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Ultimate Guitar Reviews Orca Symphony No. 1

From Ultimate-Guitar Sound: Tick this off the list of things you thought you'd never see. If you've been following the career of Serj Tankiansince the initial demise of his band System of a Down, you're probably familiar with the greatly underappreciated "Elect the Dead Symphony," a colourful orchestration of his debut solo album and proof of his diverse musical endeavours, which reach well beyond that of your average rock frontman. His pedigree is proven in rock and in classically-influenced experimental metal. This, however, is something else entirely; this is pinch-yourself-to-see-if-you're-dreaming stuff. The man behind "Chop Suey," "Toxicity" and "banana terracotta terracotta pie" has composed an entire classical symphony in four acts. Let's get to it, shall we? The first act,...

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Serj Tankian / Devin Townsend Charity Collaboration "We Are" Honors Nelson Mandela

From Loudwire Serj Tankian, Devin Townsend, Ihsahn (ex-Emperor) and Ray Holroyd (12 Ton Method) recently teamed up to record a song honoring former South African president Nelson Mandela, and now the lyric video for ‘We Are’ has been released (watch above). The charity single is being released by the non-profit record label Revolution Harmony, which was founded by Holroyd. He started it in 2011, with all proceeds going to charities that restore harmony between people, animals and the environment. Revolution Harmony posted the following about the song: “The lyrical theme in ‘We Are’ is based on the concept behind Revolution Harmony, which is essentially the belief that musical harmony has the power to inspire a revolution towards societal harmony. The single is dedicated to...

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Serj Tankian Talks 'Orca', 'Jazz-iz Christ', System of a Down & More

From Artist Direct If the 21st century produced an "artist" in the truest sense of the word that would be Serj Tankian. He continuously challenges himself and smashes any and all boundaries in the process. His brand new solo albums ORCA and Jazz-iz Christ may be musically miles apart from the whacky and wondrous metal of System of a Down, but they're equally potent and a genuinely natural progression for Tankian. His cinematic sensibility bleeds through the sprawling orchestral ORCA, while Jazz-iz Christ speaks to his sonic adventurousness over a jazz backdrop. Both records are nuanced to the point of rewarding, making every listen a trip somewhere new. Tankian's no stranger to new places though and he continues finding them—especially now with his "music-embedded painting," as he likes to call...

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Serj Releasing Two Albums in June and July, Announces Tour Dates

Serj is independently releasing two albums this summer through his own Serjical Strike Records.  Orca, Tankian’s first true symphony, will be released on June 25 and the collaborative jazz infused album Jazz-iz Christ will be released on July 23.  Recorded in Linz, Austria in October of 2012, Orca was composed and demoed in Tankian’s home studio and fully realized after a successful Kickstarter campaign that helped fund a recording and debut performance at the regal Brucknerhaus with the “Das Karussell Ensemble”. With conductor Werner Steinmetz at the helm, the four acts of Orca mix influences from early 20th century composers with modern film compositional dynamics showing influences ranging from Ennio Morricone to Philip Glass. Listeners are met with a mingling...

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Orca Symphony Recording & Concert

Dear Friends, The ORCA recording and concert this past weekend was a tremendous success! It was an extremely special night for me, being able to see the premiere of my first true classical symphony performed by a great orchestra with an amazing response. From start to finish, it was an incredible experience and there are many people to thank: everyone who supported the Kickstarter campaign (including those I was able to meet in person), the great audience for their contagious energy (rivaling our rock shows!), the talented musicians in the Das Karussell Orchestra, especially conductor Werner Steinmetz and concert master Marcus Wall, Vincent Pedulla, Dan Monti and Erwin Khachikian. I wanted to share a few photos from the concert taken...

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