Darlene Koldenhoven Bio:
“Darlene is an enormously gifted singer who’s striking in a sensual, yet sincere way. She has a . . . wholly magnetic stage presence.” – Music Connection Magazine
#1 Album Infinite Voice – Ambient-World Radio & Internet Airwaves Chart, April 2007
#2 Top 100 Airplay 2007 Infinite Voice – Ambient-World Radio & Internet Airwaves Chart
Best Vocal Album Infinite Voice – 2007 NAR LifeStyle Music Awards (voted by Broadcasters worldwide)
Best Holiday Album Heavenly Peace – 2007 NAR LifeStyle Music Awards (voted by Broadcasters worldwide)
What sets Darlene Koldenhoven, this beautiful tall blond Grammy® Award winner and three-time nominee, apart from the rest . . . It could be her worldwide 1.5 billion viewing audience on PBS as the memorable vocal soloist in Yanni, Live at the Acropolis . . . It could be her work in the war-torn jungles of Sierra Leone, West Africa where she met and coached musicians and singers whom she took on her tour of the US and Canada . . . Or the fact that she is one of the few classically trained singers with a five-octave range who vocally improvises in classical and non-classical styles, produces, composes, arranges, plays keyboards, and writes lyrics . . . Or even, perhaps it’s her ability to create and produce in less than a year, her new album, Infinite Voice, a magnificent masterpiece of musicianship and performance, while authoring and publishing an innovative, comprehensive music education book with 7 instructional CDs to train the mind’s musical ear and teach people how to sing entitled, Tune Your Voice.
At the core of her remarkable musical gifts is a voice for the ages. Angelically clear and expressively strong, Ms. Koldenhoven’s soul-stirring voice is a mesmerizing wonder, the touch of a celestial goddess on the souls of all. This is the woman who brings all people together from classical purists and jazz hipsters, Christians, New Agers, to rockers and video gamers. Ms. Koldenhoven has appeared on-camera singing: with Robin Williams in the Academy Awards 2000; The Young and the Restless; Studio 60; in three American Idol specials; and as the beloved tambourine-waving choir nun and real life vocal coach/musical director of both Sister Act films with Whoopi Goldberg. Darlene’s voice has graced a plethora of albums from pop giants Barbra Streisand and Rod Stewart to jazz legend Ramsey Lewis to progressive rock icons Pink Floyd to soloing with London’s Royal Philharmonic and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra to singing for President Clinton. Some of her recent vocal contributions include rocker Neil Young’s Living With War CD and a song with her ethnically diverse children’s choir (Young Vocal Artists of Los Angeles) by rapper/producer will.i.am (of the group Black Eyed Peas) for the soundtrack of the 2007 film Freedom Writers (starring Hilary Swank). And she gets major “cool points” with young people for her soaring vocals on the video games Baldur’s Gate (for Sony PlayStation II) and Harry Potter: Chamber of Secrets.
With all of that and much more ground zero work in the film, television, session and touring industries filling her resume, one would marvel that Ms. Koldenhoven has any time left for anything else. Yet this prolific and multi-talented singer has done just that with her fourth album, Infinite Voice, #1 on the Radio Charts and voted by Broadcasters, Best Vocal Album 2007. Infinite Voice stands alone in classical crossover design for its appealing unique approach in blending classical with non-classical from Stravinsky to Sting; with elements of World Music, Smooth Jazz, New Age, and Darlene’s inspiring original compositions, captivating arrangements, and collaborations on arrangements of beloved opera melodies by classical masters to magical themes from contemporary popular artists. Already, tastemakers and peers who have had the pleasure of hearing her album have given outstanding praise and lavish reviews for the tour-de-force of musicianship and performance, composition and vocal excellence.
"Sublime. This is singing and artistry of the highest order. There is a purity and an honesty here that is seldom found these days. The technical refinement of Miss Koldenhoven's voice is without question. More importantly, there is an emotional integrity to her performances that is her most distinguishing quality. This album is a must for anyone with ears and a soul."
– Jeremy Lubbock, Grammy winning Composer/Arranger, Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Sting
As producer of Infinite Voice, Ms. Koldenhoven called upon some of the world’s most accomplished, award-winning composers, arrangers, and instrumentalists performing on acoustic, synthesized, World instruments and crystal singing bowls. In addition to performing all the vocals on the album, she also did much of the keyboard and programming work. Weaving all this together is Koldenhoven’s ‘vocal alchemy,’ as she uses her voice like an instrument in vocalise, transforming traditionally instrumental music into vocal music; or pours out her heart in a melody with lyrics (English, French, Italian, German) that touches the depths of your very soul. For most of the pieces, Darlene revels in this realm of rare singing, stating, “Singing in vocalise liberates me in my choices of melodies and challenges me to get the emotional message across without relying on the lyric to tell the story. My passion for improvising requires me to be bold and take risks. In Mozart’s time, singers were expected to improvise. My improvised vocal passages in Infinite Voice are a tribute to what was expected of singers in that era – a lost art that transforms traditional classical music into a more exciting art form for both the singer and the listener.”
"Darlene’s singing has always been full of remarkable versatility, and this project is no exception. Her unique approach to these pieces are what sets her apart from the rest of the field . . . in addition to her beautiful instrument, her stamp of originality is indelible . . . “The Infinite Voice” is aptly named.... (it could also have been called “infinite creativity,” “infinite technique,” and “infinite curiosity.”)
– Dave Grusin, Oscar & Grammy winning Film Composer & Recording Artist
Her Infinite Voice shall be just that in the chronicles of time, be it for pure musical enjoyment, or for its meditative and restorative effects.
In addition to her career as a recording artist, Ms. Koldenhoven is a respected music educator with a magna cum laude Master’s Degree in Voice and a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education from Chicago Conservatory College. She feels it’s essential to open her professional recording studio in Los Angeles for classes and private lessons, to distill her vast knowledge of the voice, singing, musicianship, and music therapy to an array of students from non-singers to name professionals. In the age-old model of giving back, she has formed a professional children’s choir, the “Young Vocal Artists of Los Angeles.” Participating children have the opportunity to learn from and sing on a wide variety of professional recording sessions, benefiting from Ms. Koldenhoven’s many contacts in the industry, the likes of Disney, Paramount . . .
Koldenhoven emphasizes, “Singing is a learned experience and often people are afraid to open themselves to the uplifting energy of singing and the powers of music. By creating the Tune Your Voice program, it allows me to reach everyone, empowering them to enhance the quality of their life by experiencing the joy and nurturing effects of singing and appreciating music. It’s like they have their very own personal voice coach. I am very proud of Tune Your Voice. It is a comprehensive body of work that trains the mind’s musical ear both consciously and sub-consciously, enabling pitch challenged individuals to open up and find their voice; refining and developing the ear-to-voice connection of the natural singer or professional; and preparing the mind to audiate (to think musically) which is fundamental to writing music, playing an instrument, and singing.”
Darlene explains, “I enjoy motivating people and sharing my gifts with others, whether it be through my music, my singing, or through music education. I’m grateful for the divine gifts I have been given and for the privilege of helping others, engaged in something I absolutely love – music. It was my desire to do an album that could touch all people and bring the beauty of these melodies to each and every land, simply creating beauty in everyday life.”
“From the depths of you / The sound of the voice / Like tones on the wind / Will carry a choice / It warms you within / A world without fear / The essence of peace / Gives silence to hear the infinite voice… / The infinite voice of love.” – From her title track, “Infinite Voice”
Darlene Koldenhoven’s Biography
Darlene Koldenhoven was born in an integrated neighborhood on the South side of Chicago to a family with an extensive musical lineage, but hearing only the singing of her mother and grandfather. Darlene could hold her own harmony part by age 3, making her Easter Sunday debut in church singing a solo, "Low in the Grave He Lay." Her initial emphasis of formal training was classical piano, which she began studying in earnest at age 9. Her father, awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, died from malaria contracted during his “tours of duty.” The family suffering from the financial hardship, a single mother, and her sister being born deaf, didn’t allow her hard working mother to afford formal singing lessons for Darlene until age 16. The product of a strict Dutch Christian Reformed/Calvinist family, Darlene was only allowed to listen to or play religious or classical music, not allowed to improvise, and never really listened to pop music until college where she absorbed everything from the Beatles and Middle Eastern music to jazz. But the fierce work ethic and discipline she gleaned from home and her schooling made her an outstanding scholarly achiever, thus preparing her for the ubiquitous and enviable career she now relishes in the entertainment capital of the world, Los Angeles. Arriving in Los Angeles with only a leap-of-faith, $400, her car, 6 wool turtleneck sweaters (she’s from Chicago) and no contacts – therein lay the story of how hard work and perseverance pays off . . .
Ms. Koldenhoven revealed an early sensitivity to teaching and nurturing when she assisted in the therapy of her only sibling, a sister nine years younger, (who was born deaf) after an experimental surgery created some hearing capabilities for her. Revelations from that experience impacted Koldenhoven three-fold, sparking her intense interest in how vocal sound is created by the smallest gestures of the structures of the mouth, sound vibration as a source of healing and restoration, and the expressive possibilities of vocal sound without words - a signature element of her singular style.
Darlene Koldenhoven's previous albums are her debut Keys to the World (an adult contemporary pop work with an emphasis on positive lyrics), Free to Serve (an eclectic gospel soundtrack commissioned by the Christian Reformed Church of North America and lifted from a World Missions multi-media concert that she co-directed, wrote all the music for and performed in, featuring musicians and singers she brought back from the impoverished Sierra Leone, West Africa), and the Christmas album Heavenly Peace (which debuted at #2 on the “New Age Voice” radio chart and was selected by “New Age Magazine” as Best Holiday CD. In its 2007 re-release, Heavenly Peace debuted #4 and won Best Holiday Album in the LifeStyle Music Awards). When asked about the future, Darlene is looking forward to a project she is preparing for symphony orchestra. “I’m looking forward to singing once again with my comrades of the Royal Philharmonic, the Chicago Symphony and all the fabulous conductors around the world.”
©2008 TimeArt® Recordings
Sous le dome epais - vocalise
Darlene called upon Larry Steelman to collaborate on the arrangement and track of a most sensual version of Sous le dome epais from Lakme (1883) by Leo Delibes. (Darlene sang the Yanni version, “Aria,” in his Yanni, Live at the Acropolis concert/video.) Darlene and Larry’s setting takes you back in time with an Indian princess, Lakme, and her handmaiden to an 1800’s garden river in India, complete with white swans. Koldenhoven and Steelman skillfully blend the elements of the composition togethe
Infinite Voice (4:48)
Infinite Voice, the title track composed, arranged, and programmed by Darlene, reveals her penchant for the unusual meter, here in 7/4. Darlene’s lyrics invite us to be open to the guiding infinite voice of love. Juxtaposing the orchestration so that some motives subdivide in 4+3 while others are in 3+4, lends itself to giving the listener a sense of infinite time, mirroring the time of the ever-expanding universe, the unlimiting sense of God's time ever evolving. Pedro E
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