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William Joseph Beyond [album]

William Joseph: BeyondExploiting fully the delights of piano
  music, William Joseph brings you
  all the magnificence of this underused
  instrument with his fabulous CD
  album Beyond

ACCLAIMED MUSICIAN, COMPOSER AND PERFORMER William Joseph gives a heart-stopping performance on his fantastic album, Beyond, which lifts piano music way out of the ordinary. Piano ROCKS!

When William sat down to write the songs that appear on Beyond, he had a very clear vision of how he wanted the music to sound. "I wanted it to be memorable," he says, "I wanted it to be moving, inspiring and thought provoking."

William and his team, executive producer David Foster (a fourteen-time Grammy Award winner who has worked with Barbra Streisand, Celine Dion, Josh Groban and Michael Buble) and producers Jochem Van Der Saag (Groben, Buble and Andrea Bocelli) and William Ross, have accomplished all that and more on the wonderful Beyond.

Beyond is William's second studio album and is described as a blend of genre-defying sounds that's referred to as classic pop. It is a bold, confident collection of instrumentals that showcase the Phoenix native's artistry. The music captures a variety of moods, from the dramatic to the heart-wrenching to the light and playful; all performed with the emotional power and polished precision for which William has become known.

William's style and material is glorious; magical and ethereal with an enigmatic power that holds you under its spell from the very start of Beyond with the gorgeous Standing The Storm — with its fabulous ivory dances and highlights through to the title track and Beyond.

Beyond itself is a treasure of such magnificence that, despite it's grandeur, it is a great track to unwind with. Working your way through this remarkable album is a joy. Leningrad is darkly evocative, taking you through the streets of the city alone at night and taking in the sights.

As William draws you deeper into the album to the tremendously uplifting Heroes and the sweet, golden tracks Once Upon Love, Sweet Remembrance Of You and A Mother's Heart, you are inextricably hooked. The fabulous pulse-racing Apasionada is played with skill and accomplishment yet restraint in full-blooded gypsy style and Asturias simply rampages over the keyboard. Whereas Return With Honor is infused with pathos; the masterful, rousing and exotic Kashmir is steeped in passion.

Known for his outstanding piano playing and discovered by top record producer David Foster in 2003, William Joseph has received global acclaim for his skills as a musician, composer and performer. To further celebrate the release of Beyond, William was a very special guest on Katherine Jenkins' UK tour to Oxford, London, Birmingham and Manchester in December (2008). This is one addiction you won't want to fight to Infinity and Beyond!

William Joseph's dream of an album Beyond, executive produced by David Foster, is available now (released in the UK on 1 December, 2008, by Warner Music Entertainment).


1 Standing The Storm | 2 Beyond | 3 Leningrad | 4 Heroes | 5 Once Upon Love (featuring David Foster) | 6 Kashmir | 7 Sweet Remembrance Of You | 8 Apasionada | 9 Return With Honor | 10 Cinema Paradiso | 11 Asturias (featuring Jesse Cook) | 12 A Mother's Heart

"William's style and material is glorious; magical and ethereal with an enigmatic power that holds you under its spell from the very start of Beyond with the gorgeous Standing The Storm with its fabulous ivory dances and highlights through to the title track and Beyond" Maggie Woods, MotorBar

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"This album is absolutely me," says William, whose deft piano playing on Beyond is backed by a band and a 72-piece orchestra. "The record is cinematic like the soundtrack to an epic film that has yet to be made. And then it goes Beyond and has these high-energy, driving melodies that are not only exciting to listen to, but also to perform live."

William's growing legion of fans has been devoted to him since the 2004 release of his debut album Within, which featured a mix of original compositions, inspired rock classics and impassioned classical pieces.

"Within was a great learning process for me," says William. "At that point, I had never played with an orchestra before, I had only written for piano. After Within, I saw the possibilities of working with orchestrators and programmers and my whole creative world opened up. I wrote the songs on Beyond, knowing that I would have the instrumentation I love. Plus, I've grown a lot in the last four years and I really feel like I've figured out what my sound is, and how to take what's in my head and put it on the album."

While he was composing, what was in William's head was often expressed as raw emotion. "Most people, when they sit down to write, have a specific story or experience to write about," William says. "When I sit down, it's purely about the music. I focus on the emotion and the melody, then go back and think about what this story is telling me."

The songs on Beyond soar, like the forceful Standing In The Storm, the edgy Asturias, the epic Heroes and the dramatic Kashmir (a reworking of the Led Zeppelin classic that has become William's signature tune and a live show-stopper). William also proves his versatility on the tender ballads Sweet Remembrance Of You and A Mother's Heart and then fires up the mood once again on the flamenco-flavoured Apasionada, which actress Jane Seymour fell in love with she told William she would dance to it if she won her season of Dancing With The Stars.

Finally, there's the title track which would, says William, sum up the entire album for him. "If someone asked me what my music sounds like, I would play them Beyond," he says. "Making this album took me on a journey through all these feelings that I feel romantic, hopeful, excited, intense and I hope anyone who listens can relate and go on that journey with me."

William JosephWith the exception of Led Zeppelin's Kashmir (which features a violin solo by Lucia Micarelli) and a version of Andrea and Ennio Morricone's Cinema Paradiso, William composed all the songs on Beyond himself, along with his various producers including Foster and his frequent collaborator Jochem Van Der Saag (Groben, Buble and Andrea Bocelli). William, Van Der Saag and Bill Ross, the album's veteran orchestral arranger and conductor, flew to Serbia to record the Belgrade Film Orchestra to feature on the album; an experience that William says was a dream.

"It was overwhelming," he says. "Four years of having these songs in my head and thinking if we only had an orchestra. Finally I could hear what had only existed on paper for so long. I have to say, I was totally blown away. It was such an emotional experience that words cannot describe, I'll never forget it."

Indeed, the whole process of making Beyond was thrilling for William, who has seen his career take off since Foster discovered him at a 2003 charity event in Phoenix honouring Mohammed Ali. "David looked at me and said: Play something. And I felt my heart skip a beat because I knew who he was and that that was my moment, my big chance and everything I had worked for."

Twenty seconds into the song Foster signalled the band to join in and began conducting them. "So I'm playing this song I had written, being backed by this world class band, with David waving his hands in the air leading it all, and I'm thinking: please don't mess up now. We finish, everybody starting applauding and David gave me a high-five. It was like a scene out of a movie."

The original composition Within stopped Foster in his tracks. "William sat down and played this beautiful piece magnificently and to perfection," Foster says. "I was so impressed I asked him if he would perform that evening. A standing ovation later and I knew I had to work with him."

Since the release of Within, William has been in demand for a number of high-profile music events, including a support tour with Josh Groben in 2004, a two-month tour with Clay Aiken in 2005 (plus a collaboration with him on his album 1000 Different Ways) and supporting such artistes as Barbra Streisand, Natalie Cole, Kenny G, Il Divo, and Peter Cincotti at concerts around the world.

William who at the age of eight had already won a 'full ride' national music scholarship that allowed him to study classical piano with acclaimed Russian instructor Stella Saperstein welcomes the opportunity to perform any chance he gets. Hence he has appeared centre stage for several prestigious celebrity events, including tennis great Andre Agassi's Grand Slam for children fundraiser with Tim McGraw, Faith Hill and John Mayer, a charity event for Carousel of Hope with Beyonce; as well as at private parties held in the homes of Eva Longoria and Jane Seymour. California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger also personally invited William to play at an intimate birthday party for his wife, Maria Shriver.

In February (2008), William performed Kashmir at the star-studded opening of the Broad Contemporary Art Museum at LACMA, an invitation-only gala event attended by, amongst others: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes, Prince Andrew, Steve Martin, Christina Aguilera and Dustin Hoffman. Also this year Dr John Gray, author of Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, selected Beyond to be the theme music for his website and internet television programming.

William also launched his first headlining tour at the end of January (2008) a stint through Western Canada in which he drove fans into a frenzy with his vigorous performing style, which includes playing the piano upside down. "I absolutely love playing in front of an audience," William says. "Not only do I want to take people on a musical journey, but I want to connect with them and hear what they think, which is why I love meeting people after the shows. The fans are as much a part of this as everything else and I take that connection with them very seriously. In the end, I just want to bring as many people along with me on this adventure as possible.

William made his American television debut performing on the Dr Phil Show on May 28 (2008). He also appeared as part of an all-star cast including Josh Groban, Michael Buble and Andrea Bocelli for A Tribute To David Foster, filmed at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas on May 23 (2008).