Last week I was invited by Peter Boogaard who has a radio show called Met Peter in de Ether on the Dutch Radio Aalsmeer. It’s actually the second interview that I am having with Peter and I am happy to be invited again. We talked about my new album Opus 1880, the process of making it, challenges, guest musicians, and of course, the terrible scenario with PledgeMusic bankruptcy. Click on the picture to go to the interview link.
News about Alexandra Zerner’s Music Career
On the 9th of March, I took part in the promo concert of the new album by Sevi – “Follow Me”, wherein I participated as a guitar player, keyboardist, and arranger. One of the biggest challenges in this album was the orchestration that I made for “Sweet Escape”, which is the last track of the album – a dramatic piano ballad with a full symphonic orchestra, building up during the song. The piece was performed live with a piano, cello, and two violins from The Strings (on the cello is Nora Kalcheva, who also recorded her part in “The Sound of Dreaming” from my new album “Opus 1880”). The album of Sevi is available on all the digital platforms.
On the concert, which happened in Sofia Live Club in Sofia, Bulgaria, I played both guitar and keyboards on the track, called “Fade Away”, which was a very interesting experience since I haven’t done such an instrumental change in the middle of a song on stage before. Here are a few shots from the show:
My new album “Opus 1880” is officially out!
It was released on the 23rd of September and it’s available for listening on YouTube:
Signed CD & HD Tracks:
1. Overture (feat. Ivan Ivanov)
2. Chaos of Cards (feat. Angel Wolf-Black)
3. The Oracle (feat. Angel Wolf-Black & Ivan Ivanov)
5. Quest of Light (feat. Angel Wolf-Black)
6. The Sound of Dreaming (feat. Angel Wolf-Black, Mistheria & Nora Kalcheva)
7. Questions (feat. Angel Wolf-Black & Ivan Ivanov)
8. Letter to Nowhere (feat. Angel Wolf-Black)
10. Pinch of Time (feat. Angel Wolf-Black)
11. The Missed Dance (feat. Angel Wolf-Black)
1. Desaturation Point (feat. Bobby Koelble)
2. Master of Lightning (feat. Angel Wolf-Black, Ivan Ivanov & Iavor Pachovski)
3. The Other Side of the Sky, Pt 1 (feat. Svetlana Bliznakova)
4. Unfairlytale (feat. Gretchen Menn)
6. Dolphins (feat. Misha Iliev)
7. Electric Kisses (feat. Franck Hermanny)
8. Sensosphere (feat. Ivan Ivanov)
9. Five Gardens
10. The Other Side of the Sky, Pt 2 (feat. Svetlana Bliznakova)
Last week I posted my long awaited cover of Jason Becker’s “Altitudes”:
This video had an enormous success reaching 11,000 views in less than 3 days and passing over 27,000 for a week, which makes it my most successful video so far and it’s extremely motivating for sure.
I’ve been asked a lot about how I made this cover, so I wrote an article about that here but it turned out that many people are using Line 6 Helix as I did in this video so they were asking for my presets. I decided to post this article where I will upload my Helix presets, but I will also upload the backing track that I did entirely on my own from scratch because it’s my favourite Jason’s track and I wanted to recreate every bit of this masterpiece. Also, I want to give you all the opportunity to play Altitudes using a decent backing track instead of all those midi files on the internet that are full of mistakes and can ruin your attitude, so enjoy and share!!!
It’s been a long time since I’ve done my last cover and it was about time to change this absence and what better way to do that except doing Altitudes by Jason Becker?
Back in 1994, my first electric guitar teacher enlightened me about Jason Becker and I was mesmerised by his works. Altitudes instantly became my favourite track of his, also became an apotheosis example of something that I would probably never be able to play, so I started learning Air instead – it seemed more approachable but when I reached the fast sections, I gave up. Many years later, after I did my cover of Perpetual Burn, I decided that it’s time to give Altitudes another try so I slowed it down and started listening closely, passage by passage, learning every phrase note by note, using all of my knowledge about how Jason plays, what sorts of fingerings and shapes he uses.
I kept watching all the covers of Altitudes that I could find on YouTube and there were some very good ones like the one by Gus Drax and Richie Allen – they boosted my inspiration even further. During the process of practising, I had to do corrections many times because I kept hearing phrases that I’ve learnt wrong. Plus, I realised that Altitudes is actually harder to play than Perpetual Burn despite the fact that it may look quite the opposite at first. This is the reason I spent significantly more time practising (2.5 years) compared to Perpetual Burn (2 years).
As you might know, in 2016 I won Nili Brosh’s A Matter of Perception Melody Contest and this is how I became an EMG Pickups Artist but I also got a wonderful addition to the prize – a white Ibanez signed by all the members of the jury – Nili Brosh, Jason Becker, Greg Howe, and Marco Sfogli. For a long time, I didn’t dare to play on this guitar since it was sacred to me but later I realised that it’s a pity to leave it collecting dust on the stand so I gave it to a luthier to fix and protect all the autographs and decided to use this guitar in my cover of Altitudes, as I plan to use it for covers of tracks by the other members of the jury.
Less than two months ago, the guys from Line 6 were so kind to give me a Helix LT during the Female Guitarist Round Table Discussion together with the awesome Jennifer Batten, Gretchen Menn, Nili Brosh, Nikki Stringfield, and Yvette Young, hosted by Chad Boston. I must admit that the Helix is a wonderful piece of gear so I decided to use it in my covers since it offers a wide variety of sounds and tweaking options, it’s super versatile and easy to use.
So, that’s the background story of my cover of Altitudes. If you have any questions, feel free to comment and I will do my best to answer you.
Enjoy and share!!! 🙂
My third solo album is already happening!
It’s called ‘Opus 1880’ and it’s a double CD conceptual album – a dramatic sci-fi love story, expressed in more than 100 minutes of colourful progressive rock, based on the guitar style you’re already familiar with from my previous albums ‘9 Stories’ (2014) and ‘Aspects’ (2015), garnished with some classic old prog, acoustic ballads, modern metal riffs, and wide rande of interesting instruments. This time the album will also have tracks with vocals and few awesome guest appearances.
As you probably know, besides the progressive rock and metal, I am also a big fan of the Baroque music, which inevitably makes me a fan of Antonio Vivaldi’s work. When I heard about Vivaldi Metal Project, I was fascinated by the idea and I thought it would be a great opportunity for me, if somehow I participate in this great project, started by great musicians as Mistheria (keyboards) and Alberto Rigoni (bass). The project involves 70+ world-famous musicians from all around the globe such as:
Rick Wakeman (YES), Mark Boals (Y. Malmsteen), Rob Rock (Impellitteri), Edu Falaschi(Angra/Almah), Ruud Jolie (Within Temptation), Rolf Pilve (Stratovarius), Michael Lepond (SymphonyX), John Macaluso (ARK/TNT), Mark Cross (Scorpions/Firewind), Dirk Verbeuren (Soilwork), Chris Caffery (Savatage), Fabio Lione (Rhapsody of Fire/Angra), Dani Loeble (Helloween), Victor Smolski (Rage/Almanac), Marco Sfogli (J. LaBrie), Mark Wood (Trans-Siberian Orchestra), Andreas Passmark (Royal Hunt), Steve Di Giorgio (Testament), Anna Portalupi (Tarja), Atma Anur (T. MacAlpine/G. Howe), Tommy Denander (Radioactive/Toto) and many more.
Now you can see, that it’s been a great honour to be accepted in this costellation of talents.
Here’s my page at the site: Alexandra Zerner (guitar) | Vivaldi Metal Project.