With 3 Grammy nominations, 20 Billboard New Age Chart hits, over one million albums sold, and millions of fans worldwide, David Arkenstone has established himself as one of the best contemporary instrumental musicians of our time. Known for his Celtic inspired jazzy world beat New Age fusion, he continues to create distinctive tracks that set him apart from other composers.
This award-winning multi-instrumentalist has captivated audiences since he broke onto the music scene in 1987 with his debut album, "Valley In The Clouds", described by one reviewer as "one of the most exquisite electronic new age recordings ever produced." Thriller choreographer Michael Peters created a ballet to "Valley In The Cloud"s in celebration of the Winnipeg Royal Ballet's 50th Anniversary. Arkenstone has earned two #1 albums - "Citizen of Time" (1990) and "In the Wake of the Wind" (1991). His much celebrated "Celtic Book of Days" (1998) remains one of his most popular recordings ever. Released in 2000, "Caravan of Light" was honored as Best Album of the Year by New Age Voice, and Sketches From an American Journey made Soundscan's list of top ten New Age Albums in 2002. Acclaimed music critic Michael Debbage recently listed three of David's albums - "Sketches From an American Journey", "Atlantis", and "Myths & Legends" - in his Top 30 Of The Decade.
Often compared to Mannheim Steamroller and The Chieftains, Arkenstone has made over 30 recordings, headlined several tours, shared the bill with Michael Crawford which included New York's Radio City Music Hall and the Hollywood Bowl, scored dozens of films and documentaries, and composed music for the Olympics that is used to this day. NBC Producer David Michaels, who makes frequent use of Arkenstone's music, says "David writes with fire, passion and emotion, all at once simple and complex. He's an artist capable of constant inspiration." Adding to his diversity, Arkenstone has a worldwide following as one of Blizzard Entertainment's World of Warcraft on-line game composers. His latest releases include "Celtic Chillout" and "The Best Of David & Diane Arkenstone".
A musical storyteller, David is passionate about taking his listeners on a journey, creating sonic tapestries that evoke every emotion. Critics hail his music as "full of thunder and feeling," yet a "dreamy soufflé" of layered acoustic instruments and voices, which sends the listener on a "joyous expedition."
"A love for travel and adventure is just something that's embedded in my personality," says Arkenstone. "Sometimes I get the feeling that I'm painting as much as I'm composing. I tend to envision a place where I would like to go, or an adventure I would like to take, and I let my mind run free. I've gotten countless e-mail messages from listeners who love to take these journeys with me. I'm sometimes surprised by how powerfully people respond to my music."
After coming to California from rural Chicago at age 10, David immersed himself in all the music he could find. Spending high school and college in various bands and performance groups, he then criss-crossed the country several times playing popular music. He finally settled down to concentrate on developing his own sound. Arkenstone has always been inspired by the process of blending technology and music to create a multimedia fusion for producing amazing sounds. By working with state-of-the-art technology, Arkenstone combines the highest quality electronic samples with acoustic instruments played by the finest musicians including David himself.
"Technology has produced some wonderful tools for making music. The computer allows me to fully orchestrate my pieces and really fine tune them. I have always loved the sound of the orchestra, and now I believe I have refined a wonderful blend combining the best elements of the acoustic world, with the electronic world," states David. While he is primarily a keyboardist, Arkenstone plays the guitar, mandolin, flute, cello, percussion, and many other instruments.
In late 2009, Arkenstone decided to tour once again and is enjoying being out on the road and meeting his fans. "One of the most exciting things about performing live is the interaction I get with the audience," says David. "It's very different than making a recording, where you're never sure who is listening to it. The communication is complete in live performance, plus it's plain old fun to play these songs with my friends, and the audience senses that. A lot of the roots of our musicianship come into focus without the magic of studio editing - it's the moment, you play your best, and many times reach new heights, and then it's gone, and on to the next one."
Arkenstone recently signed a recording deal with Domo Records, known for its eclectic roster of world music artists, including Kitaro. The deal includes new recordings as well as some of Arkenstone's previously released material such as the critically acclaimed "Myths and Legends", "Sketches From An American Journey", "Echoes of Light And Shadow", "Spirit of the Drum", "Nights of Passion", and "World Café". Fans can also look forward to a new Christmas album release and the live Winter Solstice Concert DVD later this year.