RITUAL is a collection of 11 songs composed by Anthony Mazzella. The music is a fusion of Spanish Guitar and Near Eastern Music. This CD is 3 years in the making as it was produced by Anthony who composed all the music, arranged all the songs, played all the instruments (plus several guest appearances), recorded, edited and mixed it in his home studios both in New York City and Sedona Arizona.
The music for this CD was inspired by Anthony's travels through Europe and the Near East and performing with musicians indigenous to those regions.
Anthony was exposed to Spanish Guitar as a young boy by his grandfather who used to play Anthony the music of the great Spanish guitarists such as; Andres Segovia, Carlos Montoya, Julian Bream, Vicente Gomez and Pepe Romero. When Anthony decided to start playing Spanish guitar it came naturally to him having heard it so often as a young boy. At that time he was learning the rudiments of music on the piano so the synergy between the two became innate. Anthony's keyboard skills appear in the form of string and horn arrangements on many of the songs on RITUAL.
Anthony was the concert guitarist for world renowned Turkish musician Omar Faruk Tekbilek for 2 years. In that time Anthony was trained by Omar Faruk himself in the art of Turkish music. In that period Anthony started composing music with the Turkish influence. He was also living in Italy at the time and traveling throughout Europe so the fusion of the two regions come to life in these new songs. Fusing the 2 genres together was also inherit from listening to the East meets West compositions of the great rock group Led Zeppelin.
Though words could never describe the depths of music, the CD is called RITUAL to represent the events that happen naturally on a daily basis which connect us to the flow of the universe. Thus the cover art being the sun, moon reflected in the water.
In the words of Anthony; the practice of making music is ritual to the musician. The rising of the sun and moon is ritual to the earth. The life experience of the spiritually conscious being is connected to source, god, nature. The ritual, the ceremony and the art helps the spiritual one and the musician transport the layman, the seeker and the listener into the soul experience of life.
Thus in every title on the CD has ritual meaning in a natural state of eventfulness.
“Venus” That which is the 2nd planet from the sun and Roman Goddess of love and beauty. This opening track echoes the sounds of modern Spain with fierce Spanish guitar playing, drums and percussion and lush background voices to carry the music into a sphere of surreality.
“As She Sleeps” The state of being unconscious and watched over in the afterglow of her lover. This unique song has the upbeat of Reggae fused with a slow guitar melody and keyboards to create the romantic feelings of being on an island.
“Southbound” The magnetic feeling in the event of traveling south. South American percussion meets progressive guitar and a warm organ with a Spanish guitar intro to create the feeling of traveling the Americas.
“The Beautiful Dancer” Celebrating life, music and health in dance. A chorus of acoustic guitars meet a Doumbek drum in the opening of this beautiful song. The main body of the song is carried by percussion and a guitar melody which tells the story in an almost lyrical sense where the listener can see the dance unfold in their minds eye.
“Infinite Hunger” The daily ritual of obtaining needs and desires. Big tribal drums, lots of guitars, saxophone, keyboards and effects make up this large composition. This song has the exotic feel of Arabia and could be the soundtrack for a Cirque De Soleil type production.
“Sun Ritual” The awakening of light, warmth and consciousness. This most unclassifiable track infuses a Native American melody with modern drums and a horn and string section. Keyboards create a lush backdrop of sound which connect all the tracks in a splash of color to be interpreted by the listeners imagination.
“Ritual Moon” Blindness in the darkness of dogmatic ideology. This song has the feel of the closing credits of an epic move. Warm guitars, strings, flutes and drums drive the slow musical progression into chorused crescendo suitable for the last track of this impressive body of work.
“Bride To The East” the diplomacy of humanity. Traditional Turkish drumming and guitar drive this powerfully rhythmic song in a firey dance that excites the senses and makes people jump out of their seats when they hear it live.
“The Way Home” The event of arriving in a place of comfort and rest after a long journey. The song starts out with a solo acoustic guitar playing the main melody in a stripped down recording. Then the body of the song kicks in full force with drums, bass, percussion, strings and multiple guitars. The musical flavors of the near east are fused with the progressive compositional values of the western part of the hemisphere to create a musical journey around the world.
“Remember The Dream” The state of being conscious in a given reality and remembering or fantasizing of an alternate reality. A slow passionate song performed on the classical guitar and accompanied by strings and percussion. This song reaches deep into the soul and evokes feelings of reflection.
“Lifting The Veil” The state of ridding oneself and humanity of the distractions of myth and illusion so life can be experienced in its natural essence. This song progresses in four movements. The song opens with blazing traditional Spanish guitar riffs and an eastern string section. It is then met by the force of a full band on high with a classic fusion feel. It then pulls back and grooves like a jam band before arriving at the finale which has the driving force of rock and roll.
Overall RITUAL can best be described as world music for the ears of the western hemisphere.