MASTERS OF ART (Motto: 'Loud Music For Quiet People') is the label run by Judge Smith to manufacture and release CDs of his own projects. Founded in 2000, Masters Of Art currently offers some very different audio creations. Judge Smith, Songwriter, Composer and Performer, has been making innovative, unusual and entertaining music since the late '60s, when he co-founded the influential band Van der Graaf Generator.
Judge Smith/The Climber ....import CD $17.99
Judge Smith was a founder member of Van Der Graaf Generator in 1967 along with Peter Hammill. Judge however left before the band's first album. Judge went on to front his own band before opting for a solo career which has continued today. He has also maintained links with Van Der Graaf Generator and some of his co-written songs have appeared on both Van Der Graaf Generator albums and also albums by Peter Hammill. Continuing his solo career Judge came up with the concept of the "Songstory" which is in effect a concept album which includes a narrative and music. The Climber was the second of Judge's Songstory albums which was originally released in 2010. It contains nine tracks composed by Judge Smith and is performed by Judge along with Norwegian male-voice choir The Floyen Voices and orchestrated by Michael Brand & Ricardo Odriozola. It is a piece for solo voice, male voice choir and double bass and is the absorbing tale of an English mountaineer in the Italian Alps, featuring and truly memorable music.
Judge Smith/Curly's Airships ....double import CD $24.99
Curly's Airships is a work of words and music on a grand scale. It tells the true and extraordinary story of the giant dirigibles of the 1924 Imperial Airship Scheme and the man who flew them, a story whose climax is the destruction of the world's biggest airship, the R.101, on its maiden voyage to India in 1930. Six years in the making, 'Curly's Airships' is probably one of the largest and most ambitions single pieces of rock music ever recorded! Many will recognize Judge Smith as one of the earliest members of Van der Graaf Generator and also the librettist for the opera, Fall of the House of Usher, with music composed and performed by Peter Hammill. Almost two and a half hours, Judge Smith, guitarist John Ellis and VdGG organist Hugh Banton appear throughout this recording. The album also features notable guest appearances from Peter Hammill, David Jackson, Arthur Brown, Pete Brown, Paul Roberts and many more. Destined to be a classic and a must have for all Van der Graaf Generator fans.
Judge Smith/Orfeas ....import CD $16.99
Judge Smith's third Songstory is a retelling of the ancient myth of Orpheus, the magical musician who travels to the Land of the Dead in search of the lost Eurydice. Orfeas features John 'Fury' Ellis, David Jackson, Lene Lovich and the following cast of performers: Gigi Cavalli Cocchi, Rene van Commenee, Dorie Jackson, David Minnick, Ben Nation, Ricardo Odriozola, Marco Olivotto, 'Black Path,' Bert Santilly, David Shaw-Parker & Judge Smith. Orfeas is performed by seven separate ensembles, playing entirely different kinds of music, including rock band, string sextet, Mediterranean guitar, classic trance and death metal. Many will recognize Judge Smith from his historical connection to Van der Graaf Generator and his work with Peter Hammill, most notably on the opera, Fall of the House of Usher.
The Tribal Elders/The Light of the World & I Don't Know What I'm Doing ....import CD single $9.99
THE ELDERS HAVE CHOSEN TO ROCK! A new band with familiar faces who present a very special two-song cd single. The Tribal Elders are composer and vocalist Judge Smith, founder-member of Van der Graaf Generator, saxophonist David Jackson, long-time star of the same band, John 'Fury' Ellis, guitarist of the vibrators and the stranglers, Michael-Ward Bergeman and Riki Patten. This release is a two-song CD single of hard-driving, punk orchestral rock music. Both songs were spontaneously 'received' or 'channelled' complete by Judge, under curious circumstances, and sound nothing like anything these musicians have done before. This single is David Jackson's first record post Van der Graaf Generator. First 1000 copies are hand numbered on the disc and the card sleeve.
Judge Smith/The Vesica ....import CD $18.99
An instrumental album from Judge Smith, a founder-member of Van der Graaf Generator. Uniquely relaxing and memorably melodic music, performed by soft piano, gentle strings, ethereal voices and sweet electronics. Judge Smith composed the album as a musical accompaniment to Physical Therapy, in consultation with Holistic Therapist Fiona Lindsay. Neither of them has a high opinion of the vast majority of 'New Age' or 'Relaxation' music that is currently available, and Judge became intrigued with Fiona's challenge to him to do something better. 'THE VESICA' is the result of a long process of composition, and whatever the album is, it certainly isn't another quick, knock-off, New Age pot-boiler. As each movement was completed, it was tested on Fiona's clients, so, although this is its first release, 'THE VESICA' has already been extensively tested in professional practice, and its music does appear to be particularly effective in reinforcing the relaxing effects of physical therapy. It has also been chosen for use during Music Therapy sessions at a major London hospital. But though written for therapists, 'THE VESICA' has an appeal beyond the Treatment Room, and anyone who loves melodic music with the accent on deep relaxation will like this 76 minute CD. And for those of you who are understandably wary of 'Relaxation Music', we can promise you there are no endless drones, and no pan-pipes, didgeridoos, tribal chanting, sounds-of-the-rain-forest, or whales. Just great tunes.
Judge Smith/The Full English ....import CD $21.99
Since he co-founded the influential band, Van Der Graaf Generator in 1967 with Peter Hammill, Judge Smith has been involved in many different music projects, either as composer, librettist or performer, but he has released only a small number of albums, culminating in the massive, double-CD, narrative work 'Curly's Airships' of 2000. His first album since the release of this epic 'songstory', Judge's new CD is a return to a more traditional format. THE FULL ENGLISH is a album of songs accompanied by a small group, mainly of acoustic instruments. Accordion, guitar, piano, organ, bass and drums, in various combinations, give the album an 'unplugged' feel, and showcase a collection of Judge's songs that are as original, unusual, and downright quirky, as one would expect from this unconventional and surprising artist. Despite Judge's eclectic approach to songwriting, THE FULL ENGLISH sounds surprisingly coherent and consistent, due mainly to his choice of musicians. The guitar and bass of John Ellis (of the Vibrators, Peter Gabriel Band, Peter Hammill's K Group, and the Stranglers), Michael Ward-Bergeman's work on accordion, piano and organ, and the contributions of percussionist René van Commenée, create a distinctive and congenial sound-world, with Michael's remarkable accordion skills being a particular feature. Perhaps his most immediately accessible album to date, those who already know Judge's work will certainly not be disappointed by this CD; while those who have not yet heard his music will find THE FULL ENGLISH an excellent introduction to this refreshingly unconventional, and very 'English', talent.
Judge Smith/Live in Italy 2005 ....import DVD-PAL region 0 $29.99
The "Live in Italy 2005" DVD contains the full Judge Smith concert staged in Guastalla on October 8th, 2005 in front of an audience of 300. Judge is backed by a full rock band, with John Ellis on guitar, Michael-Ward Bergeman on piano, keyboards and accordion, Gigi Cavalli Cocchi on drums and Marco Olivotto on bass (guest). Over 90 minutes of raw energy, wit, and great songs, featuring all the material from The Full English and then taking a serious plunge into Judge's back catalogue. The concert is closed by the most amazing version of 'Viking' ever released. Please note this is a PAL DVD (although most computer DVD players have no trouble playing PAL).
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