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While fans of popular music always keep a laser focus on Seattle for the latest explosive trends in rock and roll, the most innovative and provocative sounds in instrumental music these days are coming from 40 miles down the road.
Nestled beside a lake overlooking Mount Rainier, the beautiful small town of Yelm, Washington (pop. under 4,000) provided the perfect natural environment for Austrian born classically trained pianist and electronic music expert Divina Klein and underground hip-hop producer Douglas Mackar—whose combined musical energy is reflected in their collective name La Forza—to create Dance Music for Your Mind (Vol. I), a lushly textured landscape of party music for the motivated and focus music for the dreamers.
With its fascinating mix of dreamy ambient soundscapes, beautiful solo piano compositions, exotic global percussion, rich textures and compelling melodic movements over infectious dance beats, La Forza is driven by Klein and Mackar’s mutual passion to create sounds that are interesting, intelligent and provocative but that also appeal to a people with wide ranging musical tastes.
Both organic and otherworldly, the 12 tracks on Dance Music for Your Mind (Vol. I) are about transcending the typical limitations of genre and inviting listeners to enter a place within themselves where anything is possible. By exploring emotional and spiritual dichotomies—their songs are simple and elegant, complex and concise, serious and fun, introspective and outrageous, frequently wild and psychedelic—the duo provides their listeners with the opportunity to be creators and not simply consumers.
An album that moves with fluidity and purpose, “(Vol. I)” is energetic, poetic, and inspiring. The collection is a project of multiple moods where, in true indie fashion, unpredictability and spontaneity are virtues. The free space of an expansive, ambient piece like the opening track “Vision Quest” gives listeners the exciting responsibility to instigate and apply their own creative agendas, the fuel to explore their own imaginations and pursue unique ideas.
Driven by Klein’s compositional and orchestral arrangement skills via her Roland Fantom X7 and Mackar’s expertise with drums and percussion, La Forza’s vision is to create not only soundtracks to mindful films but also to mindful lives, “scores” that support transformational processes and the conscious creation of reality.
While most musicians this proficient in these kinds of instrumental works become “studio rats” who prefer the glow of monitors to sunlight and the process of recording over live performances, La Forza is also a force to be reckoned with in concert. Overcoming obvious logistical challenges re-creating multi-track recordings live, Klein builds layer upon layer of harmonies using a Boss RC-50 Loop Station (“dancing” by playing pedals with her feet as her hands work the keyboards) while Mackar mans the drum machines and sequencers.
In the spirit of jazz, their live performance consists of arranged songs interwoven with improvisation, the spontaneity of which insures the audience that their experience at a La Forza show is always based on true passion and the absolute presence of the band.
The music they create as La Forza is a natural extension of their personal relationship, which stemmed from a meeting several years ago at a show in Tacoma, where Mackar was performing with his longtime hip-hop group and Klein—also a music therapy specialist—was running the sound. “A huge part of what we do together live and in the studio revolves around trying to perfect our personal communication,” says Mackar, a native of Cleveland. “Divina grew up in Austria speaking several different languages, and our desire has always been to go beyond verbal language into the language of music, the language of the sublime. There is nothing I love more than to listen to Divina play the piano, and that is at the core of all the music we make. Each song is a part of our personal journey towards oneness—with each other, and beyond that, literally, to connect to eternity.”
“To us, La Forza is the idea of empowering the self to create and live one’s dreams,” says Klein. “To freely create the music that we love is to us living our dream.” Mackar adds, “Our passion is to create music that can inspire others the way music has inspired us throughout our lives.”
La Forza is currently in the studio recording their next album, “The Plane of Bliss,” an ambient/down-tempo/chill-out album designed for focus and meditation. | |
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