It was somewhere in the year 2000, Austrian sound magician and multi-instrumentalist Heinz Strobl (aka Gandalf) looked back on 20 years as a recording artist and decided to record a special album to celebrate this 20th anniversary.
He imagined it to be a kind of a homage to J.R.R Tolkien, who had inspired him so much in the beginning of his career, and so the idea came up to record “Visions 2001”. Keep in mind Heinz wasn’t aware of the fact New Zealand based director Peter Jackson was working on the monumental film-trilogy “Lord of the Rings” in the same period. So first Heinz started to re-read the full “Lord of the Rings” trilogy and then began to select the scenes to be included in the music. He didn’t want to re-record any of the old material but create a new musical vision of Tolkien’s world from a point of view situated 20 years later.
For the recording he invited some of his old and new musician-friends to contribute: Robert Julian Horky (flutes) Peter Aschenbrenner (flutes, soprano sax), Toni Burger (Violin), Wolfgang Wograndl (bass), his son Christian Strobl (drums & percussion) and Julia Martins. The latter added her vocals to the track “Just Go on Believing”.
As a result Gandalf recorded 70 minutes of brand new music on 24-track analogue-tape combined with ADATs. The beautiful and narrative music features Gandalf’s characteristic guitar playing in multi-dimensional sound-pictures, leading listeners into a kingdom of fantasy for a second time. “Visions 2001” also contains a second cd which tries to give a representative view of the wide range of Gandalf’s music composed between 1980 and 2000. It features a selection of highlights of his previous albums plus some rare and formerly unreleased live-recordings.
P.S. For the record launch and celebration of the album’s 20th anniversary, Gandalf and friends played a show in the old established “The Ronacher” theatre in Vienna. Altogether, 17 musicians were involved on stage including very special guest Steve Hackett with whom he recorded “Gallery of Dreams” in 1991.
You can see what reviews I have done of this artist on the Gandalf artist page
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