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Les Fradkin: News

"Baroque Rocks!" Released - June 6, 2009

LES FRADKIN- "Baroque Rocks!"

Les' new released CD which combines the sensibility of Baroque music with the drive of rock!

Les Fradkin- "Baroque Rocks!

Featuring themes from Vivaldi, Handel, Bach, Pachelbel, Mason Williams and Les Fradkin

Track Listing: 1. The Myth of El Cid 2. Handel Rocks 3. All The King's Men 4. Spring (from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons") 5. Summer (from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons") 6. Autumn (from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons") 7. Winter (from Vivaldi's "The Four Seasons") 8. Classical Gas 9. Canon In D 10. Air On A G String 11. Baroque and Roll 12. Anthem For All Nations

http://cdbaby.com/cd/lesfradkin20

Harvey Starr Explains The Ztar - April 16, 2009

Harvey Starr, the inventor of the Starr Labs Ztar, offers a two part brief discussion of the basic features of the Ztar MIDI guitar controller. Covering the basic hardware and connections, the main software features and some of the basic modes of operation.

 

 

 

Les Fradkin on TDFZ Radio! - April 8, 2009

It's a very special forthcoming Dream Of Peace Special podcast taking place on April 25th. This exclusive show plus all of the TDFZ (Tangerine Dream Fan Zone) music programs are free for everyone to download and enjoy from the TDFZ radio podcast site each and every Saturday from 12 noon (GB-BST), and are all available permanently there for your continued musical enjoyment.

The TDFZ weekly friends music editions expose some of the very best of world electronica currently being produced. Les Fradkin has been featured several times on the program and April 25th has him joining Yoko Ono, Tangerine Dream, Michel Sanchez and others for a special Dream Of Peace Program. Come and join TDFZ and their ongoing musical journey of discovery each weekend with resident dreamer and host Chris Newman.

TDFZ Radio Show site:
http://soundfuturesdirect.com/blog
See it at You Tube:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7tMIoKlmkE
TDFZ Poster-April 2009

Les Fradkin - "The White Single" (RRO-1030) - April 4, 2009

Les Fradkin-

Les Ztar Background-1

For Beatles fans, I've just released a special limited edition 5 song EP called "The White Single." 5 instrumental versions of White Album songs: featuring my Starr Labs Ztar and my Fender "Rocky" Stratocaster.

Titles: Back In The USSR The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill Birthday Savoy Truffle Good Night

Link for Apple iTunes: http://itunes.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=313632622&s=143441

Link for Amazon.com: http://www.amazon.com/The-White-Single/dp/B0027BI0OI/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&s=dmusic&qid=1240849167&sr=1-12

Link for CD Baby: http://www.cdbaby.com/lesfradkin19

Les Fradkin - Orbiter Video - December 18, 2008

Les Fradkin, from the Original Cast of Beatlemania, presents "Orbiter" from his "One Link Between Them" CD.

Robert Fripp once remarked in Guitar Player Magazine: "There is a new music to go with this new instrument. Therein lies my interest in the guitar synthesizer. That something entirely new will appear." This COULD be it!

Come have a look and listen to the new MIDI Guitar sound of the future. This album has received wide acclaim in publications such as Keyboard Magazine and across the Internet. Les, who is classically trained, is moving at Hyper speed. In this video, he's playing the Starr Labs Ztar MIDI Guitar in a Jean Michel Jarre meets Robert Fripp influenced style on his own composition. The Ztar can be strummed with string triggers or tapped with one or both hands as seen in this video.

The main lead sound is the Les Fradkin Lead Guitar Sample and the Logic ES2. Background sounds are from an M-Tron, Roland XV-5080 and Arturia Soft Synths. The sounds at the intro are made with The GForce M-Tron Pro and Propellerhead Reason. Take a Journey To The Stars! MIDI Guitar.... as you've never seen it before!

Liberty Video - November 25, 2008

Yes, a MIDI Guitar can sound like a guitar, not just a synthesizer.

The Les Fradkin Liberty Video is out!!


This is a cover of the Steve Vai classic guitar instrumental "Liberty" which was originally recorded by Steve Vai on his "Passion & Warfare" album. In this video, Les Fradkin is playing the Starr Labs Ztar MIDI Guitar in his Neo Classical Bach influenced style - two handed tapping of the famous Steve Vai composition with a shred guitar sample with feedback that has to be heard and seen to be believed! Perfectly in sync with 4th of July fireworks.

This video clip was recorded LIVE on July 4, 2008 at Rhyolite National Park in Castle Rock, Colorado at
Les' July 4th live concert.

MIDI Guitar.... as you've never seen it before!


The sound is a shred guitar sample with feedback on aftertouch:


Have fun checking it out and thanks for your continued support!

"Lift Off" Video - October 31, 2008

Les Fradkin, from the Original Cast of Beatlemania, presents "Lift Off" from his "One Link Between Them" CD.

This album has received wide acclaim in publications such as Keyboard Magazine and across the Internet.

Les is moving at Hyper speed. In this video, he's playing the Starr Labs Ztar MIDI Guitar in a Neo Classical Shred meets Bach influenced style on his own composition.

The Ztar can be strummed with string triggers or tapped with one or both hands as seen in this video.

The main lead sound is the Arturia Moog Modular V. Background sounds and sound at the intro are made with Propellerhead Reason.

MIDI Guitar.... as you've never seen it before!

The REAL Original Cast of Beatlemania - October 4, 2008

For those of you who might be confused or misled who the original four members of Beatlemania actually were: Mitch Weisman, Joe Pecorino, Les Fradkin and Justin McNeill

Here's a video excerpt available at YouTube:

The Les Fradkin Tune Widget Is Here! - September 17, 2008

The Les Fradkin Tune Widget is here!


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MIDI Guitar like you've never heard it before!

A Day At The Beach Video - July 18, 2008

New from You Tube-
Les Fradkin
"A Day At The Beach" Video Promo

Like A Rolling Stone Tribute Book Out! - June 8, 2008

Steven Kurutz's new book "Like A Rolling Stone" (The Strange Life Of A Tribute Band) is out and doing real well. Although the book is about tribute bands in general and specifically about the Rolling Stones tribute band "Sticky Fingers", there is quite a bit of backstory devoted to Beatlemania and specifically, the four original cast members.

In addition, Les Fradkin is featured prominently in two sections of the book dealing with Beatlemania on Broadway as well as his current activities as an original cast member.

From RANDOM HOUSE:
http://www.randomhouse.com/catalog/display.pperl?isbn=9780767929189
From Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Like-Rolling-Stone-Strange-Tribute/dp/0385518900/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212977660&sr=8-1

Les Fradkin in Keyboard Magazine! - June 4, 2008

Les' CD "One Link Between Them" receives a rave review from Keyboard Magazine columnist Robbie Gennet:

Buy One Link Between Them at Apple iTunes!

"To say that Les Fradkin’s album One Link Between Them is synth-intensive is like saying the sun is kinda hot. Fradkin layers his tunes with inspiring levels of synthesizer sounds and melodies, mixed for optimal keyboard impact. The opening synth salvos on “Lift Off” are in your face and stereo-riffic, as are the big buzzing sawtooth waves and lively percussion on his far-out cover of Duke Ellington’s “Caravan.” Fradkin makes great use of the Roland GR-1 guitar synth throughout, and there is ample usage of Arturia’s Moog Modular V and Jupiter-8V soft-synths, as well as the GForce M-Tron and, evidently, a real Mellotron as well! Fradkin has sequenced and shredded his way into 2008 with one of the most adventurous digital recordings we’ve heard in a while. Get your synth freak on and lift off with Les Fradkin!"

http://www.keyboardmag.com/this-month/reviews

The Les Fradkin Tune Widget - June 4, 2008

Want to hear Les Fradkin? Click below!


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"One Link Between Them" Released! - March 25, 2008

Now available at Apple iTunes!:

Buy One Link Between Them at Apple iTunes!

What happens when you combine elements of Progressive Rock, Space Rock, Electronic and Neo Classical? All controlled by the amazing and expressive sound of the Starr Labs Ztar?

"ONE LINK BETWEEN THEM." How the album came to be:

After recording and releasing several successful Guitar Synthesizer Instrumental CD's since 2005, featuring Guitar Pitch to MIDI Technology, Les felt the need to break through existing barriers he had experienced since the dawn of MIDI. Although he once owned and used a SynthAxe MIDI Controller, the company had long ceased doing business and there seemed to be very little to choose from in the way of advanced MIDI control that a virtuso guitarist could play in real time with reliable and predictable results with modern music technology.

Always on the lookout for a MIDI Guitar that could track as fast as he could play, he discovered the Starr Labs Ztar in the Summer of 2007 which, unexpectedly, opened up a whole new Universe of performance and expressive possibilities for him as a composer, musician and guitar synthesist.

As a result of acquiring this new instrument, Les has chosen to gravitate away from traditional guitar based pop music and his current work involves the music and dynamic of Electronic sound as realized from the performance control of the Ztar. Searching for a means that could transport the listener to new realms of experience, he found himself now able to single-handedly orchestrate entire new worlds of sonic tapestry in real time with perfect tracking which were never before possible from previous MIDI Guitar technology. An entirely new merging of mind, heart, and computer technology resulting in new music was now posssible. Using a blend of Rock, Electronic, Progressive and Neo Classical signposts, Les' new CD "One Link Between Them" opens up a new door to a sound which has thrilled music fans the world over.

"ONE LINK BETWEEN THEM" Composition Notes:

This CD was originally conceived as a conceptual trip thru the Solar System in the distant future when manned space travel will be commonplace. If you'd like to hear these songs as individual unrelated nuggets, great. If you're into linking things together to form a larger picture, here goes.

1. "Lift Off" (Composed by Les Fradkin): This super charged opening number begins with the sound of our astral traveler being "beamed" up to the space station to rendezvous with his spacecraft. Once on board, he's confronted with weightlessness which is suggested by the "wobbly" synth sounds which follow. Then, he fires the ignition and heads off into space at great velocity.

2. "Orbiter" (Composed by Les Fradkin): This one finds him orbiting the planet Venus as his first stop (guess it's just too hot on Mercury). The 5/8 time signature bridge section connotes the off axis orbit Venus has (it rotates clockwise). Mellotron Violins establish the opening chord. The piece begins and ends with a signature blipping sound of his spacecraft.

3. "From Venus With Love" (Composed by Les Fradkin & Loretta Fradkin):
The Astral Traveler decides to land on Venus and investigate. Of course, it's way too hot there to really do this but this is science fiction. :-) Once there, he meets the race of Venusian women who great him with a progressive tribal chant. The sound is a woman's heartbeat mixed with Mellotrons and drum loops. The main theme, as played by the Ztar controlling Moog Modular and Mellotron MK II Violins is his expression of attraction to one of these women. The middle section-well, they get together. You know, "hook up." What else is there to do on Venus? At the end, he has to depart and the main theme restates with the woman in a very high soprano voice pleading with him not to leave. This piece closes with him blasting off and fading into the distance.

4. "Liberty" (Composed by Steve Vai): On his way to Mars, the Astral Traveler has to pass by the Earth. "Liberty" was chosen to celebrate the multi nationalism present on our planet. And to remind us that freedom is too precious to lose. "Liberty" features the Ztar a shred guitar voice for this tune.

5. "Caravan" (Composed by D. Ellington, J.Ticol, I.Mills): "Caravan" has been covered many times by many artists but never quite like this! Taking this Jazz chestnut into outer space, the Middle Eastern feel (Mellotron MKII Violins) merges with a space rock backing to evoke the red planet.

6. "Warp Drive" (Composed by Les Fradkin): To speed past the asteroids and reach Jupiter safely, our astral traveler has to engage Warp Drive speed. After firing the command to do so, the computer on board says- :"We'll take you."
This composition fires on all cylinders at Warp Drive. Thor Polysonic Synthesizer, Mellotron MKII and Moog Modular Synthesizers all triggered by the Ztar, combine to give this track great speed and expressiveness.

7. "Sailing All Alone" (Composed by Les Fradkin): Saturn looms ahead as our astral traveler's thoughts look back to the woman he's left behind. Very melancholic and evocative of King Crimson from "In The Court Of The Crimson King." The opening theme is stated on a Moog Modular Synthesizer. The main theme is played with a theremin-like sound from the Logic ES-2. Various Mellotrons (MKII Violins, M300 Violins, M400 Cello) evoke an icy atmosphere. At the conclusion, his memories of her meld together with the image of her face in the spaceship window. The high soprano human voice at the end is courtesy of Tara Coker-Lewis.

8. "Longing To Return" (Composed by Les Fradkin): By the time our hero is out past the orbit of Uranus, he's feeling quite alone. This beautiful piece is meant to connote those complex feelings way out in space where you arte utterly alone. The Ztar allowed Les to perform the orchestration is one take as a live overdub totally tapped on the Ztar fingerboard.

9. "A Dim Twilight" (Composed by Les Fradkin & Loretta Fradkin) : As the Astral Traveler salils past Neptune and out to the Kuiper Belt towards Pluto, Eris, Quonar and Sedna, out astral hero decides it's time to make the long journey home. The various phases of this composition connote those points passed and the trip back towards Earth. Opens with Mellotron Flute and Oboe over an exotic electronic backing. This version is different from the version on the Telstar single. This track is over 7 minutes long and the 2 minute preview clip here only offers a brief glimpse to what's in store.

10. "Telstar" (Composed by Joe Meek): What better way to achieve Earth re-entry than with the original Earth/Outer Space anthem. Features the Ztar triggering a glorious sample of a Clavioline which was the lead sound of the original recording.

Les Fradkin on TDFZ Radio! - March 6, 2008

Tune in on March 8th!

Hear the worldwide radio debut of Les' new CD "One Link Between Them." The Progressive Space Rock release so many have been waiting for!

Hear it at:
http://tdfanszone.com/tdfz_radioshow.html
TDFZ Radio Poster-1

RRO Goes Green - February 29, 2008

For Immediate Release:

RRO Entertainment, an Indie leader in Digital Download Music Sales across the Internet, announces today that, as of March 1, 2008, RRO Entertainment will no longer manufacture it's music catalog in Compact Disc physical format. All physical Compact Disc inventory will be sold out of remaining stock from CD Baby and Amazon.com.

All RRO titles will remain available as Digital Downloads 24/7 at fine stores everywhere worldwide. Always in stock. Always available!

Les Fradkin, CEO of RRO Entertainment,said today: "In this challenging new era of global consciousness with our rapidly changing environment, RRO believes it is time to make our small contribution to saving Planet Earth from further plastic and paper waste."

New Single Available - February 1, 2008

Les has a new pilot single out:
"Telstar" (The Single):
Featuring the amazing sound of the Starr Labs Ztar.
Songs:
"Telstar"
"Bohemian Rhapsody"
"A Dim Twilight"

Telstar and A Dim Twilight are both included on his upcoming DPD release: "One Link Between Them."

Hear/buy at:
www.cdbaby.com/lesfradkin16

Les at Winter 2008 NAMM Show - January 14, 2008

Les will make appearances at this January's NAMM Show in Anaheim, California. He'll be demonstrating the Starr Labs Ztar Z7S at the Starr Labs Booth 2764 Hall D at 1 PM on January 17, 18, & 19th. Come out, if you're at the show and see the potential of this incredible instrument in the hands of Les.

Guitar Revolution - September 12, 2007

Les has a brand new CD which is about to be released.

Entitled "Guitar Revolution", it's 11 Beatles guitar instrumentals- a worthy follow up to "Pepper Front To Back" and "While My Guitar Only Plays."

From Classic Rock sounds to neo-classic surf guitar textures and Ztar MIDI guitar innovations,"Guitar Revolution" delivers!

Tracks:
1. Revolution (45 Version)
2. Jet
3. Live And Let Die
4. Within You Without You (Surf Version)
5. I'll Be Back (Surf Version)
6. Free As A Bird
7. Ever Present Past
8. Dance Tonight
9. I Am The Walrus
10. Imagine
11. Rockestra Theme


Available Now!

Les endorses Starr Labs Ztar - September 9, 2007

Les has just endorsed the new Starr Labs Ztar Z7S which Harvey Starr of Starr Labs has custom built for him. His new Ztar includes special electronic and cosmetic modifications.

Quoting from the Starr Labs website:

"The Z-tar is an electronic musical instrument that you connect via a MIDI cable to synthesizers, samplers, sequencers, and computers. The main difference between the Z-tar and other MIDI guitar controllers is that there are no strings on the neck. Instead, the fingerboard is actually a specialized keyboard with a touch-sensitive key each note position. You can play the Z-tar like a guitar where you fret with one hand and strum with the other hand, or you can tap the fingerboard keys to play them as you would a keyboard, only you’re playing the same scales and fingerings that you use on guitar.

The Ztar is not a guitar. It does not replace a guitar. It helps a guitarist play synthesizers and play into computers."

Les and Harvey are very excited about this alliance of musician and high technology.

Les says: "I'm thrilled with this instrument. It's allowing me to play music that's quite impossible to acheive on a conventional electric guitar or even a Pitch To MIDI Guitar Synthesizer. With both two handed tapping and guitar strumming techniques, it opens the gate to musical infinity!"

Les has already put this instrument into service on his guitar instrumental CD:
"Guitar Revolution."

Les Fradkin and his Customized Wilson Bros. Ventures Guitar - August 23, 2007

Years ago, Les Fradkin established himself as one of the earliest and most enthusiastic endorsers of Wilson Bros. Ventures Model Guitars.

A life long Ventures fan and an Original Cast Member of the Broadway Show "Beatlemania", he has become one of the most successful Indie artists on the Internet with over 300,000 downloads sold to date. Over 230,000 of these have featured Les as a 21st Century Hi-Tech Guitar Instrumental Artist.

He has been featured on the cover of 20th Century Guitar Magazine. His CD "A Day At The Beach" was named Album of The Year by New Gandy Dancer Magazine in 2004. In addition, his Guitar Instrumental CD "Pepper Front To Back" has received rave reviews from New Gandy Dancer Magazine and already holds the distinction of being the most requested "Cover Album" in the history of the "Breakfast With The Beatles" radio show.

For years, Les has endorsed and played the Ventures Model VM-65 and VM-10 "Strat Style" guitars. It's his heavily modified VM-10 that shows how perfect a platform this guitar can be for the Hi-Tech guitar stylings that Les specializes in.

He first featured this instrument live at Louiefest 2004 and his VM-10 continues to be at the heart of every CD he records. In fact, it graced the cover art for his 2006 CD "If Your Memory Serves You Well."

His VM-10 has been custom wired to include a Roland GK-KIT pickup package with a 13 Pin output jack as well as a power booster for solos all hidden underneath the pick guard of his VM-10.

This allows Les to drive Roland products such as his VG8EX V-Guitar System, Roland GR-33 Guitar Synthesizer, Roland GR-1 Guitar Synthesizer and Roland GI-20 Guitar/MIDI Interface. On the guitar side, his custom power booster gives him 10db of gain for his trademark solos without having to step on any sort of foot pedal. The guitar is set up so that it can double track guitar sounds live in concert and this continues to astound and baffle his fans worldwide.

Les is looking forward to continuing his Hi-Tech innovations with Wilson Bros. Guitar Company in the future and promises to keep 'em guessing while he continues to blaze a Hi-Tech trail.

See the Wilson Bros Ventures Model Guitars at:

http://www.wilsonguitarventures.com/wgv.html

New Les Fradkin Video - July 18, 2007

Les Fradkin has collaborated with Director Charlemagne Fezza to bring you a Sim/Cartoon video of his composition "I Could Make It Last Forever" which features Mike Brown, Tom Finn, Steve Martin Caro and George Cameron of The Left Banke.

Les Fradkin Video on You Tube!

Les Fradkin "12" - June 12, 2007

Les' brand new CD is entitled "12". It's his 12th solo CD and he takes the Rickenbacker 12 string and his voice on new journeys-Jangle Pop with his covers of "Mr. Tambourine Man " and "Four Strong Winds", folk rock meets Tom Petty stylings on "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall", Psychedelic folk rock with his electric version of "I Know You Rider" and several originals including the lyrically rich "Down On My Luck" and his new definitive anti war rallying cry "Lay Down Your Arms."

Guest musicians on "12" include:
Warren Odze-Drums (Judy Collins)
Paul Harris- Keyboards (Manassas, Souther Hillman Furay, John Sebastian, Al Kooper, Roger McGuinn)
Buddy Cage- Pedal Steel Guitar (New Riders, Great Speckled Bird, Bob Dylan)
Dave Santos- Bass (Crosby Stills & Nash, Billy Joel)
John Ford- Bass, Vocals (Strawbs, Hudson & Ford)
Greg Witchel-Harmonica (One Too Many)

These great musicians appear on "I Know You Rider", "The Ballad Of Belle Starr", "Down On My Luck" , "A Hard Rain's A Gonna Fall" and "Lay Down Your Arms." John Ford & Buddy Cage appear on "Lay Down Your Arms."

Available soon as a CD and at download outlets everrywhere.

Sgt. Pepper Anniversary Special - May 30, 2007

Les Fradkin appears as a special guest on Archer's "Breakfast With The Beatles" radio show this Sunday (June 3,2007) at 9AM MDT. In addition to answering questions about "Pepper Front To Back", Les will discuss the impact of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" album over the last 40 years with DJ Archer.
A don't miss interview!

Link:
http://archer2000.tripod.com/beatles/highlights.html

#1 at "Breakfast With The Beatles" - May 30, 2007

Les Fradkin's new CD "Pepper Front To Back" has proven two things that Industry pundits believed impossible:

1) It has jsut set the mark of being the #1 most requested cover album in "Breakfast With The Beatles" history at 99.5 The Mountain KQMT in Denver, Colorado!

2) Simultaneously, it has proven the viability of the art of Guitar Instrumentals! Along with the great Jeff Beck, Les is blazing new trails for this approach which is seldom heard on mainstream commercial radio.

Read about it at:
http://archer2000.tripod.com/beatles/highlights.html
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