Hennie Bekker

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Autumn Magic

November 25th, 2010

Autumn……my favorite time of the year. It’s a time of beauty and gratitude; the gift of beauty that Autumn brings is available to all. Jacky and I usually take a drive down to Vermont around this time of year as it’s especially beautiful down there. This year I found myself too busy to get away, so I spent some time shooting video of the Autumn colors here in Toronto, and set it to the song “Iridescent Morn” from the album Autumn Magic in my Kaleidoscopes series. I hope you enjoy…

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If you like the track, or want to buy the whole album, it’s available as a digital download on my website, and individual tracks from the album can be purchased on iTunes.

Freefall – Live in Concert

August 26th, 2010

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I’m really pleased to be posting this live video of “Freefall”, a track from my June 2010 album release Moving On. The video was recorded live at the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts in Toronto, Canada in May 2009, and is the first video to be posted from the show. “Freefall” is somewhat of a departure from my more laid back material, but still incorporates a melodic approach.

Here are the musicians performing with me:

Russ Boswell: Bass – www.russboswell.com
Rob Gusevs: Keyboards
John Johnson: Woodwinds, EWI
Rick Shadrach Lazar: Percussion
Bruce Cassidy: Trumpet and EVI – www.brucecassidymusic.com
Greg Kavanagh: Guitars – www.gregkavanagh.com
Bob DiSalle: Drums

Stay tuned…more videos will be posted down the road…

Enjoy!

Hennie

An Evening with Friends

July 8th, 2010

New Video!

June 30th, 2010

Check out the video for the euphoric trance remix (radio edit) of the track “Freefall” from Hennie Bekker’s new album MOVING ON. You can view the video on YouTube.

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Moving On – Album OUT NOW!

June 29th, 2010

Moving OnMOVING ON by Hennie Bekker is a new release available on CD and as an album download! Preview and order the album on henniebekker.com, iTunes, as well as all other major retailers. If you have a question about availability in your area, don’t hesitate to contact us. Check back on the blog or subscribe to Hennie’s newsletter to be notified of related news including new videos and special offers.

MOVING ON is a pure, creative exploration that crosses genres and styles. Best known for his world and relaxation sounds, Hennie Bekker has combined these sensibilities with his foundation in jazz and produced an album that truly represents his depth as an artist. Moving on from the strictly electronic albums of his past, Bekker uses acoustic drums, electronic wind instruments, guitars and the latest digital studio technology to create songs and melodies that are eclectic, inspiring and whimsical.

The “Freefall” euphoric trance remix

June 11th, 2010

Last week I returned to the dance music spotlight with the release of a euphoric trance remix by U.K. based producer Robbie Bronnimann, of the track “Freefall” from my upcoming album Moving On. In the weeks leading up to the production, Robbie said, “To me the direction is very clear that ‘Freefall’ has to be a big epic euphoric anthemic trance remix, that’s the scene that has the most synergy with your work.” I found myself asking why trance would have the most synergy with my work.

This wasn’t planned. I wasn’t actively looking to get my material remixed, in fact coincidence had a lot to do with it. It was actually the result of a chance meeting between my manager, Steven Saffer, and David Stopps (Howard Jones’ manager) during the MIDEM 2010 music conference in France, where they realized that there was mutual contact in Robbie, and in Miriam Stockley who I had the pleasure of working with on various sessions and projects in South Africa.  David had previously managed both Miriam and Robbie. The idea of Robbie remixing some of my work followed, and my manager reached out to him with the suggestion.

I discussed the project with my team, but it was only after listening to some of the remixes that Robbie had done for other artists that it all made sense. Firstly, I really liked Robbie’s style. Although the remixes were all very different, I found that in most of them, there was a lot of creative use of layering and reverbs. I think this was Robbie’s thing and not a ‘trance’ thing, and that really excited me because it’s something I like to do with my own material. Robbie also seemed to be using a lot of the same sounds. We did a video conference early on, at one point his five year old daughter Daisy was climbing all over him….even on his head!. “This has got to be the most informal business call I’ve ever had!” Robbie exclaimed. I just got a really nice vibe from him, and as it turned out we have much of the same gear….lots of soft synths (software based synthesizers that are basically computer programs running on a computer). This felt so comfortable and easy, I had to do it.

But…I had to give yet more thought to it. For one, I had to consider the fact that this was very different from what I’d done in the past, and I didn’t want this to look like a departure from my more new age and relaxation material, which it most definitely isn’t – I’m actually working on a new album now that I think is going to be one of my best albums for “wellness” – but I thought why not? I really enjoy exploring different directions and it would be interesting to see what feedback I would get. Anyhow, this wouldn’t be the first time I was doing something strictly electronic – I’ve been involved in the dance music scene before, in fact my history with electronic music goes back to the early 80’s when I was among the first composers to have and use a Synclavier for sample based recording. The BKS album ‘For Those About To Rave’, in the mid-90s was programmed and recorded on the Synclavier. I thought it would be interesting to see what Robbie could do with my material.

And as for Robbie’s credentials, well, he’s remixed under the dba name for the likes of Chicane, Ferry Corsten and Love Inc. (which was another coincidence as Love Inc. was Chris Sheppard and Simone Denny, who I’d worked with in the BKS days) while also working as co-writer and producer for Howard Jones, Sugababes and others. And he brings a super high standard of production as well as creating mixes that have all the correct drops & builds that DJ’s need to get the crowd onboard. It’s all about emotion & hooks!

The end result is a track that I love. I’m hoping it opens up my music to a whole new group of people and broadens the musical taste of my long time fans. The remix is available on iTunes and Beatport and there’s a preview on my website – hope you all enjoy it!

New album out June 29th, remix, twitter, video and more….

May 30th, 2010

’Moving On’ – out June 29th!

Many of you have been waiting for my new album ’Moving On’ – after all, it’s been a year since I announced the release! After my concert last May, I was inspired to add a few new ideas and tracks to the album. The good news is, ’Moving On’ is finally complete, and the release date has been set…the album will be available on June 29th!

Remix!

I’ve teamed up with renowned UK producer Robbie Bronnimann (Howard Jones’ producer and remixer) to remix one of the tracks from Moving On – it’s a “euphoric trance” remix of the track called ’Freefall’. You’ll find that the remix is very different from my more relaxing and ambient material, but the piano melody from the track ’Freefall’ really works well, and Robbie’s done a great job. It’s a great summer track, so hopefully you’ll enjoy it. The track will be out tomorrow Monday 31st May, and for those of you on my list, stay tuned for a nice surprise. I’ll also be posting a blog on the idea behind the remix on my official blog so those of you that are used to my more relaxing stuff will get an idea of why this all makes sense.

Twitter!

I’ve finally set up my own Twitter feed and will be doing my best to post regular updates…follow me at twitter.com/henniebekker

Videos!

I’ve received many requests for videos from the May 2009 concert and have good news to share: After a lot of time spent with my editor, and working on the crucial sound mix, we will soon be posting videos including two tracks from ’Moving On’, and a song from my 2009 African Tapestries release ’Amani’.

If you haven’t already checked it out, log on to my Youtube channel where you can view the latest relaxation video that I shot during my New Years holiday in Ixtapa Mexico last December.

Web updates and more….

You’ll see more exciting news in the next few weeks. My team has been working hard on revamping my website and adding features to my Official Facebook and MySpace pages that will make my music available as individual tracks and album downloads, and I’ll let you know when it’s all ready. We’ve also signed a deal with a digital distributor that will be making my music available on all of the major music sites (including iTunes, Amazon mp3 and Napster) in the coming months, so no matter where you live, you’ll be able to enjoy it.

Till next week, be well, and stay tuned!

Hennie

Relaxation

March 22nd, 2010

New Year’s Eve is usually hectic — parties, dinners, commitments… However, the passing of 2009 and the birth of 2010 was somewhat of a change to our regular routine. We found ourselves in Ixtapa Zihuatanejo, situated on the west coast of Mexico, which was was perfect for this ‘Snow Bird’ (Canadian) to migrate to during the brutal Canadian Winter. New Year’s Eve was a time for relaxation — and a little experiment.

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At six in the evening, the camera was planted on the beach and left to run and hence the magic was captured. I don’t like to use the word ‘Spiritual’ as I feel that it has too many different connotations to different cultures and beliefs, but just sitting on that beach at that time of day was food for the soul.

After returning to Canada, I fell back into the daily routine. However, I found myself being drawn back to this video. I felt an urge to put my mark on it, combine it with music and capture the essence of the moment. I thought the reason I was being drawn back to it was to rekindle the memories. It wasn’t.

I listened to a number of my CDs sometimes with the video playing and sometimes without. Many tracks blended with the video — especially tracks from Exotic Spa and Music To Promote Sleep. It was, I came to realize, the need to relax — feed the soul — that kept bringing me back to to the video.

While listening to the CDs without the video running, I found that the music induced a similar feeling of relaxation. You can experience it, too — at home. I chose the title track Journey On from the Exotic Spa CD because Exotic Spa can help you create your own relaxing environment.

Free Christmas Spirit Ringtone

December 18th, 2009

It’s that time of the year again… one of my favorite times. I would like to extend warm wishes to all for the Holiday Season. May you be blessed with joy, good health, peace, success and all the best things in life for 2010.

While you are here, you can pick up this special little gift I’ve prepared for you. I’ve taken the title track from my Christmas Spirit album – my own composition – and crafted a special mp3 ringtone to usher in the holiday season. It is available as a free download through this month.

Download the Christmas Spirit Ringtone now and share it with your friends. To use the ringtone, unzip the file and use bluetooth, infrared or a data cable to transfer the mp3 from your computer to your phone.

The Christmas Spirit album is available as a digital download. Check out the samples and enjoy.

Cheers

Hennie

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

December 8th, 2009

I am offering a free mp3 download of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing — a track from my Christmas CD in the Tranquility series. It’s a way I can give a gift and say “Thank You” for your support over the years. Download the Hark! The Herald Angels Sing mp3, add it to your playlist and enjoy during this festive season.

I chose Hark! The Herald Angels Sing because it is a very popular Christmas carol and the music has strength and a lasting quality. I feel my arrangement and composition of this piece brings out the underlying qualities, often missed when played on a church organ, and is sure to please with its rich tonal qualities.

When arranging a piece which has become a classic, it helps to know a bit of the history. If you, too, have an interest in the evolution of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing, there is a short article by Melissa Howard and a Wikipedia article which give an insight to the background of the piece. Both article hint at fair use, derivative work and copyright, which are still unsolved, contentious issues today.