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Esthema: Successive Waves

January 2017

Please check out this week's (Starting January 15, 2017) Dream Farm Radio episode, Esthema: Successive Waves. Part interview and part performance, featuring yours truly! You can hear the latest compositions/arrangements that we have been working on.

A sincere THANK YOU to host and singer/songwriter Julie Lavender along with engineer Don Richardson for the continued support!

Happy New Year!!!

January 2017

Esthema wants to wish you and yours well wishes for the New Year!

Although you didn’t hear much from us for the second half of 2016 we were hard at work on new material for a future Esthema release. Those that made it to our last show got a chance to hear a couple of the new compositions Hijaro and Successive Waves. We are looking forward to sharing more compositions and details with you very soon.

Additionally, last month Esthema had the opportunity and pleasure to once again be a part of Dream Farm Radio, hosted by Julie Lavendar. The show will air sometime in early 2017 and features some of our latest work along with a couple of surprises. More details to come.

Take care of yourselves and each other. All the best in 2017!!!

Esthema intrigue the ear and imagination with gripping third album Long Goodbye

September 2016

Although Long Goodbye has been in circulation for a 2 years (wherever did the time go!) it is still new to many ears.

Mr. Bill Copeland of Bill Copeland Music News recently got his hands on the CD and had some amazing things to say:

Esthema might be a hard band to categorize or label but their music is easy to enjoy. This six piece band from Boston are highly skilled musicians who perform and record exotic, explorative instrumental music. Each of their compositions is inspired by a story from real life and they take their listener through a journey, creating their sonic landscape with Mac Ritchey on electric and acoustic oud and bouzouki, Naseem Alatrash on cello, and Onur Dilisen on violin as much as with Andy Milas on guitar, Tom Martin on bass, and George Lernis on drums and percussion. Their third CD, Long Goodbye, offers the listener many pleasant and some dark but always exciting and intriguing journeys into sound.

As you’ve already gathered by the kind of instruments they utilize, this is a band unlike most others. Their eight tracks offer elements of gypsy music, Eastern European influences, Middle Eastern melodies and rhythms, all within progressive rock structures.

Esthema open their glorious album of expansive music with “Three Sides To Every Story, Part 1,” which has two sequel songs, parts II and III that follow it. An acoustic guitar speaks to the heart with its somber, contemplative melody while a violin sings a darker line that speaks of sorrow. A shift from electric to acoustic guitar and the song feels like its journey has begun. There is a sense of adventure in the guitar and bass progressions while other instruments create an exotic sound that travels on the surface of it. The work is structured so that each instrument finds an important role to play. Aggressive cello playing turns the brisk pace sharper and it feels like some kind of intense event is about unfold. It’s uncanny how Esthema can tell such a dramatic story using only music.

“Three Sides To Every Story Part II” commences with a sense of European exoticism on violin. There is a sense of mystery and darkness from the higher registers as the rhythm section plays a knobbier expression to keep the mystery and darkness rooted in something with a motor. The whole section feels like a train ride through the dark of night into barren territory between cities. One can almost picture the train tunnels as the tones take darker turns. An electric oud makes this feel like rock and roll while also flavoring the piece in Middle Eastern melodies.

“Three Sides To Every Story Part III” is a gentler turn from the violin, cello, and the rhythm section. “Fire And Shadow” is notable for its electric oud melodic line, like something exotic and familiar at once. It speaks steadily, sharply of an opposing force while a dancing violin line bobs and weaves with strident purpose here. Later, that violin sounds lifted, airborne, a quality of lightness that takes skill to invoke. Beneath it, the rhythm section conjures subtle magic of its own, a tender tug that one can feel in a knobby low end and a tastefully smacked drum progression.

“Reflections From The Past” is a sweet amalgamation of melodic lines from a variety of instruments. A foreboding bass line and tympani create a sense of mystery before an intense violin line ratchets up the intrigue. More importantly than the soundscape created is the emotion conjured by it. This band plays the soundtrack to the conscious and subconscious mind. They play in a way that tells the story of what someone is thinking, and they’re able to do that because their skill level allows them the freedom to go in any direction they chose and to conjure, in music, the challenges a person is facing.

“Without A Moment’s Notice” is a sly subtle piece that gently introduces itself to the listener with tender applications of an oud, violin, and drum work. It increases in dynamics yet remains gentle in nature. Exchanges between instruments and the band’s tighter ensemble moments are equally exciting and it’s refreshing to hear such gripping rock music played on string instruments and the Middle Eastern flavored oud. That oud has a way of making a long series of notes play in quick succession. It tugs at the ear.

“Reminiscence” could be a belly dancer’s movement score as well as an intriguing bit of rock and roll percussion. Exotic hand held percussion instruments flavor this piece like gypsy music, as does a violin that dances around the rhythms. The entire piece is based on the rhythm, so tightly wrapped around it that even the melodic instruments plays melodies that are loaded with rhythmic thrusts. The piece creates, at once, several sensations of movement, a whirling dervish of instruments. It’s also a lot of fun to listen to.

Title track “Long Goodbye” closes out the album with almost 12 minutes of intriguing music. Soft, moody violin lines and meditative drum work will hit the ear every few seconds with their undeniable emotion. A solidly strummed oud brings in the most incredible gorgeous tones as a dark, smoldering cello phrase captures the imagination, like a film character skulking in the shadows for yet unknown reasons. That cello becomes more prominent, and reminds of many things, old horror movies soundtracks, chamber music, and the classical instruments that have been included in some of the best rock albums.

Esthema are certainly a treat for the ears and an inspiration to the imagination. This third CD should garner them more acclaim, higher visibility, and, if everything is right with the world, a wider audience for their exciting, intriguing sound.

Everyone in Esthema is truly humbled by this review. Thank you Bill!

Esthema Stereo Mecmuasi Interview

June 2016

This month Esthema's Andy Milas and Onur Dilisen sat with Stereo Mecmuasi to talk about the latest CD, Long Goodbye. The interview, in Turkish is published in its entirety at Stereo Mecmuasi. You can read the english translation right here.

We will learn about the story of Esthema's new album Long Goodbye from Onur Dilisen and Andy Milas. Esthema (which has some changes in the line up compare to previous years) consist of the founder members (or musicians) Andy Milas on guitar, Onur Dilisen on violin; accompanied by George Lernis on drums and percussion, Mac Ritchey on oud and bouzouki, Naseem Alatrash on cello and Tom Martin on bass in this album. Let's hear it (all) from Onur Dilisen and Andy Milas.

SM: What's the story behind album title, Long Goodbye?

Andy: The composition ‘Long Goodbye’ was inspired by a conversation I had with my father’s doctor. At the time, my father had been diagnosed with a disease that the doctor referred to as a long goodbye. There was no cure, only medicine to help treat it but his condition would worsen over time and at some point, the medicine would stop being effective. After most of the compositions had been written for the album, I felt that ‘Long Goodbye,’ thematically and musically best captured the essence of the entire album.

SM: Onur, on Long Goodbye you’ve composed two of the compositions, ‘Reminiscence’ and ‘Fire and Shadow.’ How do they fit in the overall theme of the album?

Onur: On our previous album, we had one of my compositions ‘Four Colors.’ My compositions on Long Goodbye ‘Reminiscence’ and ‘Fire and Shadow’ have quite different characteristics from each other. Both are relatively old compositions; ‘Fire and Shadow's’ main sketches date back to 2007 and ‘Reminiscence’ from 2009. ‘Reminiscence’ is a true Turkish folk/Anatolian rock sounding tune. One can easily say that it has some Mogollar (Anatolian rock band) vibe. Even though the main melody is quite traditional sounding, the harmonies throughout the tune are inspired by my listening to the modern approach of Turkish music and the pieces composed by Turkish composers in 20th century which I am familiar with from my conservatory education in Izmir. With Long Goodbye being such a dark album, we all thought that ‘Reminiscence’ could bring a contrast, a moment to forget the sorrow to the listeners. As ‘Reminiscence’ reflects my Turkish folk and folk-rock music influence, ‘Fire and Shadow’ definitely reflects my rock and metal roots. The intro was partially inspired by the Mezarkabul (known as Pentagram in Turkey) song "Anatolia" and the slow middle part was partially inspired by Metallica’s song ‘My Friend Of Misery.’ For several years, Andy and I tried to find a good arrangement for this tune without sounding too metal-y. What was originally written and what was recorded are a little different from each other, but the arrangements that my fellow band members and I came up with, made this tune much better than I could have ever imagined. It is much darker than ‘Reminiscence’ (and ‘Four Colors’), so it fits really well in an album like this. Also, we all satisfy our thirst to play rock music when we play this tune.

SM: Can you tell me how Long Goodbye is different than your prior albums?

Andy: Long Goodbye is definitely darker. I think it has a sadder sound. Don’t get me wrong, it has its driving, fast paced moments but the overall arc starting with the solo acoustic guitar in ‘Three Sides To Every Story, Part I’ and ending with the cello solo taking its final breathe in ‘Long Goodbye,’ there is definitely a mood being set unlike Apart From The Rest and the Hereness and Nowness of Things. Onur: I certainly agree with Andy. Having tunes as a part of one bigger idea like ‘Three Sides To Every Story’ is something we haven't done on previous albums; it is dark yet full of energy at some parts. And having the cello made some of the arrangements sound much fuller and more interesting. I also think George Lernis' composition ‘Reflections From The Past’ has a good jazz sound which we would like to explore even more in the future. All the compositions on this album are really well written and the arrangements are tasteful. I can say that we raised the bar with this album, without any hesitation.

SM: The two of you are the only original members that have been on all three Esthema recordings. How is working with new musicians for each recording? And how was it working with Mac, Naseem, George, and Tom?

Andy: It is never a good thing when a band member leaves. We end up spending so much time together. Of course we have our disagreements and arguments, but in the end we are like family. You share something very special when you play music with another person. We have been fortunate; no one has left because they didn’t want to be in Esthema. They left because life was taking them in a new direction, to new places around the globe. However, if I had to throw a positive spin to having to find new band members for each of our three CDs, it would be that you get the opportunity to work with new musicians. And working with Mac, Naseem, George and Tom has been the opportunity of a lifetime.

Onur: Yes, working with Tom, George, Naseem and Mac has been so rewarding for me and for the band, both artistically and spiritually. They are all really nice gentlemen, great musicians and wonderful friends. I remember that Esthema spent months if not a year to search for a bass player. Luckily, Tom and Esthema found each other. I knew George from a Greek ensemble that we played and when I heard that he would be interested in Esthema, I got very excited. I was playing in a friend's recording session at Berklee and heard Naseem play some Middle-Eastern taxim and thought this would be a great addition to Esthema. A couple months later, he joined the band. Mac joined Esthema was while we were recording the Long Goodbye album. It was so great to get back the Oud and Bouzouki sound. In addition to that, he is an amazing studio engineer which helped us tremendously when we were finishing up all the editing. Although, it can take some time to adjust new players' playing styles, I would say that it is very exciting to know the past and current members. I feel lucky that I got to know all of them and played with them for years.

SM: What are your favorites? What are your fans' favorites?

Onur: For the longest time, my favorite Andy Milas composition was been ‘Illusion of Truth’ but since the release of the new album I think ‘Without A Moment's Notice’ took its place. My other favorite on this album would be ‘Three Sides To Every Story Part III.’ In addition to these favorites, the crowd always loves ‘Reflections From The Past,’ ‘Reminiscence’ and ‘Long Goodbye’ of course. I am personally very happy with how my violin solo in ‘Fire and Shadow’ compliments and locks with the tune.

Andy: For me it would definitely be ‘Without A Moment's Notice’ and ‘Long Goodbye’ from Long Goodbye and ‘Arrhythmia’ from the Hereness and Nowness of Things. We’ve never polled the fans for their favorites but I know my wife loves 'Apart From The Rest.' I think a fan poll would be a great idea.

A sincere THANK YOU to Stereo Mecmuasi for their continued support!

Esthema's Illusion of Truth LIVE

May 2016

From Esthema's 2009 the Hereness and Nowness of Things Illusion of Truth is definitely one of our favorities when performing! Watch it live from the Lily Pad. This performance is from January 10, 2016.

Esthema's Consequence LIVE

April 2016

And here it is, the first composition ever written for Esthema, Consequence from the 2007 release A P A R T FROM THE REST. This tune just doesn't get old!

Esthema's Without A Moment's Notice LIVE

March 2016

The third video release from Esthema is the composition that was inspired by that moment where life changes forever and the recognition that when life finally does go back to “normal” things are never quite the same, Without A Moment's Notice from Esthema's Long Goodbye was recorded live at the Lily Pad in Cambrige, MA on January 10, 2016.

Esthema Live

February 2016

The second video release from our January 10 show at the Lily Pas is Esthema's latest composition, Hijaro. Hijaro is the first composition to be slotted for our next CD release (release date TBD). Working Title: IV

We hope you enjoy!

Esthema Captured Live

February 2016

The first of many live videos is officially released! Back on January 10, 2016 Sam Harchik captured Esthema live at the Lily Pad show. Here is the first, Fire & Shadow:

Well Wishes

December 2015

Esthema wants to wish everyone a happy and healthy Holiday season...Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Three Kings Day, St. Lucia Day, Ramadan, HAPPY NEW YEAR, and everything in between!!!

Enjoy your time with friends, family and loved ones. Make every single moment count, listen to lots of great music, eat mouth watering food, drink great wine (or IPA), read a fantastic book and be grateful for whatever it is you have.

Thank you for your continued support.

Esthema

After the Fact

November 2015

We hope everyone had a chance to check out Esthema Live on WMFO 91.5FM's Acoustic Ceiling hosted by Vincent "Vin" Maganzini. We had a great time playing live on the air.

A sincere thanks to Vin for having us on the show. Please visit us on our Facebook page for more pictures.

Esthema LIVE on WMFO 91.5FM

November 2015

Saturday, November 21 at 4PMEST, join Esthema for a live performance and interview on WMFO 91.5FM's Acoustic Ceiling hosted by Vincent Maganzini.

We will be there for the full program from 4:00 - 5:00 EST performing pieces from each of our three CDs, Apart From The Rest (2007), the Hereness and Nowness of Things (2009) and Long Goodbye (2014).

We hope you will have a chance to listen in either on WMFO 91.5FM in the Medford/Boston area or streaming at WMFO 91.5FM from anywhere around the globe.

Hijaro

October 2015

Esthema has been working on some incredible new music over the past few months and we hope to introduce bits and pieces of it.

The first piece is Hijaro. A composition penned by Mac Ritchey, we are working on creating that just-right arrangement. This video gives you an idea of some of the main themes.

We hope you enjoy. More to come!!!

Family, Friends, Travel, & Music

Summer 2015

This summer (as is usual for this time of year) Esthema was real quiet. Individuals went back home to visit family and friends, toured playing music around the globe with incredible artists, and found time to take it easy. However, all the while we continued to work towards our shared Esthema goals, creating amazing music.

We hope everyone has/had an incredible summer!!!

...gentle and haunting

July 2015

One year after its release, Esthema's Long Goodbye is still receiving incredible reviews.

"A production that blend jazz- and Balkan folk-inspired music with tones and scales of a more exotic Middle East origin, with a good balance between the gentle and haunting and the firm and dramatic."

To read the entire review, please check out our reviews page or Progressor.net

A sincere THANK YOU to Olav M. Bjornsen and Progressor.net for the continued support.

Esthema on the Airwaves

April 2015

For all our friends in the Boston/Somerville/Medford area, you can now hear Esthema on the FM dial, each Saturday between 4 and 5PM at WMFO 91.5FM. DJ Vincent Maganzini hosts the Acoustic Ceiling.

Of course, you can also listen to WMFO 91.5FM 24/7 from anywhere in the world right here.

The Possum Hall Sessions

January 2015

At the tail end of January, Esthema came together to shoot what will ultimately be part of The Possum Hall Sessions: Esthema Live.

We recorded live audio and video at Possum Hall Studios for a few of Esthema compositions, old and new.

We are super excited about this because it captures Esthema, fully acoustic, live and unedited in an absolutely beautiful space.

Looking forward to share more details once all the parts come together.

Long Goodbye Top 10 of 2014

January 2015

At the end of 2014, the writers of DPRP (the Dutch Progressive Rock Page) listed their "Best Albums of 2014" and Esthema's Long Goodbye made it to the Top 10 (along with Opeth and Deep Purple) for writer Andrew Halley.

You may recall that Mr. Halley reviewed Long Goodbye for DPRP back in October.

We can't tell you what a feeling it is when guys that are reviewing the music of Deep Purple and Opeth are putting your music in the same Top 10 list. Crazy!!!

Thank you Mr. Andrew Halley!

Esthema Live @ Ryles

January 2015

Join Esthema on Thursday, January 29 for our first appearance of 2015.

The Facebook event can be found Esthema Live @ Ryles.

Happy New Year

January 2015

To all our friends, we hope you have a Happy and Healthy New Year. May 2015 be filled with joy, peace, and happiness for each and every one of you. And THANK YOU for your continued love & support. You have made this journey thus far, truly unforgettable.

With much appreciation, gratitude, and love,
Esthema (Andy Milas, Onur Dilisen, Naseem Alatrash, Mac Ritchey, Tom Martin, and George Lernis)

Esthema on WMBR 88.1 FM

December 2014

You can now hear Esthema on WMBR 88.1FM (Boston area) or www.wmbr.org on Tuesdays between 2:00 and 4:00PM. The show, The New Edge is devoted to creative and innovative instrumental music and is hosted by long time Esthema supporter, Ken Fields.

The show is repeated on Fridays @ 1-3am & 2-4pm, Sundays @ 7-9pm, Tuesdays @ 2-4am, & Wednesdays @ 8-10am on http://taintradio.org/.

A sincere THANK YOU to Ken Field for his continued support and for making instrumental music that doesn't fall into a specific radio-friendly category available for all to be heard.

Happy New Year!!!!

Dream Farm Radio Season 3 Great Moments"

December 2014

This week (starting December 14), along with many great artists, Esthema is part of Dream Farm Radio's Season 3 More Great Moment's.

If you have a chance, please listen in for some incredible music from Season 3 of Dream Farm Radio.

A sincere thanks to Julie Lavendar, Don Richardson, and everyone over at Dream Farm for their continued support!

Esthema on The Prog Magazine Show

December 2014

Unbeknownst to Esthema, on October 11, 2014 we were part of The Prog Magazine Show.

Prog Magazine is an internationally selling magazine that features Progressive music artists. If you recall in our PROG Magazine review, Grant Moon said: "Their beautifully produced third album Long Goodbye is a relentlessly classy and high-minded affair but with a knowing rock vibe."

Well, Prog Magazine also have a show and check out the playlist from the show below:

Genesis - Dance On A Volcano
Opeth - Cusp Of Eternity
Aeon Zen - Soul Machine
Maybeshewill - Sanctuary
Threshold - The Mystery Show
Tin Spirits - Summer Now
Lukas Cresswell Rost - Smallest Things
Sanguine Hum - Before We Bow Down (Live)
Fire Garden - Sound of Majestic Colours
John Martyn - Sandy Grey
Magna Carta - The Boatman
Oceansize - Heaven Alive
Devin Townsend Project - True North
King's X - Far, Far Away
Schnauser - Split
The United States of America - The American Way of Love
Steve Hillage - Hurdy Gurdy Man (Live)
Fem - Revivscenza
Emmett Elvin - Jupiter Sneezes Bloody Marvels
Camel - Echoes
Fish - Crucifix Corner
Peter Gabriel - San Jacinto
Esthema - Reminiscence
The Pineapple Thief - Season's Past

The fact that Esthema has made it onto a program that is playing the like of Genesis, King's X, Peter Gabriel, Opeth, and the others listed above is truly a humbling experience.

Check them out...great music (and not just because they are playing Esthema)!!!!

Esthema Hits the Weekly Top 20 @ Latch Music Radio!

December 2014

For the week of December 5, 2014 Esthema's "Three Sides To Every Story, Part II" from our latest release, Long Goodbye was voted #5 by the listeners of Latch Music Radio, a Weekly Jazz Rock World Fusion Streaming Radio Station.

Weekly Jazz Rock World Fusion Streaming Latch Music Radio Top 20 ending 12-05-14. Voted on by the people who listen to Latch Music Radio.

#20. Scott Kinsey - Quartet - Kinesthetics
#19. Stanley Clarke - Silly Putty - Journey to Love
#18. Stanley Clarke - Life Suite/Pt. 1, Pt. 2, Pt. 3, Pt. 4 - Stanley Clarke
#17. Stanley Clarke - Lopsy Lu - Stanley Clarke
#16. Stick Men - Inside The Red Pyramid - Soup
#15. Tribal Tech - Corn Butter - Tribal Tech X
#14. Tribal Tech - Working Blue - Tribal Tech X
#13. Trilok Gurtu - Tac, et Demi - Living Magic
#12. Usonic - Kinsey Report - Evolution
#11 Usonic - Legacy - Evolution
#10. Usonic - Touch - Evolution
#9. Virgil Donati - The Empire - In This Life
#8. Vladiswar Nadishana - Unregular Dance - The Traditional Music of Ancient Kuzhebar Aborigine
#7. Weather Report - Procession - Procession
#6. Chad Wackerman - Holiday Insane - Forty Reasons
#5. Esthema - Three Sides To Every Story, Part II - Long Goodbye

#4. Weather Report - Between the Thighs - Tale Spinnin'
#3. The Zawinul Syndicate - King Hip - The Immigrants
#2. Chick Corea - Portals To Forever - The Vigil
#1. John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension - Trancefusion - Now Here This

Latch Music Radio is an on-line radio station showcasing Jazz Rock World Fusion music. You can catch listen 24 / 7 @ Live365.

A sincere thanks to Dave Latchaw, everyone over at Latch Music Radio, and the listeners for the continued support! Much love!

Esthema hits Cyprus' Airwaves

November 2014

Today (November 18, 2014)!

Starting at 4PM EST (11PM Local Time), the national radio station of Cyprus will dedicate one hour to Esthema, playing Long Goodbye in its entirety and acquainting its audience with Esthema. The program will be hosted by Akis Pharmakalides.

You can listen here.

Listen live and get ready for this week's CD release party of Esthema's Long Goodbye!

Esthema Hits the Weekly Top 20 @ Latch Music Radio!

November 2014

For the week of November 14, 2014 Esthema's "Three Sides To Every Story, Part II" from our latest release, Long Goodbye was voted #18 by the listeners of Latch Music Radio, a Weekly Jazz Rock World Fusion Streaming Radio Station.

Weekly Jazz Rock World Fusion Streaming Latch Music Radio Top 20 ending 11-14-14. Voted on by the people who listen to Latch Music Radio.

#20. ProjeKct Four - Ghost, Pt. 1 - West Coast Live
#19. Tribal Tech - Corn Butter - Tribal Tech X
#18. Esthema - Three Sides To Every Story, Part II - Long Goodbye
#17. Krzyszt Of Misiak - Painkiller Pill - Nowe Okolicznosci
#16. Mahavishnu Orchestra - Birds of Fire - Birds of Fire
#15. Miles Davis - Jean Pierre - We Want Miles
#14. Return to Forever - Theme to the Mothership - Hymn of the Seventh Galaxy
#13. Virgil Donati - The Empire - In This Life
#12. Weather Report - Nubian Sundance - Mysterious Traveller
#11 Brett Garsed/T.J. Helmerich/Gary Willis/Dennis Chambers/Scott Kinsey - tjhelmerich_earthlink.net - Uncle Moe's Space Ranch
#10. Dave Latchaw - The Lone Voice - Transitions
#9. Hadrien Feraud - Rumeurs - Hadrien Feraud
#8. Stanley Clarke - Silly Putty - Journey to Love
#7. Percy Jones/Tunnels - Barrio - Percy Jones With Tunnels
#6. Scott Kinsey - Kinesthetics - Kinesthetics
#5. Return to Forever - Duel of the Jester and the Tyrant - Returns
#4. Weather Report - Between the Thighs - Tale Spinnin'
#3. John McLaughlin & the 4th Dimension - Trancefusion - Now Here This
#2. Scott Henderson - The Necessary Blonde - Primal Tracks
#1. Chick Corea - Portals To Forever - The Vigil

You can catch Latch Music Radio 24 / 7 @ Live365. Very Good Fun.

A sincere thanks to Dave Latchaw for his continued support over the years! Much love!

Esthema's Long Goodbye CD Release Party Announced

October 2014

SOUNDTRACK TO OUR LIVES. | ESTHEMA AT THE MIDDLE EAST CORNER.

October 2014

Read The Quiet Lunch review by Pete Salomone of Esthema's September 10 show at the Middle East right here or below:

Music has changed, or at least the way we consume it. People have stopped listening to music; it’s simply become the background to our lives. The hifi systems are gone, the headphones have been reduced to mere travelling companions. Even once-ubiquitous rock music has been pushed out from the center, and it takes something like Apple & U2’s recent stunt to make it anything other than greatest-hits-tour fodder. In a world increasingly overridden by the pop-bubble and EDM, is there still a place for thoughtful, skillfully-made instrumental music?

Even if that place is getting smaller Esthema seem to think there is, and their outer-rim influences: world music, blended with prog and metal, only serve to improve the depth of their output. Progressive music is gone from the mainstream, but it wasn’t too long ago that Rush was filling stadiums, even less time since Dream Theater played hockey arenas, while more recent prog groups like Between the Buried and Me or Coheed and Cambria toured similar venues. The rock music that makes headlines is inherently simple, usually old style blues-based acts like The Black Keys or anything with Jack White. Esthema’s development is more complicated, its roots much older.

Fans of more recent progressive and metal groups, the musicians who make up Esthema are deeply versed in traditional Greek and Turkish music. Traditional stringed instruments make up a portion of Esthema’s sound in a fascinating and transformative, an unfortunately uncommon manner. Their recorded music is rife with drastic changes in tone, tempo, and time, and it would make sense that it would sound disjointed when played live. Nothing could be further from the truth. Where I was expecting a constant sea of improvised pieces, which may or may not fill a possible whole, I was met with cohesion from top to bottom. There were no extended sections which relied on visual or musical cues to bring the band back to the same page, nobody floated out to their own world, everyone played as one.

With players this skilled, jazz-influenced composition may veer towards self-indulgent tedium, but I was delighted by the attention to detail of their compositions. Esthema is a musician’s band. It takes an experienced ear to discern frequent time, key, and instrument changes from free-form madness. Every sound felt like the band had been over it more times than I care to think about, making sure nothing was being felt out on the spot, which made the organic feel of such intricate material all the more impressive. Esthema’s music deftly glided past pretension and found itself in a sea of riches instead. I couldn’t help but follow the tones and moods being pulled in a wonderful evocation.

This is the point, dear reader, where the story gets murky. The gentlemen of Esthema are some of the finest musicians I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, yet for all of them this band is one of several ongoing gigs. These are career musicians, fluent in more styles than I can probably spell, and capable of producing engrossing music with the same requisite effort I require to amble to the bathroom in the morning. For all of the obvious ability and its flavorful fruits, there lies an air of inaccessibility, earned or not. Music is simply a group of sounds intended to produce a desired emotional or visceral effect, nothing more. A listener does not have to be able to properly notate the polyrhythmic time signatures or, hell, even know what that phrase means: if it transports you somewhere, does anything else matter?

If Yes and Bill Withers can successfully coexist in 1972, what’s to stop Esthema from achieving their own success in 2014? The sheer number of options available at your fingertips (you are reading this on the internet… aren’t you?) paints a bleak picture for many specialized artists these days, from house music, to reggae-influenced hip-hop, to heavy metal, to alt-country, the infamous record contracts are dying along with the labels that would have printed them, as music has become all but fully democratized. Sure, Beyonce or the Foo Fighters aren’t about to go the way of the dinosaur (we’ll always need a few collective experiences to call ourselves a society), but the good news is that there is so much good music being thrust upon the world that the act of finding it can be as daunting as a sheer cliff face. I can only hope each subgenre has something like Esthema in its ranks, producing such intricate, lush music as to make you forget how difficult it must truly be.

Esthema would like to sincerely thank Peter, Matia Guardabascio, and everyone over at The Quiet Lunch for not only the kind words but for their support and for taking the time to come out to the show.

Esthema's Long Goodbye, a Featured Story at Progressive Rock Central

September 2014

This month we are humbled to be one of the Featured Stories at Progressive Rock Central.

"Esthema is a Boston-based ensemble composed of virtuoso musicians that defy musical boundaries." - Angel Romero

Read the complete story at "Esthema’s Multilayered Progressive-World Fusion."

A sincere THANK YOU to Angel and everyone over at Progressive Rock Central for their support and kind review of Esthema's Long Goodbye.

Esthema's Long Goodbye Reviewed in PROG Magazine

September 2014

Check out the latest review of Esthema's Long Goodbye in the international selling UK based magazine, PROG.

"Their beautifully produced third album Long Goodbye (esthema.com) is a relentlessly classy and high-minded affair but with a knowing rock vibe."

The review in its entirety is posted on our reviews page.

A sincere thanks to Grant Moon and everyone over at PROG Magazine. Being a part of the same publication as bands like Opeth, Genesis, Rush, Dream Theater, and so many other Progressive music icons from yesterday and today is an absolute humbling experience.

We'll let you know when the magazine hits the stands here in the US.

House of Prog

August 2014

Esthema can now be heard on the House of Prog. Make sure to listen in on Friday nights, starting next Friday, August 15 to The Waiting Room hosted by The Prog Doctor.

Esthema will also be part of the 24/7 streaming Progressive Music offered by the House of Prog so make sure to listen any time any where.

Esthema @ WaterFire Providence

July 2014

For those that have been following Esthema since the beginning you may remember that our composition "Distance" from our first CD, Apart From The Rest (2007) was selected for WaterFire Providence.

Well, just last Saturday, July 12th at 11:03PM, right after Puccini and before Vivaldi, "Distance" was once again heard throughout the streets of Providence.

To be coupled with the likes of Puccini and Vivaldi, as well as Django Reinhardt, Arvo Part, and many other is an absolute honor and an extremely humbling experience.

f you haven't been to WaterFire Providence it is an unforgettable experience that you don't want to miss (with or without Esthema contributing to the soundtrack). Don't miss out - you won't regret it!

Esthema Live @ the Armory in Somerville

July 2014

Esthema had the pleasure of performing at one of Somerville, MA landmarks in July - the Armory. A sincere thanks to all that came out and showed their love and support.

And for those that couldn't join us, the show was recorded and is available for download via SoundCloud at soundcloud.com/esthema.

Esthema hits Chicagoland airwaves

June 2014

Esthema is now on rotation on Chicagoland's WVLP 98.3 FM between 5:00PM and 7:00PM. The program is called Progression, a long-standing Chicagoland FM radio show entering its tenth year of existence and is hosted by Gregg Kovach.

NPR's DJ Sessions: American Jazz With A European Twist

June 2014

Julie Lavendar, Producer and Host of Dreamfarm Radio in New Hampshire, joins NPR's Here & Now’s Jeremy Hobson to talk music from a number of Greek, Turkish, Balkan and Roma-influenced groups and its fusion into American Jazz. Esthema made it into the conversation. You can listen to it right here.

Long Goodbye Released

June 2014

Esthema's Long Goodbye released June 3, 2014.

CDs and mp3 downloads are available on-line at CDBaby, iTunes, Spotify, Rhapsody, and more.

Esthema wants to express a sincere thanks to those that made this recording possible: Peter Kontrimas of PBS Studios, Mac Ritchey of Possum Hall, and Randy Roos of Squam Sound. Also, a sincere thanks to Artistic Director and Designer, Rebecca Fagan of Fagan Design for her work on the visually stunning CD and esthema.com.

Additional thanks also go out to Robin Weiss for photography and Korinne Mac and the Middlesex Community College THE103 class for lending their voices to Three Sides.

Long Goodbye

April 2014

Esthema has been quiet as of late putting the finishing touches on Long Goodbye. The original tracking of the CD was completed with engineer Peter Kontrimas at PBS Studio. Additional tracking, edits and mixing was recently completed at Possum Hall with engineer, Mac Ritchey and on Sunday, April 13 Long Goodbye was mastered by Randy Roos at Squam Sound. Esthema would like to thank Peter, Mac, and Randy for leaving their indelible mark on our music and this recording.

Over the next few weeks (before the official CD release) as we finish up the design with long time friend, supporter, and collaborator Rebecca Fagan of Fagan Design be on the lookout for tidbits of each composition as well as the release of Without A Moment’s Notice in its entirety. Each of the compositions on this record has a story behind it. Without A Moment’s Notice is a composition inspired by the life event, the moment that changes every other moment thereafter. We’ll let you know when and where!

In the meantime, check out the face (below) of Long Goodbye courtesy of Rebecca Fagan of Fagan Design. Thanks Rebecca!

Esthema Reviewed in France's Highlands Magazinee

February 2014

In Issue 064 of Bruges, France's Highlands Magazine, check out the review of our first 2 CDs, Apart From The Rest and the Hereness and Nowness of Things.

We are truly humbled by the support Esthema has recently gotten. A sincere THANKS to Didier Gonzalez, editor of Highlands Magazine for and his team.

Esthema Reviewed in Belgium's Prog-Résiste

January 2014

Check out the review of Esthema's first 2 CDs, Apart From The Rest and the Hereness and Nowness of Things in the January 2014 edition of Belgium's Prog-Résiste.

An enormous THANK YOU to Olivier Delooz and everyone Prog-Résiste for their kind words and support!

Esthema LIVE on Dream Farm Radio

January 2014

Just released!

Listen to esthema's the Hereness and Nowness of Things show on Dream Farm Radio with producer/host Julie Lavendar.

We had the pleasure of performing some of our favorites live with Julie and getting a chance to chat about all things esthema!

Visit DreamFarmRadio.org to listen to this week's episode.

Esthema on Davis, California radio (and streaming around the world)

January 2014

To all our friends in the Davis, California area, you can now hear esthema on KDVS.org 90.3FM. The program is called "Crossing Continents" with Gil Medovoy and it is on every other Saturday between 4:00 & 7:00PM; next scheduled program is 01/25/2014.

Long Goodbye Song List

January 2014

And so here it is...

The much anticipated song list from esthema's soon to be released CD, Long Goodbye...

  • Three Sides To Every Story, Part I
  • Three Sides To Every Story, Part II
  • Three Sides To Every Story, Part III
  • Without A Moment’s Notice
  • Reminiscence
  • Fire & Shadow
  • Reflections From The Past
  • Long Goodbye
  •