been very fortunate until now, I feel honoured that the music inspires something!

Welcome November, please stay tuned for more news and be patient, this is the price for being an independent project that flows organically, with no other goal but the music itself! KEEP ON ROCKIN!

-Danny Heksolson.

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One on one: Daniel.

By: Aleyda Ortíz.

In order to properly talk and understand about any given project, it is needed to know about its origins and to get sharp when looking for the exact moment of its creation, to dive inside its own history and inside the creative mind behind it to watch from that perspective the growth of the creative seed that every day is watered with talent, effort and dedication.

Surrounded by an unbeatable weather and an impressive scenery as it is a wooden cabin located in the middle of a rain forest in the beautiful state of Hidalgo in Mexico, we go to our meeting with Daniel Martin del Campo to do the third chapter of this “One on one” interviews series for the Red Page musical project, headed by Danny himself.

woodsRed Page was born since 2004, when I was in Norway working as a musician; I had the opportunity of being part, as the bass player, of a band that got formed in the Oslo community: The Intergalactic Movement, which reunited several music styles, it was totally eclectic; we had diverse influences: there were african rythms, norwegian singers, rock guitar players, etc. We performed at the yearly Karlsøy Festival, held up in the north of Norway, precisely at the Karl Island. There were norwegian musicians and more musicians from the whole Scandinavia; in a rehearsal we played a Jam Session and there I realized how international collaboration could drop something of every culture into the music: It was a blues that sounded to each one´s influences; it sounded as the origin lands of each one of us. I got impressed by that. Some days after that, in the very same Karl island, I composed “Oceanic Idyll” the openning track for the first Red Page album while watching to the sea. This track is an instrumental rock blended with baroque influence. That´s how the idea of inviting singers and musicians from other countries to perform my music generated in my brain.

Tell us about the name selection.

The Red Page name synthetizes a lot of my history as a musican and as an individual. My favourite rock music band is Led Zeppelin by far, and obviously my preferred guitar player is Jimmy Page; from there comes the “Page” part, that in a double reading is a clear reference to my literature fascination. “Red” comes from my favourite color and it has to do with the NFL team The Arizona Cardinals from which I´m a big fan since I was 5; the football philosophy is as well an important part of my life. The red color means fire, passion, irritability, protesting… all of that is part of my personality and it reflects in my music. Even the Red Page logo has a cardinal bird and a plant, because the fauna and flora are important components in my life development too.

Who designed the Red Page logo?

The logo is a Marlene Parra´s creation, she is a designer from Guanajuato, México –who by the way is against getting so much credited-, inspired by the project´s idea, she asked me to hear some music by Red Page and on top of that she designed the current logo; the result was magical, because from her sketches, Marlene draw a little bird that a while after I asked her to complete as a cardinal, adding the little tuft over its head; but everything just flowed in such a natural manner, the whole process was always very organic: The strokes seems to be bio-natural structures.

That is why with the singers I just follow the same process, first I deliver the raw song to them so they can hear it, to see if the feel it and if the song says something to them, if the music leads them, that´s what I love about this concept!

Speaking about that, which one is the Red Page essence? Which are the strenghts and the characteristics that are different from other projects?

Inside Red Page I´m looking very forward for the natural conection of my guests with the music, what does it tell to them? most importantly, what do they feel? Musically speaking there is something about improvisation too, due to the huge creative freedom; I´m searching the craftsmanship for the album making and the fact that we dont know exactly where any given song is leading us it is simply excting.

I just don´t foresee, nor ever has been my idea, the massification of Red Page, I´m convinced that the most important thing is the pure artistic expression, and that implies a sensitive, select audience, and because of that scanty; now, if the massification happens because the music itself opens a self way for a lot of people to enjoy it, that would be good! that way we still following the organic route.

Were you always interested in being a musician, Danny?

Artistically I started with the visual arts, as a child I loved to draw and I was serious on it, I drew everything, but the music always captured my senses, overall the TV jingles; so I went to the academization at the National Fine Arts Institute (INBA) from where I ended up being a musician. On the academy I understood I´m a born musician, that´s kind of my mission, I don´t have any doubt abou it; still, linguistics and literature were always art fields that I enjoyed a lot too, but I couldn´t study them precisely because of the musical studies. So, let´s say I alwas have been attracted to Arts, in general.

biblioBecause of that interest in literature, I started a bachelor degree on spanish linguistics and literature at the National Autonomus University of Mexico (UNAM) and I discovered it has a lot to do with the musical work; for instance, you understand that the poets feed themselves with images, personal experiences, things that they observe and that they try to transform, with impossibilities, existencial anguishes; well, a musician suffers those sources too in order to capture a musical idea. Also, when analyzing literary or musical works, we see with a major clearness their similarities, specially with the poetry, that allows us as the music does, the access to unthinkeable possibilities, allowing the transformation through the aesthetic enjoyment.

The today´s most important construction in Daniel´s life, is the first Red Page album: “Beyond the Black” each one of the pieces are part of a puzzle that will give birth to a unique concept and that should be joined in a perfect and armonious manner.

The creation of “Beyond the Black” has been a very long process due to different life situations that in one way or another have delayed the whole process. However, these “delays” have a lot to do with the music itself, whenever a song does not tell me anything it gets static for a while.

It is so difficult, technically speaking, the making of a project with such characteristics, the ambitious thing here is to invite a lot of people who is located in diverse geographical points, this of course without the internet would be impossible to achieve.

I like musical variety and the possibility of choosing among different soundscapes without being locked or commited to only one. I feel that in this year -2013-, we have had great advance, we are working in the distance sending demos, enhancing the songs and making the first stage of the production: an accoustic demo for internal usage.

How do you do the selection of the voices that will perform each one of your songs?

poseFrom the very moment I am designing the music, I imagine it with certain type of vocals already; based on that I make the selection of the probable singers that could fit into it. The music itself has asked for a voice in particular, it is a judgment matter, of being receptive to your creation; but as Red Page is a rock music project, generally I´m looking for voices that are able to sing what I believe is rock music in a more “pure” state from which it can transform into whatever required sub-genre. Bhetzy Velvet for instance, one of our guest singers, she impressed me because her voice synthetizes this whole concept: her voice seems pure rock to me.

Tell us about them, who are the “Beyond the Black” singers? Where did you meet them? How they arrive to your life?

Some of them I met them through the net, others I met them at her countries, others referred by others, others, such as Marike Groot, because they were part of important rock acts in my life, but lets get clear on this:

The first one I worked with was Larisa Shelest, the ukrainian. For her I´m very proud of being her “discoverer”; she was too young when I met her, her natural talent impressed me so much that I knew it was only a matter of waiting for her develop as a more mature singer; what she is now. It is so nice being part of her development and musical growth, UPDATE 1: unfortunately, she won´t be on the first album available, but I hope we can work together for the second one, let´s see what happens.

I met Maly Reyes in México and I invited her to Red Page because I had seen her work closely at the The Gathering tribute parties -that we have done as a freelance work thanks to our fabulous admiration for that dutch band-; I always felt attracted by her voice, ideal for the melancholic expression. She represents and brings with her that part of the gothic dark mexican rock branch.

Alis Heded is an impressive soprano, I heard her and just loved her operistic approach and got fascinated with her taste for metal music. Without any problem she could perform her song and whatever new version of it.

Bhetzy Velvet, continuing with the mexican singers, was the last one joining thinking mainly that, when this project gets to the live stage in Mexico, due to its own characteristics, it will be very hard to bring all the singers together, so she could carry the weight of the whole album live and loud. Her voice is so powerfull! I guess she is one of the best rock singers that I´ve heard in Mexico, capable to sing whatever you put on her.

Mavi Solano is a friend from Málaga that I met several years ago, while visiting Spain for a The Gathering live show. She, along with Curro -her boyfriend and guitar player-, gave me her Overdub band demo CD and when I heard her voice, I identified a very special timbre on her, so special that I inmediately wanted to record something with her. I´ve always wanted to work with Mavi and it is until this album that we will finally do it.

This year also joins Simone Alves, a world music singer who represents three different cultures: the lusitanian, the bretonnian and the turkish; I contacted her because I´ve got engaged very much with her Astrakan Project whit its whole oriental charge; anybody could think that Simone is not for singing rock but that is the delicious point of this experimental try, we´ll see to where this song leads us all.

And well, Marike Groot is part of the dutch rock history and I think that alone validates this whole project. The fact that she enjoys my music until the point of composing together is simply apotheosic to me, something that without any doubt revitalizes me.

UPDATE 2: Emmanuelle Vigneron expands the core of guests singers for the debut album, she has a beautyful voice and her approach to a track that I envision as a very important and weird one has caught my ear, she is from France.

I don´t know if everyone of them will appear at another Red Page album again, but for the debut, they had precisely to be, organically.

Speaking about this album creation implies not only the selection of the tracks and vocals, but the part of the musical assembling. Will this Red Page debut album have the presence of guest musicians? How the prduction part of “Beyond the Black” will be?

For some tracks I´ll invite musicians, for instance that play Harmonica, maybe we´ll have two or three more guests, but I´ll play all the regular instruments as a base.

Regarding the production phase, I´ll do it personally, the whole of it; after touring several studios, after talking to prefesional producers, even with independants, one of them Yann Gourvil, a great breton musician who lives in Turkey and who has become the audio assesor for the project, let me very clear why you, as the creator of your project, should be its own producer too, ideally.

danmicsTo me, it was something I had a strong respect for, overall for the software managing, the seting up of a decent home studio with its special requirements; but, I found that there is a lot of technical myths surrounding the audio engineering of capturing sound, I mean, think about how they used to record in the Rock and Roll days, for instance? Personally, a bunch of those recordings are true artworks, diamonds. So, as I already said, I´ll go the path of craftsmanship in order to keep it pure and simple regarding the technical processes in my self-producer debut, while I obtain a non repeatable atmosphere on the studio, which I am designing and constructing already, this will be delicious.

October the 12th of 2014 is the expected release date for the debut album by Red Page, “Beyond the Black”, that will be available trough the official website.

Exactly in 2014 I´ll have 25 years of musical career and I´ve never released one of my projects officially,– says Danny- I think this album synthetizes all of that, is a work that implies a lot to my very own history.

There is music that let us something and there is inconsequential one, I hope that all the numbers that conforms Beyond the Black let something for those who want to listen and permit them being part of their lives from there on.

Thank you all for reading, let´s wait for the next One on one!

One on one: Alis Heded.

By: Aleyda Ortiz.

It is very important for Red Page, to get to know deeper each one of the singers that will participate in the Beyond the Black production. Each one of them have a musical and personal history that enhance their performances and make them all exceptional women into the areas in which they develop.

During this second chapter, we had the enjoyment of interviewing Alis Heded Loza, a mexican singer who lives in the City of Guadalajara, who owns a very powerfull opera voice that allow her to imprint a very unique signature to the first Red Page album.

Alis Heded or Anikka Haitanen (su pseudonym)?
Alis1“I would like that people know me as Alis Heded, because my grandfather marked my life and supported my career very hard, I would love that my grandpa´s lastname Heded to be recognized.” Alis started her career at the age of five: “Since very little my family realized about my talent, mainly my paternal grandmother, who also was a professional singer, one day she heard me while I helped her washing clothes and then she was the one who talked to my parents and encouraged them to take me to the singing lessons. Soon after music started to passionate me, and then I realized that yes, that was the reason for which I wanted to live the rest of my life.”

Alis Heded tessitura is defined as “Dramatic coloratura soprano”, which main characteristics are the agility for faster passages and the wide extension of its registry: “They can reach a very wide extension, from B4 or even B3 to easily a F6″, indicates Danny Heksolson. They also have a fuller, darker timbre when going low, that leaves a higher weight and volume sensation.

To grow that magnificent voice has been a hard task which involves continuous work and study, so Alis obtained her specilization at the age of 18, singing arias in several cultural events, consolidating herself as a professional opera singer. In 2008, she started her bachelor degree in Gregorian Chant, at the Sacred music school of Guadalajara which allows her, to be active inside the Jalisco´s official cultural scene (Jalisco is the mexican state in which Guadalajara City is located).

How Alis foresees the opera/sacred music appreciation not only in her state but in the whole country?

“There still is the need for a strong support for mexican musicians, not only from Guadalajara. There is a lot of talent and excellent singers that need to be more exploited -in the good meaning of the word-, unfortunately, for years, there has been a strong lack of government support for cultural events organization, or even to promote the singers; but I have to say that with the new administration we have had it in a small dose. I foresee a promising outlook in México for this kind of music, there is a lot of people who want to be recognized, who want to introduce the gigantic cultural richness from our country”.

Opera music has been the kind of art that is the main stream in Alis Heded´s life; but we know about her admiration for Tarja Turunen, who was the main singer for the finnish symphonic metal band Nightwish, as well as for her melodic metal performances delight; How the Alis´s interest for each one of this musical genres (that are apparently opposites but that are deeply attached), born?

Imagen 2“It was so curious, I started with Zéjel, a rock band, and there our drummer Fabiola Magaña told me that my voice could be a right fit for those styles, she lended me a Nightwish album when I was 13, and I loved it from that moment. I was studying opera because my grandmother and my whole family knew that my power, vocal registry and tessitura were perfect for that, therefore I always took opera seriously. I admire Tarja (Turunen) a lot, because she arrived in a very important moment in my life, I was a teenager and sometimes you feel depressed and things like that, you know. She helped me to sustain my faith in this musical genre; I admire her a lot because of her vocal registry from about three octaves and that very few people have. A great soprano, very tenacious. I wanted to try the melodic metal because of that, I love classical music, I love the opera but I can tell I also love metal music.”

Inside Beyond the Black, first Red Page album, Alis sings “New Begin” (working title), tenth track of the album, but how they reached this point?

“I met Danny Heksolson when he contacted me after he discovered I am a singer, composer and pianist. –because I also play the piano- He told me he was looking for talented singers for his project and asked me if I had something to show him so he could listen to me. I sent him a YouTube video that I have, a Nightwish cover version, he listened, he loved it and later on he invited me to participate officially. I accepted with no doubt. He showed me his music, I liked his compositions very much, he is an excellent musician, he has a very peculiar form of capture feelings and musical ideas that very few mexican composers have; thats why I accepted inmediately. He proposed me to sing “New Begin”, the last track in the album; a piece that I liked a lot because it has a melancholic melody that is at the same time happy; it feels like a rebirth because the song goes its progression in crescendo and then softly it returns, it is like the vital cycle. I liked it and I fell in love with the song completely; obviously we still have to work on it a lot, but I am very happy bacause of my participation in this project.”

Beyond the Black is a collaborationist project which features -in this first album at least- the multicultural participation of great voices. Regarding that Alis comments: “It is the first time I work in such a project and I feel honoured for being part of it, precisely because of the participation of other beauty female voices, who came from diverse world places and cultures. I feel super-happy of being in this special album of Red Page

Alis Heded Loza, dedicates the main part of her time to the music: “I give singing and piano lessons, I compose and follow my study at the Sacred Music School, at the same time I keep on rehearsing with my metal band: Abyss Of Time and I participate in several cultural events in which I´m invited. My life is dedicated to the music 100%, in that matter I also admire singer María Callas, I identify with her because her life is pretty similar to mine; she was a strong woman and she always persevered; they didnt allow her to get into the conservatory of Viena, but she fought hard for reaching her goal until she did it. I have encoutered the same kind of detours, but no mater what I have keep on the musical road”.

Besides Maria Callas, who other musicians does Alis Heded admire? “I admire mexican composers such as Domingo Lobato or Miguel Bernal Jiménez, a great sacred music composer. Classical music singers I can say that besides Tarja Turunen, Cecilia Bartoli (una gran contralto) & Anna Netrebko are the ones who have marked me the most. Speaking of metal music, I have influences from bands such as Nightwish, -that was my first experience-, from there I heard The Gathering, Within Temptation, Épica, among others that have influenced me with their style.”

What if someone puts Alis in the position to choose between opera and metal music? Which one she would choose? “It would be very hard because I love both genres, I feel the mine; but I think I would dedicate myself to the opera because it fills me up more and it posees qualities that are more suited for me.”

Imagen 1Abyss of Time, the melodic metal band in which Alis is the singer and composer, the sacred music and arias quartet, and her participation as guest singer in Red Page, are the three projects that ocuppy her goals in the short place while she finishes her bachelor degree, but: “In the future, I foresee myself as a well known opera singer, not only in Guadalajara, but nationally” –says Alis“I would like to sing one day on The National Palace of Fine Arts´s stage and later in Europe, at the grand opera halls and of course, keep on working with my Abyss of Time band, I wish it gets also recognized mainly in our country and we´ll see what happens internationally with it”

Alis Heded has the talent, la presence, la simplicity and the humility required, because of that, we dont hesitate in asseverate that each one of her musical and personal dreams will be totally achieved.

So as we reach the end of this interview, our nice and talented girl leave us her advice: “To the people who love music and who want to dedicate themselves to this, I would tell them that they need to be patient, that music is a dicipline that requires strong commitment and work. Of course, it takes sweat and tears, but is heartwarming. Keep on and fight for your dreams, never ever give up, be perseverant in whatever you do because someday you will achieve what you want.” There is no doubt Alis Hededis one of the greatest voices that “Beyond the Black” will feature, making it an interesting work, full of nuances and contrasts that surely will surprise us.

We let you all precisely with “Kuolema” the Nightwish cover song that Alis showed Danny Heksolson and that was her ticket to Beyond the Black; stay alert for the upcoming interview next monday.

The first part began

Many have asked what is happening, if anything, on the first pre-demo recordings, therefore I thought it was a good and interesting thing to update you all about where we are right now. So, here we go!

First of all, from the seven guest singers, are Larisa and Mavi the only ones whom I´ve worked previously with, so thats why we need to find some sort of equality in the processes, and that means letting the songs at the same level of construction with all the singers.

Since the very begining, I wanted everyone to be involved with the creation process, and thats why I´ve chosen creative artists who feel how the music takes you all along the waves. Lets say we are in that part of the recording process where all the singers are about or have received their songs from me in its primary form, (except of course the one with Larisa ShelestCaged blue girl“) so they can add new ideas enriching and making them theirs. We are there and we have no rush. That means we have no dead lines yet and we all can let the music do the talking.

Besides, we all have been very busy with activities outside Red Page and the idea is to avoid forcing things under any kind of pressure, working with our music at our own path just having in mind we want to release this album by the end of this year or the begining of the next one.

We are there now, developing slowly the songs. For how long? Lets see, the music itself will say!

Alis Heded: Vocals

Alis Heded

Name: Alis Heded Loza
Country: México

Alis started her singing career when she was 5 years old, taking singing lessons for three years. By 2003 she started her front woman experience as she was the lead singer of the alternative rock band “Zéjel” until 2006.

She continued studying music and she mastered the opera singing style, when she was 18 years old, she used to sing arias for some cultural festivals as she became a professional opera singer.

By 2010, she started her bachelor degree studies specialized in gregorian chants at the Guadalajara´s Sacred Music School while she also performed with a melodic metal rock band named “Opera noir”, what she did until 2012.

Now she is a vocal teacher and a well respected opera and sacred music singer in Jalisco, but of course a rock band is always present; thats why she is part of the “Abyss of time” melodic folk metal project as vocalist and composer, area in which she has developed as well.

Miss Heded is a musical culture enthusiastic, as she organizes cultural events all around her state.

She is young, proud and sensitive when she is under her musical trance, and her passionate style caught me inmediatelyDanny said once about her, and thus far, as he required an opera style powerfull singer, she has been a perfect fit.

As for being part of the Red Page project, this is what Alis tells us all:

I think Red Page is a new, fresh and innovative project and well, Daniel is an excellent musician and I can see it has a bright future ahead.

I feel honoured for being part of this project.

Our BTB guest singers!

So here we are, proudly announcing our guest singers team for the upcoming “Beyond the black” (BTB) album! It has been a long trip for the previous three months of the year, and finally we reached this point; tons of hard work are ahead us but now you have a better idea of what to expect! All right, this is assumed to be as simple as name them, so lets lose no more time, in order of confirmation, they are:

1. ALIS HEDED from Guadalajara, Mexico.

2. BHETZY VELVET from Mexico City, Mexico.

3. MALY REYES from Mexico City, Mexico.

4. SIMONE ALVES from Istanbul, Turkey.

5. MARIKE GROOT from IJmuiden, The Netherlands.

6. MAVI SOLANO from Málaga, Spain.

7. EMMANUELLE VIGNERON from Strasbourg, France.

8. LYALL from Guadalajara, Mexico.

So there you have it, the complete list! I have been working with everyone of them and I can tell you they are all born with the music inside, they have different styles but each one of them have captured my mind and soul with her singing, pure magic!

Click over every name to obtain a full bio of them all, feel free to leave them your comments and Keep on Rockin!

Please have a nice Week!

-D. Heksolson