Keys And Chords
Prog Keyboardist/Composer Leon Alvarado To Release New Concept Album “The Future Left Behind” Feat. YES Legends Rick Wakeman & Billy Sherwood!
Hot on the heels of his critically acclaimed third album “2014, Music from an Expanded Universe”, keyboardist/composer Leon Alvarado will be releasing his new album “The Future Left Behind” on July 30, 2016! The highly anticipated new concept album features guest appearances by YES Legends Rick Wakeman & Billy Sherwood, as well as Johnny Bruhn (CIRCA:) and Steve Thamer.
According to Leon, “The idea of creating a concept album out of instrumental progressive rock music had appealed to me ever since I first heard Rick Wakeman's 'Journey To The Centre of The Earth'. What I found difficult was to create all the individual pieces that would unify the set of ideas into a single concept. It meant for me to come up with a story, some music and a set of visuals that together would form an inclusive experience. I started by working on music that had more of a cinematic feel than my usual, meaning that when played, it evokes certain imagery in the listener's mind.”
Says Leon, “My goal was to create something that would combine the artwork and the music into one cohesive vision. I thought that basing my project on a sci-fi story would be very fitting and would give me the necessary creative space to make music that entices the imagination, like what Vangelis', Rick Wakeman's and YES' music do for me.”
Billy Sherwood had this to say about his participation on the album, “It was my pleasure to be a part of Leon's new record… I had a blast working on it and I'm sure fans of great music are going to enjoy this new record!”
Leon's first album, “Plays Genesis and Other Original Stuff,” drew on his strongest musical influences, primarily, the many styles in Genesis's lengthy career. By the time Leon released his second album, “Strangers in Strange Places,” he had refined his method and his vision, and it's the audience who wins. “Strangers” features Brand X's John Goodsall on guitar and the legendary drummer Bill Bruford (YES, King Crimson, Earthwork) and reveals an intertwining of progressive rock and ambient textural sound that blossoms in, “2014, Music from an Expanded Universe”. For this third release, he enlisted the talents of Trey Gunn (King Crimson) and Jerry Marotta (Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oats).
And now, much to the excitement of Prog fans worldwide, Leon is set to release his latest masterpiece, “The Future Left Behind.” In regards to the guest performers, Leon explains, “To help the story along and properly set the pieces of music we recorded some narrated bits. I wanted a voice with a large presence. A deep resonating voice that more or less commands to be heard. Steve Thamer is a Canadian voice-over talent who majored in Classical Theatre and has work doing voice-overs for audio books, films and animated shorts.
“As for Billy Sherwood, I envisioned his involvement in the project from the outset. He played a big part in the recording and helped me in elevating the music as a whole. Billy is very down to earth and has to be one of the hardest working musicians I have ever met. He is also extremely proficient and doesn't waste any time when it comes to getting things down musically.
“During one of my visits to California I went to see Billy's other band CIRCA:. The guitar player was Johnny Bruhn. I've seen many people perform YES music before but Johnny's guitar playing captured the feel of it so well that it left an impression on me. When this album was conceived, I knew I would have a place for him.
“I have the greatest respect for all the people involved in the project. I must admit that when it came to working with Rick Wakeman, I was a bit nervous at first. But in the end, it was one of those 'pinch me' moments that worked brilliantly. It's not everyday that you have one of your musical heroes performing on a piece you composed.
“The last person to touch the material was Andy Jackson. This is my third project working with him and I couldn't be happier about it. Andy is better known as Pink Floyd's engineer of 30 years and his work has been nominated twice for Grammys. He won two British Hi-Fi Awards for his work with Pink Floyd and was a co-producer for 'The Endless River' album. What I really like about Andy's work is his personal taste for sound. To me he is truly a magician at the controls.”
For the fans, although also available as a digital download, the CD version of the album has the most to offer. Leon envisioned the album to be something more than just a set of musical pieces. Instead, he immerses the listener in the world he has conceived through music, story and imagery, and allows their own imagination to fill in the details, creating a very personalized experience for each. “It is the most ambitious album I have created so far. 'The Future Left Behind' speaks to those who like Science-fiction stories and futuristic artwork. Like many of my projects, my approach is always to create something that I would want to see.”
Leon Alvarado: Keyboards, sequencing, drums, percussion, launch control voices
Billy Sherwood: Lead and rhythm guitars on all except for “To Be Loved”
Rick Wakeman: Moog solo on “Launch Overture” and extra keyboards
Johnny Bruhns: Acoustic guitar on “To Be Loved”
Steve Thamer: Narration
Produced and mixed by: Leon Alvarado
Guitar tracks produced by: Billy Sherwood
Mastered by: Andy Jackson / Tube Mastering
All songs by Leon Alvarado
except “To Be Loved” by Johnny Bruhns and Leon Alvarado
Based on “The Future Left Behind”, an original short story by Leon Alvarado
Design and Illustrations: Synergy Design / LA
For more information: