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Murray Grant: Press

October 2006
Manager’s Pick - “Wow! Murray's second album, 3000 Days, is incredible. I am an eclectic so when something comes along like Murray's music that's unique, intriguing, very well composed and beautiful I am captivated and will listen to this CD over and over. I definitely recommend this album to everyone. Go take a listen for yourself at Murray's website and pick up a copy for yourself today. It's outstanding!”
May 2007
Murray Grant’s film music and progressive rock background shines through nicely on his second release of Eastern sound and thought embraced with Western arrangements and instrumentation. “3000 Days” is the follow-up to “House Of Mirrors”, his successful collection of New Age instrumentals, each exquisitely arranged, recorded, and mixed in the studios of Rooftop Records (Vancouver, British Columbia)
Masterfully performed live yanqin (hammered Chinese dulcimer) and erhu amid shakuhachi, dumbek and electric guitar add an unmistakably Chinese mood to the opening track, “The Big Dream.” The song is nestled atop Grant’s great Western synth/beats programming and sparkling drum kit, the latter his main instrument.
The mystical yanqin of Vivian Xia shines throughout the CD, perhaps most notably in “Waiting,” where it effortlessly dances between the beautiful, breathy vocals of Debbie Ekman, which weave in unison with Ji Rong Huang’s haunting Chinese erhu. Other voicings featured on the disc include sitar, tabla, dumbek, and West African and Native American vocals.
Somewhat reminiscent of early Shadowfax, “3000 Days” is a sophisticated, very accessible mix of East-meets-West music suitable for bodywork, yoga, slow movement and dancing, or a long drive through the Canadian Rockies.
Randy Alberts - New Age Retailer, Bellingham, WA
April 2007
In "3000 Days" we have a refreshing collection of compositions we could label within the genre of Romantic Instrumental Music, including elements that range from Atmospheric Pop to New Age to World Music, as well as some subtle elements of Jazz. The arrangements, and in general the staging of every track, boost the emotional nature of this work, although without causing an excess of sentimentalism. In short, a nice work for listeners who love melodic instrumental music.
Murray Grant's music is the perfect balance. His songs are strong and determined with a gentle ribbon of grace running through all of them. I love the music he is creating. Is it Eastern music with a Western influence or Western music with an Eastern influence? (It doesn't matter because) It is the perfect balance!
Mary Bartlein - WMSE Milwaukee, Wisconsin
"This is a stellar first recording by composer/drummer Murray Grant of Vancouver, B.C. In these days of inexpensive sound samples, Grant chose to record the album using an ensemble of 13 live musicians, some playing Chinese instruments.
The album begins with 'Drive'; its heavy drum/rhythm bass line determines the strength of the piece, but this is tempered by solos and pizzicato by two violins. A pinging sound gives the impression of overhead wires. 'Things Are Going To Get Better' also flows along on a rhythm groove, but it is more leisurely. Here, the Indian bamboo flute, played by Cameron Hood, gives the piece its Eastern temperance. One of the most distinctive sounds on the album is the 'erhu' Chinese violin played by Ji Rong Huang; the instrument adds a sentimental, bittersweet feeling to 'Somebody's Child.' Some of the most moving pieces on the album are 'We Are As One', a gentle yet broad lullaby, and '1World', with its tapestry of syncopated rhythms that race ahead of a spinning universe. Celso Machado sings a passionate Latin-African vocalise.
Throughout, Grant has hit upon a world fusion mixture that really works. None of the exotic instruments are trivialised or taken for granted, and the pieces are balanced between memorable melodies and intriguing unfolding of rhythm patterns. You'll discover new layers with each listening."
Carol Wright - All Music Guide, USA
"Murray Grant has put together a very interesting and beautiful piece of work. It is basically an instrumental mixture of New Age/Relaxation/World with an interesting twist: it was written and performed principally by a drummer. This gives the music a great percussive base which is often missing in this type of music. Grant has also brought in a large number of guest performers playing such diverse instruments as the erhu, berimbau, fon tom from, cello, violin, dumbek and Chinese dulcimer. Co-producers Grant and Andrew Duncan show how different sonic textures can be woven together to make a tapestry of music with a truly world-wide appeal."
Bob D'eith - The Voice Magazine, Vancouver
"Colourful instrumental debut by a Surrey, B.C. keyboardist and a baker's dozen of fine local players. With full bodied compositions and textured arrangements, Grant's work sits comfortably between Windham Hill accessibility and higher-brow art music. The shimmering Asian feel of tracks like Somebody's Child has helped secure distribution in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China."
Jeff Bateman - The Record Magazine, Canada
"The far East moves West with this 100 per cent MAPL album of B.C.-based Murray Grant's compositions in the mode and presentation of the Orient. Now, right up front, this reviewer admits that he's not completely enough versed in the form to make a statement of authenticity. We are prepared, however, to state that it's most enjoyable to the ear and relaxing to the psyche. Too often, the music of the East lacks the melody expected by a Western ear. Not so here. The music flows with a gentle yet urgent tintinnabulation -- rather like the exotica of Martin Denny -- that's quite entrancing. More please."
Bill Watt - RPM Magazine, Canada
"Grant, a Vancouver drummer, has written and co-produced, with Euphoria's Andrew Duncan, an insightful CD beautifully blending instruments from around the world.
Warning to music-listening drivers: The Indian bamboo flute played by Cameron Hood on Things Are Going To Get Better makes you want to close your eyes and experience it inside. Gutsy percussion that punctuates soft, sweet songs such as Solitaire and Into The Dream helps give the new-age album an edge"
Lorne Mallin - The Province Newspaper, Vancouver
"This is sort of a magical album for me. Usually when I listen to something, I listen to every track off the album, and try to give every artist the benefit of the doubt. The second I listened to this album, I loved it."
John Beaudin - QMFM Radio, Vancouver
Dec06/Jan07
Murray Grant's 3000 Days epitomizes a sound that has sometimes put New Age music in a small box. Here you can get out of the box because the music does not have a contained feeling. Soft and mellow, flowing and melodic. The sound is very thematic. In other words, very consistent, as if a soundtrack to a movie or travel documentary. What gives it a unique character is the outstanding instrumentation. There's quite a list.
Erhu, Shakuhachi, Yanqin, Electric Guitars, Bass, Berimbau, Dumbek, Shakers, Acoustic Guitars, Drums, Keyboards, Programming, Sisha, Wind Chimes, Dizi, Djembe, Moroccan drums, Tablas, Udu, Bang Di, Kpanlogo, Sisha, Obsidian Chimes, Tube, Sitar, Indian Bells, Tambourine, Kanjira, and vocals. I've never heard of many of these instruments. Murray Grant, known as a drummer, also plays keyboards, chimes, and programming. There are 14 other musicians involved in this project.
3000 Days will be of particular interest to those of you intrigued by the variety of instruments listed above. It is easy to hear the ebbs, flows, and layers of music. 3000 Days has a Japanese and oriental sound partly due to the instruments played and because new age music seems to have a kinship with modern-classical Japanese expression.
December 2, 2006

3000 Days by Murray Grant is like the soundtrack to a Chinese documentary. It is a modern recording, made with programmed keyboards and various electronic instruments. But the tunes themselves could easily pass for ancient musical creations.

Recorded tracks are as grand as their song names. Ambitious titles include, “The Big Dream,” “The River,” and “The Gates of Heaven.” There are no lyrics to these works, although “Waiting” is accented by stacked female vocals that give it an especially eerie quality.

CD artwork is comprised of various red shades, which form a romantic visual. Then again, marketers say the color red increases human appetite, which is why you see so many restaurant interiors decorated in rouges. But if anything, Murray Grant will give you an appetite for all things of the orient. And by that I don’t mean Chinese food.
Wednesday August 16, 2006

Headline - 3000 Days took years to develop
Musician Murray Grant hopes for soundtrack success with new CD release

It’s taken eight years, on and off, and some 130 mixes, but South Surrey musician and educator Murray Grant has finally released a second CD.
The drummer / keyboardist / composer built his studio from the ground up, digitally, using ProTools software, and following creative lines established by his first CD, House Of Mirrors.
Working from a synthesized demo, he painstakingly recorded 13 top Lower Mainland session musicians track by track to create the sound he wanted.
It’s all instrumental, New Age music, highlighting Grant’s preference for exotic melody and rhythm instruments from Asia and Africa as well as guitar, keyboards and drums.
Each piece on 3000 Days expands its musical theme slowly, subtly, using the haunting notes of flutes or Ji Rong Huang’s erhu (Chinese violin), Max Serpentini’s guitar or wordless vocal lines over subtle, yet insistent, beats and interwoven percussion by Serpentini and others like Celso Machado.
It’s music that is soothing and relaxing and yet also stimulates the visual imagination. It sounds, in fact, like nothing so much as the soundtrack for an unproduced, or yet-to-be-scored movie.
There’s another reason 3000 Days was so long in the works - Grant taught himself to be his own producer and engineer for the project.
That was partly forced on him when his original producer, Andrew Duncan, departed for a lucrative music career in L.A. - but not without encouraging Grant to produce, and offering valuable advice along the way.
Grant also sought feedback and criticism from others in the industry, all of whom, fortunately, confirmed he was on the right track.
“The further I went, the less feedback there was,” he said.
“But it was a huge learning curve.”
Now, the studio he has created in his Amble Greene home is only a few small pieces of equipment of becoming a fully self-sufficient recording studio.
Right now he’s taking a break from composing - to focus his time and energy on marketing the current CD.
Alex Browne, Arts Reporter - Peace Arch News / The Leader - White Rock / Surrey, Canada