Archive for Music

ThingLink Appoints Tech PR Veteran Neil Vineberg as CMO

San Francisco, CA (August 01, 2011) — ThingLink, the provider of in-image interaction tools, today announced that Neil Vineberg, a former executive at leading communications firms Middleberg Euro and Golin/Harris, has been appointed as the company’s chief marketing officer.

Vineberg, whose 20+ year career includes pioneering strategic work for clients across digital music, social media, online communities and technology, will oversee ThingLink’s marketing and PR functions, drive U.S. business development for the Helsinki-based company, and manage soon-to-be opened offices in New York and San Francisco.

“Neil’s vast experience in and out of the tech sphere makes him the ideal person to introduce ThingLink to a wide range of prospective partners and brands across the U.S.,” commented Ulla Engeström, founder and CEO of ThingLink. “He has been associated with some of the most creative work in the business and boasts a strategic track record that speaks for itself.”

Vineberg’s varied consultancy career has seen him take up advisory roles with UNICEF, Procter & Gamble, United Airlines, IBM, Sony, Sprint, MP3.com, and eMusic, while also cultivating a successful career as a renowned contemporary acoustic guitarist and composer. Performing under the name ‘Shambhu’, his debut album ‘Sacred Love’ peaked at #1 on the World Music charts and was named “One of the Best of the Year” by Common Ground magazine.

“By turning images into a platform for rich media, ThingLink is innovating a new paradigm in consumer engagement,” added Vineberg. “I look forward to working with our team and growing community of partners in the U.S. and around the world to drive the growth of this exciting multi-media platform.”

Launched in 2010, ThingLink transforms images into a navigational surface for rich, relevant content that enhances a viewer’s knowledge and experience. The free-to-use application installs seamlessly onto blogs, websites or community pages allowing publishers to maximise the usability of images for story telling, advertising, promotion, sales and retention.

For more information, visit ThingLink.com.

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How to Insert SoundCloud’s Player in ThingLink Tags

Cool video of how to set up a SoundCloud player in ThingLink tags. There’s a post on my music site about ThingLink, an innovative company that I’m working with.

Read music marketing master Michael Brandvold’s post on ThingLink.

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GUITARIST SHAMBHU RELEASES DEBUT “SACRED LOVE”

“It’s the project I had on the shelf and it emerged thanks to a decline in the economy, which gave me personal time to discover and create this music,” says Shambhu, who’s debut CD, Sacred Love was released today.

Described as a “soul-elevating and magical journey, like riding a perfect wave,” Sacred Love features an all-star list of Grammy award-winning collaborators brought together by Shambhu, including Windham Hill Records founder Will Ackerman (co-producer) and recording and mixing engineer Corin Nelsen.

One reviewer praises Sacred Love as “possibly the best project Will Ackerman has ever been involved in.” The other artists that Shambhu and Ackerman assembled are no less impressive. They include: Tony Levin on bass (tours with Peter Gabriel), George Brooks on saxophone (recorded with John McLaughlin and Zakir Hussain), Ravichandra Kulur (tours with Ravi Shankar and Anoushka Shankar), Jeff Haynes on percussion (toured with Pat Metheny), Celso Alberti on drums (toured with Steve Winwood), Charlie Bisharat on violin (toured with Shadowfax), Premik Tubbs on flute and windsynth (toured with Santana and Mahavishnu Orchestra) and Eugene Friesen on cello (toured with Paul Winter Consort).

With the economy faltering, Shambhu decided to embark on a journey that many would have considered unthinkable. Putting his public relations business on the side for a year, he assembled the creative team and all-star artists behind Sacred Love, thereby finally realizing his life’s passion of creating a CD of his own music, and dedicated this effort to his 87-year-old mother who did not expect to live through the making of the CD due to health issues. Thankfully she is still alive enjoying this music, the realization of her dream, too.

“Each song on Sacred Love is a journey and the music flows with space for listener self-discovery and reflection,” Shambhu said. “That is thanks to decades of meditative practice with Indian mystic Sri Chinmoy, and my personal intention to infuse each note on the CD with love.”

Shambhu added, “The world needs oneness now more than ever. It is realistic and practical to believe that if we lead with love through the actions of our lives – and in my case, through the music of my life – we can help bridge the misunderstandings that separate people across religious, cultural and national boundaries, and create a world of oneness.”

Watch a 25-part YouTube series, “The Making of Sacred Love” at youtube.com/shambhumusic.

Buy Sacred Love at SacredLoveCD.com.

Visit Shambhu at ShambhuMusic.com

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Shambhu Sacred Love is Live


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Enjoy the Love at Shambhu Music

Enjoy beautiful new age guitar music by Shambhu at ShambhuMusic.com. Learn more about Shambhu.

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Narada Michael Walden’s Let the Sunshine In: Light Descended

IMG_0247Many of you know through my Tweets and Facebook entries that I attended and have been supporting my friend Narada Michael Walden and his Let the Sunshine In Benefit which took place on Memorial Day evening.

Narada asked me right after his incredible show, “What was the highlight, what was the best part for me?” I was speechless, and I felt somewhat incomplete having failed in a moment to find and express words. The reality is I was overwelmed by the greatness and goodness of the evening. There were so MANY highlights. Now I am ready to attempt to answer that question.

Let the Sunshine In
10+ standing ovations.
The Olympics of Music, with every artist breaking a world record.
Perfect string and horn arrangements as Narada recreated and brought to life so many hits from five decades with the original artists who peformed them.
The house band: has any one stage featured better?
The backup singers: sheer brilliance under Claytoven Richardson’s leadership.
The production: Narada’s impeccable, tasteful and pristine imprint on everything.
The Love: we all felt it coming from Narada’s Sunlit Heart.
Christopher Rodriguez in the house – we send him our love.

Nothing in my life has matched my experience of Let the Sunshine In, the benefit concert staged by the great record producer Narada Michael Walden for Christopher Rodriguez, a young Oakland boy paralyzed by a stray bullet in a senseless and random act of gun violence. It was a night I will always remember and cherish.

Why was it amazing? Simple: Narada is a consummate perfectionist who has realized Music at a very sublime level. He is like a High Priest, a Guru, and it’s no surprise that he has been the force behind more than 50 hit records that have enriched the lives hundreds of millions of people around the world….recorded by the likes of Whitney Houston, Aretha Franklin, Mariah Carey, Barbra Streisand and many others. With three Grammys and an Emmy and recognition as a Top 10 Record Producer of All Time by Billboard Magazine — it is Narada’s spirituality-infused life that makes his work important now and forever.

Narada knows how to make great musicians and great music sound better. He knows how to connect music, spirit and audiences. He knows how to put it all together. And the performance on May 25th was powered by a giant engine:

A 16 piece backup band with the likes of Chuck Leavell, keyboardist with the Rolling Stones, Jim Horn, one of the most influential horn arrangers in pop music, and the great keyboardist Frank Martin, who partnered with Narada on the music that was performed. Two bassists, three guitarists, four keyboardists, two percussionists, six horn players (including my friend Premik Russell Tubbs), and it goes on and on.

Minna Choi’s 60-member Magik*Magik Orchestra backed up the artists with a gorgeous palette of texture and color, and featured exceptional students from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music led by Maestro Michael Morgan, musical director of the Oakland Symphony Orchestra.

And a production team with pros like Merl Saunders Jr., Tim Jahnigen, Vadim Canby and Kimrea who made everything work for the audience and featured artists:

Sting, who sang several of his brilliant songs, including Fields of Gold and joined in a joyous operatic duet with the incomparable mezzo-soprano Frederica von Stade.

Madame von Stade, who performed a breathtaking version of Ave Maria. I loved her beautiful spirit and grace.

The great Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis who performed many Fifth Dimension hits, including Up, Up and Away (a song they wrote), Hair, and One Less Bell to Answer. I grew up influenced by the awesome musicality of the Fifth Dimension so hearing Marilyn and Billy brought back a special magic.

Chris Botti and the incredible violinist Lucia Micarelli surprised us with a duet that touched the Gates of Heaven.

We were graced by the great R&B legend Gerald Alston of the Manhattans who performed Shining Star. And by the contemporary jazz acoustic guitarist Earl Klugh who elevated us to a serene place with his classic performance of Living Inside Your Love.

So many others joined, like Mandolin jazz/bluegrass fusion virtuoso Dave “Dawg” Grisman, singer Lisa Fischer, the incomparable Mary Wilson, and Dale “Satchmo” Powers, who invoked the great Louis Armstrong in a performance of What a Wonderful World. With Narada leading the way, the performers just kept hitting the home runs and the audience was overjoyed and overwhelmed.

And the great Bobby Weir and friends jammed it out and lit up Davies Symphony Hall.

So there were superbly great performances. Why was this a significant event? It all starts with Narada Michael Walden.

We met in 1973. I was an aspiring guitarist and Narada an extraordinary drummer. He joined the path of Guru Sri Chinmoy along with Mahavishnu John McLauglin and learned meditation, and I joined a year later at Narada’s invitation. In those days Narada was washing dishes, giving drum lessons and developing his career. His humble beginnings were short-lived, however. For he soon joined the Mahavishnu Orchestra, met Jeff Beck, recorded with Mahavishnu John McLaughlin and Jeff Beck, launched a solo recording career, launched a production career, and 11 years later, earned a Grammy as Producer of the Year. Along the way he catapulted the careers of Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey, relaunched Aretha Franklin’s career, and recorded over 50 hit records for many of the artists who appeared at the concert, including Shanice and Tevin Campbell.

In his life he has collaborated with a who’s who in music because if you’re a really great musician, you probably want to know or work with Narada Michael Walden. Because music always sounds better when Narada is involved.

Narada is aware of Perfection and it’s an intuitive thing. He knows what music can be and should be, and he takes us there. That is a rare place where goodness and greatness meet together with the penultimate peak of musical satisfaction. That’s where Narada lives all the time, which is why so many people like me and the more than 150 people who made this show happen – were deeply grateful to support his work.

So history was made on May 25th in San Francisco at Let the Sunshine In. We were witness to something sublime, soulful, and spiritual. We heard great music and felt Narada ‘s humility, Narada’s love, Narada’s ability to bring Heaven down to earth. And being the giant and generous Soul he is, we all had a chance to participate as performers, as volunteers, and as audience members. We sang Give Peace a Chance and Let the Sunshine In. We were one soulful love fest for sure.

Welcome to the great Song of Love that is Narada’s life. Welcome to the great Spirit who we know as Narada Michael Walden.

We join with Narada in supporting Christopher Rodriguez and the idea that music can inspire youth and should be part of their lives.

And we celebrate the great work of the Narada Michael Walden Foundation. I say, “Rock on!”

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Vaughn Williams – The Lark Ascending


When hearing the sound of music lifts your soul, it is a miracle of awareness and cosmic connection. Vaughn Williams’ piece, “The Lark Ascending,” has always moved me in a deep way for it is both deeply evocative of nature and meditative. And I am often profoundly satisfied in nature and meditation. When both are mixed through music, something happens to me.

Barbara Heninger wrote a beautiful set of notes on this marvelous piece:

“In The Lark Ascending, Vaughan Williams found inspiration not only in English folk themes but in a poem by the English poet George Meredith (1828-1909). The composer included this portion of Meredith’s poem on the flyleaf of the published work:

He rises and begins to round,
He drops the silver chain of sound,
Of many links without a break,
In chirrup, whistle, slur and shake.

For singing till his heaven fills,
‘Tis love of earth that he instils,
And ever winging up and up,
Our valley is his golden cup
And he the wine which overflows
to lift us with him as he goes.

Till lost on his aerial rings
In light, and then the fancy sings.”

A personal romance I have with this particular work composed in the early 1900s. You can find several performances at iTunes. The London Philharmonic performance conducted by Bernard Haitink, with Sarah Chang on violin, is my favorite version. See if you can find it online. You might cry while immersed in this miracle of celestial beauty like I have done so many times before.

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