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ClassicsOnline Home » ATKINSON, Michael: Gaelic Heart
Michael Atkinson comes from South Australia, the driest state in the driest continent on earth. He was born in Ceduna, a town on the sea near the Nullarbor Plain. His involvement with music began when he started learning guitar to relieve the tedium of secondary school, and he says that he was quite discouraged when he was not able to play like Jimmi Hendrix after a couple of weeks. However, his early aspirations enabled him to develop skills that resulted in the formation of a folk rock band called Redgum. This band attained considerable national celebrity and sales, and made several tours of Europe during the early 'eighties.
Michael went on to study music at the Adelaide Conservatorium of Music, and his compositions have been performed in concert in Australia and the United States. As well as being an accomplished musician, he is an award winning composer and has won many awards for his film scores, including an ARIA award for 'Snowy' and an AFI award for 'Stan and George'. He has completed seven full length film scores and innumerable scores for documentaries and television, in styles that range from country to traditional jazz, from classical to contemporary rock. In just one week, Michael may be expected to write, arrange and record a rock song, a symphonic piece and a jazz groove, each for a different project.
This has helped Michael develop a unique ability to evoke scenes with his music, an ability he first displayed in his White Cloud debut album To The Shores Of An Ancient Sea, Michael's musical reflection of his unique Australian heritage.
It has been said that within the deep well of the Celtic spirit lie the roots of all the dreams, romance and longing of Western civilisation.
For his new release, Gaelic Heart, Michael Atkinson has drawn inspiration from that deep well and created music that resonates with the full blooded romance and heroic courage of Celtic mythology.
The album's lush dynamic orchestrations conjure epic visions of tales from a land of legends. Ethereal harp, voice, and the eloquence of solo violin and whistle awaken the sleeping heart of romance.
For many centuries Celtic people have written and sung passionately of their legendary heroes and deep love for the lands of their birth. This fierce and nostalgic nature is an intrinsic part of Celtic music that has survived to be a strong source of inspiration to the present day.
"It would be less than human to ignore the compelling spirit of Celtic music; it abounds with a rich sense of the history of the people and reaches far back through time. As a musician, I find it impossible not to respond to its strong melodic and emotive influences", says Michael.
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ATKINSON, Michael: Gaelic Heart