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Crossover Prog • Poland

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White Raven biography
White Raven is the project of talented Polish composer Piotr Wojciechowski , born 1983 in Lodz and who began piano lesson at the age of 12 and ultimately winning numerous student competitions. He got quickly interested in guitar but keyboards remained his first and foremost love, buying his first synthesizer, a Yamaha CS6x which in turn, opened up new lines of creativity with theatre and film music. He tried working with other musicians but Piotr realized that he was master of his own ship and electronic music in particular was drawing him closer to working alone with his synths, keyboards and computers. He dis team up with artist and graphic designer Agnieska Rogozinska, with whom he developed a friendship and a working relationship. He won in 2012 a competition for electronic music composers held in Cekcyn, and many festivals, memorial concerts and events followed which solidified White Raven?s style and direction. Most of 2014 and 2015 were thus dedicated to launching ?The First Breath? album, with the help of Richard Kramaskiego and the celebrated Polish prog label Lynx Music. The recording was done in Piotr?s home studio, arranging, composing and playing all the instruments, artwork was done by Agnieszka. Future projects are already in the pipeline.

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The Place Where Life BeganThe Place Where Life Began
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WHITE RAVEN discography

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3.91 | 4 ratings
The First Breath

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 The First Breath by WHITE RAVEN album cover Studio Album, 2015
3.91 | 4 ratings

The First Breath
White Raven Crossover Prog

Review by tszirmay
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

4 stars White Raven is another new addition from Poland, a different style from the usual Neo/Symph prog this country seems to espouse, choosing a more electronic keyboard genre that is reminiscent of Geoff Downes' efforts with the celebrated New Dance Orchestra project or some of Vangelis' more proggy releases. Keyboard fans will be blown away by the sheer magnificence of the piano and the barrage of multi-layered synthesizer work that clearly astound. The focus is on crafting memorable melodies and adorn them with sweeping arrangements that wander between electronica and symphonic. Piotr Wojciechowski is a tremendous artist from Lodz, with impeccable skills who fully has mastered the multi-instrumentalist one-man show challenge. This first endeavour has a wide variety of compositions, longer epic 9-10 minute pieces interspersed with short intermezzos as well as some more 4-5 minute tracks, all in order to keep the suspense honest and unexpected. The style is cinematographic, perhaps a bit like fellow Polish band Lebowski in that each piece is like some movie soundtrack, though the latter is a more conventional gt-k-b-drs outfit.

The title track utilizes its wide girth to expand immediately on the talent that is wielded so masterfully , a whopping 12 minute mini-symphony of discovery and adventure that goes way beyond just a mere introduction, showcasing a suave determination to keep things interesting and yet enchanting. The first 2 minute interlude is the sizzling guitar-driven 'Second' and its incessant obsession with mood and atmosphere. Another short one in the 3 minute range tosses in some Arabic chanting, as 'Abandoned Dreams' swoons over the dunes with sweeping melodic splendour, once again creating ultimate sonic escapism. The slightly longer 'Be Different' is another highlight piece, propelled by a sequenced melody that hints at old school Tangerine Dream, circa Exit or Poland (Surprise) and will please even newer electronica fans , trembling synth patches emitting modern tendencies. A return visit from the Arabic chanting shows the grander design at work here, everything intertwined and yet holding its own. This segues nicely into 'Silence' featuring a piano motif that verges on genius and utter beauty. This could have been a Vangelis 'hit', a well-defined, immediately ravishing melody that will hook the listener immediately. Hints of orchestral Michael Oldfield abound on pieces like 'In the Deep Dream', where glittering keys combine with ethereal choirs and pulsating electronic percussion to vividly create surreal visions. Sublime piano characterizes an epic track like 'Eclipse', which not only amazes throughout its near 10 minutes but showcases elegant piano musings that wink at masters like Rick Wakeman, Eddie Jobson and John Hawken. The evolution of the track aims at evolving towards more electronic realms, with robotic rhythmic patterns still fueled by the same gorgeous melody. The slippery synth solo is heard bursting at the seams, intricate and relentless, absolutely first class! On a track like 'Follow Me', the onus is more on the electronic percussion and thus providing a more bustling rhythmic expanse to work over the slithering melodies. While some interval parts are clearly dreamy and ambient, the vast majority of the material is bold, vivacious and creative. The immediacy of the melodies are of paramount importance, the sounds connecting right from the get- go, a relatively rare event in the electronic prog world.

Like any great opus, the album ends with another bookcase epic, an 11 minute+ mastodon entitled 'Last but Not Wasted Breath, the First Breath finale' which seeks out grandiose and bombastic heights, with soaring symphonics and orchestral leanings that defy categorization. The impression is one of infinity, time and space, endeavour and pleasure. This was one hell of a surprise that caught me completely off guard and I have been suggesting my progpals to check this out.

4.5 Initial Inhalations

Thanks to tszirmay for the artist addition.

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