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DAVID MINASIAN

Symphonic Prog • United States


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David Minasian biography
David Minasian has been involved with progressive music projects over the years notably producing and directing DVDs for the well known UK Symphonic prog band Camel. He is the producer and director of over 60 film and DVD projects, including Camel's highly acclaimed concert DVD "Coming of Age". David kept a low profile concerning his own music until the release of his symphonic prog album in 2010, "Random Acts of Beauty".

David has been playing classical piano as early as the age of five, and it wasn't until he turned 15 that he was asked to become professional by his piano teacher who had been with him 10 years. David had film projects and other interests and decided to quit his piano lessons. An obsession with film making replaced his piano lessons until he heard on the radio The Moody Blues' song "Land of Make Believe". David was intrigued by the style of the track with its juxtaposition of flute, guitar, melodies and mellotron. He bought "Seventh Sojourn" and "Blue Jays" albums and began to write his own music in a similar style. He was awarded a degree in film with honours and became a freelance producer and director for production companies in LA. Occasionally David was able to create soundtrack music to films and here is where his musical interest flourished. His theme for the Kris Kristofferson motion picture "The Joyriders" would became EMI's single release from the movie's soundtrack album.

David recorded some demos including his first "Words and Whispers" with lyrics by Ed Metcalf. This led to a number of studio works with well known pop entities such as The Captain and Tennille. David was able to record three high quality demos of his own work, however disco and punk had shovelled prog under the carpet, and the industry was not ready for David's progressive music.

David continued to record independently as lead vocalist and keyboardist/composer/producer and eventually recorded a symphonic prog album "Tales of Heroes and Lovers" during the turbulent 80s, when prog was swallowed up by the onslaught of new wave and electronica. David produced and directed a comedic music video for "It's Driving Me Crazy" from the new album, complete with the surrealist imagery of floating cats, sea creatures swilling beer, girls falling over cliffs, and an attractive girl putting suntan lotion on a monster. MTV picked it up and played it often giving David the exposure he so desired at last.

The video attracted the attention of Thre...
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Random Acts Of BeautyRandom Acts Of Beauty
ProgRock Records 2010
Audio CD$16.42
$9.48 (used)
Random Acts Of Beauty by David Minasian (2010) Audio CDRandom Acts Of Beauty by David Minasian (2010) Audio CD
ProgRock Records
Audio CD$38.72

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DAVID MINASIAN discography


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DAVID MINASIAN top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.98 | 4 ratings
Tales Of Heroes And Lovers
1984
0.00 | 0 ratings
It's Not Too Late (with William Drews)
1996
3.86 | 121 ratings
Random Acts Of Beauty
2010

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DAVID MINASIAN Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Random Acts Of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.86 | 121 ratings

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Random Acts Of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by mbzr48

5 stars Here's another misnomer for an album: there's nothing random in the beauty of the music found on David Minasian's Random Acts of Beauty. This is eloquent and engaging symphonic progressive rock that will charm your ears as well as your heart and soul (as will the attractive blonde).

While listening to Random Acts of Beauty, you sense a near film score ambience along side the obvious influences of Pink Floyd, King Crimson, and Camel (among others). Mr. Minasian has spent a good part of his career in filmmaking and as a videographer. Recently he directed Camel's DVD Coming of Age. Andrew Latimer returns the professional favor by helping Minasian on the opening track Masquerade.

The compositions are lush and sweeping orchestrations with layers of keyboards (a deceptively wicked amount of Mellotron, no less), soaring guitars from both David and his son Justin, and vocal arrangements, both stirring and sublime, almost like a lullaby. Songs like Masquerade or the Chambermaid build with effortless pacing showering your ears with profound yet delicate movements. Then the instrumental Frozen in Time evades this subtly with a brisk, energetic, urgency only to be tempered by atmospheric symphonic prog as it concludes. The whole work is thoroughly engaging, and a delight to the senses.

With little doubt, fans of classic symphonic progressive rock will find David Minasian's Random Acts of Beauty a brilliant, near flawless, piece of music. And they would be correct. Strongly recommended. For me a strong 5 stars!

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 Random Acts Of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.86 | 121 ratings

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Random Acts Of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by Anon-E-Mouse

4 stars Hearing this album for the first time left me somewhat floored. I would have sworn that Minassian was a British artist. I would have been wrong. My experience tells me that American prog performers in general find it near impossible to avoid a bit of Country, Honky Tonk, Yee-Haa, Shuffle, some aggressive Metal coupled with bad Fusion and maybe a touch of Jazz. None of that had crept in here. Phew!

First impression was that this work was very much like one of those melancholic and somewhat mediocre Latimer's Camel with a bit of latter day's Gilmour Pink Floyd thrown in. Melancholic stuff doesn't rate very highly with me. Good enough in the background while chopping onions, or dusting the lamp shades, also a surefire way to spoil a romantic dinner on a first date.

Still, I couldn't write this album off as mediocre as there was an incling that it may eventually grow on me. And it has. There are classical elements that invoke some works of often excellent Hungarian band After Crying, also some mellotron lines remind of classic, early King Crimson.

Latimer fans will love this work, one that deserves general attention from those who don't mind cliched Prog of the better kind.

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 Random Acts Of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.86 | 121 ratings

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Random Acts Of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

3 stars Random acts of beauty from 2010 is the second solo album of David Minasian, a musician known more for his collaboration with famous Camel, producing and directing Coming of Age DVD aswell as other 50 film and DVD projects. He release his first solo album in 1984 named Tales of heroes and lovers, but was almost unnoticed back then as know , being issued in the dark period of prog. The second album appear after 25 years Random acts of beauty, a symphonic prog album clearly similar towards Camel fame or in places reminescent of smooth The Moody Blues. The music is pretty much more then ok, with elaborated pieces, nice passages, all is good, we even have famous Andy Latimer on first track Masquerade doing vocal and guitar lines, nice piece. Another top ones is Blue rain or Frozen Time. Not much to add, a good symphonic prog album, nothing is groundbreaking here but the music is pleasent most of the time, the production and overall sound is little flat, otherwise no bif complains from me. Nice cover art aswell. 3 stars maybe 3.5 stars in places.

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 Random Acts Of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.86 | 121 ratings

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Random Acts Of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by Subterranean

5 stars WAOUH !! .... How could I have waited over two years to discover this album. To me, this one is certainly a prog's top5 for the year 2010.

David Minasian is known as producer of some of CAMEL's DVD and when listening to the album you can't avoid to state that the guy has lot in common with Andy Latimer. Especially the two first tracks of the album (Masquerade & Chambermaid) reminds me Camel's work of the 1990s (Dust & Dreams, Harbours of Tears, Rajaz) which is certainly not a negative critic in my view. If Camel would have released a record in 2010 it might have sounded like this.

You can't of course reduce David Minasian's work to some clone of Camel as he brings his own elements in it. The disc gives a proheminent place to piano, which is no surprise given Minasian's background. There is also an intelligent use of cello, violin, flute,... At this point, you may think the result is a smooth and warm album, this is true (some passages reminds me David Lanz and Yanni). But, there is also a more rock side in it. Best example being "Storming the caste" track which include some great electric guitar riff. But along the whole album, Minasian finds the right balance between acoustic and electric, between soft and energetic.

Production is brilliant (no surprise again given Minasian's background) but this allows to fully enjoy the album.

To conclude, the album's title is fully right: this is an "act of beauty". Just run to get this album, this is a must have (certainly if you appreciate Symphonic prog in general and Camel or Jadic especially... but also if you just want to discover something worth it).

Hope their will be another Minasian album soon !!

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 Random Acts Of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.86 | 121 ratings

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Random Acts Of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

5 stars Well, it took me long enough to get this one, after a fair amount of hesitation mostly due to a slew of 'need to haves' before taking the plunge. The generally glowing reviews have helped as well as listening to a few samples on the artist's website. I, like my esteemed colleagues Lazland and Tarcisio Moura, really didn't expect this album to be as rewarding as it is. While I unsecretly enjoy 'beautiful' music, I am always leery of too much mellow saccharine in my sympho-prog, so I did hesitate a bit after seeing the corny artwork. Lazland's recent evaluation pushed me over the edge and I am really glad that I read other reviewers opinions and let myself be influenced by them.

One only has to wait a few seconds before guest guitarist (and Minasian friend/idol) Andy Latimer unleashes one of the most inspiring axe solos on recent memory, a soaring, emotive and trembling execution of spiritual guitar bliss. 'Masquerade' is a dozen minutes of unpolluted symphonic gratification, expertly structured with a transcendent middle section where the piano, the cruising guitar and stocky rhythmic riffs collide in unanimity, all propelled by a sturdy bass and drum foundation. Added ornamental oboe increases the pleasure multi-fold. Andy also supplies the distressed vocals throughout, a profoundly sensitive expression of melancholia that truly is overwhelming.

'Chambermaid' is a tender ballad that is the only slightly weaker moment here, a nice song and pleasant playing throughout that reek of the Moody Blues style, saved by some dual guitar work that is clearly out of the norm and some effective lyrics. The loopy synthesizer also duels nicely with the fret boards, the melody is fabulously animated.

The two-faced track 'Storming the Castle' is a precise portrayal of underlying value of this artist as his luminous piano playing throughout elevates the material beyond the superficial and the bland, providing the ideal foil for blood relative Justin Minasian to scour the guitar horizons with a multitude of inspired solos. It starts out tranquil, pastoral and medieval, suddenly evolving into a harder/hyper climate full of conflict, contrast and delirium. The fear of new age Kitaro-style pap flies right out the window!

The subdued 'Blue Rain' certainly is a perfect case in point, metaphorical ivories coating the cerulean arrangement, anchoring a gorgeous sequence of guitar leads, enormous orchestrations and celestial vocals of the loftiest caliber. If audiophiles seek out impeccable sonic splendor in a quixotic setting, this track will do it, an achingly suggestive musical exploration that numbs the senses. A tremendous cello addition finishes off this amazing and uplifting track.

The ambitiously symphonic and all-instrumental 'Frozen in Time' dishes out the entire gamut of implements in David's arsenal, from lute to flute, from clarinet to cornet and adding church organ strategically only to stamp this with complete prog authority. All the usual suspects play an equally important role with thrilling piano parts, excited guitar explosions, rumbling bass throttles and punchy accentuating drums. The arrangement ebbs and flows accordingly, with darker organ swaths morphing into a breathtaking acoustic guitar section that is to expire over, the underused beauty of the glorious harpsichord seeping into the fray with ease. The pace explodes into a raunchy riff that has uncanny hints of Gentle Giant's classic 'A Cry for Everyone', a bruising, oily and gritty guitar rant that is excruciatingly aggressive under the unexpected circumstances. Flailing drums and haunting mellotron provides the 'coup de grace'. The next immediate segment has an almost country/pastoral feel, with ostentatious oboe musings amid piano caresses and synthesized wisps.

The luscious 'Summer's End' continues the glorious forlorn melody carved out on 'Blue Rain', a deeply sorrowful lead guitar appears relentlessly out of the indigo hurting but the acoustic guitar weaving merges with the flamboyant piano, the howling mellotron and the grandiose synths.

The amazing 'Dark Waters' conjures aquatic images of power and serenity, the ocean's yin and yang imagery perfectly expressed by rivulets of oboe and woodwind that collide with gales of mellotron, guitar whitecaps and waves of rhythmic fury.

While there are many who prefer a harder edged type of symphonic'prog a la Anekdoten, Anglagard and Porcupine Tree, there is always a time and a place for gorgeous arrangements that have substance and emotive power. Yes, this stuff is romantic, prosaic, dreamy, surreal and melancholic but its chock full of eye-brow raising moments that are frankly unexpected. The piano playing alone is worth the effort to add this into one's collection but the quality is definitely there in terms of sympho-prog standards. This is one of those albums that has a definite feminine appeal, ideal to cuddle up with and have the little lady in your life tell you that its very beautiful music! Now how can THAT be bad?

5 arbitrary steps

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 Random Acts Of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.86 | 121 ratings

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Random Acts Of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by kev rowland
Special Collaborator Crossover Team

4 stars David Minasian is a well known composer and video director who actually released his debut solo album as long ago as 1984, but it is this 2010 album that has made many progheads stand up and take notice. Of course many Camel fans know of David as he directed their 'Coming of Age' DVD and here Andy Latimer has repaid the favour by providing guitars (and vocals on one number) on his first outing since 2002. David's son Justin also provided guitars, with Guy Pettet on drums and David everything else. This is classic prog, steeped in the early Seventies and the sounds of The Moody Blues, Al Stewart, Camel, BJH and Renaissance. In many ways it is a very English sounding album, and with the liberal use of mellotrons it does sound as if it comes from that time as opposed to the present day.

This is music that makes me smile; it may not be earth shatteringly original, but it is a real delight. There is just enough use of acoustic instruments and even a harpsichord to take away from the saccharine that at times almost envelops the listener, with some great guitar cut throughs. Latimer was having fun no doubt, while there are enough Hackett stylings and orchestration to please even the most hardened cynic. If you enjoy prog music then you will love this album, it is as simple as that. It isn't challenging music, but rather something that the listener can put on and relax into like a well-worn armchair. Layered and delicate, full of harmonies and melody, who could ask for more? www.progrockrecords.com

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 Tales Of Heroes And Lovers by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.98 | 4 ratings

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Tales Of Heroes And Lovers
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Neo Prog Team

3 stars American native David Minasian is mostly known as being responsible for the production of several CAMEL DVD'S.He was born in Los Angeles and started playing the piano at the age of 15 and later he developed his film-making skills.At the early stage of his career he worked for a number of production companies around LA as a producer/director and occasional soundtrack composer.His long-time love for Progressive Rock though forced him to record and self- release a solo output in 1984 under the title ''Tales Of Heroes And Lovers'', where he sung and played keyboards with a great number of session musicians helping him in guitars, vocals, bass, drums and keyboards.

Undoubtfully Minasian was strongly influenced by the CAMEL period between ''Breathless'' and ''The Single Factor'' and actually ''Tales of Heroes and Lovers'' could have been easily a lost CAMEL effort from the mid-80's, especially on the first tracks, where the combination of sensitive vocals, light keyboards, soft pianos and smooth electric guitars stand somewhere between late-70's semi-commercial prog and AOR, yet they are always played with an artistic approach and with the music coming from the heart.Short tracks with catchy arrangements and a slick production, typical of the age, but the emotional content is deep and welcome.On the later tracks Minasian leaves his commercial side apart and begins developing a bit more adventurous compositions, sometimes reminiscent of late-70's YES and GENESIS (and of course CAMEL) with more dramatic keyboard and piano parts, a good number of sudden breaks, a more energetic guitar delivery and even some nervous sax performance and choirs appear in some tracks.His Classical education becomes apparent and the arrangements still are striking and well-executed.

Of course we are talking about mid-80's here and this album was destined to be buried in the sands of time due to its limited promotion and semi-progressive approach.A good work of Progressive/Art Rock with some commercial hints, which is in a need for a CD reissue.Recommended if you are a fan of CAMEL and late-70's prog, if you find a vinyl copy at a reasonable price.

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 Tales Of Heroes And Lovers by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 1984
2.98 | 4 ratings

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Tales Of Heroes And Lovers
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by Marty McFly
Special Collaborator Errors and Omissions Team

3 stars After discovering beautiful second album by David Minasion (it was a bit of a grower, but finally I succumbed to its beauty), I was left out craving for more of the same. I did reach out to seek this previous installment and, well, it's a precursor for sure, but except plagued by few 80s symptoms, worse production, it simply sounds like demo version for the later "sequel". It is still beautiful (don't forget it goes in the same vein, only this one is unpolished diamond, yet to be carefully crafted), but still an enjoyable album. If would be hypocritical to drown this album too low when I rated Random Acts so highly.

3(+), almost four, but let's be fair.

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 Random Acts Of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.86 | 121 ratings

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Random Acts Of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by snelling

3 stars Overall, I didn't particularly like or dislike this album. Beauty in prog is my thing, so I expected to be fairly bowled over by this, but certainly wasn't. I expected great melodies, and while they aren't bad, I think bands like Cirrus Bay have spoiled me. What I really DO like about the album is the guitar playing, both of Andrew Latimer on the opening mini epic, and that of his son Justin, who both play wonderfully, and therein lies the strength of the album to my ears. And though Mr. Latimer makes a fine appearance here, the compositions are too repetitive and even predictable at times to be quite of Camel calibre. The vocals are weak as well. Having said that there are some fine instrumental sections throughout here, and I think it will, overall, be a pleasant occasional listen.

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 Random Acts Of Beauty by MINASIAN, DAVID album cover Studio Album, 2010
3.86 | 121 ratings

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Random Acts Of Beauty
David Minasian Symphonic Prog

Review by SouthSideoftheSky
Special Collaborator Symphonic Team

2 stars Predictable acts of beauty

David Minasian has made a minor name for himself in progressive circles by producing several excellent DVD releases for the mighty Camel (and Andy Latimer repays the favour here, but more on that later). However, Minasian's ambitions do not stop at producing videos, he also writes his own music as evidenced by this much praised solo album of his. Actually, Random Acts Of Beauty is not Minasian's solo debut album as he did one already in 1984 - one that went largely unnoticed, as far as I know.

What we have here is pretty much Symphonic-Prog-by-the-books. While trying to describe this music in words I end up with something that could almost be a definition of the old-school Symphonic Prog from the late 60's/early 70's. Minasian himself has mentioned The Moody Blues, Barclay James Harvest, Camel and early King Crimson as reference points when describing his own music and that is indeed very accurate. But while all the typical ingredients of that genre are here, the end result is somewhat lacking in soul and passion, in my opinion. This album is frankly quite predictable and even a bit dull occasionally!

While there is nothing wrong as such with following the old masters of your favourite genre, there is always the risk of sounding very unoriginal and anonymous and this is clearly the case here. There are some Rick Wakeman-like keyboard parts and some Steve Hackett- like guitar solos, but it all becomes a bit too predictable to this reviewer. This is retro-Prog in the sense that it could just as well have been written in the early 70's, but the production is modern. It is indeed "beautiful" and quite pleasant on the ears, but hardly exciting and not particularly memorable. There is very little to complain about as such, but there is also very little that grips me.

The mixing and production is good apart from the drums that sound a bit weird at times, but the result actually sounds a bit too good in the sense that it becomes "glossy" and somewhat artificial, just like the awful and cheesy cover picture!

The principle musicians involved are David Minasian himself and his son Justin. While Justin plays most of the guitars, David plays an impressive number of instruments including a plethora of vintage keyboards (with the lovely old harpsichord in particular given pride of place), cello, violin, oboe, flute, recorder, clarinet, french horn, cornet, dulcimer, sitar, bass and drums as well as doing the lead vocals! His voice reminds of that of Justin Hayward of The Moody Blues.

Andy Latimer of Camel appears on guitar and vocals on the first track. His guitar solo is very nice indeed (and it is truly great to hear him play again after his miraculous recovery from a horrible illness). Latimer's unexpected lead vocal part towards the end of the song does however sound very much out of place and indeed a bit "random". You might be forgiven for thinking that Minasian's motivation for including Latimer on this album was to make it sell better than it otherwise would have, but the two of them have actually been good friends for a very long time and it was Latimer who kindly offered his services to the proceedings. But there is no denying that Latimer's presence is a major factor in drawing attention to this work.

While nothing here is bad as such, I simply fail to see what has made some people so enthusiastic about this album.

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