Album Remarks & Appraisals:
After more than 20 years, Steve Vai continues to use unbridled guitar virtuosity and soulful artistry to explore the spectrum of human emotion. This nine-time Grammyr nominee and two-time winner creates a sound all his own by striking a balance between technical ability and poetic phrasing. Steve first stepped into the spotlight in 1980 as a guitarist in Frank Zappa's band. Since then he has played with other musicians including David Lee Roth, Joe Satriani, Ozzy Osborne, Public Image Limited, and Alice Cooper. These influences have had a profound effect on him and it shows in the music. Sound Theories Vol. 1 & 2 consists of orchestral music and other rich compositional pieces that Steve has written. Vai was commissioned to compose an hour of music for the Metropole Orkest in Holland but ended up putting together an exceptional two hours of quality work and on disc 1 of this 2-disc masterpiece, Steve Vai himself performs his own guitar parts with the orchestra. This new album is sure to impress the masses as it highlights some of Steve Vai's best work.
Personnel: Elisabeth Liefkes-Cats, Seija Teeuwen, Simone Vierstra, Wik Kok, Elisabeth Cats, Seya Teeuwen, Simone Vierstra, Wim Kok (violin); Micke Honigh, Mieke Honingh (viola); Willem Luijt (clarinet, oboe); Marc Scholten (clarinet, saxophone); Jeanine Abbas, March Scholten, Willem Lujit (clarinet); Ruud Breuls (trumpet); Joeri de Vente, Hans van der Zanden, Hans Van Der Zanden, Joeri DeVente (French horn); Bert Pfeiffer, Martin de Kain, Martin de Kam, Hans Joerg Fink (trombone); Bryan Beller (electric bass); Tjerk DeVos, Eric Winkelmann, Arend Liefkes (bass guitar); Mike Schaperclaus, Mike Schäperclaus (percussion); Jen Kuhn (tapes); Peter Tiehuis (guitar, electric guitar); Joke Schonewille (harp); Doesjka DeLeu, Herman Van Haaren, Arlia de Ruiter, Vera Laporeva, Erik Kromhout, Marianne Van Den Heuvel, Erica Korthals Altes, Dennis Koenders, David Peijnenborgh, Linda Dumessie, Marijn Rombout (violin); Aimee Versloot, Norman Jansen, Iris Schut, Julia Jowett (viola); Annie Tangberg, Jascha Albracht, Jos Teeken, Wim Grin (cello); Friederike Darius (flute, clarinet); Juan Martinez Schrijver (clarinet, contrabass clarinet, saxophone); Paul van der Feen, Leo Janssen, Werner Janssen (clarinet, saxophone); Jaap DeVries (bassoon); Jan Hollander, Henk Heijink, Jan Oosthof (trumpet); Jan Bastiani (trombone); Joost Smeets (tuba); Chris Opperman (piano, Moog synthesizer); Hans Vroomans (piano); Carlo VanDerPut (keyboards); Martin Baai, Arno van Nieuwenhuize, Murk Jiskoot (percussion).
Audio Mixer: Steve Vai.
Liner Note Author: Co de Kloet.
Editor: Steve Vai.
Photographer: Larry DiMarzio.
Arrangers: Steve Vai; Chris Opperman; Hans Vroomans; David Kole; Tom Trapp.
The early part of the 21st century found instrumental guitar genius Steve Vai keenly exploring his long-brewing interest in orchestral composition and performance. In 2003, Vai was commissioned by the Dutch government to compose one hour of music, and in his inimitable style, the former Frank Zappa protege went much further, adding an additional hour's worth of his existing rock guitar compositions and scoring orchestral arrangements for them.
The resulting SOUND THEORIES VOL. 1 & 2 was culled from a total of five performances (as well as one soundcheck recording and one studio session) captured in 2004 and 2005 with the Metropole Orkest. Conductor Dick Bakker piloted the proceedings while electric bassist Bryan Beller (also sharing a once-removed Zappa connection on his resume) brought his "impossible ears" (as described by Vai himself) to this incredibly challenging material. It should be no surprise that the gamut of emotions Vai's writing expresses is stunningly enhanced by a full orchestra's treatment.